Using these 10 hidden iPhone features will make your iPhone experience more productive and valuable:
- Choose Waze or Google Maps
- View message send times
- Use Wi-Fi Assist
- Set app tracking for privacy
- Change iPhone Flashlight Brightness
- 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
Choose Waze or Google Maps
How to choose between Google Maps and Waze? Both are highly functional apps.
Waze prioritizes reducing your time on the road to reach your destination as quickly as possible. This results in Waze sometimes suggesting unusual but very effective routes to save time. 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 will not receive any up-to-date route information. At this point, you will lose the unique aspect of Waze that makes it special.
Google Maps supports public transit, walking, biking, and driving for your route. Waze offers no such thing as it only focuses on roads.
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 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 timestamps for each message.
Use Wi-Fi Assist
Are you dropping FaceTime calls because you’re losing a Wi-Fi signal?
Enabling the Wi-Fi Assist feature allows your iPhone to automatically switch 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 all 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 switch back to Wi-Fi if you come back into network range.
Wi-Fi Assist doesn’t kick in when the signal is marginal or poor, and it doesn’t somehow increase the available Wi-Fi signal, despite its name.
How much privacy does your iPhone offer? Can you increase your privacy?
Earlier in 2021, Apple instituted a new App Store policy that limited apps’ ability to track user behavior without first receiving your express permission.
This change made it more difficult to accurately target advertising to iPhone end users for Facebook, Google and other social media companies. The change threatens their revenue because it limits their ability to collect the mountains of data about us that they use for targeted advertising.
This seemingly minor change to introduce permissions is a big deal because only around 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 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.
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 list of available shortcuts for your convenience. Tap the one you want.
This long press also works for other keys where multiple versions of the letter or symbol exist, such as the $ currency sign.
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 recording.
Be careful not to shake your iPhone when taking a photo.
Facetime has the same quick photo button and notifies all parts of the video that a photo has been taken.
Tired of pecking at your software keyboard one letter at a time?
With iPhone’s new QuickPath feature, you can “type” on your software keyboard by briefly sliding and 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; it’s already a feature of your software keyboard.
To further configure your keyboard, follow these steps:
- Launch your Settings app.
- Tap General.
- Tap Keyboards.
- Activate or deactivate the various functions offered.
Silkscreens do not correctly describe QuickPath functionality. Click on here to watch a video created by Apple Support.
Extend your battery life
Can you extend your iPhone’s battery life 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.
Yogi Schulz has over 40 years of experience in information technology in various industries. Yogi works a lot in the oil industry. He manages projects that arise from changing business needs, the need to take advantage of technological opportunities and mergers. His specialties include IT strategy, web strategy and project.
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