With each new iPhone that debuts, Apple introduces new features, improvements on old favorites, and a whole host of new emojis. Secret features hide in all sorts of nooks and crannies, and some of them improve the usability of your phone. Do you know about any of these?
Siri Reigns Supreme
Siri has been a delight since appearing in the fourth generation of iPhones. These days, she’s even capable of correcting her mistakes. As long as you’re running the latest iOS, you can follow up Siri’s mispronunciations by replying, “That’s not how you pronounce thus-and-such.” Siri, having been knocked down a peg or two, will inquire as to the proper pronunciation and keep trying until she gets it right.
It probably feels a little weird to bring up Siri and ask her to call your mom or dad if they’re stored with their first names. You can always save them in your contacts by using whatever variation of “mother” and “father” you prefer, or you can train Siri to know that Jane Smith is your mom. Say “call my mom,” and Siri will ask who that is. You can do that with basically any family member. In fact, you can assign a relationship to all your frequent contacts.
The iPhone PA offers a hands-free way to call an Uber, as well. That’s handy all the time, but it’s primarily helpful after a night on the town. Instead of scrolling through the Uber menus and fumbling through the ordering process, you can ask Siri to get an Uber, an Uber X, and any other Uber feature. You need to install the app, log in, and attach a valid credit or debit card to your account.
Charge It Up
Everyone’s in search of a way to charge their phones faster. Turn on your phone’s Flight Safe mode and charge it as you usually do. That’s it. It works whether you’re using an iPhone 6S Plus or the newest model. Shut down all your open apps for good measure. Every half an hour, it charges an extra 4 percent.
Turn it off entirely, and it charges even faster, but since that’s a painful prospect, the Flight Safe trick is a better bet. Fortunately, beginning with the iPhone 6S Plus, the battery life lasts longer. Depending on how you use your phone, you should get about 16 hours. Shut down apps and turn off background refresh to keep it going.
Can’t-Miss Camera Hacks
Your camera is capable of more than you think. You already know that you can tap your screen and set the focus point—except it disappears if the camera shifts position. Stop tapping, press down with your finger, and hold it for a few seconds. A pop up saying “AF Locked” should appear. Your focal point will now stay in place.
Have you ever witnessed the perfect photo op while you’re taking a video? Instead of waiting to capture a screenshot or a still, you can capture a picture at the same time you take a video. The next time you record something, look for the shutter button right beside the video button. Press it, and the sensors from the video camera will grab a picture. Don’t expect much in the way of clarity, but it’s a neat way to snag a moment in time.
Don’t rely on the press of a button to take a picture, either. Advance your selfie game to the next level by pressing the up or down volume button to snap a photo. Hold down a button to capture video. The volume buttons on compatible headphones or earbuds do the same trick.
Send Customized Text Replies
You never listen to your voicemails even though you hate to miss calls. However, it’s not always possible to text someone an explanation or a rain check after they ring you. Head to Settings > Phone > Respond with Text and you can either pick out a generic stock response or draft a custom message explaining where you are and why you can’t accept phone calls.
Smartphones are magical devices anyway, but iPhones are Hogwarts-level. They’re full of tricks that make them more convenient, more fun, and more functional. What’s the most useful or entertaining thing you discovered about your iPhone?