Just when you thought you knew everything your smartphone was capable of, FEMAIL has rounded up the most useful tricks you can do on your iPhone, opening up a world of possibility that goes far beyond the more obvious uses.
Indeed, even the most tech-savvy of people may have missed the hidden SOS signal, or that fact that you can solve a series of complex math equations without ever opening the calculator.
Plus, there are so many apps that you use everyday that have more than one duty – from the compass serving as a spirit level to hidden tricks on your Safari browser.
Here, FEMAIL reveals the most useful hacks you can use on your iPhone today…
1. Emergency SOS signal
SOS: FEMAIL has put together a list of the most useful secret iPhone hacks, such as clicking on the lock button five times quickly in order to generate an emergency SOS signal
If you’re ever in an emergency or an unsafe situation and don’t want to take your phone out to make a call, or if you find yourself physically unable to do so – you’re in luck.
Unbeknownst to many, there is actually a way to discreetly make a call with just one button.
All you have to do is quickly click the iPhone’s lock button (which is located on the top right side) five times in order to get the option of sending out an emergency SOS signal.
The screen that appears allows you to easily call the police through the SOS line or get medical attention fast, simply by swiping a finger across the phone.
2. Spotlight math
Math: Quickly complete math problems in the Spotlight drop-down for easy answers
Want to do a quick math problem instead of counting on your fingers in public? No problem.
There is no need to ever open the Calculator app again when you’re trying to compute simple math problems quickly.
Simply swipe down on your screen to open Spotlight and type in the math problem right there.
It makes it so much easier to quickly divide up the check at a restaurant, add a tip, or find out how much something is on sale for if you’re in a store.
Reach: Double touch (not tap) the home button to make the screen shorten and make it easier to reach with a single finger
This is one trick that many people probably know exists but aren’t aware of the function.
Usually the reachability feature happens by accident. If you double touch, (not tap), the home button twice, it brings the entire screen down.
So, by bringing the screen down, it allows your fingers can touch maneuver the phone without reaching.
It’s the perfect feature if you’re on the move with a ton of stuff in your hands and don’t have a lot of mobility.
4. Check that a surface is level
Level: The Compass app can be turned into a spirit level by swiping left when the Compass app is open
There is a secret purpose to the Compass app. Never really understanding the purpose of the Compass app other than for show, there’s actually a hidden second feature to the app that is seriously useful and mind-blowing.
It turns out, when the Compass app is open, simply swipe left and your iPhone turns into a handy-dandy spirit level.
A spirit level is the instrument used to test if a surface is at a horizontal or vertical level. The feature can be used two ways – either when the phone is laid down flat or perched on its side.
5. Hit backspace in Calculator
Backspace: By swiping left or right at the top of the Calculator screen you can easily delete a single digit at a time
When using the Calculator app, it can get frustrating to mistype digits because once you’ve typed a number, in order to delete it you have to clear all progress.
Fortunately there is a way to delete a single digit without having to hit clear (the C button) each time and start anew.
You never have to clear progress again because you can simply swipe to the left or right at the top of the screen where the digits are being displayed and it will delete the last single digit that was typed in.
This simple swiping motion acts as a backspace or delete button.
6. Filling out the Medical ID section
Medical ID: Found in the Health app, the Medical ID section can be used as a way to find your iPhone if lost and save your life
Whether you’re in a serious situation, a medical emergency, or need assistance, the Medical ID section in the iPhone Health app is key.
Whatever information and details are plugged in here will appear on the lock screen of the phone in the case of someone dialing the person’s Emergency link.
It’s also a smart idea to plug in any allergies one may have, as it’s always better to be safe than sorry and can be a great help in certain scenarios.
As an added plus, the app can also be used in place of the Find my iPhone app to retrieve your iPhone if it’s been stolen or is lost.
The contact information filled out for next of kin may come in handy if someone finds the phone and wants to return it to the rightful owner.
7. Save time sending emails and searching on a browser
Shortcut: Never waste any time sending an email or searching in a browser because there are shortcuts on the keyboard for URLs and email addresses
The struggle of switching back and forth from different keyboards, whether its from 123 to ABC, typing in an email address that has a combination of both letters and numbers, or typing in a website with a .com or .org – never waste time again.
Simply hold down the period icon, (‘.’) , in the bottom left corner when sending an email to someone, so that a list of short-cuts appear.
These options will pop up on the screen: .us .org .edu .net .com – from there, tap on whichever ending is needed and it will automatically add it to the end of the email address.
Same goes for websites. While typing out an address in a browser, hold down the ‘.’ to bring up different URL suffixes such as .net .uk .com and other easy short-cuts.
8. Lock your cameras focal point
Locked: When taking a photo with the Camera app, a focal point can be locked and doesn’t disappear when the phone is moved
Many people know that by tapping the screen when taking a photo on the iPhone, the camera automatically focuses on whatever focus was tapped on.
The only issue with this feature is that a variety of different aspects such as lighting or a shaky hand can make the yellow focus box disappear.
Never worry about that again because instead of just tapping the screen quickly, hold down for two seconds until an ‘AF Locked’ pop-up box appears on the screen.
That means that the focal point is locked in and you can move the phone any which way you want and it will not lose focus – brilliant.
9. Set your music on a timer
Sleep timer: Never wake up to loud music in the middle of the night again because the timer app allows music to stop playing at a certain time
This is not just a hack, it is a life-changing revelation. Who knew that a timer could be set on the iPhone to stop playing music whenever instructed? Think of this as a sleep timer set on the TV, but with music.
If you’re the type of person that enjoys listening to soothing music before bed or perhaps some delta waves, you know the troubles of falling asleep only to be woken up by bizarre music.
This feature is especially handy when it comes to many popular music streaming sites who automatically play ‘recommended songs’ or ‘you may also like’ without asking for permission, making it hard to sleep when being woken up at 4 a.m to loud techno.
All you have to do is open the Clock app, scroll all the way to the bottom right where it says Timer, then click on the ‘When Time Ends’ tag. From there, scroll all the way down to the bottom where it says ‘Stop Playing,’ click that tab and hit the Set button in the top right corner.
Now the timer is set to automatically stop playing music for the allotted time, instead of setting an alarm off.
10. Your iPhone is secretly an Etch A Sketch
Etch A Sketch: Simply shake your iPhone to erase any unwanted text
Similar to the Reachability hack, this one is probably known to many because it has caused some frustration when accidentally set off.
Siri: Order an Uber via Siri by simply saying ‘Siri get me an Uber’
However, when used the right way, the ‘Etch A Sketch’ feature is actually amazing.
Any activity recently done on the iPhone, whether something was written down in notes, a text or an e-mail by way of clumsy fingers or a butt dial – those errors can be deleted by a simple shake of the phone.
When wanting to erase something accidentally written or a typo, just shake the iPhone side to side and it will delete.
Don’t worry, it will give you a warning ‘Undo Typing’ pop-up with the option to either Cancel or hit OK, before deleting.
11. Order an Uber using Siri
Hands full? A few too many cocktails? That’s where this feature comes in handy. Simply order an Uber via Siri without having to tap through the app.
The entire process of calling an Uber can be done hands-free via Siri. Make sure the Uber app is downloaded on the iPhone, a valid account is logged in, and there is a correct payment option and card attached.
From there, all you need to do is shout, ‘Siri, get me an Uber,’ or Siri, take me home in an Uber XL,’ and you’re good to go.
12. One-handed keyboard
One-handed: Move the keyboard to the left or the right to make it easy to type with one finger
One-handed keyboard is perfect for those with an iPhone plus.
However, it is also convenient in other situations such as having your hands full and only having the option of a single thumb to type with.
The iPhone allows the user to shift the entire keyboard to the left or right so that it’s possible to easily type something with just one finger.
For users on iOS 11 or later follow these five simple steps:
Settings General Keyboards, and tap One-Handed Keyboard. Select Left or Right.
13. Planes overhead?
Planes: Easily find out fun facts about planes flying overhead including where the plane is going and where it came from
This is one for those who are always wondering about weird things and really enjoy fun facts.
Do you ever hear planes flying overheard and think, I wonder where that’s headed? Now you can find out in seconds.
If a plane is flying above you, all you have to do is ask Siri, ‘Planes overhead?,’ and you will immediately get a detailed description of the plane.
Not only do you find out details about the plane, you can find out where the plane is headed, where it came from, and so much more.
14. Record your screen
Recording: Now you can record the screen of the iPhone for interviews, to show snippets of songs, and more
Hidden in the Control Center tab of your iPhone is a sneaky little recorder.
Whenever you want to record what you’re doing on your phone to show someone how to do something or show a snippet of a song or interview someone, this feature is perfect.
To set this option up on your Control Center so it can be easily accessed, follow these four simple steps.
Head to Settings Control Center Customize Controls Screen Recording – there you can add to the customizable settings.
15. Say goodbye to pop-ups
Ratings: Never see this screen by simply turning off in-app ratings in settings
This just may be the best thing that’s ever happened in an iOS update. What’s worse than playing a game or using an app when all of a sudden a pop-up appears asking you to rate it.
Well, you never have to again. The iPhone allows you to disable in-app pop-ups for ratings and reviews and frustrating feedback requests.
It’s as easy as one two three: Settings iTunes App Store turn off In-App Ratings Reviews – that’s all.