iOS & iPhone Features

How To: Download IPA Files for the iOS Apps on Your iPhone

Apple used to make it super easy to get the IPA version of any app on your iPhone just by syncing the device with iTunes, but ever since iTunes 12.7, that's no longer possible. Now, whenever you need to dig into an IPA file, whether it's to reverse engineer it or simply to look for the URL scheme name for Workflow or app icon customization, you'll need to use another Apple app on your Mac.

How To: Shut Down & Restart the iPhone X

One click on the iPhone X's Side button locks or wakes the device. Two clicks opens Apple Pay. Holding down activates Siri. So how do you shut down the iPhone X then? On every other iPhone, you hold the Side button down until the "slide to power off" option appears, but that doesn't exist on the iPhone X.

How To: Easily Scan Documents on Your iPhone in iOS 11

Scanning important paperwork on smartphones is a tedious process, often relying on either external scanners or third-party apps that had to be either purchased or were loaded with annoying ads just to get the job done. Thankfully, iOS 11 now lets you easily scan documents using your iPhone, and finally does away with the need for third-party apps or machines.

How To: 100+ Secret Dialer Codes for Your iPhone

The dialer screen on your iPhone has a lot more to it than just entering phone numbers and hitting the green call button. It's not very obvious, but there are actually secret codes that you can enter into the dialer to find out information about your device, help troubleshoot issues, and mask outgoing calls, just to name a few.

How To: Restore an iPod Touch Without Using iTunes

The iPod changed the music and electronics industries when it was first introduced way back in 2001. It is credited with ushering in the age of "connected devices," and has held a huge market share of around 70% for years. At the height of its popularity, the iPod made up almost 50% of Apple's revenue. Now that the smartphones and tablets we use every day have the ability to store and play music, the iPod's glory days are over. Nevertheless, there are millions of people who still use them, an...

How To: Set a GIF as a Live Wallpaper for Your iPhone's Lock Screen Background

In iOS, Apple provides a few live wallpapers that you can use for the background on your iPhone's lock screen, but these animated options are just wavy color shifts and ink-in-water effects. To really customize your lock screen, you can use a Live Photo for your wallpaper. If you can't find the right Live Photo, GIFs are the next best thing, and experimenting with them feels like a game almost.

How To: 9 Ways to Improve Battery Life on Your iPhone X, XS, XS Max & XR

While the iPhone XS actually comes with a smaller battery than the iPhone X, Apple claims it, along with the XS Max and XR, offer users longer battery life than last year's first Face ID model. While that may be true, your new iPhone still ships without meeting its full battery-saving potential. There are, however, steps you can take to make sure your X, XS, XS Max, or XR makes it from morning until night.

How To: Network-Unlock Your iPhone to Use with Any GSM Carrier on iOS 11

If you want to use your iPhone with another carrier, all you have to do is contact the original carrier to request an unlock, which is usually granted in a few days. Unfortunately, you need to meet specific criteria to officially carrier-unlock your iPhone, like paying off the device in full and completing any contracts. But that doesn't mean there isn't a workaround you can use beforehand.

How To: Translate Webpages in Safari on Your iPhone

Yes, there's a way for you to get translations of foreign language websites on your iPhone using the built-in Safari app. Problem is, it's not super obvious. Actually, you'd never know the option was there if someone didn't tell you. But with a little setup on your part, you can have Safari translate webpages whenever you need it to.

How To: Get Apple's Live Fish Wallpapers Back on Your iPhone

Remember the live fish wallpapers from iOS 9? They may be a fading memory at this point since Apple removed them all from the iPhone in iOS 11, but there is a way to get those fishies animated on your device again. They'll be live photos for your lock screen, which is as good as it will get until Apple lets us use all its live wallpapers, new and old, one day, which will probably never happen.

How To: Permanently Delete Text Messages on Your iPhone

Deleting text messages on your iPhone may seem like a pretty simple task, but it's those really simple tasks that usually end up causing headaches later on. Data can stick around, even if you asked it not to, so there's always a slight chance that embarrassing and incriminating texts you supposedly deleted may end up in the wrong hands one day.

Safari 101: How to Request Desktop Sites on Your iPhone

Having websites coded for mobile browsing is great for small screens, but if you have a Plus model iPhone or even the iPhone X, desktop versions of websites might show you more of what you want. Plus, there's the case of poorly designed mobile websites, where the desktop view is clearly the better option with more functionality and features. Luckily, asking for desktop sites in Safari is simple.

How To: See the Actual Signal Strength on Your iPhone in iOS 11

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 in iOS 11 to seeing the real numbers.

How To: Hide Private Photos on Your iPhone

When a photo or video is just too sensitive to leave laying around in your Photos app, you'll want to either delete it for good or hide it away in safe, secure location on your iPhone. As for the latter, Apple actually has a few tools available to make photos and videos hidden — even password-protected — on your iPhone.

How To: Unjailbreak Your iPhone & Restore It Back to Factory Settings

Jailbreaking gives you root access to the iOS file system, allowing you to install third-party apps and tweaks on your iPhone that aren't available in the App Store. It opens up a whole new realm for what your device can do, but it can also cause instability across the system and can dissuade you from getting future updates from Apple that have important features, bug fixes, and security enhancements.

How To: Make Custom Ringtones for Your iPhone from Any Songs You Already Own

Full disclosure: I really like Apple's stock ringtones on the iPhone. After all, there are over 50 to choose from if you include the classic ones. With all that choice, why would you ever need more? Personally, I get bored easily, and I'd like my music to play when people call. Apple doesn't let us pick a song from our music libraries, but there is still a way to use our favorite tunes as tones.

How To: Move App Icons Anywhere on Your iPhone's Home Screen Without Jailbreaking

Your iPhone's home screen is a tricky thing. You can sort your collection of apps in any order you'd like, but where you place those apps is a totally different story. App and folder placement follows a strict grid on iOS from left to right, top to bottom. No exceptions, and that's how Apple wants it. So you might think without a jailbreak you're stuck with this layout — but you're wrong.