10 Things Your iPhone Can Do That You’ll Want to Take Advantage of ASAP – Even though you use your iPhone every single day, you may not realize how powerful and feature-packed it really is. In fact, your iPhone has a few tricks up its sleeve that you probably don’t know about. We have a few tips that we wanted to share so you can take full advantage of your smartphone. They’re extremely convenient, and they’ll hopefully help save you a little time, too!
1. Text Replacement
Sometimes typing things like email addresses, URLs, and of course, shruggy ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, is a pain. Your iPhone has a text replacement feature that lets you type just a few characters rather than spending forever typing the actual thing. Here’s how you do it:
- Open the Settings app
- Tap General
- Tap on Keyboard
- Tap on Text Replacement
- Tap the + on the top right corner
- In the Phrase field, type the word or phrase you want to create a shortcut for
- In the Shortcut field, type the text you want to be replaced by the phrase
- Tap Save at the top right corner
Now, anytime you type the shortcut on your keyboard, your iPhone will replace it with the phrase after you press the space bar.
2. Hey Siri
We have a love-hate relationship with Siri. Siri may not be as smart as Alexa on our Amazon Echo, but Siri is much more portable. To make Siri even more accessible, you should enable Hey Siri, which lets you use Siri without pressing the home button on your iPhone. Here’s how you turn it on:
- Open the Settings app
- Scroll down and select Siri
- Toggle to Allow “Hey Siri!”
Bonus tip: If you ever lose your iPhone at home, just shout “Hey Siri” and you should hear a tone. Keep doing it until you find your phone. Sure, you can always log into iCloud and use Find My iPhone, but this method is just as effective, and it takes less time.
3. Teach Siri How to Correctly Pronounce Names
Siri may not be saying your friend’s name correctly, but you can fix that!
- Hold the home button or say, “Hey, Siri” to trigger Siri
- Say, “That’s not how you pronounce [name.]”
- Say your friend’s name
- Siri will offer four pronunciation options
- Select the correct pronunciation
4. Custom Vibrations
You may already have custom ringtones for when certain friends and loved ones call, but that doesn’t come in handy when you have your phone on silent though. Your iPhone lets you create and assign custom vibrations to specific contacts. Here’s what you have to do:
- Open the Settings app
- Select Sounds & Haptics
- Select Ringtone
- Select Vibration
- Tap Create New Vibration
- Create a new vibration by tapping and holding however you want.
- Tap Stop in the bottom right
- Tap Save in the top right
- Name the vibration
After you create the custom vibration, here’s what you need to do to assign it to a contact:
- Open the Contacts app
- Choose the contact you want to assign the custom vibration to do.
- Tap Edit on the top right corner
- Select Vibration
- Choose the new vibration that you created earlier
5. Use Your Keyboard as a Trackpad
You may not have known that your iPhone’s keyboard can double as a trackpad. This way you can move your cursor much more accurately instead of tapping and holding on the screen to bring up the magnifying glass. To use this feature, you need an iPhone 6S or later.
- While you are typing a message, firmly press and hold anywhere on the keyboard to activate the trackpad
- Drag your finger around to move your cursor through the text
- When the cursor is where you want it to be, just let go
If you have an older iPhone that doesn’t have 3D touch, we recommend you install the third-party keyboard, Gboard, which lets you use the spacebar as a mini trackpad to swipe through text.
Bonus keyboard tip:
Rather than tapping the 123 button at the bottom left of the keyboard, tapping the character you want, and then tapping the 123 button again, just hold the 123 button, slide your thumb to the character you want to use, then lift your thumb up off your screen. The character will be inputted and your keyboard will return to normal without taking the extra step of tapping the 123 button again.
6. Use Your iPhone as a Level
Most people rarely use the Compass app that’s preinstalled on their iPhone. Within the app is another tool you may not have known about: a spirit level. Here’s how you easily access it:
- Open up the Compass app
- Swipe left
- Lay your phone flat against the surface you need to check levelness for
If you tap the screen, you can measure the difference between the two surfaces. The red margin shows how much the two angles vary.
7. Backspace on the Calculator
The Calculator app on the iPhone just doesn’t work as well as the original thing. Because there’s no tactile feel to it, you may accidentally press a key you didn’t mean to. So, you click the C or AC button to start over, right? WRONG. The iPhone calculator app has had a backspace button all along! It’s as easy as a single step.
- Just swipe to the left or the right at the top of the screen where the numbers are displayed. Your swipe will delete the number you tapped last.
8. Turn on Medical ID Section
Within Apple’s Health app, you should fill out the Medical ID section. This will not only come in handy in the event of an actual emergency, but it can also help a good Samaritan return your iPhone if you lose it.
- Open the Health app
- Tap Medical ID at the bottom right
- Tap Edit at the top right
- Make sure Show When Locked is toggled
- Fill out the corresponding text boxes, and put your email or social media handles in the medical notes section so someone can return your lost phone
9. Hide Photos
Sometimes you have photos in your camera roll that your mom wouldn’t be proud of. When you hand your iPhone over to someone else, they may swipe and see something you wouldn’t want them to. Fortunately, you can prevent that from happening by hiding certain photos.
- Open the photos app
- Open the album where the photo(s) you want to hide reside
- Tap Select at the top right
- Select the photo(s) you want to hide
- Tap the share icon at the bottom left
- Tap the hide icon at the bottom right
- Tap Hide Photo
10. Set a Sleep Timer
If you like to listen to music or podcasts before you fall asleep, you’re going to love this trick. The iPhone includes a timer in the clock app that can stop audio playback from any app.
- Open the Clock app
- Select Timer at the bottom right
- Set how long you want the timer to be
- Tap When Timer Ends
- Scroll to the bottom of the list and tap Stop Playing
- Tap Set at the top right of your screen
- Press the Start button
- Drift off to sleep without worrying about your iPhone battery being dead in the morning from leaving your music on
One last quick tip:
When you need to plug your phone in at night before bed, it always comes with the risk of waking the person that sleeps next to you. As soon as you attach the Lighting cable, your iPhone makes a loud chime noise. To outsmart your smartphone, you may try and flick the silent switch first and insert the cable, but then your phone vibrates and still wake your partner up! It’s loud and annoying, but it can be prevented.
Swipe left to activate your iPhone’s camera, THEN plug in the Lightning cable, and press the Home button to go back to your lock screen. No chime, no buzz, just some sweet ?’s.