If you watch how someone else uses their iPhone for a few minutes, you’ll quickly discover that they do a lot of things very differently than you do. You may discover gestures that you have never seen before, and vice versa.
It’s no wonder the average iPhone user doesn’t use many of its best features. The smartphones Modern devices have become enormously powerful and complex, and unless you pay close attention, you simply won’t know what they can do.
So let’s show you some new features. Here are 10 iPhone tricks and features that a surprisingly large percentage of users seem to be completely unaware of.
These tips should work on most modern iPhones (those made in the last few years) as long as you’re running at least iOS 15.
Silence calls from unknown numbers
The calls from spam They have gotten completely out of control. If you’re like me, you get at least three or four a day, and they always seem to come from some legitimate phone number.
Your iPhone can help you! Opens Settings > Telephone and look for the option Silence unknown numbers.
By activating this option, phone calls from unknown numbers will not be blocked, but will be received silently. No ringtone, no vibration, straight to voicemail. You will receive a notification (also silent) with the number of the silenced call.
But don’t worry: your contacts’ phone numbers, as well as recent outgoing calls and Siri suggestions, will ring normally.
Freely move the text cursor
Whenever you enter text, simply hold down the space bar until you see all the letters disappear from the keyboard.
Now keep holding your finger and drag it in any direction to move the text cursor where you want it to go, just like using a small trackpad.
It’s a much easier way to go back and fix typos or overzealous autocorrect.
Set up touch back shortcuts
Opens Settings > Accessibility > Touch and look for the option play back. This handy setting allows you to set a shortcut to a specific app or feature when you double- or triple-tap on the back of your iPhone. And yes, you can set separate double and triple tap shortcuts.
Touch Back is one of the most useful features on the iPhone, and it’s a shame it’s buried in the accessibility settings. An easy-to-use shortcut to any app you want (or useful functions like screenshot) that you can perform with one hand no matter what app you’re using? This is good for all of us.
Play background sounds
Do you find it easier to concentrate with a bit of background noise? Does it help you relax or fall asleep? There are plenty of apps for this kind of thing, but your iPhone has built-in options.
Opens Settings > Accessibility > audio and visual and look for the option background sounds. Here you can activate them, adjust their volume and choose between six different sounds. You also have other options, such as the ability to stop the sound when your iPhone is locked, or to play it (or not) when other media is playing.
It’s a bit of a pain to go into accessibility settings every time you want to turn this feature on or off, so it’s a perfect candidate shortcut to set to ‘Touch Back’.
Select text in Photos or Camera
‘Live Text’ is one of the best features of iOS 15, and it hasn’t been given enough attention.
If you have the Camera app open, just point the camera at anything that contains text and you’ll see a yellow box appear with brackets around it, with a small yellow button at the bottom right.
Tap that button and you’ll freeze the text area, after which you can hold down and slide your finger over it to select it and copy it, translate it, look up a definition, whatever.
It also works in the Photos app. On any photo that contains text, you’ll see the little icon in the form of parentheses with lines at the bottom right. Tap on it and all the text in the image will be highlighted, after which you can select it to copy, translate, search, share, whatever.
You can even drop text right into the Notes app. Just open a note, tap the camera icon and select ‘Scan Text’.
Search for anything anywhere
The search function of your iPhone is much more powerful than you think. It’s amazing how many people don’t even know it’s there, let alone make full use of it.
Just swipe down from any home screen i.e. tap somewhere in the middle of the screen and drag it down. If you swipe down from the edge, you’ll open notifications or Control Center.
Type anything in this search box and it will search for it everywhere. You’ll get apps installed on your iPhone, search suggestions on websites, matches in your Photos, appropriate insights from the Siri knowledge base, apps in the App Store, matches in Apple Music, matches in your Messages, and much more.
At the bottom of the results is the option to search within the apps, in case you want to find your search query in Mail or Calendar or whatever.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen experienced iPhone users rummage through for 10 minutes to find that photo or message thread or whatever, when a five-second search is all they need.
The iPhone has a surprisingly good built-in document scanner built in. You just have to place the document you want to scan on a flat surface (the brighter the better), and then decide if you want to create a new PDF document or attach the scanned document to a note in the Notes app.
To create a new file, just open ‘Files’, open the folder where you want to save the scan and select the menu button on the top right (a circle with three dots). Select ‘Scan Document’ and point the camera at the document you want to scan, keeping the camera steady.
Your iPhone will automatically take a photo (press the shutter button if it doesn’t), clean it up, and minimize it to the corner, ready to take the next picture. If you have more pages to scan, just repeat the process. When you’re done, tap ‘Save’ and give the file a name.
In Notes, open the note you want to attach a scanned document to (or create a new note), tap the camera button, then tap ‘Scan Documents’.
You can even digitally sign the documents. You’ll need to open the scanned PDF in ‘Files’, tap the little markup button at the top right (it looks like the tip of a pen), and then tap the ‘+’ sign in the toolbar at the bottom of the page. screen.
Tap ‘Signature’ and you can add or remove signatures (by signing directly on your iPhone screen), or choose a previous signature to place on the document.
Send effects with your messages
Want to add some punch to your text messages? You may have noticed that some messages (such as ‘Happy Birthday’) have special effects added automatically. Well, you may not know that you can add these effects to any message.
It only works if you’re sending an iMessage (blue bubbles), not an SMS (green bubbles). Write your message and press and hold the send button. At the top, switch between bubble effects and screen effects.
Just select the effect you want and send, and boom!
Put a call on hold
Everyone knows that you can mute a call, but did you know that you can also put it on hold?
During a call on iPhone, you just need to press and hold the mute button for a couple of seconds until it switches to standby.
What is the difference? When you mute, you can hear the person on the other end of the call, but they can’t hear you: you’re literally muting your microphone.
Standby mode means that neither party on the call can hear each other.
Download the hidden manual
Your iPhone may not come with an instruction manual in the box, but it does. Apple provides an updated iPhone user guide on its website.
It has a great search function, a well-organized index, and the instructions are simple, clear, and linked together.
If you prefer to have something you can read in your spare time offline, download the iPhone User Guide from Apple Books. It’s free of course.
You may think you don’t need to read the manual after all these years, but even if you’re an iPhone veteran, you’ll be amazed at how much you can learn there.
Original article published on Macworld.com.