TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FIVE HIDDEN IPHONE TRICKS« Back to Tech Tips
Both iPhones and Android devices have their pros and cons, but the general consensus is that iOS is a little easier to pick up and use, while Android offers more in the way of customization and configuration. Still, simple as Apple’s operating system seems, you can find plenty of advanced features hidden below its polished surface.
If you don’t know these features exist, however, you might never discover them. Which is why we’re here to point them out. Learn how to hide private photos, use your phone as a spirit level, activate a hidden trackpad, teach nicknames to Siri, and more.
1. Use the keyboard as a trackpad
Did you know the iPhone keyboard can double as a trackpad? With this feature, you can move the cursor more accurately and jump to bits of text, all without having to tap on the screen. To use it, you need an iPhone with 3D Touch capabilities, and this trick also works on any iPad.
On the iPhone, firmly press and hold anywhere on the keyboard to activate the trackpad. Then drag your finger around to move the cursor through the text. On an iPad, drag down on the keyboard with two fingers to activate trackpad mode.
2. Check that a surface is level
You might not have realized that iOS has an extra built-in app hidden behind the Compass. If you load up the Compass, then swipe left, you’ll find a spirit level tool. Use it to make sure your pictures are hanging correctly and your DIY is up to scratch. An iPhone may not be as precise as a dedicated spirit level, but it’s very handy.
Either use the spirit level with your phone laid out flat or with it perched on its side in either portrait or landscape mode. If you tap the screen, you can measure the difference between two surfaces, with the red margin showing how much the two angles vary.
3. Hit backspace in Calculator
If you spend a lot of time inside the iOS Calculator app, you know the frustration of mistyping a digit and then having to start the calculation all over again. This hidden backspace function means you won’t have to revert to the C or AC buttons every time you make a mistake. Just swipe to the left or the right at the top of the screen, where the digits are displayed. The motion acts as a backspace command, and will remove the number you entered last.
While we’re talking about Calculator, have you ever put the app into landscape mode with a twist of your iPhone? This view reveals a host of extra functions.
4. Hide private photos
We all hand our phones over to friends when we want to share photos or videos. But what if your collection includes sensitive images you’d rather not show anyone else? Luckily, the iPhone makes it easy to hide your most personal pictures from view.
Inside Photos, select one or more images, then tap the Share button and choose Hide. As the confirmation message says, your chosen pictures will become invisible via the Moments, Collections, and Years views, but can still be accessed through the Albums screen.
5. Go to bed on time
In addition to letting you set alarms so you’ll wake up on time, the latest version of iOS helps you keep to a given bedtime. Open up the Clock app on your iPhone and then tap on the Bedtime link at the bottom to get started.
First, your phone will ask you what time you want to wake up in the morning. When that’s set, you can decide which days of the week you want the alarm to go off, and then how many hours of sleep you want each night. Your iPhone will then ping you when it’s time to hit the hay, and track how well you’re doing at reaching your sleep targets.
Next week, we’ll look at FIVE more hidden iPhone tricks.« Back to Tech Tips