iPhone hacks: 18 hidden iOS features you need to know about

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It’s pretty fascinating how one simple trick or shortcut really can change your life.

Whether it’s related to cleaning, organizing, saving money or something else, we’ve all discovered at least one little secret that makes us think, how did I get by before knowing about this??

Read more: Easy ways to get more storage on your smartphone

18 iPhone tricks that will change your life

1. How to uncover a hidden password (OK, not an iPhone trick, but it’s still awesome)

Let’s say you forget one of your passwords and you then can’t log in to the account from any other device than the one it’s stored on, because when the site auto-populates your password, it only shows those little dots or stars. So at some point, you’re probably going to have to change the password — which is so annoying considering how difficult it already is to keep up with all the password requirements of letters, numbers, symbols, uppercase, lowercase, fingerprint —whatever.

But next time you find yourself in this situation, there’s actually a very easy solution!

Go to the login page where your password is stored and follow these steps:

  • Right-click on the bar/box with the hidden password (string of dots, stars etc.).

  • Choose “inspect” or “inspect element” from the drop-down menu
  • The page will pull up a bunch of jumbled code, but one line will be highlighted — that’s where you’ll see “type=password.”

  • Replace “password” with “text” and then the window will display your password!

2. Your iPhone calculator app has a backspace feature

Maybe you’re great at math, but why do it in your head or on a piece of paper when your calculator app will do it for you?

It’s pretty safe to assume that we all agree it comes in handy — but there’s also one very frustrating thing about that calculator that every iPhone user has experienced — when you make a typo, you have to start all over! And if you’re working on a long calculation, it’s one of those moments that can make you just want to scream.


If you’ve ever experienced one of those moments, we’re about to change your life.

Turns out, there’s a way to backspace and delete what you just typed on the calculator app. All you have to do is swipe left or right to correct a number, instead of starting over each time!

See all our latest mobile & electronics advice.

3. Make your iPhone read text out loud to you

4. Create a stronger passcode

If you’re still using a 4-digit passcode to protect your iPhone, there are more options available now that can better protect your device.

In addition to the option of using a 6-digit passcode, you can also create an alphanumeric passcode — allowing you to choose a combination of numbers and letters, just like you would for an online account.

Here’s how to set it up:

  • Go to Settings
  • Touch ID & Passcode
  • Enter your current Passcode
  • Change Passcode
  • Enter your current Passcode
  • Tap Passcode Options –> a menu will pop up with all of your options.

5. Make new emails show up first in the email app

A lot of people were not happy when Apple’s iOS 10 update changed the way email threads appear in the email app — now displaying the oldest message first.


But if you want to restore things to the way they were, with the newest email at the top of the tread, it’s an easy fix!

Here are step-by-step instructions on how to change your settings.

6. Create custom message replies for when you can’t answer a call

You’ve probably noticed that when your phone rings, a “message” icon pops up on the call screen — which allows you to text the caller explaining that you can’t answer the phone.

The replies that are already built into the feature are pretty generic and not personable at all — but there’s an easy way to add your own custom replies to the list that pops up when you tap the message icon during an income call.

Just follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings
  • Phone
  • Respond with Text
  • Enter your own custom replies

Then next time you can’t answer the phone, you’ll be able to send the caller your own custom message without going to the text app.

7. Take a photo while shooting video

You can always go back and screenshot the video, but there’s an easy way to take a still image while you’re shooting a video.

While the video is recording, you’ll see the camera and shutter buttons on the screen — just tap both at the same time to take a photo!


8. Easy way to charge your battery faster

Need to recharge your iPhone battery in a hurry? Just turn it on airplane mode and that will speed up the process!

9. Stop annoying group texts without leaving the conversation

If you’re stuck on an annoying group text message chain but can’t leave the conversation because of the announcement it makes to the group, there’s an easy solution that doesn’t make you look like a jerk.

Just go into the group text and tap the “i” on the top right — then on the next screen you’ll see a “Do Not Disturb” option. Just turn that on and you’re free!

10. Delete text and get it back

If you want to delete text you just typed, shake your phone and tap “Undo Typing.” Wait, now you want it back? Just shake your phone again and tap “Redo Typing.”

11. Save battery life

When your battery starts to run low, there are a few things you can do to make it last longer — and still be able to receive calls and texts.

  • Shorter screen timeout: Set the screen ”˜timeout’ to take effect after the shortest amount possible (For iPhone: Settings, General, Auto-Lock).
  • Lower the brightness: First set the screen brightness to Auto (For iPhone: Settings, display & brightness, switch Auto-Brightness on), so your phone adjusts to indoor and outdoor lighting. Then lower the baseline brightness (For iPhone: Above the Auto-Brightness switch). Lower it to a level you can stand, but the lower the brightness, the less battery usage.
  • Use airplane mode: If you’re in an area with no signal, and you know you won’t get one until you leave, turn the phone on airplane mode.
  • Turn off Bluetooth: When you don’t need it, it’s just draining your battery. So flip it off when you know you won’t use it for a while.
  • Take a notification break: Reduce the frequency of auto updates from email, news, social media and other apps. While you may need text and phone call alerts on all the time, you may not need alerts from every app on your phone every minute of the day. So just change the notification settings to reduce the frequency of alerts.
  • Turn off location services: Unless you’re using it for directions or something real-time, turn off location services for apps so they aren’t constantly monitoring your phone’s location (and simultaneously draining your battery life).
  • Turn off vibrate: The vibrate function uses more battery than a ringtone.
  • Turn off push email: Having your phone check for new emails once or twice an hour uses less battery than having it constantly monitor for updates. So decide how often you need to be updated, and then change the frequency in your mail settings.

12. Use your headphones to take a photo

If you don’t have the steadiest hands, prop your phone up on something, plug in your headphones and use the up or down volume buttons to snap a photo.

13. Take a panoramic photo from right to left

When you’re using the panoramic feature and want to take the photo from right to left (instead of left to right), just tap the arrow to switch directions.

14. Insert symbols and numbers without switching keyboards

For as long as you’ve been using your iPhone, think about how many times you’ve switched back and forth between keyboards in order to add numbers and symbols.

Turns out, all that switching isn’t necessary.


Instead of tapping the “123” button, just hold your finger down on it, slide it over the number or symbol you want to add, then let it go.

15. Instead of turning your phone on silent, choose whose calls you want to receive

Maybe you don’t like turning your phone off at night or during work in case of an emergency, but you also don’t want to be bothered by random calls or texts.

You can customize the “Do Not Disturb” feature so that your phone will only ring if certain people are calling.

Just go to Settings –> Do Not Disturb –> Allow Calls From –> then choose which group of contacts you want to be able to reach you.

16. Customize the auto-correct feature

If there are certain phrases you type all the time, or try to type and have to go back after your phone auto-corrects it to something weird, you can set up custom shortcuts that your phone will pick up and write out for you.

For example, you can use “omw” for “on my way” — just create the shortcut and any time you type “omw,” your phone will automatically spell out the phrase for you.

To set up shortcuts, go to Settings –> General –> Keyboard –> Text Replacement.

17. Identify battery-draining apps

If you need to conserve power, there’s an easy way to check which apps are draining your battery.

Just go to Settings –> Battery. At the bottom, you’ll see all of your apps listed by battery usage.

18. Expand your reach

Can’t quite reach the top of the screen with your thumb? Double tap the home button and that will bring your screen down closer to the bottom of the phone. Then double tap again to return to the regular view.


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