7 Little-Known iPhone Features You Should Be Using

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“Smartphone” indeed!

Key points

  • The new iPhone is coming soon, and it’s not cheap.
  • Luckily, older iPhones and iOS versions have some amazing features that you might not know about.
  • Try these tips to load faster, find photos easier, and easily convert currency amounts.

On September 7, Apple announced the upcoming release of the all-new iPhone 14 lineup, which will include the standard iPhone 14 (from $799), 14 Plus (from $899), 14 Pro (from from $999) and 14 Pro Max (from $1,099). Along with the launch of these new devices (and the new Apple Watches and AirPods), Apple also released information about the latest iOS update, iOS 16. While there are plenty of buzzy features that will come with this update including the ability to cancel and edit iMessages, new security features, and upgrades to Apple Pay, I’m willing to bet your current iPhone has a few features you may never have used.

Let’s face it, it can be an expensive prospect to be an Apple fan – trust me, I know that. That said, one of the things that keeps me coming back to Apple’s tech products is that they’re packed with useful attributes and functions that provide enhancements for everyday life. After all, what good is mobile phone technology if it doesn’t make our lives easier and better? And the good thing about learning about the existing features of your current iPhone is that you can delay the impact on your budget that buying a new one will cause. So here are seven features you might not have realized on your current iPhone. Some of them even surprised me!

1. Add photo captions

Did you know you can add captions to your photos? I certainly haven’t, and considering how many pictures I take (it’s an embarrassing number; I’m 100% that millennial who takes too many pictures of their food and pets), this feature will save me time. If you take a photo you’ll need later, just swipe over it and type in a caption. You can then search for it with a word from your caption!

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2. Hide apps you don’t use

I hate having a home screen full of cluttered apps, so I keep my iPhone apps organized into folders in the bottom tray. But if I don’t feel like tucking a seldom-used app into one of my folders and just want to remove it from my home screen, I can hold it down, tap “Remove app” , then select “Move to Application Library”.

3. Search without opening your browser

Want to save time? You don’t need to open your web browser to search for something. Simply swipe left from the home screen, type your Google search in the search bar, and select the browser from the results.

4. Charge faster

OK, here’s another one that I definitely should have used much sooner. If you put your iPhone in airplane mode when charging it, it will charge faster because web notifications and GPS won’t work in the background.

5. Customize Text Notifications

If you send text messages frequently, you can change the vibration pattern for people in your contacts. Just navigate to an entry in your contacts list, tap it to open it, tap “Edit” in the top right corner, then scroll down to “Text tone” and select “Vibration” to switch to one of many predefined vibration patterns.

6. Backspace on Calculator

This is the hack for you if you’re prone to typos (don’t worry, it happens to the best of us). If you accidentally enter the wrong number on the iPhone calculator app, you can swipe left or right to erase the last number entered. You can do this more than once if you got more than one number wrong! The Calculator app will remember the rest of your numbers, so you don’t have to start from scratch.

7. Convert currency

Are you a world traveler? Checking currency conversion rates from your iPhone is easier than you might have imagined. Swipe left from the home screen to access the search bar mentioned above, and type in what you want to calculate (eg 50 CAD to USD) and you will get the conversion.

If you’ve looked at your finances and decided not to go for a new iPhone 14 (or one of its more expensive upgrades), it’ll definitely be better for your bank account. Until it’s time for a new phone, play around with these features and enjoy life in the smartphone age!

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