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.
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 or Apple Podcasts instead. But as of iOS 14.5, you can set Deezer as your iPhone's "default" music player for Siri.
How To: Lock All Your Incognito Tabs in Google Chrome Behind Face ID or Touch ID to Make Them Even More Private
There are a plethora of reasons to use incognito mode in Google Chrome. In many cases, you simply don't want other people snooping through your browsing tabs. But all it takes for someone to access your private Chrome tabs is to grab your iPhone when unlocked. To fix that, Google is currently working on a security setting that lets you lock incognito tabs behind Face ID or Touch ID.
If Pandora is your primary music app on your iPhone, you know it can be frustrating to use with Siri. The digital assistant always wants to use Apple Music instead, so you need to specify that you want to play through Pandora with almost every request. That's now a thing of the past because iOS 14.5 allows you to set Pandora as your Siri's preferred music player.
Apple's two iCloud storage plans have made it easier than ever to free up space on your iPhone to take more pictures, play more mobile games, and download more music. The plan prices range from $0.99 to $9.99, which isn't bad, but not everyone wants to pay for storage. So deleting items becomes a great option to free up storage — especially music and music videos.
Your iPhone is a fantastic, easy-to-use tool for recording audio, but it's not as simple to secretly record conversations. Apple's Voice Memos app is great for taking audio notes and recording meetings, lectures, and other talks to reference later, but doing it without being noticed is tough unless you know the hidden shortcut.
TikTok has grown to be one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. The video-sharing app is a driving force for viral content, spurring various popular movements in dance, pranks, comedy, and more. And as one might assume, videos on TikTok don't stay on TikTok — they're shared on Instagram, Twitter, and other services where millions of people get the chance to also view them.
A new feature in iOS 14.5 lets you change your preferred music player for Siri requests. So if you primarily use YouTube Music over Apple Music and other services, Siri will learn so that you never have to tell the virtual assistant to play a song, artist, or album "on YouTube Music" again.
Modern life is almost completely digital ... almost. While you can get by in many cases with just your iPhone, sometimes a situation requires a hard copy. In the past, there was really no convenient way for you to get a Reminders list from your iPhone onto paper, but iOS 14.5 changes that.
You use your iPhone's Reminders app to keep track of everything from grocery lists to the day's most important tasks. Over recent iOS updates, Apple has added tools to Reminders to make it even more powerful, like assigning tasks to other people and setting location-based reminders. Now there's another great update, and it gives you the ability to sort your lists.
If you want to try out Apple's beta program on your iPhone — whether that's by becoming a developer, joining the public beta, or using an IPSW of an available beta update — there's always a possibility that you'll want to go back to the stable iOS version you were using before. Likewise, if you updated to the latest stable release but liked how iOS worked on the previous version.
Apple wants to support the advertising economy, but its primary focus of late has been user privacy and security. In Safari, cross-site tracking, which lets content providers track you across websites and apps to show you more targeted ads, is disabled by default. However, content providers can get around that using less privacy-invasive ad measurements, but you can stop that too in iOS 14.5.
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.
Shortcuts are meant to make your life easier, and iPhone shortcuts are no exception. They can use different triggers, manual or automated, to perform actions in the background, allowing you to do things like send a prewritten text message during a bad date or change your wallpaper at certain times of the day. However, sometimes it's not only about the shortcut itself but about how fast you can run it.
Pushing music from your iPhone to your HomePod or HomePod mini by just moving the devices close to each other is certainly a great party trick. But if Handoff is too easily triggered, you might not think it's worth the wow factor. Thankfully, there's an easy way to stop your iPhone from sharing audio to your HomePod or HomePod mini (and vice versa) if you're finding it happens way too often.
As a means to combat annoying and intrusive advertisements in Safari, Apple added native support for content blockers on the iPhone. Instead of being bombarded by notifications, banners, and pop-ups, content blockers prevent them from opening, which can also be said about those annoying cookie consent notices that many websites now have.
How To: Why Some Non-Apple Devices Can't Open Photos & Videos Shared from Your iPhone (& How to Fix It)
You take a photo or video, send it to a friend, and they say, "Hey, I can't open this." More often than not, your friend won't be using an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac. Instead, they're likely trying to open the file with a non-Apple device. But this problem can be avoided if you know what setting to change.
Outside of iPhone releases, software updates are arguably the most exciting aspects of iOS life. It's like Christmas morning when your iPhone installs an update, as you dive through your device to find all the new features and changes Apple thought to include. With iOS 14.4, there are at least 10 such new additions just waiting for you to explore.
Most of the images in your iPhone's Photos app contain exchangeable image file format data known as Exif or EXIF data, which has several helpful uses. You can use countless apps capable of reading Exif data, many of which are paid or limited. But you already have an app on your iPhone that can give you important details about each image — and I'm not talking about the Photos app.
Even with the convenience of online storage like iCloud and Google Drive, data management can be a constant struggle on your iPhone. If you continuously find yourself having to delete messages, photos, videos, and other files to make room for other things, know that there's an easy way to free up space without erasing anything important or having to dig through documents and data yourself.
Since iOS 11, your iPhone has been capable of offloading hardly used apps to free up storage space for more useful data. But offloading only gets rid of the app's binary, meaning its documents and data are stored on your device in case you reinstall the app. That can take up a lot of space itself, so it's good to periodically review files for offloaded apps and purge the content you no longer need.
How To: Stop Apps Installed on Your iPhone from Downloading Automatically on Your Other iOS Devices (& Vice Versa)
The benefit of going all-in on the Apple ecosystem is that your stuff is connected across all of your Apple products. That said, I really don't need every app I download on my iPhone appearing on my iPad, and vice versa. That's why addressing this setting is crucial for maintaining some level of order across your multiple iOS devices.
Do Not Disturb is the best way to block out all interruptions on your iPhone without having to power down. All notifications and alerts are silenced, but the same can't be said for phone calls. By default, repeat calls will bypass Do Not Disturb, which can be quite frustrating when you're in a movie, classroom, or board meeting. It's good for emergencies, but not for people who can't take the hint.
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.