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.
You know the drill: After booting up your iPhone, you need to swipe up or press the Home button, then punch in the passcode to unlock Face ID or Touch ID. It's the way things have always been — but it doesn't have to be. Instead, you can unlock your iPhone using just your voice, even after a restart.
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.
If you're anything like me, you use the Calculator app on your iPhone like fifty times a day, and you're sick of the same user interface it's had since iOS 11 came out. While you can't mod the button shapes and sizes, there is a way to breathe new life into your calculations with some Calculator theming.
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.
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.
You can play background sounds in iOS 15 to help you focus, stay calm, or fall asleep, essentially turning your iPhone into a personal sound machine wherever you go. Even better, there's a way to set each of your apps to play one of Apple's six ambient soundscapes automatically. When you open the app, its assigned sound plays, then it stops when you exit or switch to another app.
I use the Accessibility Shortcut on my iPhone practically every day, whether it's to dim the screen below the standard threshold, keep my child confined to a specific app, or open up the simulated magnifying glass. But with iOS 15, there are at least three more things I can use it for, and one of them is really good.
How To: Turn Your iPhone into a Personal Sound Machine in iOS 15 to Help You Focus, Rest, and Stay Calm
If you get distracted or stressed out easily, your iPhone might be able to help you focus or calm you down, as long as you've updated to iOS 15.
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.
Sound Recognition was introduced with iOS 14, and the accessibility feature uses on-device intelligence to detect 13 different sounds and then notify you whenever it hears one. Apple increases that number to 15 with the addition of two more detectable sounds in iOS 15 that it should have included from the get-go.
The Calculator app is probably one of Apple's most-used apps on the iPhone, yet I meet people all of the time that don't know all of the little tricks there are to using it more efficiently. You may know most of them, but there's a chance you don't know every single one or simply forgot about them.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.