Hidden iPhone Tips and Tricks to Make You an iOS Pro

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Apple iPhones arrived in 2007 running an unnamed operating system. A year later, it got the boring sobriquet of “iPhone OS 1.” By 2010, the marketing people got their acts together and came up with “iOS,” just in time for version 4 to debut.

We are now up to iOS 14, and the previous decade-plus has included a lot of changes—from embracing dedicated apps (in version dua) and dropping skeuomorphism for flat images (in iOS 7) to finally embracing widgets last year.

Apple iOS is so full of features that no review or story can cover it all. But we compiled our favorite tips, tricks, and secrets about iOS and the iPhone. Things that will make your day—and your life—more productive, and put you on the path to being an iPhone expert. InputShift Your Keyboard Left or Right

Trying to type with one thumb? The default iOS keyboard offers a left- or right-leaning option. Hold your finger on the globe or emoji icon at the bottom of the keyboard (if you have three or more keyboards installed, it’ll display the globe), and in the pop-up, you’ll see an option for a left and right keyboard. Tap your preference. Tap the arrow pointing opposite of your preference to go back to full screen. (This only works in Portrait Mode). Hold the Space Bar to Make a Trackpad

You’re typing along and want to move the cursor up and change something you wrote. You could tap the screen, but your thumbs are already flying. Keep them on the impian keyboard by holding down on the spacebar. You’ll see the keyboard go blank and allow you to move the cursor whenever you want as you drag your thumb tip around. Drop the cursor as desired and delete or type as needed. Create Text Replacements

Got things you type over and over and over like “I’m on the way home!” or “I love you more than the sun and moon and stars!”? Go into Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement. Click the plus (+) icon at the top to enter a phrase and then a shortcut. Any time you type the shortcut in the future (such as “otw”), the full phrase (like “I’m on the way home, leave me alone!”) will spring to life on the keyboard’s text preview to tap on. You can even use it to type a letter combo to bring up a frequently used combo of emoji. Swipe Type to QuickPath

Many third-party iOS keyboards have had the ability to swipe-type—that is, moving your finger or thumb around the keys without lifting it to type words. As of iOS 13, it’s also part of the Apple default keyboard in iOS. Apple calls it QuickPath.ScreenshotsScreenshot an Entire, Lengthy Web Page

If you’re taking a screenshot on your iPhone, a thumbnail will appear on the bottom left for annotation. Tap it to bring it full screen. If you took the shot while using the Safari browser, and the web halaman you’re on extends past the size of the screen, look at the top—you should see a tab that says “Full laman.” Tap it and a slider appears on the right displaying the full page, even if you didn’t scroll through it all originally. Sign Documents

We don’t all have scanners and printers in our homes these days, but don’t fret. Apple offers an easy way to digitally sign a document. Take a screenshot of it and tap the thumbnail. On the lower right, click the Plus sign. One of the options is Signature. Sign it right on the screen (or use a stored one). Once you have a sig, hit Done, and then drag it up on to the document in the screenshot. Place it, resize it, and save it to send. SafariCustomize Settings Per Web Page

Some web pages look great with default settings, others don’t. Create settings that are per-web site, so for example, one site comes in at a larger font, while the rest are smaller. Simply click on the AA font icon in the address bar when visiting a site. You can set the font size, but also click on Website Settings to specify if you want to always see the desktop version; jump right into the Safari Reader (which makes pages easier to read by stripping out extraneous stuff); or turn off all your content and advertising blockers. RecordingTurn Off Your Microphone on Screen Recordings

To screen record your iPhone and iPad, navigate to Settings > Control Center and make sure Screen Recording is listed under Included Controls (if not, tap the green plus button down below). A screen-record button will then appear in your Control Center. When recording, you may notice that it’s also recording audio around you. That’s so you can make a voice over. If you’ll be adding voice later, or don’t need the voice over, long-press on the button in Control Center. Down below, you’ll see either Microphone Off or Microphone On—set your preference. Broadcast Your Screen

Holding down the Screen Recording button in Control Center also produces another option. You can pick an app into which your recording can be saved (like Photos) or do a direct broadcast. The apps that support broadcast include chats like Facebook Messenger, video meeting tools like Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype, or even social sharing networks like TikTok.Enhance Your Voice

In Voice Memos you can use Enhanced Recording to reduce background noise. Make a recording, click the three-dot (…) menu, select Edit Recording, click the magic wand icon at the upper right and then Done.App StoreForce App Updates

Do you worry that the app you’re using may not be the most up-to-date version? Make sure the App Store is set to auto-update apps. Go to Settings > App Store and turn on Automatic Downloads. (If you’re worried about using up data, set it to “Always Ask” or “Ask if Over 200 MB”). If you don’t want to wait, open the App Store app, tap your picture, swipe down to update, and tap Update All, if it appears. (Bonus: if you see an app in that list that you don’t use anymore, swipe it left to delete it without having to go find the app on your home screen.) Phone

Image: AppleSilence Unknown Callers

Inundated by robocalls? Go to Settings > Phone > Silence Unknown Callers. When that’s turned on, any number that’s not in your contacts, Siri suggestions, or recently called list will go directly to voicemail. A silent notification will tell you that a call has been silenced; you can view the number in your Recents list. If you’ve got to keep your line open to unknown callers, you should really be using a secondary number via a second SIM card or VoIP burner account. Make Calls Over Wi-Fi

If cellular service in your area is iffy, Wi-Fi Calling can tap into your home’s Wi-Fi network to place calls. You’ll need a wireless carrier that supports it, but if it does, go to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling to turn it on. Be sure to set up an Emergency Address for you phone; 911 centers can’t pinpoint location for VoIP calls. You’ll know it’s on when you swipe to see the Control Center and the word “Wi-Fi” appears next to your carrier’s name. Hang Up Via Airplane

Hanging up on people, even when you really want to, is impolite. But if you are in a call and switch on Airplane mode, the call is cut off as if the call failed. Then you don’t look responsible. (Thanks to @kaansanity on TikTok for this idea.) InterfaceMove Multiple Apps at Once

You can group apps together on the home screen by dragging one app atop another to make a folder. But what if you want to move a bunch of apps to another laman on the home screen? Don’t do it one at a time. Instead, hold down on one app until it goes all wiggly, then use another finger to tap a bunch of apps. They’ll be grouped; you’ll see a number increment go up as they’re added. Without removing your finger, drag that stack to a new laman and drop them all at once. It takes practice. Change the Default Apps

Apple has long favored its own apps, which means links and emails default to opening in the Mail app or Safari. With iOS 14, however, you can now change your default mail or browser app to something like Gmail or Chrome. Here’s our full explainer our how to set it up. Hide a Page of Apps

Got some apps on your phone you want to hide but not delete? Put them all on a single screen. Then, hold your finger on the screen to go into the wiggle mode, and tap the home screen scroll dots at the bottom. You’ll get an Edit Pages interface that lets you turn off the view of an entire laman of apps. This doesn’t delete apps, and you can still swipe down to access Spotlight search and find the apps easily. But it’s a quick way to keep some apps from prying eyes. Drag the Volume

Previously, you could only increase or decrease the volume on your phone by using the physical up and down volume buttons on the left side of the iPhone—which added a volume overlay on the screen. With iOS 13, Apple banished that large volume box for an unobtrusive slider. Plus, when you click the volume button, you can also tap the slider to pump up the jams or take it down a notch. That slider also features an icon if it’s playing on a speaker or via Bluetooth.Three-Finger Symphony

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