iPhone Accessibility Features

How To: Use a Secret Voice Command to Unlock Your iPhone

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: This Is Absolutely the Fastest, Most Convenient Way to Toggle Your iPhone's Flashlight On & Off (Hint: It's No Button)

It's easier than ever to toggle your iPhone's flashlight (or torch) on and off. From your lock screen, home screen, or from within any app, most iPhone models will let you enable or disable the flashlight from the Control Center, via the Notification Center, or with Siri. But there's an even faster and more convenient way to trigger the flashlight button, and you don't even have to look at your iPhone to use it.

How To: This Discreet Panic Button for iPhone Will Help You Escape Bad Dates, Uncomfortable Encounters & Annoying People

Strange or uncomfortable encounters can be difficult to get away from sometimes if you're overly polite and don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. Thankfully, your iPhone can help save the day, providing you with a plausible excuse to exit the scene without having to conjure up some last-minute reason on the spot.

How To: Use This Trick to Quickly Access Spotlight Search from Anywhere on Your iPhone

Spotlight, Apple's system-wide search feature, lets you search for apps, contacts, messages, webpages, music, notes, and other content that's on and off your iPhone. On iOS, it's known as "Search," and you can access it by swiping your home screen down or swiping open the Today View screen. It's not exactly convenient, but an accessibility feature can unlock Search so you could open it from anywhere.

How To: Change the Color Theme of Any App Interface on Your iPhone — Without Affecting the Rest of iOS

Few apps on the iPhone give you ways to change their color scheme aside from Dark Mode in iOS 13 and later, but that doesn't mean you can't give an app a new color theme or filtered look. With the Shortcuts app in iOS 14 and later, it's totally possible, and it'll work in practically any app.

How To: This Shortcut Translates What You Say to Text in Any Language in Any App on Your iPhone

When iOS 14 came out, Apple released Translate, an app for translating voice and text between several languages (even within Safari). Unfortunately, it's not as comprehensive as some third-party apps or even Siri. That's why Apple uses Microsoft's translation services within Shortcuts. It may sound surprising, but we're not complaining since you can do some pretty awesome things with it.

How To: Set Unique Alert Tones for Different Types of Sounds with iOS 15's Sound Recognition

Your iPhone's Sound Recognition feature is a powerful tool to help keep you alert to the world around you. With it, iOS will inform you if it hears a fire alarm, a door bell, glass breaking, among many other kinds of sounds. In iOS 15, Apple is updating the feature, allowing you to choose the alert tone that plays when iOS recognizes a specific sound.

How To: 7 Ways to Quickly Open the Hidden Magnifying Glass Feature on Your iPhone

The iPhone has included a real-world magnifying glass called "Magnifier" since iOS 10, but it remained relatively obscure until iOS 14 when it received significant upgrades such as a new interface, hideable controls, a customizable toolbar, improved filters management, multi-image shooting, and people detection. But one of the best things about the update is that it can simply be opened more easily.

How To: Control TikTok with Your Voice to Swipe Through Videos, View Profiles & More on Your iPhone

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.

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: 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: Make Your iPhone 12 Pro Max Feel Less Huge When Using It with One Hand

For all of its many perks — from the best iPhone camera system money can buy, to arguably the best smartphone display on the market — the iPhone 12 Pro Max is undeniably huge. It has the largest iPhone screen to date despite being 0.46 cubic inches smaller than the iPhone 11 Pro Max in overall size. If you're finding it a little too much to handle with one hand, there are ways to make it much easier to use.

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: 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: Make Your iPhone Tell You the Secret Meaning of Emoji So They're Easier to Find Later

I consider myself a master of emoji, crafting complete sentences and paragraphs using strictly ideograms and smileys. However, everyone seems to have their own interpretation for each little image, so my elaborately clever emoji-only sentences can get lost in translation. But there's an easy way to translate emoji into their exact meaning, as well as decode everyone's mystifying emoji talk.

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