iOS 12

How To: Turn Your iPhone into a Digital Level to Make Objects & Surfaces Straight, Plumb, or Angled

Let's say you're hanging a picture frame, and it doesn't look quite right. Sure, you could grab a spirit or bubble level, but maybe it's in another room or buried in a toolbox somewhere. Maybe you're away from home, away from your tools. As it turns out, you almost always have a level with you, and it's likely sitting in your pocket right now or resting in your hand as you read this article.

How To: Quickly Paste or Save Highlighted Text to Files, Messages, Mail, Notes & Other Apps

Highlight text, tap "Copy," open the app to paste the text into, long-press or double-tap where you want it, and hit "Paste." That's probably what you do when you need to copy text from one location to paste into another on your iPhone. It's a tried-and-true method, but there's a hidden trick for saving and sharing text on iOS that cuts down on that lengthy copy-paste process.

How To: Turn Off Amber Alerts on Your iPhone, Plus Emergency, Public Safety & Other Government Warnings

Amber, emergency, and public safety alerts on an iPhone are loud — startle-you-to-death loud even. They can happen at any time, day or night, and sometimes back to back when you're in a big city. Those blaring sirens can wake you from sleep, interrupt an important meeting, or disrupt an entire movie theater mid-movie, but you can turn most of them off if you're tired of hearing them.

How To: Stop Control Center from Opening Accidentally in Apps & Games on Your iPhone

You're in the middle of the fight for your life in your favorite iPhone game when all of a sudden, that critical move you tried to make activates Control Center inadvertently, throwing you completely off track. Instead of fuming, do something about it — block Control Center when you're in apps.

How To: The Fastest Way to Clear Apps from Your iPhone's App Switcher

If you like to keep your iPhone's app switcher clean, you don't want to hear what Android phones have. Pixel, OnePlus, Galaxy — these phones let you quit all running apps at once. Apple omits the option on iOS because apps are optimized to stay there and only be force-closed when acting up. But if you like a slim app switcher profile, there's a faster way to force-quit them than one by one.

How To: The Secret Way to Zoom In & Out in Apple Maps Using Only One Finger

Zooming in and out of map areas in Apple Maps is pretty easy, but not if you're using the fingers on the same hand that you're holding the iPhone with. Yes, it's still possible to use the two-finger pinch gestures to zoom in and out, but if you're not that dextrous, there's a hidden trick that'll let you zoom both ways using only one finger.

How To: All the Ways Guided Access Can Help While Gaming on Your iPhone

You can't get the same gaming experience on your iPhone as you would on a PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, or gaming computer. The processing power is less, the controls inadequate, and there are many on-screen distractions, all of which make mobile gaming less enjoyable. While you can't fix many of these issues, there is a way to prevent some problems, and that's thanks to Guided Access.

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.

How To: Free Up Space on Your iPhone Quickly Without Deleting Any Important Data

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.

How To: Find & Remove Files from Deleted Apps on Your iPhone to Free Up More Storage

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.

How To: Stop Incoming Calls from Ignoring Do Not Disturb on Your iPhone

Do Not Disturb is the best way to block out all interruptions on your iPhone without having to power down. All notifications and alerts are silenced, but the same can't be said for phone calls. By default, repeat calls will bypass Do Not Disturb, which can be quite frustrating when you're in a movie, classroom, or board meeting. It's good for emergencies, but not for people who can't take the hint.

How To: Stop Getting Unwanted AirDrops on Your iPhone from Strangers & Pranksters

One of Apple's best features is AirDrop, which easily lets you send files to other Apple devices with a simple tap. That said, it might be a little too easy to use since just about anyone can send a file to your iPhone, whether you know them or not. The difference between AirDrop as a useful tool among your contacts and an open channel for the entire iPhone community comes down to one setting.

How To: Trigger Reachability on Your iPhone to Interact with the Top Part of the Screen One-Handed

Apple's "Reachability" feature made its debut with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, to compensate for larger screen sizes, allowing users to reach screen items at the top while using one hand. It has since become a staple feature of all iPhones (except the original iPhone SE), but how you activate it varies depending on if it's a model with Face ID or Touch ID.

How To: Change the Brightness of Your iPhone's Lock Screen Flashlight

Whenever you need a flashlight, your iPhone's LED flash may be enough to break through the darkness, and you don't even need to unlock your screen to use it. But your LED flash's brightness level may be too strong or not powerful enough. It's not immediately obvious how one would change those lumens from the lock screen, but doing so is almost as fast as turning it on.

How To: Use This Trick in iPhone Games So You're Not Redirected to Other Apps When Accidentally Tapping Ads You Try to Close

When you're playing a game on your iPhone, the chances are good that you'll come across an ad you have to watch before you can continue — especially on free games. While it may be annoying to be forced to wait for 10 seconds or even up to a full minute, it can be even more frustrating when you accidentally leave the game to visit the ad's linked app or site when trying to hit the little "x" to continue gaming.

How To: Use Your iPhone's Volume Buttons to Shoot Photo Bursts & QuickTake Videos in iOS 14 & Earlier

When you can't touch the shutter button on the screen in the Camera app, your iPhone has another way to snap a picture or take a video — just press the Volume Up or Volume Down button. But when it comes to bursts and QuickTakes, however, things are a little bit trickier in iOS 13 and iOS 14.

How To: Use Custom App Icon Images to Modify Your iPhone's Home Screen Look

One of Apple's key features for iOS was always its "what you see is what you get" philosophy. Sure, there were small tweaks and complicated workarounds to customize an iPhone, but, for the most part, all iPhones felt similar. These days, however, changing up your iPhone's look is much easier. In just a few steps, you can change one of the most visual parts about iOS — home screen app icons.

How To: Prevent Certain Apps from Using Cellular Data on Your iPhone to Stay Below Data Caps or Avoid Throttling

If you're on a cellular plan with a low data allotment, being thrifty with your data can help you avoid a higher bill. But even if you have an affordable unlimited plan from wireless carriers such as T-Mobile or Verizon, going over a certain amount of data may throttle your connection, leaving you with slow web speeds. One way to prevent hitting these thresholds is to keep certain apps in check.