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.
Ever since 3D Touch's introduction in iOS 9 for the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, a little-known trick for moving the cursor around and selecting text was built into Apple's stock keyboard. On iOS 12 or later, it works for all iPhone models with or without 3D Touch or Haptic Touch baked in.
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, AKA 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.
The share system on your iPhone serves as a hub for actions and share extensions, streamlining the process of saving files, sharing photos and videos, and other important tasks. On iOS 13 the Share Sheet has received a considerable upgrade, including the ability to more easily share content with your favorite contacts.
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.
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.
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: 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.
When iOS 14 was released, the "Favorites" widget, which provided quick access to your most-used contacts, was nowhere to be seen. There's a workaround that brings it back via the Shortcuts app, but the original Favorites widget was better all around. For those of you looking for something better, try turning all your favorite and most-used contacts into apps on your home screen.
When you want to brighten up your iPhone's screen, you likely use Control Center's brightness slider to increase your nits (especially if you've disabled auto-brightness). But once you max it out, it doesn't seem like the display can get any brighter. However, depending on your iPhone model, your display may be capable of getting a lot brighter based on how you use it.
When you're checking out photos and video on Instagram, its default bright white layout can literally be an eyesore, especially in dimly lit settings where the bleached UI feels blinding. Luckily, there's a really simple way to switch from the normal light mode to a dark mode look in the iPhone and Android app.
The signal bars in your iPhone's status bar is a great visual indicator 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.
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.
App developers have had the tools to offer user-selectable app icons since March 2017 when the feature was introduced as part of iOS 10.3. At the time, only two apps officially supported the feature. Over three years later, the list isn't much larger, even though many of us would like to see widespread implementation of user-selectable app icons for the home screen.
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.
It's easy to back up and restore your iOS devices using iCloud, but there are a few downsides to encrypted iCloud backups. For one, Apple holds the key to decrypt all the data. Plus, you're limited to only 5 GB of data for free before you have to upgrade your storage to 50 GB, 200 GB, or 2 TB.
Apple said goodbye to iTunes with the release of macOS Catalina, breaking up music, videos, and podcasts into their own respective apps, Music, TV, and Podcasts. But without iTunes, what app's in charge of interfacing with your iPhone? That would be Finder, and you use it to sync your iPhone, as well as back it up and archive backups for emergency restores.