iOS & iPhone How-Tos

How To: Use Siri to Send Audio Messages via iMessage or Texts in iOS 14

Siri has slimmed down in iOS 14. The assistant now appears as a compact icon at the bottom of the screen instead of hijacking your entire iPhone. It's a welcome change to a user interface that has always felt a bit clunky, but just because Siri's UI has simplified doesn't mean that its capabilities have too. On top of several new features, Siri now lets you record and send audio messages using only your voice.

How To: Bring Back Full-Screen Incoming Call Alerts for FaceTime, Phone & Other Calling Apps in iOS 14

In iOS 13 and under, whenever you were in an app or on the home screen, and a Phone or FaceTime call came in, the entire screen would be taken over by the incoming call. Apple changed it to a subtle banner notification in iOS 14 so that it doesn't wholly obfuscate what you're doing when the call happens. However, you can get the old design back if that works better for you.

How To: Hide the Picture-in-Picture Window on Your iPhone to Listen to Audio Only or Take a Video Break

Previously limited to apps like Facebook and YouTube as an in-app feature only, picture-in-picture mode is now an OS-level feature in iOS 14. That means any app can quickly flip the switch to let you watch videos in an overlay window while you multitask in other apps. However, sometimes you only need to hear the audio and not see the video, and that's totally possible too.

How To: Use Picture-in-Picture Mode on Your iPhone in iOS 14 to Multitask While You Watch Videos

Have you ever watched a video on your iPhone but wanted to look at something else real quick? In past iOS versions, you had to choose between pausing the video or waiting until it's over — not exactly ideal for a device that's supposed to help you multitask. Well, iOS 14 just fixed it, giving us picture-in-picture mode to watch and perform other on-screen tasks at the same time.

How To: Combine iOS 14 Home Screen Widgets into a Swipeable Stack to Save Space

Home screen widgets might not be a new concept in the Android world, but for iPhones, they're downright revolutionary. A new iOS 14 feature allows you to place small, medium, and large-sized widgets of your favorite apps on the home screen, to see important information without needing to long-press an app's icon, swipe to the Today View, or launch an app directly. Even better — you can stack them!

How To: Shoot Bursts & QuickTakes Using Your iPhone's Volume Buttons

When you can't touch the shutter button on the screen in the Camera app, your iPhone has another way to snap a picture or take a video — just press the Volume Up or Volume Down button. But when it comes to bursts and QuickTakes, things are a little bit trickier in iOS 13 and iOS 14.

How To: Add Widgets to Your iPhone's Home Screen in iOS 14

We've wanted them for years, and Apple has finally made widgets accessible on the home screen in iOS 14. These are not the same widgets found in past versions of iOS. They're more data-rich, more colorful, and more versatile. And best of all, both the home screen and Today View get access to them.

How To: 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Install iOS 14 on Your iPhone Just Yet

WWDC is just about the most exciting time of year to be an iPhone user (second only to new device unveilings, of course). This year, Apple introduced iOS 14, which promises fun new features like home screen widgets, picture-in-picture video, and major upgrades to Messages. Before you jump into all the fun, however, you might just want to consider waiting.

How To: Magnify Details in Screenshots & Photos on Your iPhone to Focus Attention on What Matters

Over the last few years, Apple has significantly improved and scaled up your iPhone's ability to edit photos. Using the Markup feature, which was introduced back in iOS 10, you can add doodles, highlights, important text, your signature, and arrows and other objects onto pictures and screenshots. One of the lesser-known tools in Markup lets you zoom into essential details without cropping.

How To: This Secret FaceTime Trick Lets You Zoom with Your iPhone's Camera

With Zoom and Google Meet, you can zoom in using your rear camera on a video call to focus on something far away or to get a closeup view. But in Messenger, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Skype, Instagram, and most other video chat apps, zoom functionality is disabled. And it may appear to be blocked in FaceTime too, but that's not the case — the feature is just hiding in plain sight.

How To: Share Apple Music Songs to Spotify Users (& Vice Versa) on Your iPhone

To share a song or album to family and friends, it's as easy as copying its link in the app and pasting that into a message. However, not everyone uses the same music streaming service, so a link to an Apple Music song won't do a Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, Deezer, or YouTube Music subscriber any good. If you're on an iPhone, though, there's an easy way to convert links from one service to another.

How To: Use These Tricks to Set Timers Faster on Your iPhone

The native timer feature on your iPhone works well enough that you probably haven't even thought about installing a third-party timer. With just a few taps, you can get a countdown for any amount of time up to 24 hours (or one second shy of 24 hours, to be precise). But as fast as it can be to set a timer from the Clock app, there are even faster ways to start the countdown.

How To: Save Snapchats Without Getting Caught on Your iPhone — No Jailbreak Required

Snapchat doesn't prevent you from taking screenshots of snaps received, but the other user will get an alert either as a prominent push notification or a subtle note in the app. Snapchat has improved its screenshot detection abilities over the years, so it's much harder to circumvent its technology for truly undetected screenshots — but not impossible.

How To: This Workaround Lets You Record Music Playing on Your iPhone While Filming a Video

As soon as you try recording a video in the Camera app on your iPhone, any music playing on your device comes to a halt. Apple Music. Spotify. Pandora. Tidal. Deezer. No matter what you're listening to, as soon as you switch to "Video" in the Camera app, the music will stop. However, if you want background music in your movie files, there's a workaround to avoid having to add an audio track in post.

How To: Add Custom Shortcuts to Your iPhone's Share Sheet & Reorganize Them for Quicker Access

With Shortcuts, Apple has designed a way to create your own tools and automations right on your iPhone. And to top it off, your creations can be accessed in a variety of ways, including Siri phrases, widgets, and the Shortcuts app itself. Perhaps even more useful is adding them as custom actions to your Share Sheet and making them available to you system-wide.

How To: Stop Your AirPods from Pausing Music & Other Audio When You Take Them Out of Your Ears

AirPods not only let you listen to music on your iPhone — they let you quickly stop listening to your iPhone's audio by pulling out a single AirPod to pause. If, however, you'd rather have music, audiobooks, podcasts, and other audio files continue playing when you pull out one AirPod — or both AirPods — one settings tweak can get the job done.

How To: FaceTime Forcing LTE Instead of Wi-Fi? Here's How to Fix It

These days, you can FaceTime with family and friends whether you're at home connected to Wi-Fi or on-the-go with mobile data. You may have noticed, however, that your iPhone will sometimes drop Wi-Fi and rely on cellular instead — whether you're placing or receiving a FaceTime call. While that's not an expected result, there is a workaround to get your FaceTime calls back on track.

How To: Turn Your Live Photos into Looping or Bouncing GIF-Like Videos That Anyone Can Watch

Live Photos haven't caught on as much as Apple probably would like, but they're far from the gimmick that critics initially claimed they were — and things are only getting better as time moves on. Some aspects of the feature are somewhat hidden, however, and you need to find them to unlock Live Photos' full potential.

How To: There's a Better Way to Zoom with Your iPhone's Camera

The iPhone 11 series models have sophisticated camera systems that include both a wide and ultra-wide lens. On top of that, the Pro models also have a telephoto lens. So you can zoom anywhere between 0.5x optically to 5x or 10x digitally, depending on the one you have. While you can pinch in and out on the screen to control the zoom, there's a way to get more granular control for photos.

How To: These Are the iPhones That Can Upgrade to iOS 14

The next major iOS version will be hitting iPhone models in September 2020, if the last eight years are any indication. But the beta for the next big iOS release will show up any moment. Whether you want to jump on the pre-release software or wait until the stable firmware, you'll need to know which iPhones will work with iOS 14.

How To: There's an Easy Way to Turn Off Camera's Night Mode on Your iPhone 11, 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max

Night mode on the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max is a godsend if you want clearer photographs in dimly lit environments. But if you want to keep the image dark or full of shadows as an effect of sorts, it's not immediately obvious how to disable Night mode, which turns on automatically when the app thinks you need it. But it can be turned off.

How To: Change the AirDrop Alert Sound on Your iPhone to Anything You Want

These days, AirDrop's distinct "doo-doo-doo-doo" sound is almost as iconic as Apple's classic Marimba ringtone. And just like with ringtones, that AirDrop alert on your iPhone doesn't need to sound like everyone else's. In just a few taps, you can make it sound like anything you want.

How To: The Simple Way to Enable Caps Lock on Your iPhone

When you need to type in all caps on a computer, you just press the "caps lock" key. But no such key seems to exist on iOS. The "shift" key appears to work at first but will deactivate once you type one capital letter. Holding down the shift key while you type gets the job done, but it's a pain. While it might not be obvious, enabling caps lock is actually really simple.

How To: Your iPhone's Using More Data Than It Needs, but This Could Stop It

While mobile data caps are larger than they used to be, many of us still have limits to contend with. If you find yourself up against that ceiling month after month, your iPhone itself might be to blame. Luckily, there's an easy fix to stop your iOS device from burning through data in the background.

How To: Add Dropbox, Google Drive & Other Cloud Storage Apps to Files on Your iPhone (& Manage All Your Docs from One Place)

The built-in Files app on your iPhone has only gotten better since it was introduced in iOS 11, with small improvements after each new iOS version. You can manage files on your internal storage as well as in iCloud Drive, but one of the best features is being able to manage media and documents from all of your cloud storage accounts in one place.

How To: There's a Quick Gesture to Open Hidden Camera Settings on Your iPhone

The camera on models in the iPhone 11 series includes an ultra-wide lens to take wider images, Night mode for taking better-looking photos in low-light environments, and a 16:9 frame for shooting. With these new features comes a slightly redesigned interface in the Camera app, one that even the second-generation iPhone SE received despite only having one of those three features.

How To: Use This Trick to Quickly Select All Photos & Videos on Your iPhone to Bulk Delete or Share

With high-resolution photos and 4K videos being standard these days, it's no surprise that media hogs most of the storage space for many iPhone users. If that's you, there's always iCloud, but you only get 5 GB free, and a paid 50 GB or 200 GB plan can fill up fast. To save money and reclaim storage, you can just delete content from the Photos app, and there's a trick to doing it faster.

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