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.
A low-key iPhone feature that's been around since iOS 10 can make the iMessages you send to family and friends more exciting overall. One particular element is, if you'll forgive my decades-old slang, "da bomb" for emoji.
Apple's Wallet app lets you store boarding passes, concert tickets, gym memberships, vaccination cards, movie stubs, rewards cards, insurance info, student IDs, and more in one place on your iPhone, and you just double-click the Home or Side button to access them. Unfortunately, a decent amount of cards and passes are not officially supported — but that doesn't mean you can't add them.
Warning: Sensitive Info You Black Out in Images Can Be Revealed with a Few Quick Edits on Your iPhone
These days, most images we post online or share with others come from our smartphones. Whenever personal data is in them, such as debit card numbers, addresses, phone numbers, passwords, and other sensitive information, it's easy to jump into your iPhone's markup tools to black out the text before sharing. But a digital marker may not hide everything.
Siri Suggestions is one way Apple makes your iPhone work better for you. These recommendations offer helpful actions and shortcuts based on how you use iOS. Still, they can frequently get things wrong, suggesting irrelevant shortcuts to apps, contacts, and other items repeatedly. Here's how to stop them.
Apple's Tapback is a great way to react to iMessages you find funny, surprising, confusing, and anything in between. However, in group chats, keeping track of who reacted with which Tapback can be difficult; iOS often just shows you how many people reacted but excludes many of the names. Luckily, there is a way around this — it's just a bit hidden.
Since iOS 13, your iPhone's come equipped with a fonts manager that lets you install custom fonts for use in Apple apps and supported third-party apps. To add fonts, you need to use a font provider app that'll load them on your device and register them system-wide, and one of these apps shines above all else.
When you enable Low Power Mode on your iPhone, it's not always clear what measures it's taking to reduce battery drain and conserve power. Energy-hungry features you use daily may be noticeable right away, but some things you use frequently may be disabled or reduced without any obvious indicators.
One of the coolest aesthetic features of iMessage is its animated message effects. If you're like many users, you might even have discovered them by accident, where wishing your friend a "Happy Birthday!" or congratulating them on a promotion unexpectedly flooded your screen with balloons or confetti.
Whenever you need to type out a fraction on your iPhone, whether it's in a message, word document, presentation, math problem, recipe, or wherever else you need it, it's easy to use numbers and slashes. But there's a way to make fractions look more professional and easier to read straight from your keyboard.
Gmail uses TLS, or Transport Layer Security, by default for all email communications, so all of your emails will use the standard encryption as long as the recipients also support TLS. But there's a way to add even more security to your Gmail emails, and you can use your iPhone's Mail app to do it.
Every iPhone has a series of hidden Apple apps installed by default, most of which work behind the scenes to perform actions such as filtering SMS messages, trusting computers, and dealing with payments. However, there are a few secret apps you can access right here and now, but they take a little work to unlock.
OK, I'm sure you're thinking, "Isn't it just the 'Select All' button in Mail?" Yes and no. If the view you're in has a "Select All" button and you actually want to select all items, then great — use that. But when you're selecting emails from a Mail search or just wishing to choose some but not all in a mailbox, there's a hidden gesture you're not using on your iPhone.
How To: Auto-Play New Podcast Episodes on Your iPhone When Connecting Headphones, Starting a Trip, Tapping an NFC Tag & More
The Shortcuts app can help you play the next unlistened podcast from one of the shows, but getting the latest unplayed episodes from your whole queue of shows in the Podcasts app is a little trickier. There is an easy way to do it on your iPhone, though, and you can even automate it so that Podcasts plays your most recent untouched episode automatically.
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.
Over 115 secret characters are hiding behind your iPhone's default keyboard, and I'm not talking about what you see after tapping the "123" or "#+=" keys. These special composite characters can include accents, dots, and other diacritics, and you'll even see some strange typographical characters like the section sign, inverted marks, and per mille symbol. Here's how you find them.
Your voice is the key to unlocking many features on your iPhone. For example, you can ask Siri to send a text message to a friend, add items to a list, run a custom shortcut, or turn on your lights, but Apple does not allow you to unlock your iPhone with a Siri voice command. Instead, you can turn to a lesser-known feature to unlock your iPhone without Face ID, Touch ID, or typing your passcode.
How To: If 'Messages' Consumes Too Much iPhone or iCloud Storage, Don't Delete Your Conversations Just Yet
When iOS starts barking at you that you've run out of iCloud or iPhone storage, a quick trip to your settings to see what the culprit is may show that Messages is one of the worst offenders. But if deleting message after message doesn't free up your storage much, it's likely because "Messages" doesn't really mean messages.
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.
The TikTok obsession is real. The variety of content is so wide that you could watch a video guide on making a baked feta pasta while you cook and then a seven-part series on some crazy historical event you've never heard of while you eat — all in a span of a few minutes. And thanks to a hidden iOS feature, you can watch all the TikTok clips you want without even using your hands.