10 useful iPhone tips you need to know

Everyone has their favourite iPhone tips – here are some of mine.

iOS Text replacement

1. Text replacement

With text replacement, you can use shortcuts to replace longer phrases. When you enter the shortcut in a text field, the phrase automatically replaces it. For example, you could type “GM” and “Good morning” would automatically replace it. I use shortcuts like “@@” for my email address, “##” for my phone number, and “$$” for my home address.

To manage, go to:

  1. Settings
  2. General
  3. Keyboard
  4. Text Replacement
  5. Add (Top right)

2. Live Text with Camera*

You can copy, share, look up, and translate text that appears within the camera frame. Camera also provides quick actions to easily call phone numbers, visit websites, convert currencies, and more, based on the text that appears in the frame.

To use:

  1. Open Camera, then position iPhone so the text appears within the camera frame.
  2. After the yellow frame appears around detected text, then do any of the following:
    • Copy: Copy text to paste into another app such as Notes or Messages.Select All: Select all the text within the frame.Look Up: Show personalized web suggestions.Translate: Translate text.Search the web: Look up the selected text on the web.Share: Share text using AirDrop, Messages, Mail, or other available options.

*On iPhone XS and later

iOS Sign Documents

3. Sign Documents

Sign documents on the go without the use of 3rd party apps.

To sign a document from Photos, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Photos app. 
  2. Select document or photo. 
  3. Tap the screen to show the menu, then select Edit from the top-right corner. 
  4. Tap the circle with three dots for Options. 
  5. Select Markup. 
  6. Tap the Add (+) in the bottom right corner. 
  7. Select Signature. 
  8. Choose your signature or Add New. If you select the latter, draw your signature with your finger. 
  9. Place signature on the document.
iOS Screen recording

4. Screen Recording

Useful for sharing what’s on your screen. The applications are endless – but I use it share videos from platforms that I know the person I’m sharing it to doesn’t use.

To manage:

  1. Go to Settings > Control Center, then tap the Add button next to Screen Recording.
  2. Open Control Center on your iPhone.
  3. Tap the gray Record button, then wait for the three-second countown.
  4. Exit Control Center to record your screen.
  5. To stop recording, open Control Center, then tap the red Record button. Or tap the red status bar at the top of your screen and tap Stop.
iOS respond to single messages

5. Respond to single messages

Reply, react and copy specific messages with this simple trick.

How to:

  1. Open a Messages conversation.
  2. Touch and hold a message bubble, then tap the Reply button.
  3. Type your message, then tap the Send button.
iOS trackpad

6. Hidden trackpad

This method works with any text box, as long as you’re using the iPhone’s default keyboard. Also note that this feature is only available on iPhones running iOS 12 and up.

How to:

  1. Type any text in area that you can type in i.e. Notes app, search bar or text message.
  2. Press and hold one finger on the spacebar. All the other keys will grey out.
  3. Swipe your finger across the spacebar, and your cursor will move around the text area.
  4. Move the cursor around until you have it where you need it, then let go of the spacebar to place your cursor and resume typing.
Connect 2 pairs of AirPods to the same iPhone

7. Connect two pairs of AirPods to one iPhone

Great for road trips and sharing audio with friends.

How to:

  1. Connect AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, or Beats headphones to your iPhone. 
  2. Tap the AirPlay button  in Control Centre on your iPhone, on the Lock Screen or in the app that you’re listening to.
  3. Tap Share Audio.
  4. If your friend has AirPods or AirPods Pro, hold them close to your device with the AirPods inside the case and open the lid. If your friend has AirPods Max, hold them close to your device. If your friend has Beats wireless headphones, put them in pairing mode and hold them close to your device.
  5. When you see your friend’s headphones appear on your screen, tap Share Audio.
iOS tap to scroll

8. Tap to scroll

When you’re ready to return to the top of a page after scrolling – tap once at the top of the screen and iOS will zap you back to the top of the page. Note that not all 3rd party apps support this feature but most do.

iOS measure objects

9. Measure objects

Use the Measure app and your iPhone camera to measure nearby objects. iPhone automatically detects the dimensions of rectangular objects, or you can manually set the start and end points of a measurement.

To use:

  1. Open Measure app, then use the iPhone camera to slowly scan nearby objects.
  2. Position iPhone so that the object you want to measure appears on the screen.

10. Hidden album

When you hide photos and videos, they move to the Hidden album, so they won’t appear in your Library, in other albums or in the Photos widget on your Home Screen. In iOS 14 and later, you can turn off the Hidden album, so the photos are completely hidden. In iOS 16 your Hidden album is locked by default.

How to:

  1. Open Photos.
  2. Select the photo or video you want to hide.
  3. Tap the More button, then tap Hide.
  4. Confirm that you want to hide the photo or video.

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