NEW YORK – Despite the fact Apple’s iPhone costs more than most other smartphones, it remains No. 1 in the U.S., with more than 50% of the overall installed user base in the country, according to newly published data from Counterpoint Research, via Financial Times. What’s more, Counterpoint analysts have said this is Apple’s highest-ever share of active smartphone users since the original iPhone in 2007.
Perhaps it’s no surprise, Apple also has the highest brand loyalty out of any major smartphone maker, with 9 in 10 U.S. iPhone users saying they plan to purchase an iPhone as their next device, as reported by 9to5Mac last year.
Even if you’re one of the many happy iPhone owners, chances are you’re not using your beloved device to its fullest. To help you save time – and in some cases, money – the following are 10 “must-use” little-known tips and tricks, shortcuts, and hacks.
Edit, unsend messages
One of the best additions to iOS 16 lets you tweak a message you just sent or retract it altogether. We’ve all had that “uh oh” moment. To try this out, open Messages and type your message as you normally world. Tap to send it. Now press and hold over that sent message and you’ll see options like Edit and Undo Send in the menu that pops up. Tap whichever you want to use at the time.
There’s a catch: the person you’re sending it to must also be running iOS 16 or else they’ll still see the message.
Enable the haptic keyboard
Apple added “haptic feedback” to its keyboard, as part of its iOS 16 operating system update. This is that slight vibration you feel under your fingertips when typing a message, writing an email, or cranking out something in the Notes app. It feels great and confirms every virtual key is pressed.
To enable it, go to Settings > Sound and Haptics > Keyboard feedback. Now toggle on the Haptic option.
iPhone’s secret button
Naturally, you’re aware of iPhone buttons on the sides of the device – or the circular Home button on older models – but there is one more. It’s on the back, where the logo is – but you won’t see it with the naked eye.
Aptly named “Back Tap,” this feature lets you instantly trigger almost anything you might want to on your phone, such as turning on the flashlight (when, say, walking to your car in a dark parking lot), launching the camera, taking a screengrab, muting the iPhone, or launching any app (such as a shortcut to opening TikTok).
To enable Back Tap and to select what action takes place, go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap. Here you can choose what a double-tap and triple-tap do!
Shake to delete
Typing on your iPhone and want to undo what you just wrote? Just shake the darn thing.
Yep, enabled by default, you can quickly fix mistakes by shaking your iPhone side to side – and you’ll see a prompt to confirm you want to undo your action. It’s faster and easier than pressing and holding the backspace key until all your text is deleted.
If you don’t like this “Shake to Undo” feature, you can turn it off by going to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Shake to Undo.
Screenshot an entire webpage
You likely know you can take a screen grab of something on your iPhone by pressing the Power button on the side along with the Volume Up button. You’ll hear that familiar “camera shutter” sound effect, see a white flash on the screen, and a thumbnail of the image will float to the bottom left.
But what if you want to capture a lengthy article or detailed recipe, and it can’t all fit on your iPhone screen?
To save a full page in Safari, simply open the web link, take a screenshot (per the instructions above), and at the top of the screen you will see an option to save the Screen or save the Full Page. Select the Full Page option, followed by Done, and Save PDF to Files.
Later on, open Files to read it.
Correct Siri’s pronunciation
Apple’s voice-controlled personal assistant may be great at giving you information – such as the weather, directions, and sports scores – but sometimes Siri just doesn’t say things right. This is especially true for some names and places, perhaps with origins in other languages, that may be difficult for Siri to pronounce.
If Siri says something wrong, like pronouncing your friend Mica’s name as “me-kah” instead of “mike-ah,” just say “That’s not how you pronounce (Mica)” and then say the mispronounced word.
Turn any book into an audiobook
Now this one is handy. A feature called Speak Screen can read aloud any text on the screen at your command. While designed primarily for the sight impaired, anyone can take advantage of this feature if they want to turn an ebook into an audiobook. Now you can listen while in the car, while closing your eyes on an airplane, or when walking down the street.
To activate it, go to Settings > Accessibility > Spoken Content > Speak Screen.
Then, in any app you have open, swipe down with two fingers from the very top of the iPhone screen to hear the contents of the screen read to you, such as an e-book, email, article, or notes.
You can tweak the voice, including gender and language, speaking speed, and more.
Create custom vibrations, tones
How great would it be to know who’s calling, just by the way the iPhone is buzzing in your pocket? You can.
In the Contacts app, select your person of choice and tap Edit. Select Ringtone and you’ll see a Vibration option. Press that and you’ll see several options – like Heartbeat, Rapid, and Staccato – including a Create New Vibration tool to customize your own buzz.
This way, you can have a different ring for your partner, kids, or friends, and know who’s calling without needing to glance at your phone.
Similarly, you can create custom ringtones for different people.
Use the hidden trackpad
Say you’re composing a message, email, or note, and you need to change something you typed before sending or saving.
With your iPhone, simply press and hold on the keyboard and the cursor will automatically become a mouse-like trackpad. Now keep your finger or thumb on the screen and drag around the cursor to reach the part of the text that you want to tweak, and let go.
Or to highlight text, just press a little harder while continuing to slide your finger. Then let go for the keyboard to return.
If you’re using the calculator but make a mistake by typing in the wrong number, you don’t need to clear the screen and start all over again.
Instead, just swipe your finger to the left or right of the numbers to clear the last digit. You can keep doing this to remove the last digit.
On a related note, simply turn the iPhone sideways when in the Calculator app to access the integrated scientific calculator.
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