10 iPhone Tricks I Use Every Day, And So Do You
Your phone can do a lot more than you think, but nobody points out the countless hidden settings and functions when you buy it.
Sometimes you realize you don’t know how to do something simple until you need it. Tap or click for steps to record your iPhone screen.
Other features are more hidden. Some of my favorite nifty tricks are hidden in the accessibility menu. Tap or click here to discover 10 useful features that anyone can use.
Here are 10 more ways to get more out of your iPhone. I bet you will use them again and again.
Markup is a powerful tool that you may not even realize is there. It allows you to edit screenshots and photos, add signatures to PDFs or other documents, insert text and draw on images without downloading any third-party app.
To draw on pictures:
Open the photo and tap Edit and then the Markup button. It looks like a pencil in a circle. Tap the plus button to add Description, Text, Signature or Magnifier to zoom in. Once you’ve made your selection, tap Done, then tap Done again.
To sign a PDF and other documents:
Open the document and tap Edit and then the Flag button. Tap the Add button to add text or a signature. Tap Done twice.
Notes is another standard pre-installed app worth using. Tap or click here for five useful things you didn’t know Apple Notes could do, like create locked messages that can only be accessed with a password, Face ID, or Touch ID.
2. Check if a surface is level
The next time you’re putting up a list, grab your iPhone instead of rummaging through the garage for a level. This is how it works:
Open the pre-installed Meet app. Tap Level and hold your iPhone against an object. Use it just like you would a normal level.
Easy right? Your phone can be a reliable DIY partner. Tap or click for seven convenient ways to use it for your next reno project.
3. Delete your last 15 minutes of search history
Looking for a gift? Or maybe you’re looking for something private, like a health problem. It’s easy to wipe out the evidence if you use Google for your searches. Try this quick uninstall option:
Open the Google app. Tap your profile picture in the top right corner. The third option on the screen should be Remove Last 15 Minutes. There is no confirmation button. Once you tap the button, your history will be deleted. There is a short window where you can undo the action.
Google knows a lot more than what you’ve looked up in the last 15 minutes. Tap or click here to clear everything Google knows about you.
4. Make your FaceTime chats better
Let’s say a friend calls you for a FaceTime chat. You like to talk, but you’re a little distracted. There’s a trick to multitasking without looking rude.
Introduced with iOS 14, Eye Contact makes it seem like you’re maintaining eye contact even when you’re looking at a different part of your screen. It works even if you are chatting with multiple people:
Open Settings > FaceTime. Slide the switch next to Eye Contact to the right to turn it on.
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4. Flash Notifications
Don’t want to miss a notification, but need to keep your mouth shut? Instead of vibrations and sounds, you can set your iPhone’s LED flash to blink when your phone is locked and turned off.
Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual. Enable LED flash for alerts. You can then enable Flash on Silent if you want the LED to flash only when your iPhone is turned off.
Notifications driving you up the wall? It’s up to you to manage them – here’s how.
5. See what’s flying above your head
Here’s a fun little game in the backyard. Look up and guess where the plane is going above you. Los Angeles? New York? Paris?
Just ask Siri this phrase, “What flights are overhead?” You will see the carrier, flight number and altitude within seconds.
6. Mute notifications before a conversation
The constant pings from group messages can be a bit much. When you’re done with the group message conversation or need a break, gift yourself the silence:
Press and hold a conversation in your message list. Tap Hide Alerts.
Tech how-to: Create and manage group chats on your iPhone
7. Correct Siri uitspraak pronunciation
Siri is actually quite smart, but the smart assistant struggles with some names. You can help her:
Open Contacts and select the contact to which you want to add a phonetic pronunciation. Tap Edit and then add a field. Tap Phonetic First, Middle, or Last Name. Enter a phonetic spelling for your contact’s name in the Phonetic field. Tap Done.
If you prefer to do this with your voice, say “Hey Siri, learn how to pronounce it” [contact’s name].” Siri will ask how to pronounce the first and last name.
8. Check your heart rate without Apple Watch
We’re stepping outside the Apple ecosystem a bit here and using the Google Fit app. This is a convenient way to check your heart rate without a wearable.
First, link your Google account. You will also be asked if you want to link the data to Apple Health. Then follow these steps:
In the Google Fit app, tap Browse at the bottom of the screen. Tap Vitals and then Check your heart rate. Follow the prompts and place your finger on the camera on the back of your iPhone. After about 30 seconds, the app estimates your heart rate.
According to Google, the app estimates blood flow using the camera by tracking the subtle changes in the color of your finger. Make sure you are in a well lit area.
Google Fit can also measure your breathing rate by observing chest movements through the front camera of your smartphone. Monitor your breathing by selecting Track Your Respiratory Rate from the Vitals menu.
If you have an Apple Watch, make sure all essential health settings are turned on.
9. Undo typing with a shake
We all make mistakes when sending messages or entering text in notes or emails. You can highlight the incorrect text or hold down the delete button, but there is an easier way.
If you shake your phone, an Undo Typing window will be displayed with an Undo option. Tap that and your words will disappear. Shake the phone again and select Retype if you want them back.
10. Send your exact location
Usually I give you methods to hide your location, but sometimes you really need someone to find you. You don’t have to play around with your GPS app either.
Open a text message and choose the person you want to share your location with. Tap the information icon > Send My Current Location. Your receiver will see your location on the map. You can also choose “Share My Location” and then select the length of time for which you want to share your location.
My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in December 2017. In 2020 she was cancer free. But the cancer returned with a vengeance, and doctors used the word “hospice.” Here is my own journey with her passing.
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