10 Hidden Phone Features You Probably Overlook
Most of us use our smartphones every day without reaching their full potential. Because our iPhones and Androids have so many capabilities, there are many features that we may not even know about. That’s why we put together this list of hidden phone features that you probably overlooked.
Some of your phone’s coolest features are buried in menus that are easy to overlook. For example, there are many key phrases that you can say to enable various functions. Tap or click for voice commands you’ll use again and again.
Or maybe you already know everything your iPhone or Android can do. Even if you’ve educated yourself, it’s still easy to forget one or two skills that can make your life easier. Check out the list below for 10 of the coolest iPhone and Android uses you might have forgotten.
1. Back Tap
Here is a tip especially for iPhone users. If you have the latest iOS, you can double or triple tap the back of your iPhone to trigger a custom action. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Tap back and select Double tap or Triple tap.
From there you can choose a specific action. Want to take a screenshot when you press Back Tap? Or do you want to open the Control Center or do something else? You have a few options to choose from, so go wild.
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2. Alarm Routines
Your Android assistant can trigger a series of actions right after you turn off an alarm on your phone. For example, suppose you wake up at 8 a.m. and turn off the alarm. If you set this feature in advance, you can activate your gadget to tell you what to do today.
It can also tell you what the weather would be like that day. If you want to know what’s happening in the world, you can set your Android to tell you the news after you turn off your alarm.
Just say ‘Hey Google’ and then ‘Assistant Routines’. From there, tap Add launcher > Dismiss an alarm > Assistant-ready speakers/screens. From here you can set your phone to trigger certain actions as soon as you dismiss an alarm.
3. How to take action photos with an iPhone
Any amateur photographer can tell you how difficult it is to take pictures of a moving subject. Fortunately, Burst mode takes multiple shots of subjects running, jumping, or dancing. All you need to do is tap a button and your phone will activate this mode, which takes rapid-fire shots.
Press and hold the shutter button if you have an iPhone X or an earlier version. Swipe the shutter button to the left if you have an iPhone Xs or later.
Anyway, lift your finger to stop the Burst mode. You can then select the photos you want to keep by tapping Burst > Select > Done. This is one of those hidden phone features you’ve probably overlooked and will use again and again.
4. Close all your Chrome tabs at once on an Android
Having too many tabs open can make it seem like you’re juggling a dozen pins. Fortunately, there is an easy way to get rid of them quickly. Just tap the three-dot menu icon and you’ll see a command to close them all at once.
RELATED: Simple Trick to Clean Up Your Browser Tab Clutter and Speed Up Your Computer
5. Use your iPhone as a magnifying glass
Here’s one of the most useful hidden phone features you’ve probably overlooked. Sometimes you want to zoom in on objects that are close by. Suppose you are reading a book and have trouble seeing the words because they are too small.
With the Magnifying Glass feature of your iPhone or iPad, you can blow them up on your phone screen. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Magnifier and enable it. Now your magnifying glass is an accessibility shortcut.
You can even access it quickly by adding it to the Control Center. Go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls. Tap the + button next to Magnifying Glass. You will now see the magnifying glass icon in your Control Center.
6. Take advantage of your Android’s privacy dashboard
If you have a newer version of Android, you can protect your privacy with a specific dashboard. It is a control center where you can learn more about your data permissions.
For example, you can see how many apps have used your location, camera, or microphone in the past day. It’s free to use, so you don’t have to pay to see what kinds of private information you’re giving away. Tap or click here for 12 Android security settings to update as soon as possible.
7. Sign Documents and Write to Emails on an iPhone
If someone e-mails you a document they want you to sign, you don’t need to print it. Just use your iPhone. First download the PDF, click on the pen icon at the top right and sign with your touchscreen. Then click Done at the top left of the screen.
From there, you can reply to the email with the newly signed attachment. If you use AirDrop, you can share any documents you sign with your other Apple devices. Tap or click here to see why AirDrop is a handy iPhone feature you should start using.
8. Prevent your iPhone and Android from collecting voice clips
A while back, Kim was flipping through her Amazon Alexa recordings. She found a few voice clips that Alexa shouldn’t have recorded; it even recorded some private discussions about buying real estate. Tap or click here to find out everything Amazon knows about you.
Thankfully, Siri and Google Assistant both make distinctive sounds so you’ll know when you’ve accidentally activated them. To stop the Google Assistant from recording the rest of your conversation, say “That wasn’t for you.” This will delete everything it just started recording with.
As soon as you hear Siri go off, say, “That wasn’t for you.” Just know that Apple has not officially said whether this phrase will erase your previous recording from memory. Tap or click here to stop all your smart devices from listening to you and recording what you say.
9. Measure distances with iPhone
Do you want to see if something is level? Do you want to measure distances for you? Take out your iPhone and open the Measure app. This handy feature uses augmented reality to turn your device into a measurement tool.
To use it, you must first make sure that your iOS is up to date. Then open the Meet app and follow any on-screen instructions.
You may need to move your device so that your camera can capture the dimensions of an object. You can even save your reading by tapping Copy to add the numbers to your clipboard.
10. Use Live Subtitles on Android
This is useful for the hearing impaired. You can enable Android’s Live Caption feature when you watch a video or listen to a podcast.
You don’t even need to follow any special steps to see it: when the volume controls appear, you’ll see a small box at the bottom. Tap it and captions will appear on the screen. It only appears when media is playing, so keep that in mind.
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