(Pocket-lint) – iPhone has long been the device that makes it super simple to get the basics done. Whether that be sending a text, browsing the web, sharing photos or installing games. But if that’s not enough for you and you want to see everything your iPhone has on offer, there’s plenty more that you can plunge into head-first. If you’ve got the iPhone 11, or either the 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max, there’s plenty to discover.
Of course, if you have any of the previous or newer few iPhones and you’re running iOS 14.6 already, many of these features and tips still apply. So get your cup of tea, sit down and dig through some of these tips, and really get to grips with the latest software on your iPhone.
Home screen and display
Rearrange home screen icons: Now that there’s no more pressure sensitive display, some of the long press and force touch actions have changed. There are two ways to rearrange your app icons. Either long press on an app and tap “rearrange apps” in the pop up menu, or just long press and drag the icon before the pop up menu has even appeared.
Enable dark mode: Go to Settings > Display & Brightness and now toggle on the Dark Mode. You can also get it to automatically change based on time or sunrise/sunset.
Get wallpapers to darken with Dark Mode: With a few of the reinstalled wallpapers, you can get the image to darken and change whenever dark mode is enabled. Go to Settings > Wallpaper and make sue the “dark appearance dims wallpaper” toggle is switched on. Then hit “choose new wallpaper” and pick one from “Stills” or “Live” which has the little eclipse icon in the bottom right corner. Now, whenever dark mode is enabled, the wallpaper will also go dark.
Quickly add multiple apps to a folder: This one’s been around for a couple of years, but rather than just individually, slowly dragging one app at a time into a folder, you can bunch them together quickly. Long press an app and drag it on top of another icon, then quickly tap any other apps to form a floating group of apps.
Standard or Zoomed display: Since iPhone 6 Plus you’ve been able to choose between two resolution options. You can change the display setting from Standard or Zoomed. To switch between the two – if you’ve changed your mind after setup – go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Display Zoom and select Standard or Zoomed.
Set the screen brightness: Either bring up Control Centre – by swiping down from the top right corner of the screen – and adjust the display brightness slider, or go to Settings > Display & Brightness.
Enable True Tone display: To get the iPhone’s screen to automatically adjust its colour balance and temperature to match the ambient light in the room, head to Control Centre and long press the screen brightness slider. Now tap the True Tone button. You can also go to Settings > Display and Brightness and toggle the “True Tone” switch.
Text Size and Bold Text: To change the default text size, go to Settings > Display & Brightness, then choose the “Text Size” option before adjusting the slider to change the size. Beneath “Text Size” you’ll also find a toggle for bold text, switch it on if you find the standard fine text too difficult to read.
Night Shift: As well as True Tone, there’s an option called Night Shift that cuts out blue light helping your eyes to relax. Bring up Control Centre, then long press the display brightness slider and select the Night Shift button.
Choose a new wallpaper: As with all new iPhones, Apple has completely revamped its wallpaper offering for the new models. New wallpapers to be had in the Settings > Wallpaper. Here you’ll find a refreshed selection of both Dynamic and Live wallpapers.
Crop and markup screenshots: Take a screenshot, then a small preview screenshot appears in the bottom left corner. Tap it and then use the tools shown to draw, write on, or crop the image.
Dismiss screenshot preview: To get the little screenshot preview off your screen, just swipe it left. Hey presto! It’s gone.
Get to Wi-Fi settings quickly: Long press on the Settings icon to reveal quick links to Battery, Mobile Data, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings. The move makes it really speedy to jump to the wireless settings.
Buttons, gestures and controls
Drag the scroll bar: You might notice that when you’re scrolling through lists or apps, a subtle slim bar appears on the right side. If you long press on it, it’ll get thicker, and then you can drag that up and down to quickly scroll.
Quickly toggle dark mode: Open up Control Centre by dragging it down from the top of the screen, then long press on the screen brightness slider. Here you’ll find a new dark mode toggle alongside the usual True Tone and auto-brightness options.
Quickly view available Wi-Fi networks: In a similar move to the above, you can see what Wi-Fi networks are available by dragging down Control Centre and then long pressing on the Wi-Fi icon.
Switch between apps, fast: If you want to quickly switch between apps, just drag from left to right on the bottom of the screen where the bar normally appears. This will launch the previous app you were in, and you can keep going back by continuing to swipe.
Take a screenshot: If you had an iPhone X or XS before you’ll already know this, but for those moving from older phones you’ll need to learn a new way to snap screenshots. Simply press the power button and the volume up button together quickly and it’ll snap a screenshot of whatever is on the screen.
Go Home: No, not literally, we’re not that rude. Whenever you want to go back to your home screen from an app, just quickly swipe up from the bottom of the screen where you’ll see a slim white bar.
Launch recent apps/multitasking screen: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen and then hold your finger in the middle of the screen for a second or two, and now you’ll see the familiar screen with app thumbnail cards.
Unlock your phone: Presuming you’ve registered your face data with Face ID, you can unlock your phone by simply picking up your phone while looking at it and swiping up from the bottom of the screen.
Launch Siri: While you can use the “Hey Siri” hot word to wake up Apple’s digital assistant, there’s still a way to launch the function using a button press. Press and hold the wake/sleep button on the right side of the phone until the Siri interface pops up on screen.
Switch your phone off: Because long-pressing the wake/sleep button launches Siri now, there’s a new method for switching the phone off. To do so, you need to press and hold the wake/sleep button and the volume down button at the same time. Now slide to power off.
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Launch Apple Pay: Again, the wake/sleep button is the key here. Double click it and it’ll bring up your Apple Wallet, then scan your face and it will ask you to hold your phone close to the payment machine.
Camera and Photos
Quickly capture video: One cool interface in the camera app is the ability to quickly shoot a video within the Photo mode. All you have to do is drag the shutter button towards the camera switcher and it’ll automatically switch to video and start recording once you let go.
Quick burst of photos: In a similar move to the quick video capture, you can drag the shutter towards the camera roll to quickly grab a burst of photos.
Switch between wide, ultra-wide and zoom: To quickly switch between the two or three cameras on the back of your iPhone, just tap the little “1x” icon on the screen. If you’d rather zoom more smoothly, you can just swipe up or down the screen and watch as the zoom scroll-wheel moves.
Take a Slofie: Smartphones have been able to take slow motion videos for some time, but with the iPhone 11, Apple has enabled it from the front facing camera. To take a so-called Slofie, switch to the Slow Mo option in the camera app and just tap the camera switcher icon to switch to the front camera. Press record and you’ll have a slow motion selfie video.
Quick access to settings: When you’re shooting a photo you might want to quickly get to your settings toggles. All you have to do is swipe up above the shutter button and you’ll get a row of options including switching the flash on, changing the aspect ratio, enabling live photos, setting a timer or choosing a live filter.
Shoot a night photo: This one’s easy. When it’s dark enough your phone automatically detects it, and will offer the night mode shot as an option be making a little icon appear that looks a bit like a mini Death Star. (Or a shaded moon, if you want to be boring). Tap on it, and you’ll be shooting a night photo.
Extend night mode exposure: By default, with night mode enabled, the iPhone automatically sets the exposure time (usually to around 3 seconds). If you want to extend it, you can just extend it by dragging down on the timer interface near the shutter button.
Scan a QR code: Swipe down to reveal the Control Centre screen and tap the little QR code icon. You’ll then get a custom QR scanning UI that uses the camera, and has a little flashlight icon to switch the flash on.
Quickly adjust Photos grid: This one is quite neat. In the Photos app, when viewing your grid of photos you can quickly increase the or decrease the number of columns by pinching in or out to view either one, three, five or ten columns of photos.
Scrub through your Photos: In the Photos app, when you tap the “Years” option, you can quickly scrub through the months by swiping left and right across the thumbnail for that year. Or just let it play through the months like a mini gallery.
Enable/disable Smart HDR: One of the iPhone’s camera advancements is Smart HDR which helps boost colours, light and detail in difficult lighting conditions. It’s on by default, but if you want to manually switch it on or off you can head to Settings > Camera and find the Smart HDR toggle switch.
Portrait Lighting effects: To shoot Portrait Mode shots with artificial lighting effects, first go to shoot in Portrait mode. You can do this either by long-pressing the camera icon and choosing the Portrait shortcut, or opening the camera app and selecting the Portrait option in there.
Now you can just tap and hold the bottom of the frame where it says “Natural Lighting”, and scroll through the options.
Edit Portrait Lighting effects after shooting: Open any Portrait shot in Photos and then tap “edit”. After a second or two you’ll see the lighting effect icon at the bottom of the image, tap it and swipe exactly as you did when shooting the image.
Adjust lightning effect brightness: With the new iPhones, you can adjust the strength of the lightning effect after shooting the Portrait shot. Head to Photos and select the photo you want to adjust, then select “edit”. You’ll see a slider at the bottom of the screen. Swipe right to increase the brightness, swipe left to decrease it.
Enable 60fps 4K video recording: Head to Settings > Camera > Record Video and then choose the 4K at 60fps option to shoot at the highest resolution and frame-rate possible on an iPhone.
Shoot 1080p slow-motion at 240fps: Similar to the last one, head to Settings > Camera and then tap “Record Slow-mo” and choose the highest speed option.
Shoot a Live Photo: Open the camera in Photo mode, and tap the icon that looks like three rings, with the outer ring dotted. If it’s yellow, Live Photos is active.
Change Live Photo effects: iOS lets you change from the default Live Photo effect. Go to your Photos app, open a Live Photo and swipe up on it to reveal three new effects: Loop, Bounce and Long Exposure.
Keep the original photo while using Live Photo effects: Once you choose one of the Live Photo effects, it saves it on your phone as a video, not a photo. If you want to keep the original shot as a still photo as well, just hit the share icon and tap “duplicate” and save another copy of the original photo. (You’ll need to do this before you change the Live Photo effect – or just go back to the original Live Photo style and do it then).
How to apply a filter to a Live Photo: You can also apply filters to Live Photos and still keep them as a Live Photo, something you couldn’t do with some older versions of iOS. To apply a filter, do so as you have previously. Go to the photo in question, tap “edit”and select the filter you want.
How to quickly launch different camera modes: Long press the camera app icon and you’ll get the choice to take a Portrait Selfie, Take Portrait, Record Video or Take Selfie.
How to Merge People in Photos app: Photos in iOS has the ability to scan your photos and detect people and places. If you find that the app has picked out the same person, but says they are different people, you can merge the albums together. To do this, go to the Photos app > Albums and select People & Places. Tap on the word “Select” at the top right of the screen and then select the images of the people you want to merge, then tap “merge”.
Remove people in Photos app: Go to Photos App, Albums, and select People & Places. To remove tap on “Select” and then tap on the people you don’t want to see before tapping on “Remove”in the bottom left of your iPhone screen.
How to share a Memories movie: The Apple Photos app automatically creates a mini slideshow for you that can then be shared as a video. Go to the Memory in the “For You” tab that you want to share, tap on the “play” icon on the main picture and then tap on the share icon.
How to change the style of a Memories movie: You can either opt for the default movie style from Apple or change it to fit a handful of different styles. Head To the Memory you want to edit, tap on the “play” icon on the main picture, then tap on the video again when it’s playing. You’ll now see slideshow style options like Dreamy, Sentimental, Gentle, Chill and Happy, among others. You can also choose between Short, Medium or Long.
Editing photos: Find the photo you want and tap “edit”in the top corner. Here you can press on the wand to auto enhance your photo or press on the icon that looks like a volume knob with dots around it. The latter will bring up three new sub menus: Light, Color, B&W with various granular settings within them. If you select Light you can then gesture left or right to make the picture lighter or darker.
Straightening your photos: You can now quickly and easily straighten your photos. To do so, select the cropping tool in Photos > Edit and then move the dial that appears on screen.
Search Photo albums: Go to the Photos app and press on the magnifying glass. Immediate suggestions include narrowing your image results by Nearby, One Year Ago, and Favourites, however you can type in lots of different searches like place names or months.Or a combination of the two.
Ask Siri to fetch a photo for you: Siri can now search your photos based on their information and criteria. Ask her to find a specific photo from 14 July 2015, for instance, and it’ll do just that. Amazeballs.
Upload Photo Bursts: Go to Settings, then tap on your name at the top of the screen. Then go to iCloud > Photos > Upload Burst Photos. Doing this will back up all the photos in the burst rather than just the favourite one.
Favourite photos: If you’ve got photos that you want to mark to show others quickly later, rather than searching or scrolling for them, you can favourite them instead. To do this, simply find the image you want to favourite and press the heart button. To find them quickly when you go into the Photos app, press on the Albums icon at the bottom right, then select the Favourites album.
See where you took a photo: In the Albums section of the app, tap on the”People & Places” section and choose the “Places” album. Here you’ll find all of the locations you’ve taken photos in and which photos were in which part of the world. Zooming gives more specific locations, while tapping “Grid” lists the locations in that particular view.
Create a time-lapse: A setting in the camera app lets you create a time-lapse video with little to no effort. Just swipe sideways in the camera app to reveal the Time-Lapse mode. Once you’ve worked out what you are going to film press the record button. You should really film for at least a few minutes to see the full effect, and shoot on a tripod for best results.
AE/AF Lock: To change the exposure or the focus of your shot, tap anywhere on the screen and it will change instantly. To lock that exposure or focus (great for dramatic panoramas) press and hold on the screen until the square box “locks in”.
Changing exposure on the fly: Once you’ve found your focus point (the big yellow square) in the Camera app press on the small sun icon and swipe up or down to change the exposure setting. Up to make it brighter, down to make it darker.
Easily select multiple photos: In your Photos app, in an album or collection, tap “Select” and swipe your finger across the screen to select many photos at once.
Exit photo preview: When browsing your pictures in the Photos app, you can enlarge a photo in the grid to see it full screen, but now, you can also easily swipe down on preview to toss it away and return to the grid.
Control Centre tips
Add new controls: Like the previous version of iOS, you can add and remove controls from Control Centre. Head to Settings > Control Centre > Customise Controls and then choose which controls you’d like to add.
Reorganise controls: To change the order of those controls you’ve added, tap and hold the three-bar icon on the right of whichever control you’d like to move, then move it up and down the list to wherever you’d like it to be.
Expand controls: Some controls can become full screen, just long press on the control you want to expand and it’ll fill the screen.
Switch on personal hotspot: By default, the connectivity control only has four options in it. If you long press to expand it, you’ll get a full screen control with two more options. Tap on the personal hotspot icon to switch it on.
Activate screen recording: One of the options added in 2018 which you can add to Control Centre is Screen Recording. Make sure you add the control, then open Control Centre and press the icon that looks like a solid white circle inside a thin white ring. From now on it’ll record everything that happens on your screen. Press the control again when you’re done, and it’ll save a video to your Photos app automatically.
Adjust flashlight/torch brightness: You can switch on your camera flash, using it as a torch, by opening Control Centre and tapping on the torch icon. If you want to adjust the brightness, long press the icon, then adjust the full-screen slider that appears.
Quickly switch where audio is played: One cool feature is the ability to change where music is playing. While music is playing, through Apple Music, Spotify, or wherever, long press on the music control or just tap the little icon in the top corner of the music control. This brings up a pop-up showing available devices that you can play through. This could be connected earphones, a Bluetooth speaker, Apple TV, your iPhone or any AirPlay device.
Set a quick timer: Instead of heading to the timer app, you can long press on the timer icon, then slide up or down on the full-screen to set a timer anywhere from one minute to two hours long.
How to access HomeKit devices: Open Control Center and then tap on the little icon that looks like a house.
Lock Screen tips
Open camera from the lock screen: Instead of swipe gestures, Apple has incorporated a camera button in the bottom right corner of the lock screen. Press it, and you’ll go straight to the camera app.
Switch on your torch: Just like the camera, there’s a lock screen button for switching on your torch/LED light. Press it, and you’ve got a torch.
Tap to wake: By default, you can wake up your iPhone 11 or 11 Pro just by tapping on the screen when it’s in standby. It’ll light up and show your lock screen.
Raise your phone to wake: Simply pick up the phone in standby and it will wake up showing you all the notifications you’ve got on the Lock screen. To turn this feature on or off go to Settings > Display & Brightness, then toggle Raise to Wake.
Notification Centre: On your lock screen, as usual, new notifications pop up as standard. However, if you want to quickly get to older ones you’ve read or ignored, swipe up on the middle of the lock screen and it’ll show “Notification Centre”, collating your previous notifications. Be careful not to start from too low down, otherwise you’ll just unlock your phone and go to your home screen.
Clear notifications: With Notification Centre on screen, press the little “x” in the corner and tap the “clear”.
How to access Today View widgets on the lock screen: Another really simple one. Swipe from left to right on your lock screen.
How to add/remove widgets: iOS 10 introduced a Today View page, where you can show widgets from any apps that support it. Since then, it’s remained largely unchanged. To add, remove or reorganise, go to the Today view (swipe left to right on the lock screen or first home screen) and then scroll all the way to the bottom. Tap on the edit button to customise which widgets show and in what order.
Quick Reply: When a notification comes in – depending on whether it’s enabled by the developer – you can reply immediately without having to open the specific app. To do this, pull down the notification to reveal the actions you can take. Or, from the lock screen, you can long press the notification and tap “reply”, then start typing.
Clear individual/grouped notifications from the Lock Screen: You can clear an individual notification or grouped notifications from an app by simply swiping from right to left and then tapping “clear” or “clear all”.
Check your average battery consumption: Head to Settings > Battery and you’ll see two graphs. One shows the battery level, the other shows your screen-on and screen-off activity. There are two tabs. One shows your last 24 hours, the other shows up to two weeks. This way you can see how active your phone life is on average, and breakdowns showing your average screen-on and screen-off times show beneath the graphs.
Enable Low-Power Mode: The Low Power Mode (Settings > Battery) lets you reduce power consumption. The feature disables or reduces background app refresh, auto-downloads, mail fetch, and more (when enabled). You can turn it on at any point, or you are prompted to turn it on at the 20 and 10 per cent notification markers. You can also add a control to Control Centre, and access it quickly by swiping up to access CC and tapping on the battery icon.
Find battery guzzling apps: iOS specifically tells you which apps are using the most juice. Go to Settings > Battery and then scroll down to the section that gives you a detailed look at all your battery-guzzling apps.
Check your battery via the Battery widget: Within the widgets in Today view, there’s a card that lets you see the battery life remaining in your iPhone, Apple Watch and connected headphones. Just swipe from left to right on your home screen to get to your Today view and scroll until you see the “Batteries” widget.
Charge wirelessly: To make use of the iPhone’s wireless charging capabilities, buy a wireless charger. Any Qi charger will work, but to charge more efficiently you need one optimised for Apple’s 7.5W charging.
Messages and Memoji
Create your own Memoji: With iPhone X, Apple launched a fun feature called Animoji. Now, there’s Memoji. This lets you create your own custom Animoji character to look like you (or not like you, whatever you like). Open Messages and start a new message. Tap the little monkey icon, and then hit the “+” button to create your own character. Now you can customise face shape, skin tone, hair colour, eyes, jewellery and much more.
Memoji stickers: You can now send your Memoji as static emoji stickers. Access them by tapping the emoji button on the keyboard, and then choosing from the reactions available. To see more of them, tap the three dots (…) button, here you can choose from the available animoji and memoji as well as create a custom facial expression.
Use your Memoji/Animoji in a FaceTime call: Start a FaceTime call, then press the little star icon in the bottom corner. Now tap the Memoji you want to use.
Memoji your selfies: So, if you decide your Memoji face is better than your real life face, you can send selfies with the Memoji replacing your own head in Messages. Start a new message and tap the camera icon, and then press that star button. Now choose the Animoji option, by tapping that monkey’s head again. Select your Memoji and tap the ‘x’ and make sure you have the front facing camera active.
How to add effects to iMessages: iOS 10 added the ability to add full screen and bubble effects to iMessages. To access these effects, press and hold the send icon after you’ve written a message. Here you can switch between Bubble and Screen effects to apply them to your message.
How to mute specific conversations: In your main Messages inbox, swipe left on any conversation you want to hide notifications from then tap “hide alerts”. It’s really useful if you’re part of a particularly persistent and chatty group message.
Send a picture to someone: To the left of the text input field in Messages you’ll see a small camera icon.Tap it and it’ll immediately launch the full screen camera app. To access photos from your gallery, tap the photo gallery icon in the top left corner.
How to Markup a picture in Messages: You can Markup or quickly edit photos before sending them in iOS. To do so, choose a photo and add it to your message. Before you send, tap on the photo and you’ll get the choice to Markup (i.e. draw on it) or edit it.
Draw and send someone a picture: In Messages you can also send people drawn pictures like Apple Watch users can. Tap the little App Store icon to the left of the message input field. You’ll now see a small heart logo with two fingers on it above the keyboard; tap it and then start drawing. To make the black canvas bigger drag the small grey bar above the drawing area upwards until it fills the screen.
How to draw on a video you want to send someone in a message: Follow the instructions above, but instead of drawing on the canvas straight away press the video camera icon. You can then record a message and draw on it at the same time.
How to send someone a kiss: In Messages you can not only send someone a drawing or a video, but also a series of shapes or patterns, including a kiss on the screen. To send a kiss, go to the black canvas (see above) long-press with two fingers where you want the heart to appear. To break the heart, swipe downwards while long-pressing without lifting your fingers from the screen.
How to access apps in iMessage: In any Messages conversation you’ll see all of your iMessage apps in a toolbar along the bottom of the screen. Swipe left or right to find the app you’re looking for. If you’re typing, you’ll see them in a toolbar along the top of your keyboard.
How to react to a message: Double tap on any individual message you receive, and you’ll reveal a selection of icons including a heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, Ha Ha, !!, and ?. Pressing one will add it to the message for the other person on iOS to see. Pressing it again will remove the reaction.
How to share your location: You can quickly share your location within a message by heading to any conversation or message thread. Tap the tiny arrow at the top near your contact’s name, then hit the “i” and select”share my location” or “send my current location”.
How to turn on Send Read Receipts: iOS gives you the option to manage Send Read Receipts individually, based on a specific conversation. Within the same menu as the location sharing, toggle the “Send Read Receipts” option.
What time?: View what time a message was sent by dragging from right to left on the conversation screen.
Quick Voice message: If you press on the small mic button on the right of the text box you can start recording a verbal message. Lift your finger to stop and reveal a playback button. Once happy, tap the arrow to send it or – if you decide not to send it – tap the x button to cancel.
See attachments: Go into a message thread/conversation then tap the little triangle at the top near your contact’s name, then press “i”. At the bottom of the screen and you’ll see any attachments/images you’ve shared with that contact.
Delete messages: As before, swipe from right to left in the Messages hub and then tap the “delete” option.
Delete older messages automatically: Settings > Messages and then scroll down to “Message history”. Here you can Opt to keep Messages forever, 1 year, or 30 days.
Automatically delete audio or video messages: By default, Apple sets it so that once you’ve sent an audio message it deletes from your iPhone or iPad after two minutes. If you want to keep the message go to Settings > Messages and scroll down to Audio Messages or Video Messages sections and toggle the “Expire” setting.
Raise to listen to audio messages: It’s on by default, but you can turn off the ability to listen and reply to incoming audio messages by raising your phone. To turn it off go to Settings > Messages and toggle Raise to Listen.
Blue vs green: Blue bubbles are for iMessages, green are for regular old-fashioned SMS messages.
Send iMessage as SMS: If you are having trouble sending your iMessages (over data) you can opt to have iOS 13 revert to sending the message as a SMS instead. Go to Settings > Messages and toggle the “Send as SMS” switch.
Swipe to type: One features is the ability to type on the keyboard by just swiping across the letters. Start off on the first letter of the word, and just swipe through the others in order to type quickly. When you need a double letter in the middle of the word, just hold that letter for a short while before continuing through the swiping motion.
Go one-handed: QuickType keyboard lets you type one-handed, which is great on the bigger devices like the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Press and hold the globe icon and select either the left or right sided keyboard. It shrinks the keyboard and moves it to one side of the display. Go back to full size by tapping the little arrow.
Use your keyboard as a trackpad: Now that 3D Touch is officially dead, you can no longer use the trackpad feature by pressing hard on the keyboard. Instead, now you need to long-press on the space bar, and it’ll launch the same function, now swipe around the keypad to move the cursor around.
Picking your Emoji colour: For the past few years, Emoji have had the option to change skin tone. To access them, go to the emoji keyboard by tapping the globe icon, then long press on the emoji you want to use. If it has alternative skin colour options they will show.
Adding third party keyboards: Install the app (SwiftKey or Gboard are good examples) and follow the instructions in the app. At some point it will ask you to go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards and add the third-party keyboard.
Accessing additional keyboards beyond Emoji: If you have more multiple keyboards installed, long-press the globe icon on the keyboard and you’ll get a pop-up list showing you the options you can use. Tapping the globe icon lets you switch quickly to the next keyboard.
Disable keyboard capitalisation: Until iOS 9, whether you touched the shift key or not, all the letters on the keyboard were capitalised. Now, the keyboard shows the letters in lower case when the shift is off. But if you don’t want this, you can disable it by going to Settings > Accessibility > Keyboard and toggling off the “Show Lowercase Keys” option.
Disable keyboard animations: Apple’s keyboard has a pop-up character animation that serves as feedback when you tap the keys. You can shut it off (Settings > General > Keyboard > Character Preview).
Text replacement shortcuts: As in all previous years, one of iOS’ most useful keyboard solutions is creating short-codes that turn into full words or phrases. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement. We find it useful to have one for an address that fills in automatically whenever we misspell “address”, adding an extra “s” at the end.
Notifications and restrictions
Expand your notification clusters: By default iOS clusters multiple notifications from the same app in a little virtual pile on your lock screen. To expand them and see all of the individual notifications in a list, just tap on the pile.
Deliver notifications quietly: One interesting new notification management tool lets you send notifications from specific apps to Notification Centre without alerting you with a sound, app badge or lighting up your lock screen. If you want to use this feature, swipe left on a notification (or group of notifications from a specific app) and hit the “manage” option. Now choose “Deliver Quietly”.
Turn off notifications from an app: Same method as the “Deliver Quietly” feature, except you tap the “Turn off…” option.
Schedule Downtime: Head to Settings > Screentime and choose the Downtime option. Toggle the switch to the “on” position and choose to schedule a time when only specific apps and phone calls are allowed.
Set app limits: Next in the Screentime menu is App Limits. Choose this option and press “add limit” before choosing which category of apps you want to add a time limit to. Select the category and then “add” before choosing a time limit and hitting “set”.
Choose “always allowed” apps: By default, iOS organises apps into various categories which is both very convenient and inconvenient. For instance, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger are lumped in with social networking apps. So if they’re your primary communication apps, you’ll want to make sure there’s no limit on them.
In the main Screentime settings menu, tap “Always Allowed” and manually select the apps you want to ensure aren’t impacted by the time limits you’ve set.
Content & Privacy restrictions: This section is also within the main Screentime settings menu and particularly useful if you’re a parent with kids who use iOS devices. Using it you can restrict all manner of content and options, including iTunes and in-app purchases, location services, advertising and so on. It’s worth taking a look at.
Limit content access: As part of the content/privacy restrictions, choose the “Content restrictions” option and here you can limit inappropriate content access including TV shows, websites, books, audio and more.
Quickly create a checklist: Long press on the Notes app icon and choose “New Checklist” and then start creating your checklist immediately.
How to share and collaborate on notes: There’s a new share icon within Notes that looks like the silhouette of a person and a “+” icon next to it. Tap it, and you can add contacts who can view or make changes in real time.
Turning on passwords in Notes: To password protect individual notes go to Settings > Notes > Password. Here you can set a default password for all your notes, and you can enable Face ID too.
Lock a note: Open Notes, then long press on one of the notes in your list. Tap “Lock Note” in the drop down menu. Now type in your password, and it’ll be locked. You can also do it by opening a note, then pressing the share icon and then the “Lock Note” icon. That merely adds the lock icon to the Note. Complicated we know.
Now tap on the icon to lock the Note. Next time you access it you will need the password. Be warned if you are trying to access it on a iOS device you’ve not updated to 9.3 or later you won’t be able to access it on that device.
Handwritten Notes: Open the Notes app, then tap the new note icon in the bottom right, and select the pen tool above the keyboard. Now scribble away until your heart’s content.
Save attachments to Notes: The system-wide Share button has added support for Notes. So, when in Safari, for instance, tap the Share button to save attachments, such as a link or document, to a new or existing note. There’s also an Attachments browser in Notes that organises attachments in a single view (tap the grid icon in the lower-left corner).
How to check unread emails in Mail: Go to any of your inboxes in the Mail app and tap the small circle icon with three bars in it decreasing in size. Now it will show you only your unread messages.
How to reply to a specific email in a threaded message: There’s a threaded Mail feature in iOS Mail that allows you to reply to messages within the thread rather than just the latest one. Go to a conversation thread and then swipe left on an individual message to reveal a reply button, a flag button and a delete button.
How to have multiple emails on the go at once: You can now have multiple emails on the go at once, handy if you are in the middle of replying to someone and then have to send a quick email in between.
On an open email that is being composed drag down from the subject line to dock the email. You can keep doing this. When you want to access one of those emails, or see what you’ve got open, drag the one on top down further and you’ll get a view of all of the emails you are working on. To close them, swipe to the right.
Mark as Read: In your inbox swipe from left to right to reveal a “Read” icon. If it’s a conversation you will have to do this for as any time as there are unread messages.
More, Flag, Trash: Swiping from right to left reveals quick actions to let you do a number of things. “More” brings up a secondary menu to let you reply, forward, flag, mark as unread, move to junk, or notify you of future messages in this conversation while Flag and Trash let you do just that.
Quick delete/archive: Swipe left on any email in your inbox, and continue swiping until you’ve made it the whole way across the screen.
Changing the swipe options: You can also change what happens when you swipe left or right in Settings. Go Settings > Mail > Swipe Options and then set your Swipe Left command and your Swipe Right command. Options are limited, but it is something.
Reply notifications: If you are waiting for a specific response from an email and don’t want to have to keep checking your phone every two minutes, you can opt for your device to notify you. Swipe from right to left, then tap “More” and select “Notify me” from the list.
Build out your contacts book: When you get a mail from someone and they’ve got a signature, Apple now reads that information and asks you whether you want to add it to a contact. If you don’t want to, you can choose to ignore, but if you do, press on the Add to Contacts button at the top of the screen.
Search: Drag down in your inbox to reveal a search box. You can now search your entire inbox for a keyword rather than just To, From, Subject. You can also limit your search to All mailboxes or the current mailbox you are in. Furthermore, you can also limit it to conversation threads.
Mark all as read: You can now mark all as read in Mail. Yay. In a mailbox, or the combined inbox, you just tap “Edit” at the upper right, then tap “Select All” at the top left. Then choose “Mark” in the bottom corner and choose “Mark as read” from the pop-up menu and all your messages should be marked as read.
Use Mail Drop on iOS: Mail Drop was introduced in Mac OS X to let you easily send large email attachments via iCloud. That same feature is available in the iOS Mail app, letting you attach a large file (5GB to 20GB). When you attach the file, you’ll see a popup window with the option to use Mail Drop. Simples.
3D buildings in Maps: Apple has added new 3D buildings within its Street View alternative in Maps, but it’s limited to specific cities and locations. Head to San Francisco or New York in the Maps app and tap the new binoculars icon in the app to see a Street View-like view.
How to set preferred transport type in Apple Maps: If you find you only ever use Apple Maps when walking you can set the preferred transport type to be just that. To change it between Driving, Walking, and Public Transport go to Settings > Maps and pick the one you want.
Us ARKit in FlyOver: A few years ago, Apple developed its own Maps app, complete with Flyover; virtual 3D versions of major cities. Now you can look around 3D cities just by moving your iPhone. Search for a major city – like London or New York – then tap the “FlyOver” option. Then all you need to do is move your device and look around the city.
Use indoor maps: For the first time in Apple Maps, iOS 11 enabled indoor mapping to find your way around major malls. It’s slowly grown since then, and you can try it in in a whole host of popular international airports. To use indoor maps, just search for a supported location and pinch-to-zoom in until the outdoor areas go dark grey. Now you can see inside the building.
Move between building levels on indoor maps: Once you’re inside a building map, you’ll see a number in the right side of the screen. Tap it, and then choose a floor level.
Apple Music tips
How to hide Apple Music: You have been able to completely hide Apple’s Apple Music since iOS 12. To do so, go to Settings > Music and then toggle off “Show Apple Music”. Now when you go to the app you will only see your music, rather than the music available on the service.
How to access your entire music library: To see all the songs, albums, and playlists that you added from the Apple Music catalogue, as well as any music that you bought from iTunes, including CDs that you ripped, simply tap the Library tab from the app’s menu bar along the bottom.
How to edit your Library categories: To clean up your library and specify which categories you’d like to see at a glance, such as genres, artists, or song, tap the Edit button in the top right of the Library screen, and then toggle on/off your preferences.
How to find your downloaded music: If you only want to see the music that’s physically on your device, tap the Library tab from the app’s menu bar along the bottom, and then tap Downloaded Music.
How to create a new playlist: Going on a road trip and want to make a playlist? Easy. Tap the Library tab from the app’s menu bar along the bottom, then tap Playlists, and select New Playlist. From there, you can add a playlist name, description, music, and toggle on/off whether you want the playlist public.
How to find Apple’s curated playlists: The “Listen Now” tab found in the menu bar along the bottom is a place where you can go to in order to find music suggestions hand-selected by the Apple Music team. Suggestions include a curated favorite mix, daily playlists, artist spotlights, and new releases, all of which target you and are tailored to your music preferences.
How to search in Apple Music: Tap the Search icon in the menu bar along the bottom in order to access a dedicated search field, where you can manually type-in artists’ names, album titles, etc. You can even search using lyrics from the song if you’ve forgotten the name of the song or the artist.
How to find top music charts: Go to the Browse tab in the menu bar along the bottom, and then tap “Top Charts” to see a regularly updated list of the most popular songs on Apple Music.
How to find top music charts by genre: By default, the Top Charts section in the Browse tab shows you all genres. But you can choose a specific genre, such as Blues, by scrolling down until you see a “More to Explore” section.
How to find videos: Apple Music isn’t just about music. It’s also about music videos and other video content. Go to the Browse tab in the menu bar along the bottom, and scroll down until you see Apple Music TV.
How to share an album: Want to share an album via Twitter, Facebook, or wherever? Tap on any album, and then select the button with the (…) three dots at the top. From there, tap Share Album and select how you’d like to share it.
How to add an album to your Play Next queue: Apple Music can queue up albums you want to listen to while on the go. Just add it to your Play Next list. Tap on any album, and then select the button with the (…) three dots at the top. From there, tap “Play Next”.
How to add an album to a playlist: You can add an entire album to a new or old playlist. Just tap on the album, and then select the button with the (…) three dots at the top. From there, tap “Add to a Playlist”, and then select which playlist (old or new) you want to add it to.
How to download an album to your Library for offline listening: Tap on the album, and then select the button with the (…) three dots at the top. From there, tap Add to a Library. You will then be brought back to the album screen. Now just tap the icon that looks like a cloud with a downward pointing arrow.
How to love/dislike an album: You can tell Apple Music if you love or dislike an album so that it can better tailor music suggestions to you. Tap on any album, and then select the button with the (…) three dots. From there, tap Love or Dislike, depending on your preference.
How to create a station from a song: Tap on any song, and then from the music controls menu (tap it along the bottom to make it expand into a full screen card) select the button with the (…) three dots in the lower corner. From there, tap Create Station. This will create a radio station based on that specific song.
How to share a song: Want to share an album via Twitter, Facebook, or wherever? Tap on any song, and then from the music controls menu (tap it along the bottom to make it expand into a full screen card) select the button with the (…) three dots in the lower corner. From there, tap Share Album, and then click how you’d like to share.
How to add a song to your Play Next queue: Apple Music can queue up songs you want to listen to while on the go. Just add it to your Play Next list. Tap on any song, and then from the music controls menu (tap it along the bottom to make it expand into a full screen card) select the button with the (…) three dots in the lower corner. From there, tap “Play Next”.
How to add a song to a playlist: Tap on any song, and then from the music controls menu (tap it along the bottom to make it expand into a full screen card) select the button with the (…) three dots in the lower corner. From there, tap Add to a Playlist, and then select which playlist (old or new).
How to download a song to your Library for offline listening: Tap on any song, and then add them to your library by tapping the little “+” icon, then hit the cloud download icon.
How to see lyrics for a song: Can’t tell what the artist in a song is saying? Check out the lyrics in Apple Music. Tap on any song, and then from the music controls menu (tap it along the bottom to make it expand into a full screen card) select the button that looks like a speech bubble with quotation marks inside it.
Share an artist: Like songs and albums, you can share an artist with a friend via social networks and messaging apps. Just tap on any artist’s page (search for an artist, then click his or her name to access the page, etc.), then tap the button with the (…) three dots next to their name, and select Share Artist. From there, pick how you’d like to share.
Stop websites tracking you: Go to Settings > Safari and then toggle the “Prevent cross-site tracking” switch to the on position.
Access saved passwords: Thanks to iCloud, Safari has the ability to store your password across all your devices. Go to Settings > Passwords & Accounts > Website & App Passwords then log in using your Face ID scanner. Here you can see all the passwords that are saved, and manage them.
Find on Page in Safari: To Find text in a Safari page, hit the Share button on a page to see a Find on Page option (it surfaces a pop-up over the keyboard).
Disable frequently-visited sites in Safari: Safari displays icons of your most visited websites every time you open a new page. It lets you delete individual ones by tapping and holding on them, but now you can turn them off entirely by going to Settings > Safari. From there, turn off Frequently Visited Sites.
DuckDuckGo: If you want to set DuckDuckGo as your default search engine over Google, Yahoo, or Bing, go to Settings > Safari > Search Engine and select the private friendly search engine as the default.
Auto suggesting websites: Like Safari on the desktop you can have the iPhone or iPad Safari recommend suggested search results as you type. It’s on as default but if you don’t want it, go to Settings > Safari > Search Engine Suggestions and toggle the feature off.
Auto suggesting apps: Likewise as you type in popular app names into the Safari search URL box, Apple will try and match that with apps you either have or might want. It’s on as default, but if you want to turn if off go to Settings > Safari > Safari Suggestions.
Making websites load faster or saving your data: Safari preloads the first hit of the search result to make loading your choice seem quicker. The downside is that this could use up data. If you want to turn it off go to Settings > Safari > Preload Top Hit and turn it off.
Scan your credit card: Rather than having to type all your details you can now use the camera to scan your credit card. When it comes to entering the credit card details either press to auto fill if you are already using that feature with Keychain, or press it and then select Use Camera on the next menu you get.
Swipe forwards and backwards: Swiping from off the screen on to the screen from the left of the screen goes back through your browsing history while swiping from the right of Safari goes forward through your browsing history.
Find your devices (and friends): Find my Friends has gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find them anymore. Apple just moved all the location tracking services in to one Find My app. Just open it up and you’ll see a tab for contacts and another for devices. It’s simple.
Turn on iCloud Drive: Go to Settings, tap on your name/ID at the top then go to iCloud > iCloud Drive. Toggle it on or off.
Manage your Storage: Settings, then your name/ID > iCloud > Manage Storage. From here you can see how much storage you have, how much you have left, and choose to buy more.
Family Sharing: Rather than have your iTunes account on all your family’s iPhones and iPads you can now set up Family Sharing for up to 5 people. Go to Settings then tap your name/ID at the top and choose the “Family Sharing” option.
Secure iCloud Keychain Access: Go to Settings, then your name/ID at the top > iCloud > Keychain, and toggle it on or off.
Access iCloud Drive files: iOS 11 introduced Files app in 2017. Find it, then tap “Browse” tab and you’ll see all of the files and folders in your account.
Apple Pay tips
How to allow Apple Pay Payments on Mac: You can use Apple Pay on your iPhone to confirm payments on a nearby Mac. To ensure this is turned on go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay and turn on “Allow Payments on Mac”.
How to change the default Apple Pay card: Go to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay and select the Default Card you want. If you only have one card it will automatically be the default card.
Have you found any tips we’ve missed? Share them in the comments below.
Writing by Cam Bunton.