How To: The Secret iPhone Dialer Trick That Dials Extensions Automatically & Navigates Automated Call Menus for You
Automatic phone menus are the worst. You call the number, listen to prerecorded prompts, press button, listen, press button, listen, press button, listen, until you're routed or connected to the right extension, directory, menu, person, or whatever. But you can bypass these automated attendants to get right to where you need to go by setting up a simple shortcut on your iPhone.
Apple's stock keyboard for iPhone has gone through many changes over the years. Some have been significant, and others more subtle. Overall, most of these updates have been fairly obvious, so you're probably already using them — but there are more than a few interesting features that were slipped in under the radar that you may not know about.
While there's no denying that iPads are better when it comes to multitasking and productivity, your iPhone has a few tricks up its sleeve to rival even the best iPad features. One thing about iPadOS is that it's really easy to highlight editable text with gestures, but it's just as simple on iOS if you know all the secrets.
Emoji have taken over the world, so there's a good chance that you regularly use (or overuse) emoji on your iPhone's keyboard just like everybody else. But before emoji was popular, there were smileys, also known as emoticons, and iOS has a secret emoticon keyboard just waiting for you to unlock.
Screen mirroring software has been around for ages, allowing you to mirror your iPhone to a projector, laptop, TV, or another device. It's useful to have during lectures, presentations, and meetings, so it's no wonder why Apple created its AirPlay technology. However, AirPlay doesn't work in all situations.
Malevolent hackers can divert your incoming calls and texts to any number they want, and they don't need to be a criminal mastermind to do it. Even friends and family members can reroute your incoming calls and messages so that they know exactly who's trying to reach you, and all it takes is seconds of access to your iPhone or wireless account. These secret codes can help uncover them.
Next to spam calls, few things are more annoying than being inundated with spam, scam, and smishing texts. Your iPhone's Messages app should be a place for your friends and family to stay in touch, not a minefield of phishing attacks, malicious links, and viruses. Luckily, there are quite a few methods to block and report your way to a more spam-free iPhone.
The signal bars in your iPhone's status bar are great visual indicators for knowing how good your cellular reception is, but they're not very accurate. Instead of showing the actual amount of signal you're receiving, they just give you a general range, and you'll have no idea if three out of four bars is actually a good connection or not. But there is a trick to see the real numbers.
How To: Disable the iMessage Typing Bubble Indicator So Others Don't Know You're Currently Active in the Chat
Apple's iMessage is one of the main reasons to use an iPhone, and there's a lot you can do in chats without being overly complicated. But there's one issue that continues to drive people nuts, and that's the blue typing bubble indicator with the moving ellipsis (•••). Can you stop it? Not officially, but there are workarounds.
Ah, the dreaded "green bubble" group chat. All it takes is one non-iPhone contact to turn an entire thread from iMessage paradise to SMS slog. Normally, it isn't that bad since the group chat still functions. However, sometimes, you end up getting messages individually instead of in a single group thread. Before you go blaming your Android friends, know that the issue is probably on your end.
How To: Prevent Thieves from Turning On Your iPhone's Airplane Mode, So You Have a Better Chance to Track It Down
When an iPhone is lost or stolen, it's imperative to start tracking it via Find My as soon as possible, whether that's from a computer, tablet, or someone else's phone. However, if it's stolen, there's a good chance the thief or robber turns on Airplane Mode, blocking all communication with the iPhone. If this is a scary thought, you can prevent thieves from accessing Airplane Mode altogether.
How To: Your iPhone Uses a Hidden Tracker to Keep Tabs on Your Recent & Most Visited Locations — But You Can Stop It
Your iPhone keeps track of every single place you go, especially those you frequent most often, and syncs those locations across all your iCloud-connected devices. People who gain access or already have access to your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac may be able to view all of these locations to see where you've been and where you might be. If this worries you, there are things you can do.
How To: If Your Sneaky Kids Keep Making In-App Purchases on Your iPhone, This Will Block Them for Good
You can't hand over your iPhone to a kid and expect everything to be OK. Not only will they drop your iPhone (and they will), they could also do something much worse than a cracked screen — in-app purchases.
Ah, subscriptions. Whether you love or hate them, they are now a fundamental part of our increasingly digital lives. If you have some essential subs on your iPad, iPhone, or Mac, like Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple News+, Bumble, Pandora, Tinder, or YouTube Premium, there are three key issues you need to know about that could unexpectedly stop your membership from renewing.
Apple's two iCloud storage plans have made it easier than ever to free up space on your iPhone to take more pictures, play more mobile games, and download more music. The plan prices range from $0.99 to $9.99, which isn't bad, but not everyone wants to pay for storage. So deleting items becomes a great option to free up storage — especially music and music videos.
If you want to try out Apple's beta program on your iPhone — whether that's by becoming a developer, joining the public beta, or using an IPSW of an available beta update — there's always a possibility that you'll want to go back to the stable iOS version you were using before. Likewise, if you updated to the latest stable release but liked how iOS worked on the previous version.
How To: Why Some Non-Apple Devices Can't Open Photos & Videos Shared from Your iPhone (& How to Fix It)
You take a photo or video, send it to a friend, and they say, "Hey, I can't open this." More often than not, your friend won't be using an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. Instead, they're likely trying to open the file with a non-Apple device. But this problem can be avoided if you know what setting to change.
Even with the convenience of online storage like iCloud and Google Drive, data management can be a constant struggle on your iPhone. If you continuously find yourself having to delete messages, photos, videos, and other files to make room for other things, know that there's an easy way to free up space without erasing anything important or having to dig through documents and data yourself.
Since iOS 11, your iPhone has been capable of offloading hardly used apps to free up storage space for more useful data. But offloading only gets rid of the app's binary, meaning its documents and data are stored on your device in case you reinstall the app. That can take up a lot of space itself, so it's good to periodically review files for offloaded apps and purge the content you no longer need.
How To: Stop Apps Installed on Your iPhone from Downloading Automatically on Your Other iOS Devices (& Vice Versa)
The benefit of going all-in on the Apple ecosystem is that your stuff is connected across all of your Apple products. That said, I really don't need every app I download on my iPhone appearing on my iPad, and vice versa. That's why addressing this setting is crucial for maintaining some level of order across your multiple iOS devices.