iOS & iPhone How-Tos

How To: Choose the Perfect Hue, Shade, or Tint in Apps with iOS 14's Powerful New Color Picker Tool

Whether you're using your iPhone to add graphics to a document, edit a photo, or sketch an idea, color plays a vital role in making your work look great. Apple's iOS 14 update introduces a system-wide color picker that lets you pick the exact color you want, save it to your favorite colors, and use it across a variety of apps to add that special touch to your work.

How To: Disable FaceTime's Creepy Eye Contact Feature in iOS 14 So You Don't Look Like You're Staring Awkwardly

It's incredible what technology can do these days, but sometimes, it gets a little scary. For instance, FaceTime's "Eye Contact" feature, which Apple beta-tested in iOS 13 but released with iOS 14, makes it appear like you're looking right at the camera, even when you're actually looking at your friend on the screen. If you find this artificial trick a bit creepy, rest assured you can turn it off at any time.

How To: Bring Back the Scroll Wheel in iOS 14 to Pick Dates & Times Like You Could Before

Before iOS 14, the date and time picker on the iPhone had been a scroll wheel for a very long time. Whether you loved or hated it, it was like second nature to use it. Now, you need to use a calendar and your keyboard to input dates and times. If you got so used to the old way and find the new method jarring, there's a trick to getting the scrolling date and time selector back.

How To: Make iOS 14 Show Newly Downloaded Apps on Your Home Screen Like It Did Before

If you're asking yourself where your newly installed iPhone apps are, you aren't alone. Upgrading to iOS 14 offers many beneficial features, but it also can stop new apps from appearing on your home screen. Sure, they're always in the App Library, but that shouldn't prevent you from accessing your favorite apps the old-fashioned way. The good news is that you can make iOS set things back to normal.

How To: 12 Messages Features in iOS 14 You Need to Know About on Your iPhone

Messages is arguably the most important app on your iPhone, which is why it's always exciting when Apple pushes out new features for it. With the iOS 14 update, there a few critical changes as well as interface improvements and customization options that make the experience even more personalized than it already was.

How To: Get Back the 'Favorites' Phone Widget on Your iPhone's Home Screen or Today View in iOS 14

There are plenty of reasons to upgrade to iOS 14, home screen widgets chief among them. With that in mind, it's ironic that Apple placed so much emphasis on "widgets" this year when the new update removes a fan-favorite widget of the past — the "Favorites" Phone widget, which was accessible via the Today View or quick actions on the home screen. Here's how to get it back.

How To: Make Perfect Shapes in Notes, Drawings & Annotations with iOS 14's New Shape Recognition Tool

There's a set of drawing tools that have been available for a long time on the iPhone that helps you create handwritten notes and sketches. It's great when you need a free-form way to capture your ideas, and now it's even better. Apple added shape recognition in iOS 14 so that you can now draw geometrically perfect shapes using finger doodles, giving the older shapes tool a run for its money.

How To: Create Your Own Home Screen Widgets in iOS 14 for an Even More Customized iPhone

Possibly the most popular feature in iOS 14, home screen widgets are here to stay. Apple created a ton for its own apps, and third-party developers keep building ones for their own apps. But home screen widgets go beyond that since you can make a widget for practically anything you want, from a custom news feed to an inspirational picture of the day — and this is how you do it.

How To: Get iOS 14's Picture in Picture Working for YouTube on Your iPhone

Aside from home screen widgets, one of the most exciting updates to the iPhone with iOS 14 is Picture in Picture mode. With it, you can watch minimized versions of videos on top of other apps so you can multitask like a pro. However, not every service is on board with Apple's new features. YouTube is the primary culprit, but there is a workaround.

How To: This iOS Shortcut Finds & Downloads Free Songs for You to Listen to Offline on Your iPhone

Music streaming services like Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube Music make it easy to find and play your favorite artists and albums on your iPhone — but they cost upward of $14.99 per month. If you're more into listening to downloaded music, a shortcut can help you find free music online that you can get and playback in almost any media player of your choosing.

How To: iOS 14 Monitors Your Passwords to Protect You Against Data Breaches — Here's How It Works

Everything lives online these days, so it's not uncommon to have hundreds of credentials for different accounts on apps and websites. That's why a password manager is a must, and your iPhone has one built right into iOS that you can start using today. In iOS 14, it's gotten even more useful since it can now monitor your passwords regularly to see if any match leaked password lists online.

How To: Stop Getting Notifications When Tagged in iMessage Threads in iOS 14

One of iOS 14's more exciting features lets you tag someone in a group iMessage chat in the same way you would @ someone on Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. Even if the conversation is muted, you can get notified when you're mentioned, which helps you jump in only when needed. But if you want complete silence, then disable contact tagging notifications altogether.

How To: Hide Any App from Your iPhone's Home Screen in iOS 14

It's not hard to let your iPhone's home screen get cluttered. Apps pile up one after another, and while you don't use every app every single day, you can't quite seem to part ways with even those one-use apps you've collected over the years. But you can apply the KonMari method to your home screen, getting rid of apps you don't love — without actually trashing any of them.

How To: Use Custom App Icon Images to Modify Your iPhone's Home Screen Look

One of Apple's key features for iOS was always its "what you see is what you get" philosophy. Sure, there were small tweaks and complicated workarounds to customize an iPhone, but, for the most part, all iPhones felt similar. These days, however, changing up your iPhone's look is much easier. In just a few steps, you can change one of the most visual parts about iOS — home screen app icons.

How To: Remove the 'Browse' & 'Listen Now' Tabs for Apple Music on Your iPhone to Keep the Focus on Your Library

The Music app for iPhone underwent a significant update back in iOS 8.4 when the Apple Music subscription service was incorporated into the user interface. It then had another transformation in iOS 10 that improved the UI for everyone. But things can still feel a little cluttered in Music, even in iOS 14, especially if you don't or never will subscribe to Apple Music.

How To: iOS 14's New Security Alerts Rat Out Apps for Privacy Invasions on Your iPhone & It'll Only Get Better

In the tech world, our data is always under attack. When you download and install a new app, it can be difficult to know what information the app is actually accessing. Thankfully, a new emphasis on privacy in iOS 14 changes the game, exposing more of what your apps want access to — and even changing some behavior along the way.

How To: Stop Your Default Apps from Switching Back to Apple's After Your iPhone Reboots in iOS 14

As cool as iOS 14 is, it isn't without bugs. One of those bugs in iOS 14.0 just happens to affect one of its coolest features — choosing default browser and mail apps. When you reboot your iPhone, iOS will reset your default apps back to Apple's defaults, Safari and Mail. Not ideal. However, there is a fix that will stop you from having to choose default apps over and over again manually.

How To: Change Your Default Browser in iOS 14 from Safari to Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Another App

For the longest time, we were simply stuck with Safari on the iPhone. Sure, you could install a third-party browser, but Safari was always the default, so tapping on links would always open Apple's app. Times have changed, however, and now you can set third-party browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Edge as your iPhone's default choice.

How To: Change Your Default Email App in iOS 14 from Mail to Outlook, Spark, Gmail & More

One of the most significant changes in iOS 14 is something we've wanted for a very long time, and it will change the way you use your iPhone. Since the very first iPhone OS 1 (yes, before it was even "iOS"), we've been stuck with Apple Mail as the default emailing app. That all changes now.

How To: All the Apps That Work with Picture in Picture (PiP) on Your iPhone in iOS 14

Since iOS 9, the iPad has had Picture in Picture mode, which lets you minimize a video that you're watching into a floating overlay so that you can multitask in other apps while it plays. But while there have been six Plus and Max size models over the years, the iPhone had never featured PiP windows — until now.

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: 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: Apps That Work with iOS 14's New Home Screen Widgets

Chief among iOS 14's excellent new features is the overhauled home screen. Now, you can add customizable widgets that live alongside your traditional apps, and both first-party and third-party apps can take advantage of it. Talk about an upgrade. They even work in the Today View and lock screen, so you can have the reinvented widgets for one or the other — or both.

How To: Tag Contacts in iMessage Group Chats on Your iPhone in iOS 14

Directing a message at a specific person in a group conversation, or to a select few people in the group, can be difficult if you're in a particularly active or hectic chat. Notifications and badges on your iPhone can help you keep track of important messages, but it's still easy to miss one meant for you and not the entire group — which is why you can now mention contacts, or get tagged, in Messages on iOS 14.

How To: Get Notifications Only for Messages You're Tagged In on Your iPhone

Group chats, particularly ones with many active participants, could bombard your iPhone with hundreds of texts in a single day. It can get overwhelming real quick unless you take precautions to hide all notifications for that conversation. But there's another option now, one that'll make sure you only get alerts for the messages that matter to you most in the thread.

How To: There's a New App Library on Your iPhone's Home Screen — Here's Everything You Need to Know About It in iOS 14

Are you tired of endless rows and columns of apps on your home screen? Before iOS 14, your only option was to hide apps in folders, uninstall them, or use some sort of elaborate workaround. You could hide a few stock apps easily enough, but that's it. Now, in the latest version of iOS, you can hide apps for real, and even hide entire home screen pages, and still access the apps in one convenient drawer.

How To: 22 Things You Need to Know About iOS 14's New Home Screen Widgets for iPhone

Widgets have been available on the iPhone for a while now, but they were tucked away in the Today View or hidden in the quick actions menu for app icons on the home screen. Android had always had a leg up on Apple in the widget department because they were so much more versatile, but that changed with the introduction of iOS 14.

How To: Prevent Certain Apps from Using Cellular Data on Your iPhone to Stay Below Data Caps or Avoid Throttling

If you're on a cellular plan with a low data allotment, being thrifty with your data can help you avoid a higher bill. But even if you have an affordable unlimited plan from wireless carriers such as T-Mobile or Verizon, going over a certain amount of data may throttle your connection, leaving you with slow web speeds. One way to prevent hitting these thresholds is to keep certain apps in check.

How To: Sick of the 'Undo Typing' Pop-Up on Your iPhone? Here's How to Get Rid of It

Between sending iMessages, jotting down notes, and crafting emails, you do a lot of typing on your iPhone. No doubt, you've been in the middle of an important task when everything comes to a screeching, obtrusive halt, where a rogue "Undo Typing" pop-up forces you to close it before continuing with your typing. Don't put up with the BS anymore — here's how to stop it.

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 there is any personal data 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 using a digital marker may not be enough to hide everything.

How To: Use Apple's Translate Tool in iOS 14 to Convert Text, Speech & Full-Blown Conversations Between Two Languages

There have been third-party iOS apps for live conversation translations, and Google Assistant pushed out its own feature for iPhone last year. Still, iOS 14 now has a default translator for real-time multi-language talks in person. So you can finally chat with people who use a different language without missing anything or having to install any complicated apps on your device.

How To: Add iOS 14's New Smart Stack Widget to Your iPhone's Home Screen

One of iOS 14's best new features is the ability to add and stack widgets on your home screen, which lets you check in with your favorite apps without actually needing to open them. Apple takes the concept one step further with "Smart Stacks," where iOS intelligently stacks widgets together based on how you use your iPhone.

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