5 Lesser-Known iPhone Features You Probably Haven’t Discovered Yet


Apple launched the first iPhone 15 years ago this week, kicking off a new chapter in the mobile revolution and cementing the pre-eminence of consumer hardware that would dominate Apple’s fortunes for the next decade and beyond. Despite how long some of you have been iPhone users, the handsets are now so feature-rich thanks to Apple’s iterative releases of iOS that – unless you’re following it all for a living – there just has to be have tons of stuff your iPhone can do what you don’t even realize.

Plus, Apple doesn’t always make a fuss about announcing every hidden iPhone feature in new iOS releases. Some of them are either found by accident or overheard by someone or elsewhere.

Scan text from photos and hide your email

In this article, we’ll look at five really useful iPhone features that you may not have discovered yet, but are all very useful nonetheless. Starting with the ability to scan text into photos.

Close-up of a person taking a photo with an iPhone. Image source: Kicking Studio/Adobe

Scan text from a photo with your iPhone

If you’re using iOS 15, open your camera roll. Do you see text in any of the photos you took that are now stored on your iPhone? Maybe there is an image of a road sign, restaurant exterior, or any paper with words on it. You may not know that you can long press on the text in this image and select it, in order to copy and paste it somewhere else.

Hide your email

Sometimes it seems like almost every website you visit asks for your email address at some point. Certainly, they do if you want to stay up to date with site news. However, to insert a layer of privacy between you and this site, Apple has a feature available through iCloud+ that allows you to “hide” your email from the site. In the prompt where you would otherwise enter your email, Apple should recognize and give you the option to let the iPhone manufacturer generate a random email address instead.

Apple then forwards emails from that company to that randomly generated address and then to the actual email address that Apple has on file for you.

More iPhone Features

Below we also have a way for you to quickly undo something in a text field, silence spammers, and improve your FaceTime sessions. We’ll quickly run through each one, starting with a quick “undo” tip.

Three fingers to undo: Shaking your iPhone to undo something is pretty well known at this point. But did you know that you can also simply tap with three fingers in a text field to quickly bring up an “undo” option?

iPhone 12Image source: Apple

Enable Portrait mode during FaceTime calls: If you’re worried about how your surroundings will look before your next FaceTime call, fear not. You can actually use your iPhone to cleverly blur the background, much like Portrait mode does for photos. If you want to use this feature, tap the tile with your image during a FaceTime call. Then you will see an option of four icons to tap. Choose the one in the upper left corner.

Silence all unwanted callers: Don’t want to continue to be disturbed or interrupted by unwanted callers? All you have to do is open the Settings app, select “Phone”, then “Silence unknown callers”.


More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

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