9 Things You Didn’t Know Your iPhone Could Do

Feb 11, 2014, by admin

Sure, you make calls, send email, check Facebook, take photos, browse the Web and play games on your iPhone. But did you know you could shake it to undo mistakes, or look up what airplanes are flying overhead? How about correcting Siri’s poor pronunciation? Here are 10 hidden features of the iPhone that are not only fun, but functional, too.


1.Shake your phone to undo anything

Make a mistake while entering text or editing a photo? No problem. Just give your phone a vigorous shake, and a window will appear, asking if you want to undo that action

2. Use the volume button to take a picture

If you don’t want to take your gloves off to snap a picture, you can simply press the Volume Up or Volume Down button. However, the camera app has to be open first.

3. Look the camera’s auto-focus and exposure

Ever get annoyed when you’re trying to compose a shot on your iPhone, but it keeps refocusing and readjusting the exposure? Press and hold on the screen for a second or so until the yellow square blinks twice. A little yellow icon that says “AE/AF Lock” will appear at the bottom of the screen. The iPhone will maintain that exposure and focus length until you snap a photo.

4. Add typing shortcuts

For those who enter certain words or passwords often, you can create shortcuts that let you enter them much more quickly. For example, you can type “omw” and your iPhone will automatically enter it as “On my way.”

In Settings, navigate to General>Keyboard>Shortcuts>Add New Shortcut. Then, enter the word or phrase, as well as its shortcut. This is especially handy for passwords; enter the shortcut into the username field, then paste the password into the password field. Bonus: You can create shortcuts for emoji, too

5.Enable one finger Gestures

Unlike most phablets, you can easily use the iPhone with one hand. However, some gestures such as pinch to zoom require the use of two fingers. By turning on Assistive Touch, you can perform these gestures–and create your own–with just one finger.

Open Settings>General>Accessibility and turn on AssistiveTouch. A small floating black box with a white circle will appear. Press this, and a larger box appears with shortcuts for Siri, Device, Home, and Favorites. Select Favorites, then Pinch, to enable one-finger pinch-to-zoom. A blue bar with circles at either end will appear on-screen; you can then use your thumb to pinch-zoom and rotate images.

6.Use the timer to automatically stop playing music

If you want to drift off to sleep listening to your music, but have your iPhone stop playing music after a certain point, you can use the Timer to automatically turn off your tunes.

Swipe up from the bottom, open the Timer, select “When Timer Ends,” then scroll all the way to the bottom and select “Stop Playing.” Then, set the timer to the appropriate length, and start playing your music.

7.Set a better Pass-code

By default, the iPhone’s passcode is a basic 4-digit number. However, you can make it more difficult for would-be thieves by creating an alphanumeric code.

Open Settings>General>Passcode and turn off the setting that says “Simple Passcode.” Next, the a screen will appear asking you to change your passcode, with a full QWERTY keyboard below. The next time you unlock your phone, the keyboard will appear instead of just the number pad

8.Use the LED flash for alerts and notifications

Designed for those who are hard of hearing, using the LED flash on your iPhone is also handy if you simply don’t want to hear your phone ring or buzz every time you get a new message or call.

Go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility, and scroll down to “LED Flash for Alerts” and flip the toggle to the “on” position. It’s almost startling how bright the flash is. However, you’ll have to remember to rest your phone face down.

9. Find what flights are overhead

Airplane buffs can ask Siri “What flights are overhead,” and provided location services are on, Siri will show a list of the planes flying above you, using information from Wolfram Alpha: You get the airline name, flight number, altitude, and angle above the horizon from your position. If you see something in the sky, and Siri doesn’t show anything, congratulations! You just spotted a UFO!