Let’s be honest: one of the long-standing reasons the iPhone has drawn people to Android is that it’s easier to use. The iPhone, to put it simply, is intuitive yet powerful. That said, chances are most iPhone users are completely unaware of just how powerful the iPhone is. Because Apple doesn’t tout all the features of the iPhone, Apple’s flagship smartphone is full of hidden features and tricks you probably didn’t even know existed.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of 6 hidden iPhone features that almost look like magic tricks. Even seasoned iPhone users should find something new and exciting here.
Tap the back of your phone to take a screenshot
This iPhone feature is something of a classic. It sounds absurd, but it’s possible to tap the Apple logo on the back of your phone and trigger a number of actions. For example, you can tap the back of your phone to take a screenshot, mute your device, show notification center, and more.
This “Back Tap” feature was introduced with iOS 14 and here’s how you can take advantage of it.
Start by opening the Settings app and going to the Accessibility pane. From there, navigate to Physics & Motor > Touch. Then start scrolling until you see an option that reads “Back Tap”. Once you have done this, you will see an option to select Double Tap or Triple Tap. After that, you can choose the precise action you want the faucet to trigger. This is an undeniably fun iPhone feature that is sure to surprise a lot of people.
We should note that this iPhone feature usually works well even with a thick iPhone case.
This iPhone feature is straight out of the movies
With good reason, this iPhone feature evokes memories of the movie Minority Report. With this iPhone trick below, you will see how easy it is to copy text from iPhone and paste it to another iOS device. But the magic happens when it comes to copying and pasting a photo.
To start, make sure both devices are connected to Wi-Fi and are signed in with the same Apple ID. Both devices must also be within Bluetooth range, which Apple places at around 33 feet. You’ll also want to make sure Handoff is enabled. On iOS, you can do this by going to Settings > General > AirPlay & Handoff. If you’re using a Mac for this, go to System Preferences > General.
Once everything is squared, you can copy a photo to your iPhone by pinching three of your fingers. Once copied, you can now pull out another iPhone or iPad and paste the photo by pinching it with three fingers. Your photo will now appear on the second device. Everything works like magic, especially in front of people who don’t know the feature to begin with.
The video below demonstrates how this iPhone feature works when copying a photo between apps.
Turn your keyboard into a trackpad
It’s one of my favorite iPhone features. I use it a lot and it could very well become a staple of your iPhone user experience.
If you’re trying to select a portion of text on your iPhone, moving the cursor with your finger can get tricky if you’re trying to be precise. A useful alternative is to magically turn your keyboard into a trackpad. You can do this by long pressing the space bar. Then you’ll notice how you can use the bottom of your iPhone screen as a handy trackpad.
The video below shows how it works in action:
Use Siri to Cast Harry Potter Spells
It’s definitely fun. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you can use Siri to issue Harry Potter-inspired commands (or spells, if you will) to trigger specific actions.
Here are some examples:
To turn on your iPhone’s flashlight, you can say “Hey Siri, Lumos!” And to turn it off, say “Hey Siri, Nox!”
Other Harry Potter spells you can use with Siri include:
Hi Siri, Accio
Hey Siri, Sliencio! – This will enable Do Not Disturb.
Hey Siri, Homenum Revelio – This will show where your nearby contacts are on a map.
To make sure Hey Siri is on, go to Settings > Siri & Search. Next, make sure the “Listen to ‘Hey Siri'” toggle is turned on. A full list of Harry Potter Siri commands can be seen here. Note that some may require the use of the Shortcuts app.
Measure a friend’s height with your iPhone
While this trick isn’t useful, the way it works is really cool. Indeed, you can use your iPhone to measure a person’s height.
To get started, start by opening the Measure app. Position your iPhone so that you can see your friend’s entire body. Then a horizontal line should appear just above the head with a specific height mentioned just below. You can take a photo using the white shutter in the lower right corner. This iPhone feature might be more convenient for measuring things like furniture, but it’s a little more fun to try out with your friends and family.
Record a video with the soundtrack of your choice
For years, I was always frustrated when trying to record a video while music from Spotify or Apple Music was playing in the background. The second I opened the video pane in the Camera app, the music stopped playing. Eventually, I came across a game-changing solution.
Believe it or not, there is actually a nifty way to record video while music is playing in the background. This is a great iPhone feature if you already have a soundtrack in mind and don’t want to waste time editing the sound later.
Here’s how it works. Once you have a song from Spotify or Apple Music playing in the background, open the Camera app. Instead of switching to video mode, hold down the white shutter button while sliding it to the right. By doing so, your iPhone will start recording the video while the music in the background continues to play.