Using these ten hidden iPhone features will make your iPhone experience more productive and valuable:
- Waze versus Google Maps
- View message send times
- Use Wi-Fi Assist
- Set app tracking for privacy
- Change iPhone Flashlight Brightness
- Use long press for top level domain names
- Dial an extension for a phone number
- Take a photo during a video
- Swipe to type
- Extend your battery life
To view Part 1 of this slideshow of iPhone features, please click here.
To view part 2 of this slideshow of iPhone features, please click here.
Waze versus Google Maps
How to choose between Google Maps and Waze? It is not easy as both are highly functional applications.
Waze prioritizes reducing your time on the road in your car to reach your destination as quickly as possible. This results in Waze sometimes suggesting unusual but very time-saving routes. Waze is more aggressive in reducing your total driving time than Google Maps.
Waze relies on live data from other active users on the road to bypass delays. This feature is its most significant advantage over Google Maps. However, if there are no other Waze users near you, or if you lose cell service, you won’t receive up-to-date information about what’s happening on the roads. At this point, you will lose the unique aspect of Waze that makes it special to its dedicated fans.
In addition to driving directions for your route, Google Maps supports public transport, walking and cycling. Waze doesn’t offer anything like that, as it only focuses on roads meant for cars.
Both Waze and Google Maps consume a lot of cellular data. Waze uses even more because its advantage depends on receiving the information submitted by the user.
Google Maps offers much richer data on businesses and services along your route than Waze.
To read a much more in-depth discussion of the differences, click here.
View message send times
Have you ever needed to know the exact time when messages were sent?
Follow these simple steps:
- Launch your Messages app.
- Tap the thread where you want to view timestamps.
- Slide your finger from right to left.
You can now see the timestamps for each individual message.
Use Wi-Fi Assist
Are you dropping FaceTime calls because you’re walking around and the Wi-Fi signal is gone?
By enabling the Wi-Fi Assist feature, you can automatically switch your iPhone to cellular connection when the Wi-Fi network signal disappears. Despite its name, Wi-Fi Assist consumes cellular data.
Here’s how to enable Wi-Fi assistance:
- Launch your Settings app.
- Tap Cellular.
- Swipe down until you see Wi-Fi Assist.
- Press to activate.
Wi-Fi Assist works for apps like Safari and iMessage that require an internet connection, provided you have Cellular enabled for the app in question.
Be careful when overusing Wi-Fi Assist, as it can cause your iPhone to rack up overage charges on your phone bill. Your iPhone will show the data usage where you have enabled Wi-Fi assistance.
Wi-Fi Assist will revert to Wi-Fi if you come back within range of the Wi-Fi network. It does not trigger when the Wi-Fi signal is just marginal or poor and does not increase in any way other the available Wi-Fi signal, despite its name.
Set app tracking for privacy
How much privacy does my iPhone offer? Can I increase my privacy?
Earlier in 2021, Apple instituted a new App Store policy that limited apps’ ability to track user behavior without first receiving express permission from you.
This change has made it more difficult to accurately target advertising to iPhone end users for Facebook, Google and other social media companies, threatening social media companies’ ad revenue as it limits their ability to collect mountains. data about us that allows them to targeted ads.
This seemingly minor change to introduce permissions is a big deal because only about 4% of iPhone end users give permission.
To turn off tracking for all apps, follow these steps:
- Launch your Settings app.
- Tap Privacy.
- Tap Tracking.
- Tap “Allow apps to request tracking” to disable.
If you leave the setting enabled, each app will ask you to follow the first time you launch the app. Answering these prompts means you can select which apps you allow to track you.
For an in-depth discussion of iPhone privacy features, click here.
iPhones produce a 7-day app privacy report if you enable Log app activity under Privacy.
Change iPhone Flashlight Brightness
Is your iPhone’s flashlight essential for searching under movie theater seats for fallen car keys or peering into nooks and crannies?
The brightness of your iPhone’s flashlight is fully adjustable by following these steps:
- Swipe up on the home screen to open the control center.
- Tap the flashlight icon to view options.
- Slide your finger up or down to select the brightness level.
Use long press for top level domain names
Are you tired of laboriously typing in top-level domain names for websites you want to visit? Do you use unusual versions of certain letters?
Here’s how to access keyboard shortcuts:
- Press and hold the “.” key next to spacebar on software keyboard.
- This action will display the available list of available shortcuts for your convenience. Tap on the one you want.
This long press of a key also works for other keys where multiple versions of the letter or symbol exist, such as the currency sign $.
Dial an extension for a phone number
Did trying to dial an extension on your iPhone get you frustrated?
Here are the steps to follow:
- Launch your Phone app.
- Enter the main number you are calling.
- Press and hold the * button at the bottom left of the numeric keypad until a comma appears. Do not worry; the * will disappear.
- Enter the extension number after the comma.
- Press the call button.
Take a photo during a video
Have you ever wanted to take a photo while recording a video?
While recording a video, you will see another button to the left of the record button. Gently press this button to take a quick photo without interrupting your video recording.
Be careful not to shake your iPhone when taking a photo.
Facetime has the same quick photo button. Facetime notifies all parts of the video that a photo has been taken.
Swipe to type
Are you tired of pecking at your software keyboard one letter at a time?
With the iPhone’s QuickPath feature, you can “type” on your software keyboard by sliding and briefly holding your finger or thumb over each letter of the word you’re trying to spell. The word will appear in the middle of the phrase bar above the keyboard. When it does, release and the word will move to your text. You are now ready to quickly spell the next word.
There is nothing to configure, enable, or install to use QuickPath. QuickPath is already a feature of your software keyboard.
To further configure your software keyboard, follow these steps:
- Launch your Settings app.
- Tap General.
- Tap Keyboards.
- Activate or deactivate the various functions offered.
Screenshots do not correctly describe QuickPath functionality. Click on here to watch a video created by Apple Support.
Extend your battery life
Can I extend the life of my iPhone battery to avoid the cost of a replacement?
iPhones have a new battery health feature called Optimized Battery Charging. It is designed to extend the total battery life of your iPhone.
The charging feature slows your battery charge beyond 80% until you’re not using your phone. The software learns your daily routine and schedules the final charge for when you’re not using your phone, usually at night.
This way, you’ll have all the available battery, but your iPhone won’t have to hold a 100% charge for several hours. It works with 100% extended period which degrades your battery.
Here’s how to set up optimized battery charging:
- Launch your Settings app.
- Tap Battery.
- Tap Battery health.
- Enable optimized battery charging.
Some wonder how much Optimized Battery Charging helps to extend the total battery life of the iPhone, since we tend to buy a new iPhone about every three years. For those of us who don’t want a part-time job micromanaging our battery percentage all day, every day, a pragmatic, low-effort strategy seems to consist of:
- Don’t store your iPhone on your wireless charger all day.
- Only charge your iPhone during the day when the battery percentage drops well below 50%.
- Charge your iPhone using Optimized Battery Charging every night.