10 iPhone tips and tricks you might not know about

Whether you’ve owned an iPhone for years or you’ve just recently upgraded, there are always new features to learn about. Have you ever wondered how to easily save space on your iPhone, or how to hide unused apps from your homescreen?

Below, we’ve rounded up a selection of tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your iPhone. Keep scrolling for the details.

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1. Try one-handed mode

If you’re holding your iPhone and can’t reach the far corner of the display with your thumb, try Apple’s Reachability mode. Double tap the home button and the content on your screen will be pushed down to the lower half of the display. That means you can easily use your phone with one hand – ideal if you have your iPhone in one hand and coffee in the other.

Reachability is available on the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. It’s enabled by default, so you don’t need to adjust any settings before you can use it.

2. Email an attachment

Adding an attachment to an email on iPhone is easily done. Press Compose message in the Mail app and then tap and hold in a blank space. A black bar will pop up showing various options.

Tap the white arrow on the right and you will spot Insert Photo or Video and Add Attachment. The first option does what you would expect – you will be able to add snaps from your camera roll and screenshots to your messages. Add Attachment is specifically for sharing documents such as Microsoft Word files and PDFs. You will be told to enable iCloud Drive if you haven’t done so already.

3. Disable effects to prevent motion sickness

If you’re sensitive to swooping transitions and animations, Reduce Motion will help battle sickness if you use your phone for long periods of time.

To make these changes, head to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion > On. Doing so will change or disable certain screen effects that could have an impact on folks prone to motion sickness. Screen transitions use a ‘dissolve’ effect instead of a quick zoom. The Parallax effect (which means your wallpapers move slightly as your phone does) is turned off too.

4. Hide stock iOS apps you don’t use

Since the arrival of iOS 10, you can now hide apps on your homescreen that you rarely open. If you want to get rid of the clutter, long press on the icon you want to remove and tap X. Apps that can be banished include Find My Friends, iBooks, News, Stocks, Voice Memos and the Apple Watch app.

It’s worth noting that hiding an icon from your iPhone isn’t the same as uninstalling it for good. If you want to get it back, go to the App Store and search the name of the app. Tap the cloud icon to restore it. For a closer look at iOS 10, head over to our guide on iOS 10: key features and compatibility.

5. Keep your phone quiet for meetings

If you want to keep your iPhone silent at certain points of the day, use Do Not Disturb mode. This lets you manually mute your mobile until you turn it off, or for set times. To try it, head to Settings and tap Do Not Disturb.

You can choose precisely when to make the iPhone’s ring inactive. You also have the option to make sure that incoming calls from certain contacts won’t be silenced, while the rest will. If you want to access Do Not Disturb quickly from your homescreen, swipe up from the bottom of the iPhone’s display. Tap the moon icon to turn it on.

6. Have Siri announce incoming calls

If your iPhone is running iOS 10, it’s possible to have Siri call out when somebody rings you. To activate the feature (which is turned off by default), head to Settings, then tap Phone. From the Phone menu, you’ll see Announce Calls. You can have the feature on all the time, only when you’re wearing headphones or just while you’re driving.

The latest version of Siri also adds third-party app support, which means you can use your voice to send a text through WhatsApp or summon an Uber.

7. Automatically delete texts to save space

If you’re looking to save some space on your iPhone, try setting your mobile to automatically delete texts after a set time. You can do this by heading to Settings, then Messages. Swipe down to the Message History heading. By selecting Keep Messages you can decide whether to store texts forever, for 30 days or for one year.

For more tips on saving space and making your mobile nippier, see our guide to how to speed up your iPhone.

8. User Timer to turn off your music

Sometimes, listening to an album or podcast in the evening can help you sleep. If you accidentally start snoozing sooner than planned, there’s an easy way to make sure your iPhone doesn’t disturb you.

Open the Clock app and tap on Timer in the bottom right corner. Decide how long you want your countdown, and tap When Timer Ends. Usually when the timer hits zero your phone will play a tune, but instead you can select Stop Playing. This will pause songs and podcasts, and it stops Spotify tracks too.

9. Use your keyboard as a trackpad

If your iPhone has 3D Touch, you can transform your keyboard into a trackpad. Apple owners with large fingers will know that trying to change part of a sentence on a small screen can be a pain. To make things easier, press down hard on the keyboard and it will turn into a blank trackpad (right). In this view, swiping your finger left or right will let you quickly change the position of your cursor.

10. Set your text auto-reply

A text message auto-reply is useful if you want to politely reject a call. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work if you give a standardised ‘I’m busy. Call you later’. Head to Settings, then tap Phone. Scroll down to Respond with Text. Here, you can write a more personalised message to fit your needs.

More on this

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Your complete guide to the latest iPhones – plenty of buying advice
How to choose the best mobile phone – top tips for all budgets

Categories: Apple, Phones, Smartphones

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6 replies

  1. Excellent – I know some but by no means all, and it’s doubtful I would have stumbled across them. Might be able to keep my trusty iPhone 4 for a while longer now.

  2. I think that for no 3 Stop the motion sickness, the setting should be On rather than, as you say, Off, so:

    Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion > On

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