Unlocking the Full Potential of Your iPhone: Hidden iOS Tips and Tricks
iOS is brimming with features, making it impossible for a single review or article to cover them all comprehensively. Therefore, we’ve curated a selection of our favorite tips, tricks, and hidden gems within iOS and the iPhone, all designed to enhance your productivity and set you on the path to becoming an iPhone virtuoso.
Adjust Your Keyboard Position
When typing with just one thumb, the default iOS keyboard provides an option to shift it left or right. Simply press and hold your finger on the globe or emoji icon located at the bottom of the keyboard (if you have three or more keyboards installed, it will display the globe). In the pop-up menu, you’ll find the choice to switch to a left or right keyboard. To return to full screen, tap the arrow opposite your preference. (Note: This function is only available in Portrait Mode).
Use the Space Bar as a Trackpad
While typing, if you need to move the cursor up to edit a section of your text, you can do so without tapping the screen. Keep your thumbs on the virtual keyboard by pressing and holding the spacebar. The keys will momentarily disappear, allowing you to move the cursor by dragging your thumb tip. Release the cursor where you want it and proceed with editing or typing.
Create Text Replacements
Do you frequently type the same phrases like “On the way home” or “Love you more than the sun and moon!”? Head to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement. Tap the plus (+) icon at the top to enter a phrase and assign a shortcut. Now, whenever you type the shortcut (e.g., “otw”), the full phrase (e.g., “I’m on the way home, leave me alone!”) will automatically appear in the keyboard’s text preview. You can even use this feature to enter a letter combination that triggers a specific series of emojis
Swipe Type with QuickPath
Since iOS 13, swipe typing, known as QuickPath, is a part of the default iOS keyboard, allowing you to input words by swiping your finger or thumb across the keys without lifting it.
Capture Lengthy Web Pages in Screenshots
When taking a screenshot on your iPhone, a thumbnail appears at the bottom-left corner for annotation. Tap it to view the screenshot in full screen. If you captured the screenshot while using the Safari browser, and the web page extends beyond the screen, look for a “Full page” tab at the top. Tap it, and a slider on the right will display the entire page, even if you didn’t scroll through it initially. You can crop the screenshot to your desired area, save it as a PDF, copy it, or delete it.
Sign Documents Digitally
For those without scanners or printers, Apple offers a straightforward method for digitally signing documents. Capture a screenshot of the document, then tap the thumbnail. On the lower-right corner, click the Plus sign. Among the options, you’ll find “Signature.” Sign directly on the screen or use a saved signature. Once done, drag it onto the document in the screenshot, adjust its size, and save it for sharing.
Extract Text from Photos and Videos with Live Text
Live Text is iOS’s remarkable ability to extract editable text from photos and even videos. Simply view the image or pause the video, and tap the small Live Text icon. It will highlight all the text that you can copy (tap and hold to copy it). Depending on what the phone detects, you may see action buttons, such as the ability to translate foreign languages on the spot. If it recognizes a phone number, you can call it; if it identifies a URL, it will take you to the website. By turning the phone, you can access a three-dot ellipsis menu with additional options, such as viewing the text in an editable window.
Customize Safari Settings per Website
Not all websites look optimal with the default settings. You can create site-specific settings, such as adjusting the font size or forcing the desktop version. Simply click the AA font icon in the address bar while visiting a site. You can modify the font size and access “Website Settings” to specify preferences, such as always displaying the desktop version, activating Safari Reader mode (which simplifies page readability by removing extraneous elements), or disabling content and ad blockers for that specific site.
Control Microphone Usage in Screen Recordings
To record your screen on iPhone and iPad, go to Settings > Control Center and ensure that “Screen Recording” is included in the control options (if not, tap the green Plus button to add it). A screen recording button will then appear in the Control Center. When recording, you may notice that audio is also being recorded, allowing you to add a voiceover. If you plan to include voice later or do not require a voiceover, long-press the recording button in Control Center. You can choose either “Microphone On” or “Microphone Off” based on your preference.
Share Your Screen with Various Apps
Holding down the Screen Recording button in Control Center offers another option: you can select an app to save your recording into (e.g., Photos) or directly broadcast your screen. Supported apps for broadcasting include messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype, as well as sharing platforms like TikTok and Twitch.
Enhance Audio Recording
In the Voice Memos app, you can improve audio quality by enabling “Enhance Recording” to reduce background noise. Make a recording, access the equalizer menu, and under “Options,” activate “Enhance Recording” to
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