How To: Try Upcoming Apps, Features, and IAPs on Your iPhone for Free — Before They Hit the App Store
Believe it or not, there are legitimate iOS apps beyond the App Store that you can install on your iPhone. Some of them even work for iPad, Apple TV, and Mac, and there are also benefits to using them over apps found in the App Store.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
On an iPhone, it's easy to blur or cross out faces and sensitive information found in your images — just use Apple's Markup tool for all your obfuscation needs. Things aren't as simple when it comes to videos. There are no built-in iOS features to blur, redact, or otherwise obscure people, objects, and text in videos, but we've found a free solution that gets the job done well without any watermarks.
How To: Block Shortcuts Notifications from Showing Up Every Time You Run an Automation on Your iPhone
There are a lot of cool shortcuts you could run on your iPhone, but in iOS 13 and iOS 14, you'll likely see a notification any time you try to run an automation. Shortcuts should feel seamless when their actions are performed, and getting a banner alert each time one initializes takes away the seamlessness of it all. But there is a way to block 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.
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.
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.