Table of Contents
Look at someone else using their Iphone for a few minutes and you will quickly discover that they do many things differently than you. You might even see some stuff you had no idea about.
It is not very surprising that the average Iphone user does not use many of the phone’s best features. Modern smartphones have grown into enormously powerful and complex devices. If you do not pay attention, you will simply be unaware of all they can do. So, time to learn something new. Here are 10 tips and features that a surprisingly large percentage of Iphone users seem to be unaware of. These tips should work on most modern Iphones (those made in recent years) and we assume you are running at least iOS 15.
If you do not want to receive calls from unknown or anonymous phone numbers, there is a feature for that. Open Settings > Phone and look for the option Silence unknown callers.
When you activate this, phone calls from unknown numbers will not be blocked but will be sent – silently, without ringtone and vibration – directly to your voicemail. You will receive a message (including the silent one!) Showing the number of the silent call. However, phone numbers in your contacts as well as the latest outgoing calls and Siri suggestions ring as usual.
Each time you enter text, press and hold the space bar until you see all the letters disappear from the keyboard.
Now continue to hold down your finger and drag it in any direction to move the text cursor where you want, as if you were using a small trackpad. It is a much easier way to copy and correct spelling mistakes or other auto-correction.
Your Iphone may not have a user manual in the box, but it does have one! Apple has an updated Iphone user guide online. It has a nice search function, a nicely organized table of contents and instructions that are simple, clear and linked to each other. If you would rather have something that you can read offline, then get the iPhone’s user guide from Apple Books. It is of course free.
Open Settings> Assistive devices> Press and look for Press on the back. This convenient setting allows you to set a shortcut to a specific app or function when you double-tap or triple-tap the back of your Iphone. And yes, you can set separate shortcuts with double or triple taps.
Back Tap is one of the most useful features on the Iphone, and it’s a shame it’s buried deep in the accessibility settings. An easy-to-use shortcut to whichever app you want (or useful features like taking a single screenshot) that you can perform with one hand no matter which app you use.
Do you find it easier to stay focused with background noise? There are lots of apps for this type of thing, but your Iphone has some options built-in! Open Settings> Accessibility> Audio / Video and look for the option Background noise. Here you can turn them on, adjust the volume and choose between six different sounds. You also get other options, such as the ability to stop the sound when your Iphone is locked or to play it (or not) when other media is playing.
Live Text is one of the best features of iOS 15, and it has not received enough love.
If you have the camera app open, point the camera at anything with text and you will see a yellow box with parentheses around it, with a small yellow button at the bottom right. Press that button and you will freeze the text area, after which you can just press-and-hold and then swipe your finger over it to select it and copy, translate or look up a definition.
It also works in the Photos app. In all photos that have text, you will see a small icon with parentheses at the bottom right. Touch it and all the text in the image will be highlighted, after which you can choose to copy, translate, look up, share, whatever.
You can even drop text directly in Notepad this way. Just open a note, tap the camera icon and select “scan text”.
The search function on your Iphone is more powerful than you think. It’s surprising how many people do not even know it is there, let alone make full use of it.
Just swipe down from any home screen – that is, tap somewhere in the center of the screen and drag it down. If you swipe down from the top edge, open Notifications or Control Center.
Type anything in the search box and the phone will search for it everywhere. Apps installed on your Iphone, search suggestions on websites, matches in your photos, appropriate knowledge from Siri’s knowledge base, apps in the App Store, Apple Music matches, matches in your messages and much more.
At the bottom of the results is the option to search in apps, if you want to search through Mail or Calendar.
I can not tell you how many times I have seen accustomed Iphone users search for 10 minutes to find that picture or message thread or whatever it may be, when a five second search is all that is needed
Your Iphone has a surprisingly good built-in document scanner. Just place the document you want to scan on a flat surface (the more illuminated the better) and then decide if you want to create a new pdf document or attach the scanned document to a note in the Notes app.
To create a new file, just open Files, open the folder to which you want to save the scan and select the menu button at the top right (a circle with three dots in it). Select “Scan Document” and point the camera at the document you want to scan.
Your Iphone automatically takes a picture (press the shutter button if it does not), cleans the picture from any creases and minimizes it in the bottom corner and is ready to take the next picture. If you have more pages to scan, just repeat the process. When done, tap Save and name the file.
In Notepad, simply open the notepad you want to attach a scanned document to (or create a new note), press the camera key, and then select Scan Document.
You can even sign documents digitally. Just open the scanned pdf file in Files, press the small selection button at the top right (it looks like a pen tip), then press “+“character in the Selection toolbar at the bottom of the screen. Tap Signature and you can add or delete signatures (signing takes place directly on your Iphone screen), or select a previous signature to place in the document.
Want to add effects to your text messages? You may have noticed that some messages (like Happy Birthday) automatically add special effects to them.
This only works if you send an Imessage (blue bubbles), not sms (green bubbles). Write your message, then press and hold the send button. Switch between bubble effects and screen effects at the top.
Choose the effect you want, send, and boom!
Everyone knows you can silence a call, but did you know you can also park a call?
When you have a call on your Iphone, press and hold the mute button for a few seconds until it changes to parked.
What is the difference? When you use Mute, you can hear the person on the other line, but they can not hear you – you literally just turn off your microphone. Putting the call on hold means that neither side of the call can hear each other.
Translated and edited by Petter Ahrnstedt