I’m sitting in the audience at the Castro Theater for the San Francisco International Film Festival. The film Don’t worry, he won’t walk far has just ended and Gus Van Sant and Danny Elfman, respectively director and composer of the film, take the stage for an interview. I panic.
“Is my iPhone on? Or is it off? I’m sure I turned it off before the movie. Or did I put it on airplane mode? What if I didn’t? “
Uncertain, I reach into my pocket and use my thumb to activate the mute button. Instantly, I’m sure my phone won’t disrupt the talkback.
Every iPhone has had a mute switch since. It’s not a flashy feature. There’s no line for that on CNET’s specs chart. I do not remember . But this switch has helped me so many times.
There are lots of little things on the iPhone that come in handy like the mute switch. Here are some of my favorites:
Apple calls it the “Ring/Silent switch”. It’s a material reminder of a time when our phones were primarily for making calls. But as our iPhone habits have evolved, it’s still useful as a last line of defense for all audio alerts except.
Back to the top of a page
If you’re on a webpage in Safari or using a scrolling app — think Instagram — you can tap the time at the top of the webpage or app as a shortcut back to the top. In Safari, you tap once to reveal the web address field, then tap the time again.
If you have a, or one you have one of the most beloved camera features ever made for a phone: . Basically, Apple has made the camera flash actually usable. Goodbye, goodbye red eyes, and no more looking like you got caught in a pair of headlights when your photo was taken.
The iPhone takes the photo at a slower shutter speed while firing the flash quickly. With the shutter open longer, the background is exposed more, making it brighter. The results are impressive:
If you need to share photos, videos, or files with other Apple devices, AirDrop is the way to go. It’s incredibly easy. Just tap the share button and a row of possible devices on AirDrop will appear. Then you tap on a friend’s icon and once they accept, the file or photo is sent.
When AirDrop first rolled out, it seemed to work intermittently at best. But five years later, AirDrop is the primary way to transfer stuff between devices. To verify.
The smallest and cheapest Apple phone you can buy is the. He has the body of / but the internal components and camera of the . It’s almost impossible to find a new phone that’s actually small and good. Oh, and it still has a headphone jack.
There are rumors that Apple will update the small phone with a. But nothing has been officially announced.
Share your Wi-Fi password
One of the many pleasures of iOS 11 is when you join a new Wi-Fi network and aask their permission for the password. Once they approve it, the devices do the rest. (I should note that the other person must be a contact in your address book.) This feature has made the impossible a reality: it’s actually fun to share a Wi-Fi password and protect your privacy – the actual password is never displayed.
When Apple released the juggernauthe added . It works pretty easily on every iPhone since, aside from the iPhone SE.
Press the home button twice and the screen content shrinks by a third, making it accessible with a thumb. This gesture is second nature to me. On iPhone X, there is a setting in the Accessibility menu to enable the feature.
Perfectly level photos
With the release of iOS 11, a pair of crosshairs – one white, one yellow – will appear when taking top-down shots. You maneuver the iPhone slightly until the reticle merges and turns yellow, indicating your phone is level with your subject – think food photography.
I feel likeknowing that my photo of avocado toast is perfectly framed and level.
When Live Photos came out,. A Live Photo consists of a photo and a 3 second video consisting of a 1.5 second recording before and after the shot. Over the past year, I have and I’m so glad I did. It captures truly amazing moments that a single photo can sometimes miss.
Once I was playingon my and my cat Stella decided to sit in front of the TV. I paused the game and took a picture with my . Incidentally, the game’s pause screen has become a wonderful juxtaposition to Stella – a perfect moment for Live Photos. Check it out:
The failurekeyboard on any iPhone 3D Touch has a hidden trackpad. To activate, firmly press any key until you see the keys go blank and feel a haptic tap. The keyboard essentially becomes a trackpad, and as you slide your finger across the keyboard, the on-screen cursor follows.
At WWDC 2018, Apple announced iOS 12, which will be released this fall. It adds features like, and among others. Discover our story on .
Your favorite little things
What are your favorite little things about the iPhone? Let me know in the comments.
And Android users, don’t worry. I’m working on a similar piece for Android phones.