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7 expert iPhone tips you'll use time and time again

7 expert iPhone tips you'll use time and time again
© Mikael Damkier | Dreamstime.com

Did you know your iPhone can turn almost anything into a PDF? Magnify fine print? Immediately find the closest gas station while driving?

Even if you tinker with your iPhone all day long, there's almost always a life-changing feature that you never noticed before. As iPhones become more powerful than ever, and the public gets ever more proficient with iOS 10, the Apple Geniuses are still revealing astonishing new tricks.

1. Fast-track your emojis

You're typing out a text message, and you say something like: "I'm at the sushi restaurant." Before you've finished typing "sushi," your phone will guess what you mean, and one of those guesses will be a tiny picture of some delicious-looking sashimi. It's a cute alternative to actual words, like when you decide to "heart" something. With such an enormous bank of emojis, you may find yourself typing messages that look like hieroglyphics.

Psst! Do you know what these commonly-mistaken emojis mean? Take our quiz to find out.

2. Register as an organ donor

Many iPhone users are turning to their "Health" app to make healthier choices about their lifestyles. Check out the Medical ID tab and you'll find a place to register as an organ donor, thanks to Donate Life America.

3. Search for photos

Every photo you snap on your iPhone is saturated with meta-data – special information about the picture, including how large it is, when it was taken, where it was taken, and so on. If you're a trigger-happy photographer, you may find yourself with thousands of photos in only a few weeks. How do you find a specific snapshot from days ago? Now you can run a regular search, and some search terms may astonish you, like what is actually in the picture.

Looking for a picture of your friend's car? Just type "car" into the search field and see what pops up. You'll be amazed how accurate it is.

Note: Here's another photo tip. Did you know you can find your contacts more easily by adding a photo to their contacts list. Click here for step-by-step instructions.

4. Add some bokeh to your photos

Digital photography has evolved very quickly. With the right lenses, an SLR camera can take a shot as rich and textured as almost any film camera, and only aficionados can tell the difference. Well, iPhones are catching up: Using the "Portrait" feature, you can now take a picture that blurs the background, giving the photo a beautiful depth of field.

5. Change flashlight brightness

Like wristwatches and calculators, the flashlight is starting to vanish from people's lives, now that they can use their phones to help stumble through the dark. But sometimes your iPhone's flashlight is just a little bright, or not bright enough. Now you can adjust its intensity with an easy-to-use pop-up screen.

If you didn't even realize your iPhone had a flashlight, just use your thumb to push your screen upward from the bottom. You'll find a bunch of utilities including the clock, calculator and camera. You'll see the flashlight icon in the lower-left corner.

6. Get better sleep

It's amazing how many people stay up past their reasonable bedtimes and end up groggy the next day. After all, with so many channels and websites to surf, is it any wonder 2 a.m. arrives before we realize it? The Bedtime feature is designed to help you get your Zs, giving you a set curfew and then waking you up with delightful ringtones.

7. Operate your smart home

Once you've tried your first smart home device, it's impossible to go back. You can lock your doors and dim the lights with simple voice commands.

To operate everything from the garage door to the thermostat, you can program your phone to become a super-smart universal remote. Just hit the "Home" icon (which is a little yellow house on your main screen) and find "Add Accessory" to connect to your Bluetooth device.

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