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How To: This HomePod Setting Keeps Other People Out of Your Notes, Reminders & Calendar for Good

HomePod and HomePod mini are excellent smart speakers if you're entrenched in the Apple ecosystem. They even offer ways to protect your sensitive information from friends and visitors who try to ask Siri to spill your secrets. But there's an extra layer of privacy you can put in place to make sure nobody gains access to any important notes, reminders, and calendar events.

How To: The Secret iPhone Dialer Trick That Dials Extensions Automatically & Navigates Automated Call Menus for You

Automatic phone menus are the worst. You call the number, listen to prerecorded prompts, press button, listen, press button, listen, press button, listen, until you're routed or connected to the right extension, directory, menu, person, or whatever. But you can bypass these automated attendants to get right to where you need to go by setting up a simple shortcut on your iPhone.

How To: Your iPhone's Display Can Get Brighter Than You Think

When you want to brighten up your iPhone's screen, you likely use Control Center's brightness slider to increase your nits (especially if you've disabled auto-brightness). But once you max it out, it doesn't seem like the display can get any brighter. However, depending on your iPhone model, your display may be capable of getting a lot brighter based on how you use it.

How To: You're Searching Your Safari Tabs Wrong — Use This Hidden iPhone Trick to Find Them Faster

I am constantly hitting Apple's limit of 500 open tabs in Safari on my iPhone, so it's safe to say that I have way too many tabs to sort through. With that many tabs open in the browser, it can be impossible to track down the one needed at any given moment. If that sounds like you, stop browsing tab after tab to locate the right one because there are hidden tricks to searching those tabs that make it easy.

How To: All the New Ways iOS 14.5 Protects Your Privacy on Your iPhone

Many of us choose to use an iPhone — as well as other devices in the Apple ecosystem — because of the company's dedication to user privacy and security. If you need more proof of that commitment, look no further than iOS 14.5, which adds new tools to protect our data while browsing the web and more control over the data installed apps collect on us.

How To: Apple Maps Has a Few Big Updates in iOS 14.5 You Should Know About

If you rely on Apple Maps to get around over other navigation apps, there's a lot you can do. Look Around lets you tour cities up close, restaurant reservations make dining less frustrating, and 3D view gives a new perspective of a neighborhood. While there are many more where that came from, iOS 14.5 just added six new features and changes you need to know about.

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: The Way You Select Text on Your iPhone Will Change Once You Know These Hidden Tricks

While there's no denying that iPads are better when it comes to multitasking and productivity, your iPhone has a few tricks up its sleeve to rival even the best iPad features. One thing about iPadOS is that it's really easy to highlight editable text with gestures, but it's just as simple on iOS if you know all the secrets.

How To: Turn Your Contacts into Apps on Your iPhone's Home Screen

When iOS 14 was released, the "Favorites" widget, which provided quick access to your most-used contacts, was nowhere to be seen. There's a workaround that brings it back via the Shortcuts app, but the original Favorites widget was better all around. For those of you looking for something better, try turning all your favorite and most-used contacts into apps on your home screen.

How To: Make Siri Say Whatever You Want Every Time You Connect Your iPhone to a Charger

Whenever your iPhone's not on silent, every time you connect it to a power source, whether it's a wired or wireless connection, you'll hear that iconic chime sound off to let you know that charging has started. There's no way to disable the chime, but in iOS 14, you can make Siri automatically say whatever you want after a successful connection.

How To: There's a Hidden App on Your iPhone — One That Won't Show Up on Your Home Screen or App Library

Every once in a while, an iOS secret surfaces that makes me wonder, "How am I just learning about this?" I remember the first time I found out how to delete numbers in the Calculator app, and when I discovered you could bulk-move apps around the home screen. Now, there's another tip to add to the list: a hidden iOS app whose icon you quite literally can't find unless you know where to look.

How To: Remove Annoying Contact Suggestions in Your iOS Share Sheet Completely or Temporarily

Apple has always strived to make the share sheet in iOS as useful a tool as possible. It has action extensions, share extensions, shortcuts, activities, and Siri suggestions, and you can even customize the order of the buttons to a certain degree. One thing you couldn't change was Siri's suggested contacts at the top. If you've always hated seeing those bubbles, iOS 14 has a way to get rid of them.

How To: The Easy Way to Upload Files Anonymously from Your iPhone So They Can't Be Traced Back to You

If you need to share something online but don't want your personal information attached to the file, use an anonymous file hosting site. By uploading files anonymously, you keep your IP address safe and won't need to create any kind of account that could provide further logging. You can do this in a web browser, but it's much easier to do using a shortcut on your iPhone.

How To: Stop AirPods from Annoyingly Auto-Switching Between iPhone, iPad & Mac So They Stick to One Device

You're watching a YouTube video on your Mac, then go to check something on your iPhone. Of course, because you had a video queued on iOS, your AirPods automatically switch from your Mac to your iPhone. Now, your Mac's YouTube video is playing out loud, and you have to reroute your AirPods back over to macOS. Luckily, there's a hidden setting you can change that fixes this whole issue.

How To: Dial These Secret Codes to See if Someone Is Hijacking Calls & Texts on Your iPhone

Malevolent hackers can divert your incoming calls and texts to any number they want, and they don't need to be a criminal mastermind to do it. Even friends and family members can reroute your incoming calls and messages so that they know exactly who's trying to reach you, and all it takes is seconds of access to your iPhone or wireless account. These secret codes can help uncover them.

How To: Make iOS Alert You When Your iPhone Only Has 5% Battery Life Remaining

The battery on your iPhone can go from 10% to completely dead in a matter of minutes, or at least it can feel that way. Apple does prepare you with an alert when you hit the 20% and 10% mark, but it's easy to forget to charge your iPhone before it dies even with those notifications. That's why you should also be notified when your battery's down to 5% remaining.

How To: Eliminate Unwanted Texts & iMessages on Your iPhone to Avoid Spam, Scams & Phishing Attacks

Next to spam calls, few things are more annoying than being inundated with spam, scam, and smishing texts. Your iPhone's Messages app should be a place for your friends and family to stay in touch, not a minefield of phishing attacks, malicious links, and viruses. Luckily, there are quite a few methods to block and report your way to a more spam-free iPhone.

How To: See Your iPhone's Actual Signal Strength for Cellular Reception

The signal bars in your iPhone's status bar is a great visual indicator 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.

How To: These Issues Could Prevent Your App Store Subscriptions from Renewing on Time

Ah, subscriptions. Whether you love or hate them, they are now a fundamental part of our increasingly digital lives. If you have some essential subs on your iPad, iPhone, or Mac, like Apple Arcade, Apple Music, Apple News+, Bumble, Pandora, Tinder, or YouTube Premium, there are three key issues you need to know about that could unexpectedly stop your membership from renewing.

How To: Auto-Remove Annoying Tracking Codes in URLs You Share from Your iPhone to Get Cleaner Links

URL tracking codes: you'll see them on almost every link you copy online to share with friends and followers. It could be tens or hundreds of extra characters appended to the end of a URL, which websites and marketers use to tell how you got to the link in the first place. These excess tracking tokens not only make the links you share look sloppy and spammy — they could even invade your privacy.

How To: Disable Notifications for 'Memories' in Apple Photos Without Turning Notifications Off for the Whole App

Introduced in iOS 10, the "Memories" feature in Apple Photos aims to give you fun snapshots of events, people, pets, and more from over the years. However, if you don't really care about these auto-generated slideshows, then you probably don't like getting notifications for them, either. Whenever you get fed up with receiving these unwanted alerts, there's an easy way to turn them off.

How To: Get Night Mode on Older iPhone Models to Shoot Low-Light Scenes Like an iPhone 11 or 12

Night mode, which helps you snap great photographs in low-light environments, is a feature available only on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 lineups. It's a useful tool to have in your arsenal, especially if you're fond of nightlife photography. Still, you don't have to purchase a newer iPhone to get Night mode shooting capabilities.

How To: Use a Different Apple ID for Apple Music Without Using Family Sharing

Your Apple Music subscription is tied to the Apple ID that subscribed, so you can stream content from any iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, or watchOS device that your Apple ID is signed in to. However, things get slightly more complicated when you want to listen to Apple Music on another device you use with a different Apple ID, such as a work iPhone. Complicated, but not impossible.

How To: Make Your iPhone's Portrait Orientation Lock Change Automatically Whenever You Open & Close Specific Apps

I always keep my iPhone's Portrait Orientation Lock on so that my screen doesn't randomly rotate while I'm lying down. However, there are certain apps that I do turn it off for. It's kind of a pain since you have to swipe down the Control Center and toggle the orientation lock — but that ends now. Instead of doing it manually, a new iOS update can automate app orientations for you.

How To: Take a Screenshot on Your iPhone Without the Annoying Thumbnail Preview Showing Up

Since iOS 11, a thumbnail preview appears on your iPhone whenever you take a screenshot. It's useful for access to quick sharing options and editing tools, but you can't disable the preview image. You can wait for it to disappear or swipe it off-screen, but that's as good as it gets — until now. In an iOS 14 update, there's an option to disable the screenshot preview — only you won't find it in Settings.

How To: Quickly Generate a Strong Password on Your iPhone When iCloud Keychain Won't Work

Apple's password manager, iCloud Keychain, lets you securely save important login credentials for apps, websites, and services that sync up across all of your Apple devices — iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac. One of its biggest highlights is that it can create strong passwords for you. Unfortunately, it doesn't always work, and in those cases, there are other ways to generate random, strong passwords.

How To: Do This to Make Siri Use Deezer Instead of Apple Music for All Your Music Requests

With its emphasis on well-rounded audible entertainment, Deezer gives all music and podcast fans the best of both worlds. As great as the app is, it's inconvenient to constantly tell Siri to play your music and podcasts through Deezer so that it doesn't default to Apple Music instead. Luckily, that's changing so that you can set Deezer as your iPhone's default music player for Siri.

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