Hidden iPhone tricks to make your life easier
These tips, swipes and tweaks will make using your phone faster and easier.
Often iPhone tricks go so far as to make something worth a double tap. Tapping the back of the iPhone three times to take a screenshot or mute the volume is fine. However, not everyone needs their phone for that. I think it’s more important for everyone to be aware of some basic features that are no longer gimmicks.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of ways to make using the iPhone faster and more convenient. Not only will some tasks, such as entering an email address or home address, be easier, but more mundane tasks, such as deleting old, unwanted photos from your photo library, will be much faster.Scroll up with one tap
If you’re scrolling through a web page and want to scroll back up, tap the top center of the screen, next to the front camera. This tap will take you back to the top. You can’t do this just on web pages, but the feature works extensively throughout the phone, including on app and settings screens.
Instead of furiously scrolling to get back to the top, you can simply tap the top of the screen. I use this with Instagram and my email app all the time to get back to the latest items. And if you’ve ever gone to the top of a website without knowing why, this may answer that question.
Stop typing your full email address. Before emoji were widespread in the operating system and easy to get, I had a text substitute that automatically displayed the Vulcan greeting emoji every time I typed “llap” (short for “Live long and prosper”). The idea is that you can make any character change for things you type all the time or things that are hard to remember. Go to Settings and tap on General. Tap Keyboard and then Text Replacement to add what suits you.
Use “eml” to expand your full email address.
Text replacement for your home address if you need to type it often
Put in non-secret codes or other little-used information to expand it with a simple command.
Note, however, that you should use unusual letters to activate text substitutions. For example, if you use “e-mail,” every time you type this word, a replacement is displayed, which can be annoying. What’s more, these text replacements are synced with iCloud, so if you’re using a Mac or iPad, they’re available there as well.
Hide photos from snoopers
In the Photos app, you can hide photos so that they are not displayed in the general photo library. This will prevent sensitive images from being visible every time you open this app. To hide a photo, tap a photo (or select several), then tap the share icon – a box with an arrow pointing up. Scroll down until you see Hide and select that option.
You can find hidden photos by going to Albums and scrolling down until you see Hidden. If you don’t want this Hidden folder to appear at all, you can also hide it by going to Settings and turning it off in the Photos section.
Starting with iOS 16, which will debut in late 2022, hidden and recently deleted photo albums will ask for a password to see their contents.
Deleting old screenshots
If you tap the Albums section in the Photos app and scroll down to get to Hidden, you might have noticed other types of media that the app automatically separates for you. Deleting old screenshots or screenshots by tapping these sections can be an easy way to free up some more storage space. It’s also a quick way to get rid of random junk from your Memories library.
Removing apps from the home screen (without deleting them)
I’m a minimalist with the app problem. I love trying out new apps, especially writing apps and task apps, but I quickly find that I have dozens of home screens or have to manage dozens of folders full of apps. Instead, I choose to remove them from view.
If you long-press on an app and then select Remove App, a dialog box appears with the option to Remove App or Remove from home screen. If you remove the home screen icon, it will still be displayed on the home screen.
Rearrange your home screen in seconds, not hours
Even if you want to organize the layout of your home screen, you can move the entire screen of applications instead of moving individual icons. On the Home screen, press and hold the dot at the bottom that represents the number of screens you have. The icon will move for a moment, and then you will see all of your home screens. You can cancel the ones you no longer want to see, or move any rectangle to rearrange them.
Attaching your friends’ messages so they don’t get lost
If you tap and hold a group or personal message in Messages, several options will appear, including pinning. If you select this, the subject of that message will be placed at the top, above all other messages, including any new messages. You can do this for multiple people or groups, making it easier to find the people you talk to most often.
Quickly lock your phone for security
If you’re worried that authorities will force you to unlock your phone with biometrics, there’s a way to quickly disable Face ID and Touch ID. For iPhone 8 and newer, press and hold the right button and both volume keys at the same time for about two seconds.
When you do this, a screen will appear that allows you to turn off your phone, view your medical ID, or switch to emergency SOS. opening this screen will also disable biometrics, which will require re-entering your passcode to access your phone.