The iPhone is no doubt one of the greatest inventions of the 21st Century. For the first time, the world was introduced to the realms of smartphone technology. A phone had now transitioned from merely being a device of communication, to be a virtual assistant. Everything from monitoring one’s schedule, health, and even their love life was possible!
Hence, it’s no surprise that Steve Jobs will forever be etched in history as one of the most pragmatic innovators of the 21st Century. Thanks to life-changing gadgets like the iPhone and iPad, he single-handedly ushered in the smart world age.
In fact, for many diehard iPhone enthusiasts, June 29th holds sentimental value. It was the first time that the iPhone was launched to the populous.
Fast forward 11 years later, and the iPhone has become part and parcel of our daily lives. So in recognition of this momentous day, we’ll be breaking down some of the most useful tips for iPhone that we’re pretty sure you had no idea your iPhone could do. We bet you’ll never look at your iPhone the same way again.
1. Is It a Bird, is It a Plane?
Photo by Artur Debat/Moment Mobile/Grtty Images
So there’s a plane flying overhead, and just out of curiosity, you’d love to know its altitude; or maybe the commercial airline that owns the said plane. Well, it turns out that it was possible to know such information for the past seven years!
Yep, that was one of the exceptional features that were added to the iPhone 4S when it was launched on October 4, 2011. It seems only yesterday that fans were ogling over the iPhone 4, and now we’re currently on the iPhone X.
So how does the feature work? All you have to do is ask Siri what planes are flying overhead, and she will immediately show you information such as the flight number, the angle of the craft, the aircraft type, the altitude, and even the mileage.
In fact, this feature was introduced with the sole intention of increasing flight efficiency as well as flight safety. The data itself is provided by Siri’s connection with Wolfram Alpha, which then links to an FAA tracking technology. Pretty amazing, right?
Fun fact: Did you know that there are to date eleven iPhone models released since 2007?
2. Super-fast Charging with the Single press of a Button
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Strapped for time and need to be out in a jiffy? Wait a minute; you didn’t charge your phone last night; what a nightmare.
Fortunately, according to plenty of forums on the net (though there’s never been an affirmation from Apple), turns outputting your iPhone 7 (and higher versions) on flight mode helps increase the charging juice.
By engaging the Flight Safe mode, you’ll be limiting the naughty shadow battery drainers such as Wi-Fi and data, making the battery less strained as it strives to get some more juice.
3. Minimize Your Search Time with Essential Web Shortcuts
So you’re having a heated debate with some individuals online, and you would like to provide credible information fast and easy; because as you know in a discussion, every second count.
So thanks to a slick feature that was first introduced in the iPhone 3Gs, and has been around ever since, one can find a series of URL suffixes by just long pressing the period (full-stop) button while having an active keyboard.
In response, there will be a shortcut containing a series of URLs; everything from .com to .ie will be made available.
Fun fact: The iPhone was initially poised to be a Tablet project, but after Apple employees came up with the iPad layout and design, Steve Jobs figured it could be used on the phone as well.
4. Figure Out All the Information That Your iPhone Has Gathered About You
So it looks like Big Brother is watching. As utterly surprising (and disturbing) as this sounds, your iPhone is always storing information about you. Everything from your background, to the kind of apps you use on a daily basis, the data you’re giving out, and eerily, to exactly where you live is all stored on the phone.
Think we’re bluffing? Then see what we mean by following this navigation
Settings> Privacy> Location Services> System Services> Frequent Locations
Lo and behold! You’ll be shocked to not only see what you’ve been up to but also the duration that you’ve spent in each location!
5. A Spirit Level in Hand
Education Images/UIG via Getty Images
The Compass app might be the last thing you’ll probably have a look at when you get your iPhone, but turns out it has loads of importance.
In fact, if you’re planning on some DIY projects, then it’s safe to say that the Compass app will save you a few bucks from going to buy some hardware items.
That’s because one of the essential features contained in the Compass app is the spirit level. The feature was first introduced with the release of the iOS 7 in 2013 and is found in iPhone 4 and higher models.
This handy feature enables you to check whether items around the house are level. So say you were putting up a new portrait of the family. Instead of mindlessly guessing whether it’s correctly positioned, pick up your iPhone and use it to get a perfect position!
Just a side note; ensure to remove the iPhone cover before leveling to get the most accurate position.
6. Locking Your Camera’s Focal Point to Take Better Pictures and Videos
Perhaps you were secretly planning to be a photographer on the down low, and you thought a great gadget to start with is your iPhone? Well, your dreams are pretty valid. The iPhone has one of the highest Definition cameras in the smartphone industry, and rest assured you’ll get some pretty decent pics with it.
That being said, one thing that troubled us was that every time you slightly moved the camera after tapping the screen to select an ideal focal point, it would disappear! Say, no more. It turns out there is/was a remedy to deal with this after all.
Instead of just going for the proverbial screen tap, you can press the screen and hold on it for a second or longer, and the ‘AF Locked’ dialog box appears.
After this, you can now turn, twist, and even swing the phone around without losing the focal point.
Thankfully, this feature can be found in almost any version of the iOS camera, though it would be safe to say that it would be a little outdated in the first generations of iPhones.
7. Get Creative with Your Unique Custom Vibrations
Education Images/UIG via Getty Images
Your phone’s buzzing in your pocket. You shove your hand in, exhilarated, hoping it’s the guy or girl from last night hitting you up with the follow through the call. You view the screen,
Huh; it turns out it’s your boss that’s calling. Not the most anticipated call one was expecting unless their boss has a cool personality like Richard Branson.
Unless it’s an emergency and within your work hours, sometimes it’s pretty reasonable to avoid such mundane calls from the office; especially when you’re unwinding and relaxing
That being said, you can do so thanks to the slick feature on iPhones that allows you to put custom vibrations depending on who is giving you a call.
All you have to do is navigate to Contacts, select the given contact and press Edit. You’ll then see the Vibration option. Upon selecting it, you will be presented with a myriad of options, one of them being Create a New Vibration. From there, the freedom is all yours!
This feature is available on iPhone 5s and subsequent versions.
Fun fact: When Apple initially was searching for a carrier partner to sell the pioneer iPhones too, they insisted that the device would only have the Apple logo only without that of the carrier
8. Siri Pronunciation Correction
Photo by Mandy Cheng/AFP/GettyImages
Since the launch of Siri on October 4, 2011, on iPhone 4s, this lovely bot has undergone a myriad of changes. That being said, she won’t always get everything right.
Perhaps one of the things that might prove a bit difficult for her to get is the pronunciation of a word correctly.
So in the case that Siri doesn’t say a word correctly, follow up with the statement ‘that’s not how you pronounce,’ and Siri will instantly request the correct pronunciation. From there, you can proceed to correct her.
9. Terminating More Than Three Apps at Once
Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Did you know that it’s not only web pages and pictures that can support multi-finger gestures on your iPhone? Yep, you can add extra digits when it comes to clearing multiple apps at once.
In fact, if one needs to close some apps due to personal reasons hurriedly, then all you need to do is drag three of your fingers up against the multitasking menu to terminate the cluttered apps quicker.
This quick-close update was first added to the iOS 7 and is found in subsequent iOS updates.
10. Putting Your Music and Playlist on a Timer
Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Do you enjoy listening to some excellent tunes in the background as you drift off to Slumber Land? If that’s the case, then you wouldn’t want to wake up at 3 AM to the sound of unwanted tunes that happened to be on a loop.
Thankfully, iPhone has this neat feature that allows you to put your music on a timer.
Just navigate to the Clock app, then head to the Timer Options. Under the option Where Time Ends, you can activate the alarm option for Stop Playing.
This will automatically end tunes, even if they are present on Spotify or Apple Music as soon as the timer hits zero.
The feature was first introduced on iPhone 4s back in 2011 and is found in subsequent releases of iPhone.
11. Snap a Photo Without Having to Touch the iPhone
Photo by Christian Vierig/Getty Images
An oldie but truly a goodie, this feature is especially helpful to anyone with the proverbial butterfingers when taking snapshots. Instead of potentially damaging the iPhone, one can use the volume buttons to their connected headphones to take a photo with clarity.
The feature is capable in all iPhones with iOS 5 versions and higher, so it’s high time you started taking photos with your iPhone as you do with a camera.
You can even stick the iPhone on a tripod and proceed to take a great photo!
Fun fact: The App Store was the first online store that allowed the legal downloading of an app
Fun fact: Do you know that all the iPhones in every iPhone advertisement show the time 9:41 because that was when Steve Jobs unveiled the first ever iPhone back in 2007?
12. Strengthen Your Provider’s Signal by Knowing Where to Search For it
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Perhaps you’re tired of antics such as trying to stretch your hand out from the first-floor window to get the best iPhone network coverage by your service provider? No need to worry anymore. Just dial *30001#12345#* and call to activate the Field Mode tool.
This will then convert your bar chart signal indicator into a more informative numerical score.
So if you get a score of say -50, then you’ll have a high signal, sufficient enough for HD video streaming.
If the signal is down to -120, then even the simple method of sending a text will be a big issue. So move around the room to see where the signal is best applied.
Again, people, this feature is only present in iOS 11 compatible iPhones, so perhaps an upgrade might be necessary, don’t you think?
13. Shaking Your iPhone to Erase When Typing
Photo by NPHOTOS//Moment Mobile/Getty Images
For those who figured this neat feature out, we bet you did it in a fit of rage perhaps while texting a rant to someone. So instead of always struggling with the backspace bar on your touchscreen keyboard (especially if you have large fingers), you can do a firm handshake rattle to delete unwanted text.
The great thing about this feature is that before deleting, there will be a pop-up to ask you if you’re sure about erasing the said text. This is done in order not to inconvenience people who are natural shakers.
The feature was first introduced to users in the iOS 7 update, during the release of the iPhone 5.
14. Determine the Exact Amount of Time That You Might be Waiting For a Reply
Photo by Bill Hinton/Moment Mobile/Getty Images
As creepy as this might sound, your iPhone gives you the ability to determine the precise amount of time you’ve been waiting for an answer. So if you’re significant other is ignoring you, guess what; you’ll know.
After sending a text message, you can swipe in from the right of the screen within a given message thread, and voila, you’ll see the precise delivery times as well as the ‘read’ status for every message that was received as well as sent.
This awesome, albeit creepy feature, was first introduced in IOS 9 update, which came in tandem with the iPhone 6.
15. Let Siri Know Who Your Family Members Are
Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images
It seems a little weird to call your parents by their first names. Thankfully, you can give Siri a heads up about who they are by just calling them up and letting the digital PA know their identities. Once each of their contacts has been assigned a parent moniker, you can tell your PA to call ‘Dad’ or “mom’ without breaking a sweat.
In fact, this feature was available since the release of Siri back in October 2011.
Fun fact: Back in 2007, Times Magazine awarded iPhone as the ‘Invention of the Year.’
16. Creating Custom Replies Depending on Who Gets a Missed Call
Photo by TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images
So you’re out on a date, and can’t pick up the phone, but your best friend Mat keeps on calling. Thanks to a witty feature first included in the iOS 6 upgrade, you can reply with custom-made (corny) messages such as ‘Date Night. We’re heading for coffee at her place. Fingers crossed buddy 😉
This way, your friends and family (not necessarily) can know what you’re up to without them having to worry as to why you’re not picking up the phone. All you need to do is to go to Settings à Phone à Respond with Text.
17. Shooting a Video? While at it, Take a Photo Too
Photo by Noam Galai/WireImage
No doubt you’ve come across instances whereby you’re shooting a video, but you’d love to capture the moment in still motion too!
Thankfully, your iPhone allows you to do both at the same time. All one needs to do is press the shutter button that is located near the video button.
That being said, note that the photo won’t be as great as expected due to the picture being captured by the sensors of the video camera. So not as awe-inspiring as the camera pictures, but worthwhile nonetheless.
The feature first graced iPhones back when the iPhone 5, 5s, and 5c were released; and it’s been with us ever since.
Fun fact: It was estimated that about 340,000 iPhones were being sold a day in 2012!
18. Automatically Snob Bad Wi-Fi Connections
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Most of the time, it is recommended to use Wi-Fi connections to save on your 4G data.
At certain times though, some Wi-Fi connections can be pretty slow and patchy, especially those in public places with plenty of users, or having their routers located in distant locations.
However, thanks to updates made to iOS 9 and upwards, there is a unique feature called WiFi Assist, that automatically snobs slow networks, and prioritizes faster and more stable use of your 4G data.
Of course, if you would rather be in the driver’s seat when handling your WiFi, you can always disable the WiFi assist.
19. Directly Request for an Uber via Siri
Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images
A bit tipsy and can’t ask for an Uber from the app on the phone? Merely tell Siri that you need an Uber and she’ll automatically access your Uber account (as long as you’re logged in and have a valid card attached) and get you an Uber. Certainly saves on time right?
This option is available on all iPhones that come in-built with Siri (iPhone 4S and above).
Fun fact: Do you know that everything you mention to Siri is stored and analyzed by Apple? So better watch your language!
20. Make Your iPhone More Secure with an Alphanumeric Passcode
Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images
Initially, before the advent of iOS9, iPhone users were only limited to the standard numerical passcode that’s been a piece of cake to crack by iPhone uhm… for a better title, theft specialists.
However, did you know you can put an alphanumeric passcode on your iPhone? Similar to the one that is used on your laptop or desktop. Simply navigate to the Settings app, then to Touch ID and Passcode. Move further to Change Passcode.
You will then be prompted to enter a new passcode. Instead of entering a new one, tap Passcode Options, and you will receive the option of an alphanumeric passcode to secure the iPhone.
21. Customize Your Control Center
Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
It’s been a long time coming, but finally, with the release of Apple’s iOS 11, you can now customize the positioning as well as the appearance of the toggles that are present in the Control Center.
Simply navigate to Settings and then Control Center, before moving on to Customize Controls. You can then add and remove the controls that you desire.
22. Additional Portrait Lighting
Photo by JHU Sheridan Libraries/Gado/Getty Images
If you’ve just happened to upgrade to the iPhone 8 Plus or the iPhone X, then one of the new impressive features of these superb phones is Portrait lighting.
Though it’s still in its beta stage, the lighting effects can be pretty attractive with limited effort.
All you have to do is open the Camera app and then swipe sideways on the rotating menu below so that you can locate Portrait mode.
Slightly located above this title will be a hexagonal icon clearly labeled Natural light, which will indicate to you that you’re on the verge of taking a Portrait Mode shot. Pretty sweet, right?
Fun fact: Apple’s iPhone is twice as expensive in Brazil as it is in the USA!
23. Drive in Peace
Photo by Bruno Levesque/IP3/Getty Images
Are you the type of person who always seems to get constant calls while they are driving? Well, thanks to iOS 11, you can now put to good use the new version of Do Not Disturb to eliminate distractions when on the road specifically.
For starters, it bars all incoming notifications (which you can activate an automated reply for specific contacts; something like ‘I’m driving at the moment, I’ll call you in a few’).
In addition to that, it also blocks phone calls as well, unless you have the option of a hands-free kit.
To activate it, navigate to Settings, then head to Do Not Disturb, then navigate to Do Not Disturb While Driving, and activate it.
You have three options to choose from: Automatically, Connected to Car Bluetooth, or manually. We recommend you go for the last two.
24. Enter the One-handed New Keyboard
Photo by Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images
If you’re already on iOS 11 or higher, then when it comes to typing, things can become a tad bit easier thanks to a new and improved system that allows one to use only one hand and thumb while typing.
If you would like to activate it, navigate to Settings, then General, before moving to Keyboards and selecting One-Handed Keyboard.Then choose your preferred hand (left or right).
25. Let the iPhone Do All the Reading For You
Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images
If you’d like your iPhone to read your texts when let’s say, you’re lazing around; then this is the perfect feature to enable you to do so. From the advent of iOS5, your iPhone can read texts thanks to Speech selection.
To do this, navigate to Settings, General, and then Accessibility to enable the Speak Selection.
Then whenever you want your texts to be read, long-press on a speech bubble to effectively do so.
Fun fact: If you fully charge your iPhone once every day, it is equivalent to spending electricity worth $0.25 the whole year!
26. Put Your iPhone on Night Shift Mode
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
When the iOS 9.3 update was made available, it came with some great features. One of them, in particular, was Night Shift.
Heard of Night Shift? If not, then let’s break it down for you. It’s a slick feature that dims the white tones that are present on your iPhone display, thus making it gentler for your eyes in low-light conditions. So you don’t have to strain when using your phone during night-time.
27. Let Siri Handle Complex Math Equations For You
Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
No matter how many math contests you got top prize for in high-school, there’s no way you can beat Siri when it comes to math!
That’s because she’s one heck of a math solver. So, if you’d like to get complex math equations effectively done for you, recite the equation in particular, and she will do the math fast and easy.
However, if the equation is complicated, make sure you recite it slowly to Siri so that she doesn’t misunderstand what it is that you’re trying to say.
Bet you didn’t know that a math genius was paused up in your pocket the whole time, did you?
28. Switching Direction to Panorama Mode
Photo by Feng Li/Getty Images
Last but certainly not the least in our list of excellent iPhone features is one that came with the iOS 6 update back in 2012 and has been in following operating systems.
Yep ladies and gentlemen, you can quickly change the direction of the Panorama photograph present in the camera by merely touching the arrow that’s right in the middle of the screen when you have access Panorama mode.
Bet all the photo-enthusiasts out there will fall in love with this sleek invention!
In essence, June 29th is one monumental day; a day to certainly give your iPhone all the praise it deserves. Perhaps maybe polish it and have it looking spick and span?
One thing for sure though, we all love our iPhones, as well as the iPhone tips that make this phone such a masterpiece. So much so that you’ll even find this joke relatable:
“When I fall, and my iPhone 8 is in my pocket, and I hear a crack.”
“I’ll just be thinking, “Lord, please let that be my leg.”