There’s a lot for the iOS operating system running on the iPhone. So many hidden features and tweaks.
But there is no manual to take you through things. Apple gives you some brief tips, but from that point on, it’s up to you.
Most people spend only a fraction of what their iPhone is capable of, so Thanksgiving is a great time for you to flex your technical skills and give other iPhone owners some tips and tricks.
Here are five of my favorite iOS tricks.
# 1: Add a secret on-screen menu
AssistiveTouch is an accessibility feature, and what it does is it hovers a small menu on your screen (which you can move around the screen with one finger) that allows you to perform movements such as pinching or stroking multiple fingers with a single finger and provides quick access to a variety of features.
There are three ways to enable AssistiveTouch:
- Press Settings > Availability > Press> AssistiveTouch, and then turn on AssistiveTouch
- Press Settings > Availability > Accessibility shortcut and then click AssistiveTouch
- Ask Siri: “Turn on AssistiveTouch”
You can customize AssistiveTouch by going to Settings > Availability > Press> AssistiveTouch, and then click Customize the Top Level Menu. You can display as many as eight icons (or as few as one), so it’s incredibly versatile.
It’s a great shortcut to useful features I use all the time (especially for taking screenshots!).
# 2: Turn the back of your iPhone into a button
This is another accessibility feature that Apple has added to iOS, which I like a lot (the other is AssistiveTouch – check it out!).
To find this feature go to Settings> Accessibility> Press> Press back. Once there, you will find options for Double Tap and Triple Tap.
There you will find a large selection of actions, ranging from system actions such as turning on the App Switcher or Control Center, accessibility features such as. to retrieve AssistiveTouch and Magnifier, scrolling gestures and even shortcuts to create GIFs or QR codes.
I have my set-top enable Reachability (you know, the feature that brings the top of the screen down to thumb level) with a double tap and to activate the Notification Center with a double tap.
Great feature that I now use many times a day.
# 3: Pop-up app menu
Another feature I use a lot is Haptic Touch to bring up menus for apps. Just long press on an app and see what pops up. It may be helpful, it may not be. It depends on the app!
You can even do the same with built-in iOS features, such as elements in the Control Center.
If you have difficulty activating these, you can adjust and experiment with the sensitivity.
I wish there was some kind of user interface that you could tap on apps or areas of the user interface to enable such options, but unfortunately you have to go exploring for them.
So go exploring! The payout is worth it as you will almost certainly find some useful time-saving shortcuts.
# 4: Burst mode photography
Sometimes the key to getting a good picture is to take a lot of pictures.
Before iOS 14, if you held the shutter button down in the camera app, the iPhone would go into “burst mode” and take a lot of pictures that allowed the user to go back and find the best one.
But now in iOS 14, pressing and holding the shutter button to video recording mode. That in itself is a nice feature, but I want the old “burst mode” feature back.
It’s there, but again it’s hidden. And it has also changed how it works.
Go over to Settings> Camera and you will see an option called Use Volume Up for Burst.
# 5: Find bad passwords
iOS keeps track of any bad passwords you may use. Bad passwords fall into two categories:
- Recycled passwords
- Passwords that have been leaked as part of data breaches
Check any passwords stored on your iPhone and change anything that is not good.
Settings> Passwords> Security recommendations.
One of the more boring tips, but probably most useful!