10 cool iPhone features

Apple iPhone

We all love our prized iPhones, no matter what generation they are. But no matter how many hours a day I clutch that thing, it seems like I’m always discovering something new about it. So here’s a top 10 list, so to speak, of some really cool iPhone features that perhaps you never knew about. Drumroll please; here they are, in no particular order:

  1. Screenshots – sure, your iPhone takes great pictures, but did you know that it can also take pictures of almost anything on its own screen? It’s actually really easy. Just place one finger on the power button along the right edge, then place another finger on the circular Home button at the bottom front of your phone. Now press both buttons at exactly the same time to snap off a screen capture of whatever’s onscreen. You’ll hear an old school camera sound, which means you’ve successfully taken a screenshot. The pictures are saved in your camera roll and can be shared in the usual ways. Some apps, like security and privacy apps, won’t allow screenshots, however, most apps do. This is useful for any number of reasons and I use this feature a lot.
  2. Numbers and symbols – here’s a new one I just learned myself. You know how when you’re typing some text, and you need to insert a symbol, number or punctuation mark? Yeah well, I often find it tedious to touch that 123 button, then hit the symbol I want, then hit the ABC button to get my keyboard back so I can resume typing. It’s not exactly complicated, but it slows me down. So here’s the trick: instead of tapping the 123 button, just touch and hold it to bring up the numbers and symbols, then slide your finger to the character you want, and release. Your selected symbol will be inserted and the qwerty keyboard will return automatically. Why didn’t I know about this sooner?!
  3. Sentence full stops – While we’re on the topic of keyboard tricks, have you ever noticed what a pain it is to just type in a full stop at the end of a sentence? Well, how about just double tapping your spacebar while typing; it’ll insert a full stop after the last word you typed, so there’s really no excuse for those long run-on sentences anymore.
  4. Tap to top – I really hate it when I’m surfing the web or browsing my email, and I scroll and scroll and scroll down a really long page, then I gotta swipe like mad to get all the way back to the top again. There’s an easier way. Just tap the very top edge of your screen, and you’ll instantly be taken to the top of the page again, easy peasy.
  5. Shake undo – okay, so they can’t all be winners, but this nifty trick might have some value. If you’re typing text and want to undo the last phrase you typed or deleted, just shake your phone and a popup window will appear asking if you want to undo your last action. It’s a bit awkward, but it works. It’s especially handy if you accidentally deleted a long sentence and want to get it back.
  6. Notify Me – do you have an email you’d like to prioritise? When browsing your email’s inbox, touch and slide any message to the right to bring up a short menu, but be careful not to swipe too far or you’ll delete the email entirely. Once the short menu comes up on the right, tap the icon with 3 dots that says “More” to reveal a pop up menu. Select “Notify Me” to receive a notification when you get a response to that particular email. You can also use this feature when typing a new email; when typing in your subject line, you’ll see a little bell icon on the right – tap that to be notified when you get a reply to the email you’re composing.
  7. Music timer – do you like to listen to music when you go to sleep but don’t want it to keep playing through the night? Just open your Clock app, then tap the Timer button at the bottom right of your screen. Set the duration of your timer, be it a few minutes or a couple of hours. Beneath that, you’ll see a button that says, “When Timer Ends;” tap that and at the bottom of the next screen, select “Stop Playing.” Next, tap the “Set” button on the top right and start your timer. Now go to your music app and start playing whatever music you like, and your tunes will stop playing at the end of your timer. It also works for audiobooks.
  8. Triple-click home button – have you ever explored your phone’s settings and wondered what the Accessibility options are for? They’re actually intended for people with vision impairments, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them too. Just go to Settings > General > Accessibility then scroll all the way to the bottom and tap “Accessibility Shortcut.” From here, you’ll see a menu of options like, Voice Over, Invert Colors, Grayscale, Zoom, Switch Control and AssistiveTouch. Just select the one feature you’d like to use when triple-clicking your Home button and you’re good to go. I’ll let you explore what each of the features do on your own, but I have mine set to Zoom; it doesn’t work with all apps, but is occasionally helpful when trying to read small text.
  9. Safari Page Search – if you’re browsing a web page using Safari, you can search for specific words or phrases and highlight them in yellow. Just type the words you’re looking for in the address bar at the top of your screen to bring up a menu of results. Scroll down to the bottom of that menu until you see “On This Page” which offers a numerical tally of how many times that word appears on the webpage you’re browsing. Next, tap “Find” to highlight all of the results in yellow and browse for each one until you find what you’re looking for.
  10. Volume button selfies – so you want to take a selfie huh? Have you ever noticed how hard it is to push that virtual button onscreen while stretching your arm out as far as possible?  Me too, which is why I love this feature. Just tap the volume up button on your phone to snap off that perfect picture. Even better, it also works with the volume up button on your headphone’s cord!
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