Apple automatically converts most URLs in the Messages app into rich link previews, but they aren't always pretty, and sometimes you just want to see the full URL instead. While there is no setting on iOS, iPadOS, or macOS that disables rich link previews in the Messages app, there is an easy way to show the URL complete with the scheme, domain name, and path.
Apple has a secret iMessage effect so hidden that there's only one way to unlock it, and it's not by digging through the Messages app's settings, tools, effects, or interface. However, it's used the same way whether you're messaging from an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, so it's easy to remember once you know.
How To: The Trick to Managing iCloud Contact Groups Right from Your iPhone (Since Apple's Contacts App Won't Let You)
You can view and hide iCloud contact groups on your iPhone, but Apple won't let you create or delete groups or add or delete contacts from any groups unless you're on a tablet or computer. Why Apple refuses to add a group management tool to Contacts on iOS is anybody's guess, but there is a workaround you can use instead.
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.
You can set a GIF as the wallpaper for your iPhone's lock screen, but it won't animate like it does when looking at the image in the Photos app. It's an annoying limitation on iOS, but one that's easily bypassed with a tiny bit of work.
Apple's default browser for iOS, Safari, has a ton of useful features, and there's so many that it's impossible to know everything you can do to browse the web more efficiently. One you may not know about brings the Command + F keyboard shortcut right to your mobile browser so you can search for words or phrases directly on any webpage you're viewing.
Remember when water and iPhones couldn't mix? Pools, tubs, and toilets would suck down the working iPhones of clumsy and careless owners and spit out expensive paperweights like they were nothing. Times have changed, however, and the newest iPhones can take a swim without fear of certain death. But a dip in liquid can still cause muffled music and audio from the speakers.
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.
A little-known setting on your iPhone gives you the power to change the color of certain contact names and email addresses when drafting an email. Customizing the color works well for visually separating contacts at a glance, and it can even help you from sending an email to the wrong person.
Your iPhone has heaps of hidden apps that work behind the scenes to filter SMS messages, trust computers, deal with payments, test ads, and perform other actions. You won't find any of them in your App Library, but you can unlock and use a few of these secret apps with a bit of work.
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.
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.
While hitting snooze won't help you much if you fall back asleep, it can help you wake up more gently. However, your iPhone's default nine-minute snooze may be too long or too short for your preferences. If you tend to fall back asleep quickly, you might be better with a two-minute snooze.
I find ringtones and text tones fairly annoying, so my iPhone is almost always set to vibrate on silent mode. Unfortunately, that causes me to miss phone calls and text messages when the device isn't in my hands or pockets. While I hate missing alerts, I'm still reluctant to switch to ring mode — and that's where another iOS and iPadOS feature helps out.
It's easy to start panicking when you delete an important email, but it's even easier to undo the mistake on your iPhone or iPad. You can retrieve an accidentally deleted email instantly on iOS and iPadOS with the help of a hidden gesture, and you'll be much more efficient with the Mail app once you learn how to use it.
Auto-Correction only improves with time, but after 15 years of continuous development by Apple, it's still nowhere near perfect on the iPhone. However, a few hidden features in iOS can help avoid or mitigate future autocorrect failures, one of which warns you every time it's about to make a word change.
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.
How To: Snap Photos on Your iPhone Hands-Free for Better Selfies, Group Shots, and Low-Light Pictures
You can take a photo on your iPhone with just one tap or press, but you can also use the Camera app hands-free for more impressive images. Doing so lets you take more detailed selfies, include your whole group in the frame, or get steadier results in Night mode — and it's easy to accomplish. Spoiler alert: using "Hey Siri" is not enough.
Whether you drop your iPhone into a toilet or your dog's water bowl or regularly take it into the shower or pool, water will likely become nestled inside its speaker grilles. Water exposure causes audio playback through the speakers to soften and sound muffled, and getting that water out is no easy task. Luckily, there's an app for that.
You see it in the movies all the time. A character on the phone doesn't like what the other person is saying or telling them to do, or they just don't want to talk to them anymore, so they fake bad reception and cut the call off. In real life, it's pretty easy to tell when someone is doing it, and there are better ways to end a call abruptly so that it looks like you didn't hang up on them.