We’ve reached iOS 16, and over the past fifteen years, iOS has undergone numerous changes. It evolved from supporting dedicated apps (in version 2) and moving away from skeuomorphism (bye-bye fake leather and wood textures) towards cleaner, flatter designs (iOS 7). And let’s not forget about widgets; they’re finally part of the iOS family.
iOS is filled with so many features that no single review or article can cover them all. That’s why we’ve compiled our favorite phone tips, tricks, and hidden gems for iOS and the iPhone. These features for users make your day—and your life—more productive, and you’ll be on your way to becoming an iPhone expert in no time.
Hidden iPhone Secrets, Tips, and Tricks
#1 Back Tap
When you enable Back Tap, you can assign various functions to a double and triple finger tap on the back of your phone, similar to gestures on a trackpad. Personally, I find it incredibly helpful to use Double Tap for my Torch and Triple Tap for my Camera, especially when I’m using my iPhone 13 Pro Max at awkward angles and can’t easily access the lock screen icons or the Control Center pull-down. There are plenty of time-saving and accessibility functions that you can assign to Back Tap, and if you combine it with Shortcuts, you can customize it even further. To enable Back Tap, simply go to the Accessibility menu on your iPhone. For step-by-step instructions, check out our guide on how to enable back tap on iPhone.
#2 Text Replacements
Do you often find yourself typing certain phrases repeatedly, like “On the way home” or “Love you more than the sun and moon!”? You can go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement. Click the plus (+) icon at the top to add a new phrase and its corresponding shortcut. Afterward, whenever you type the shortcut (e.g., “otw”), the complete phrase (for example, “I’m on the way home, leave me alone!”) will magically appear in the text preview on the keyboard. You can even use this neat trick to type a letter combination that triggers a specific set of emoji.
#3 Digital Fax
Did you know about the existence of online faxing? This technology was able to ensure that an entire fax machine was replaced by just one application. All you need is the Fax from the App Store to get all the features of regular faxing and more. This iPhone app is capable of receiving and sending faxes, storing digital documents, and forwarding them to other users, all while maintaining the correct formatting.
#4 Turn on Background Sounds
When you’re looking to unwind, the Background Noise feature comes in handy with its ability to play soothing ambient noise through your AirPods. Whether it’s the sound of rainfall, streams, oceans, or white noise, this feature has personally proven to be incredibly useful for me when I need to eliminate distractions and concentrate on my work. What sets it apart from playing ASMR or ambient noise tracks on Spotify or Apple Music is that it doesn’t require an internet connection since it doesn’t stream anything. To enable this feature, simply go to Settings, then tap on Accessibility. Next, choose Audio/Visual from the Accessibility menu and select Background Sounds. Turn on Background Sounds using the slider located at the top of the screen. For more information on how to activate background sounds in iOS 15, refer to the instructions on turning on background sounds.
#5 Use Custom App Icons
Want to know a cool trick for personalizing your iOS 14 home screen? You can actually change the app icons to your heart’s content! No need to spend any money on icon packs either. Third-party apps like App Icon Changer and Launch Center Pro make it super easy to create custom app icons. Just design your favorites in one of these apps and save them to your camera roll. Then, use the Shortcuts app to add custom icons to your home screen. It’s a pro-level customization without breaking the bank!
#6 Set Custom Charging Animation on iPhone
This one is for those who just can’t get enough of customization. If that sounds like you, the thought of setting a beautiful charging animation on your iPhone will surely bring a smile to your face. Just remember, this hack works in sync with the Shortcuts app and also requires you to download a charging animation app.
#7 Drag and Drop Files Between Apps
Did you know that there’s a nifty feature that can save you heaps of time? You can simply drag and drop content between iPhone apps! With this convenient feature, you can effortlessly import images, videos, or even PDFs from different sources and drop them into apps like Notes or Messages.
Although it might seem a bit tricky at first, here’s the lowdown: just tap and hold the file you want to move, then move it toward the top or bottom of the display. While still holding it with one finger, swipe up from the bottom of the screen with another finger to open the app where you want to drop the file. For more information, check out our guide on how to drag files between apps on the iPhone. Cheers!
Just try these tricks and you will see how much faster and more convenient you can use your iPhone. This article is just a starting point, there is much more that can optimize your user experience. Well, if that was helpful to you.