Open sesame! It sure would be nice if you could just shout a simple passphrase at your phone and unlock all its secrets. It might not be quite that simple, but we’ve got some cool iPhone features to show you that you may not know about.
There’s a lot going on in Apple’s mobile operating system, and it’s hard to know about every little trick. Sometimes they’re not obvious. Sometimes they’re overlooked.
Check out these seven cool hidden features that will make your iPhone experience even better. They’re all present in iOS 12, but you may also find them in earlier operating systems. It’s a good idea to update to the latest version of iOS 12 if your phone is compatible. A lot of these features also work for iPads, so feel free to experiment with your tablet as well!
1. Scroll back to the top
You’re in Safari and you’re way, way down a web page, but now you want to get back to the top. You don’t have to wear your fingertip out scrolling back up. Just double-tap in the bar at the top of the page, without double tapping the URL.
This tip works for other apps as well; just try a single or double tap at the top to get back to where you started. You may have to play around a little bit to find the sweet spot.
2. Use the hidden touchpad
There’s a secret touchpad hiding out in your keyboard. Depending on your phone or tablet, there are a couple of ways to access it. On many newer iPhones, you just need to press down on any key and you will see the keyboard become blank. Now, you can move your finger around and the cursor will move with you.
On some iPhones and iPads, you will need to hold down on the space bar to access this mode. It’s a great way to move around in a document, or just simply place your cursor somewhere specific in an email, text or note.
3. Put a thesaurus at your fingertips
Do you write a lot on your iPhone or iPad? You’ll never be at a loss for the right word again when you enable Apple’s thesaurus option.
Open Settings, tap on General and then Dictionary. Tap on British English Oxford Thesaurus of English. To try this out, head into Notes and type the word “cat.” Double-tap on the word and choose Look Up. Now you will see a list of synonyms along with the usual dictionary definitions.
4. Delete the last digit in Calculator
You don’t have to start over if you accidentally tap in the wrong number in Apple’s iPhone Calculator app. Just swipe left on the Calculator display to delete the last digit. And don’t forget that you can access more advanced mathematical functions just by turning your phone to landscape orientation.
Sorry, iPad users, you’re out of luck. Apple doesn’t include the Calculator app with its tablet, so you might want to download one from the App Store.
5. Customize the Control Center
Your Control Center probably looks pretty standard with basic controls for Wi-Fi, Airplane mode and other features at your fingertips. But you can get even more out of it by customizing what’s included.
Head into Settings, tap on Control Center and then Customize Controls. Here, you can remove options or add more, like Screen Recording or Voice Memos. This puts you in control of your Control Center.
6. Block ads in games
This little trick works for some game apps: You can block the game from serving up ads from the web by putting your iPhone into Airplane mode. Keep in mind that if you like a game and want to support the developer, then look for a paid upgrade option that removes ads. If you’re trying out a game or find the ads are too intrusive, then give this Airplane mode trick a shot.
7. Customize vibrations
You can go all Beach Boys on your iPhone and create some good vibrations that you customize yourself. Head into Settings and tap on Sounds. Tap on Vibration and then Create New Vibration. On this screen, tap to create your new pattern and then hit Stop. You can play it back to see if it’s what you want. Save it and name it to use it as a new vibration option for your iPhone.
Have fun trying out these hidden iOS features. The touchpad will feel like a game-changer, but even the little tricks will make your time on your iPhone easier and more convenient for you.