Your iPhone is packed with tons of useful features and access to millions of innovative apps that can make just about any aspect of your life easier (or more fun). Beyond standard features, tech aficionados often come up with genius hacks that extend the capabilities of your iPhone even further. These shortcuts include tips and tricks like taking photos of memos or lists, so the info is available wherever you go – without having to type it into a note or carry a piece of paper in your pocket – have become almost mainstream.
Of course, every new iPhone release comes with new opportunities to hack the latest feature set, while many tried-and-true hacks from iPhones past apply to the latest models too. To identify some of the most innovative hacks for current iPhone users, we asked a panel of 30 tech pros and gadget bloggers to share their secrets by answering this question:
"What is your favorite iPhone hack (i.e., handy tips, tricks, secrets that can make a better user experience, increase phone performance, or do cooler stuff)?"
Discover the coolest iPhone hacks for saving time, taking better photos, and more by reading what our panel of tech pros and gadget bloggers reveal below.
Meet our panel of technology and gadget pros and bloggers:
Dan Nainan is a CLEAN Comedian, Actor, Voiceover Artist, and Computer Geek.
"Here's a killer iPhone tip..."
I use the speech feature to have my phone read me long articles and emails.This is particularly great when driving or walking, because you don't have to look at the screen.
All you have to do is pull down with two fingers and the iPhone reads the article. In addition, you can vary the speed with the tortoise and hare icons.
To enable, go to General, Accessibility, Speech, and turn on Speak Screen.
Also, make sure you go to Voices, English and download Alex. It's a very, very natural sounding voice – almost like a person! It's uncanny.
Chad Altier is co-founder and CEO of iDropped. With a true passion for entrepreneurship, Altier has managed, owned, and built several other companies. They include Blakely Self Storage, Boulevard Investment Group, CJ Enterprises, and Penn Avenue Associates. Since June 2014, he's held the position of COO at Keystone Propane. Altier is a results-oriented, forward-thinking executive with over 20 years of success. He's highly motivated with a proven track record of achieving benefits, building teams, and creating positive relationships with customers.
"Here are a few cool iPhone hacks you can use at the beach, while traveling, and while enjoying the great outdoors..."
While at the beach...
Wrap it: Keeping your mobile device safe and debris free is easy and affordable. Purchase plastic sandwich bags to protect your phone from beach sand, spilled drinks, and salt water.
Turn down the heat: While keeping your phone in the car may seem like a good idea, it can be like putting it in a hot oven. Keep your phone in cool, shaded places, and if it does overheat, turn it off ASAP.
Text only: If you know you won't have access to an outlet, send a text rather than making a call. Phone calls require more power and drain the battery faster than texts.
Charge it: If you have access to an outlet, don't pass it up. Take advantage of any and all opportunities to charge your battery as much as possible.
While enjoying the great outdoors...
Turn it down: For a longer-lasting battery life, dim the phone's brightness to the lowest setting. This is helpful if you're without outlet access and don't own a portable charger.
Go green: Take advantage of the summer sun and purchase a solar-powered phone charger. This is perfect for charging when you're enjoying the outdoors and don't have access to an outlet.
John Turner is CEO/Founder of QuietKit, which provides guided meditation for beginners (for free).
"One cool iPhone hack that's super useful is..."
Assigning specific ringtones or vibration types to specific numbers. Within an individual contact number, you can assign ringtones and vibrations other than the default, so you can be more aware of certain callers even if you can't see your phone screen right away.
James Goodnow is a brilliant, creative, compassionate attorney and a technology aficionado who's been named one of America's Techiest Lawyers by the ABA Journal, the official publication of the American Bar Association. Apple selected Goodnow as the first lawyer to be featured in one of its commercials. Apple also spotlighted him on Apple.com (you can view the ad entitled "James Goodnow", featured on Apple Commercial under Broadcast Media).
"I know of a few cool iPhone hacks every iPhone user should know..."
Organize your home screen to only show the apps you use the most throughout the day. Put entertainment apps and games on another screen.
Consider using a launcher app like Launcher that allows you to launch apps from the pull-down notification screen.
Consider using one-touch workflow apps like Workflow or IFTT (If This Then That), which both allow for one-button, multi-step functions like converting a document to a PDF and then emailing it all with one button press. These apps also have shortcuts available for the pull-down notification screen like a launcher app for one-button functions. I have one that reminds me to do something when I get home. I push one button, type the reminder and done. When I get home, the reminder pops up.
Don't swipe away the apps from the multitasking screen. People think that helps your battery life, but it actually makes it worse. iOS will close apps as it needs to. Firing them up fresh every time tasks the processor and drains the battery. It's like constantly starting and stopping your car.
Deadrea Clemmensen is the Co-owner of MiPhone Doctor of Fresno.
"My favorite iPhone hack is..."
Did you know you can control your iPhone with just the tilt of your head? Yes! Control your Volume, access Siri, switch Apps, and view your Notification Center, simply by moving your head.
Here's how: Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Switch Control. Then turn it on by sliding the bar to the 'on' position. Then click on Switches > Add New Switch > Camera. Blue bars will appear around the display showing that the camera recognizes you.
Shane Hook is an incredibly dedicated and detail-oriented Quality Assurance tester, with over 7 years of diversified experience in the field of Information Technology/Computer Engineering. Known for big picture thinking while having an eye for fine details, Shane is the Director, QA Engineering at Events.com.
"Here are a few cool iPhone hacks that I've used..."
Storage space: Go to Settings: Once there, tap General > About. Scroll down until you find "Available", which tells you how much storage space you have. Head to the iTunes Store: Pick the HD movie of your choice available for rental. Don't worry, you're not paying to rent a movie, but pick a big download. For example, the HD version of The Avengers is 6.5 GB. Tap Rent two times. You'll see a spinning wheel, then receive the "there is not enough available storage" message.
To quickly shut off the flashlight: Included in iOS's Control Center is access to a flashlight. Once enabled, you can quickly shut it off by using the camera shortcut from the lock screen.
Hidden level tool: Leave your lime-green bubble level in the drawer. iOS's built-in leveling tool uses the phone's gyroscope to help you find out if an object is perfectly horizontal (or vertical). To access it, launch the compass, then swipe right to reveal the level.
More alpha-numeric characters: Long-press for more characters on some symbols.
Reveal time stamps on text messages: To see when a message was sent, drag the message screen to the left, and the time stamps will be revealed.
Charge your phone much faster: Sometimes you need to charge your phone fast. The fastest way to do that? Put your phone in airplane mode. With all of the sending and receiving of data cut off, your phone will charge much faster. Just be sure to leave the backlight off.
Switch shooting directions in Panorama: Tap the arrow in Panorama mode to switch the shooting direction so you can take a panorama picture from left to right or right to left.
Foster Crawford, General Manager at Experimac Pittsburgh, is very much into technology and always searching for the latest and greatest in tech. He is a local to Pittsburgh, PA, where he owns and operates an Apple computer and repair shop with his partner David Mehalick.
"So this isn’t really my favorite, but I find it to be a cool iPhone hack that no one knows about..."
If most people are like me, they use their calculator on the phone A LOT! One thing that always drove me crazy was that when I was typing in a large number and right near the end, I would type the wrong number and have to clear the whole thing! But lo and behold, you can actually erase the last digit if you swipe either right or left in the black section in the top where your numbers are displayed which can save you a little bit of time. This hasn’t been life-changing, but has saved me a bit of frustration!
Mark Alves is a digital marketing strategist who helps companies and associations find their digital mojo so they can engage larger audiences. Based in Arlington, Virginia, he's worked with organizations ranging in size from small nonprofit to Fortune 50.
"One cool iPhone hack solves a problem many users encounter..."
Have you ever missed a great photo opportunity because your iPhone popped up an annoying “not enough available storage” message? Even my roomy 128 gb iPhone isn’t immune!
Here’s how to take a photo despite your default iPhone camera app saying you can’t: use the camera option within the Facebook or Twitter app instead. Start a tweet or post, click the camera icon within that social app, and then snap your photo. The resulting picture gets saved to your Camera Roll. You don’t even have to finish your social media update since the image is already captured.
Robin Taylor is the Creative Director and CPO (Chief Parenting Officer) at RAKKOON — a mobile app that gives parents insight into their child's social media feeds. Robin's background is in visual storytelling for television. As a field producer, writer, and editor, she helped create several landmark television series — including HGTV's House Hunters and TLC's A Baby Story. While she's proud of her production credits, her most meaningful work to date has been producing four terrific kids.
"As the parent of four kids, my best iPhone tip is to..."
Make heavy use of the Do Not Disturb feature. All the phones in our house (parents and teens alike!) are set to automatically switch into Do Not Disturb mode from 6-9 pm every night. So dinner and homework are free of rings, beeps and buzzes.
I also use Do Not Disturb overnight. All my kids know that if they're sleeping away from home and need to reach me at 2 am, they'll need to call my phone twice in a three-minute period. That overrides the Do Not Disturb setting and makes the phone ring.
Denis Bulichenko is the Founder and CEO of DENIVIP Media.
"I have a lot of apps on my phone and remembering their location is always tricky for me. One cool iPhone hack to solve this is...'
Where's my camera app? Where's that reading app? Where's the settings? Where's the podcasts? This is especially important for the rarely used utility apps like DropBox, special maps, Shazam, etc.
There's an easy trick to locate what you need quickly: swipe down in the center of the screen and you'll get a search box to quickly find needed apps, contacts, and even the content of the apps (indexed content). This is a huge time-saver for me. So few people know about this trick.
Bryan Clayton is the CEO of GreenPal, best described as Uber for Lawn Care.
"Something I never knew about but discovered a few weeks ago is how to..."
Un-format text when you copy and paste something inside of iPhone.
Let's say you want to copy something from Google Docs into an email that you're crafting, and it's automatically going to carry the same text format into your email. But what if you don't want the formatting?
Well, it's quite easy! After you paste it into your email, simply shake your phone and it will undo the formatting.
Ashley Turner is director of Gadget Valuer – one of America’s biggest gadget trade-in comparison sites. Launching in 2009, the founding team wanted to create a completely independent recycling comparison website after running an actual phone recycling site. Such experience in the recycling market means Turner is constantly in touch with the latest trade-in trends and consumer habits.
"One of the cool little hacks we like is..."
An iPhone notification center game, Steve the jumping dinosaur, which is actually a Google Chrome Easter egg that can be played when the browser loses Internet connectivity. Unlike most games, this highly addictive game which is quickly becoming the new 'Flappy Bird,' lives in your notification center and can be played from a lock screen.
Once installed, it can be added to the notification center. It sits between the stocks and weather information. Apple as a company decided to crack down on developers making such apps for the Notification Center back in 2014, due to the fact they wished the Notification Center to be for the presentation of information only.
This means Steve may have a short lifespan ahead of him. But for now, it's a pretty fun, secret game to play from your locked screen.
Kyle McMahon has appeared on a number of episodes of the Emmy winning Oprah's Lifeclass, where he has become known as the face of fatherless sons. He is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post, where he does a monthly column on self-improvement for Millennials - ranging from personal development and topical issues, to fatherlessness for OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. He is a youth ambassador for the UN, and an influencer on the Obama administration's My Brother's Keeper initiative. He also regularly gives speeches around the country on various topics pertaining to Millennials, fatherlessness, personal development, and self-improvement topics.
"The iPhone has so many awesome hidden secrets that it's hard to pick just one. But if I had to, I would say ..."
The location contact services.
So many people don't know about this. You can click on a contact, and then hit the "I" (info) button to send your current location to a contact. It's so helpful instead of giving someone directions.
You can also share your location for an hour, until the end of the day, or indefinitely. It's so easy when you're out with friends or on vacation. I can't tell you how many friends I've shown this to that had no clue it was even a feature.
Sol Weinreich is the Marketing Lead at Mast Mobile.
"My favorite iPhone hack is..."
I love that I can tell Siri to turn on low power mode.
Annkur P Agarwal
Annkur P. Agarwal is a tech blogger who has used most iPhones launched since 2007. He currently runs one of India's largest product research sites, Pricebaba.
"Here are a few tricks and lesser known features on iOS that I like..."
1) Shake to un-do any text on iOS. Old, but a lesser-known feature.
2) Very well and commonly known, but many Android users switching to iOS don't know that they can tap the top of the screen to scroll to top inside any app or list.
3) For easier, one-handed use, you can gently tap the home button twice for Reachability and swipe from the left edge to go back to the previous screen in most apps.
4) Pull a chat notification down to quick reply without jumping into the app.
5) Swipe right to left on a notification, lockscreen, or even the notification center for quick actions.
6) Quickly identify an unknown caller from the call list by using the share contact option and Truecaller.
7) Pull down in Settings menu to search for a particular setting. Given how comprehensive the settings screens have become, a search within it is great.
Tracy has been in the forefront of the high tech and biotechnology industries for over 20 years. As the President and co-founder of BroadPR, she is the visionary leader that manages an enthusiastic team covering the public relations needs of enterprise, consumer, OEM and channels organizations. She has appeared on CNN, ABC, NBC, Bloomberg, CNET and TV.Com and has been quoted in USA Today, WSJ, BusinessWeek and diverse trade publications. She has been published in various magazines, including Wealth Magazine and videoconference.com. Tracy spends time outside of work volunteering locally and abroad, and recently co-founded www.Text4Deaf.com, a communications tool for the deaf community.
"A cool tip for an iPhone user is..."
Getting a second number you can give out so that you don't give out your personal number (which is becoming more and more of an identifier these days).
There are a few apps on the market [for creating a secondary phone number], but we'd recommend GetShuffle, in particular.
Josh Davis is known as The Technologist at Abt Electronics - the nation's largest single-store retailer of electronics and appliances, located in Glenview, Illinois - as well as their booming national e-commerce site. Josh is also the Apple Boutique Manager at Abt.
"I use my iPhone 6S Plus all day long. I wish I had a great tip to extend your battery life. However, If you use your iPhone as much as I do, then get a..."
Powerbank. The absolute most helpful feature is Siri and Dictation.
Siri is highly underrated, primarily since we don't understand what keywords really activate Siri. Hold down your home button and ask Siri, "What can you do?" This will reveal a complete Siri manual. The manual is fantastic, and provides you great ideas on how you can use Siri. I primarily utilize Siri for scheduling appointments and creating reminders.
Dictation I use even more. It's such a great feature for creating text messages or emails. I also find it amazingly accurate. Understanding Dictation commands enhances the feature. I use the following Dictation commands daily: period, new line, Ampersand, and open (or close) parenthesis.
Ollie McKean is a mobile enthusiast who shares information about finding the best mobile plans in Australia on his blog, Plan Panda.
"My favorite iPhone tip is to use the..."
[I use] Text Replacement (Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement) to store important pieces of information that I type regularly, like phone number, address, and email address.
Use a short three- or four-letter code, for example, "phn" for Phone Number, "ema" for your email address. You can also use this for common phrases like 'heading home now' (my shortcut is "hhn"), to let my partner know that I'm on my way home from the office.
Darla DeMorrow helps people and small business owners reclaim their space, time, and information. HeartWork Organizing, based in Philadelphia, PA, offers online articles, classes, virtual appointments, and hands-on help to help people organize their personal space and belongings.
"Use this one little tip to take better photos with your smartphone..."
Tap on the screen before you take a picture every time. This tap will focus on the subject of your photo.
It will also help you to adjust your exposure. Be sure to tap in a dark area to make the whole picture brighter, or conversely, tap in a bright area to make the whole picture darker. Finally, tapping on the screen stabilizes the picture so that your hand can move around a little bit without impacting the quality of your picture.
Eirini Kafourou handles communications for Megaventory, the online inventory management system that can help small businesses synchronize stock, and manage purchases and sales, over multiple stores.
"One of our favorite tricks for iPhone is that you can..."
Turn it into a barcode scanner. Quickmark app allows you to scan barcodes and paste them on your Mac computer right where the cursor is. This is a solution we frequently suggest to our clients, as Megaventory is a barcode scanner-compatible online inventory management and order tracking system. So far they are very satisfied with it.
Kolawole Tijani is the founder of Konettworld, which was founded in 2010. Konettworld is a place to trade, shop, market, and advertise your products to your publication.
"A few cool iPhone tips, tricks, and features I love include the ability to..."
1. Enable two-step verification.
2. Increase or decrease text size.
3. View the battery percentage.
4. Close an app or multiple apps.
5. Add an international keyboard.
6. Utilize the do not disturb setting.
7. Use the device one-handed with Reachability.
Josh Whitaker is a Fractional Marketing Executive, Serialpreneur, Startup Addict, and Altruist. Josh built his first website 15 years ago and has never looked back. A voracious reader, he truly knows about a lot in all things online, and now he brings that skill to many businesses as a Fractional Marketing Executive.
"When I want to learn something, I go full-speed. I probably know every single trick in the book now, but here is my favorite iPhone hack..."
We all love selfies, but it's too difficult to push the capture button while holding the phone in just the right way. Additionally, if you really want to take a high-quality selfie, you need to turn the phone around to use the rear camera (especially if you need the flash). Obviously, it's near-impossible to find the capture button that way.
Did you know that if you have your headphones plugged in you can simply press the volume up button on them and that takes the picture? This is also obviously handy if you need to be further away from the camera to snap the shot.
Louise Hendon has been using iPhones since 2011 and uses it to run her businesses, Paleo Flourish Magazine, on the go.
"The best iPhone tip or trick that saves me tons of time is..."
Integrating the IF (IFTTT) app with Evernote and my iPhone, so that if I take a screenshot on my iPhone, it'll automatically send that image to my Evernote account to create a new note. I use this method to recall books I see that I want to read, restaurants I walk past that I want to try, or anything else I want to remember later when I'm on the go.
Kayla Ethan works at Rebateszone and has written articles on major media outlets like Huffington Post and Lifehack. In her spare time, she loves to rock climb and snowboard.
"Life is quite busy and sometimes you just don't have time to take a call at that very moment..."
The iPhone's Remind Me feature is just great. You cannot take a call now, but you can set it to remind you in an hour. This combined with the custom messages have saved me from a lot of trouble. I tend to forget things a lot when I am working on a project, and calling people back is one of them. But there are some calls that you just have to return, and forgetting about them will land you in a whole lot of trouble.
Pat is Chief Propaganda Officer & Brand Journalist at Post Planner. When he's not snowboarding, fly-fishing or traversing continents, he gets the dirt and spreads the word.
NOTE: the following information is excerpted from 12 Secret iPhone Hacks (that even Experts don't know about) via Post Planner.
"Fat-fingered peeps will love this iPhone hack..."
Your iPhone can work like an Etch A Sketch.
Don't believe me?
Try shaking your phone next time you type a mistake. The shaking should clear the screen and let you start again.
It doesn't matter if you're writing a text message or editing a pic - just give your phone a shake next time you make a mistake.
Peggy Wang is the Editorial Director of BuzzFeed Life. She likes shopping and bubblegum. Ask her about her UK hardcore band.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from 19 Mind-Blowing Tricks Every iPhone And iPad User Should Know via BuzzFeed.
"One cool iPhone hack that's especially useful for parents is the ability to..."
Turn on Guided Access while a child is playing with your phone or iPad.
Guided Access, once turned on, keeps users from erroneously clicking or tapping within an app and ending up someplace they’re not supposed to be, or deleting something accidentally.
First, you need to go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access and turn it on. You’ll also want to turn on the Accessibility Shortcut.
Triple-click the home button in whichever app you want to turn it on for. From here, you can select any buttons that you don’t want clicked. Or you can also disable the home button while keeping the touchscreen on.
Christopher Groux is a freelance journalists for Design & Trend who also contributes to other publications such as iPhone Hacks from the Dashhacks Network.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from Acute Tweak Pairs Siri With Activator: Voice For More iPhone Functions via iPhone Hacks.
"If you want more functionality from Siri, one cool hack is..."
Siri's default voice functions are pretty limited, but this cool jailbreak tweak by Sassoty and Phillip Tennen tries to bulken them with an iOS modder's sensibility. Essentially what it allows you to do is pair voice instructions with any Activator action you please. If you want to say "Facebook" to open the Facebook app, or "respring" to respring your device, that's all possible with this little but functional application.
Obviously to get things working the way you want, it's going to take a lot of settings configuration within Activator and the dedicated Acute pane. The first time you launch Acute, you'll be asked to perform a basic voice calibration so that the tweak better understands your dialect. Simply say whatever you want for as long as you want, and you'll soon be off to the races. After that, you'll be able to set voice commands for any specific action that Activator is capable of. Just pick from the list, say the command for your device to record, and Acute will remember what to do the next time you say it. Of course, you also set up a command that makes Acute listen too, just so it doesn't get in the way of actual conversation. The folks at ModMyi have had great luck in testing Acute so far, and you can see more details about it in the video above.
Acute - $3.00 - BigBoss (Cydia) - iOS 7.X
Luke Johnson is a journalist and tech editor at Digital Spy, a sports fan, and Creme Egg eater.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from 17 secret iPhone tips and hacks that you didn't know about via Digital Spy.
"One cool iPhone hack for music lovers is to..."
Set your music to play on a timer. Enjoy listening to a little soothing background music as you drift off to the Land of Nod? Then you're probably all-too-familiar with waking up at 3am to some unwanted tunes. Unless, of course, you set your music to turn off on a timer. In the Clock app, slide along to the Timer options. Here under the 'When Time Ends' tag, you can switch out the alarm option for a 'Stop Playing' tag. This will turn off the tunes, be it through Apple Music or Spotify, when the timer hits zero.
Lisa Be is a Senior Editor at LifeBuzz.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from 21 Things You Didn’t Know Your IPhone Can Do. The Last One Is My Favorite. via LifeBuzz.
"One cool iPhone (and iPad) hack for users on the go is to..."
Use Speak Selection on iPhone and iPad so it reads texts out loud.
Begin by opening the Settings app. Scroll down, choose General > Accessibility > Speak Selection. For voice, you can choose from a wide range of voices from the Speak Selection Menu. These include Australian, British, Spanish accents and much more. To speak words out loud, highlight any text (by double-tapping, or tapping and holding on it), then tap the Speak button in the pop-up menu. If you can’t see the Speak button, tap the small right arrow on the pop-up menu, then choose Speak.
Kelly is an associate editor for InformationWeek. She most recently reported on financial tech for Insurance & Technology, before which she was a staff writer for InformationWeek and InformationWeek Education. When she's not catching up on the latest in tech, Kelly enjoys running and blogging for health and lifestyle websites. She earned her BA in English from Villanova University.
NOTE: The following information is excerpted from 11 Clever iPhone 6 Hacks via InformationWeek.
"This cool iPhone hack is useful when you're in a spot where you need to turn your phone to silent but still require obvious alerts so you don't miss an important call..."
If you're expecting messages, but in a place where your phone has to be on silent, use your LED flash for silent but effective alerts. This is intended for people with hearing problems, but also pretty useful if you're at the movies, a restaurant, or another place where audible alerts are unwelcome. To enable, go to Settings > General > Accessibility and switch on "LED Flash for Alerts."