How To: If Your Sneaky Kids Keep Making In-App Purchases on Your iPhone, This Will Block Them for Good
You can't hand over your iPhone to a kid and expect everything to be OK. Not only will they drop your iPhone (and they will), they could also do something much worse than a cracked screen — in-app purchases.
If you've been using an iPhone for years, chances are you have thousands of photos and videos in your Photos app. And while it may be fun to browse them when you have free time, finding a specific one can be a chore if you're not searching your gallery right.
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.
The Apple ecosystem might be strong, but so is the pull from devices outside Cupertino's walls. If you've ever felt curious about what life could be like with a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, be that an S21 or a Note20, you don't need to make the switch to know. In fact, you can give it a go right on your iPhone.
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.
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.
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.
Apple's Find My app just got way more useful. While it's great for locating a lost or stolen iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Apple Watch, Mac, and AirPods, it's even better now that it works with third-party accessories and gear.
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.
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.
Apple's big iOS 14.5 update adds nearly 50 new features and changes to your iPhone, some of which are upgrades that audiophiles and even casual music listeners can appreciate. Whether you subscribe to the Apple Music streaming service or simply use the Music app for your own library of tunes, iOS 14.5 has a few things you should know about.
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.
If you consider yourself an emoji master, you'll have to retrain yourself once you install iOS 14.5 on your iPhone. Why? Because there are 217 new ones available to incorporate into your sometimes cryptic emoji messages.
While Apple's reputation for privacy and security is nearly unmatched, it'll never be perfect when Hey Siri is always listening. Aside from iOS devices, Hey Siri always listens for questions and commands on the HomePod and HomePod mini smart speakers. If you rarely use Hey Siri on those speakers, it's worth disabling the feature for some extra privacy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Screen mirroring software has been around for ages, allowing you to mirror your iPhone to a projector, laptop, TV, or another device. It's useful to have during lectures, presentations, and meetings, so it's no wonder why Apple created its AirPlay technology. However, AirPlay doesn't work in all situations.
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.
If you lose your AirPods, AirPods Pro, or AirPods Max, you can turn to Find My to locate them. But sometimes, things don't go according to plan, and many things can go wrong. For example:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not all websites need a dedicated mobile app, which is why so many don't. Web apps are now designed to scale to whatever the size of your screen is, so the mobile versions of desktop sites in your web browser are easy enough to navigate and utilize. Still, there's just something about an app on your home screen that makes it all so much easier.
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.
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.
We use our smartphones every single day. They're a part of our daily routine, and as a result, we've gotten really good at using them — especially when it comes to typing very quickly. But just how fast can you type on your iPhone? Can you match your speed on a physical keyboard for your computer or tablet? You might just surprise yourself.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sometimes, you don't want to be the only one enjoying killer lyrics from your favorite songs. Sure, you can text your friends and let them know how great these tracks are, but you could also take advantage of one of Apple Music's coolest new features — lyrics sharing!
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.
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.