Wednesday, 1 August 2012

10 Useful iPhone Shortcuts and Tips

I love my iPhone and since I’ve had it for over 2 years, I’ve really learned a lot of cool shortcuts and tricks over time. Knowing a few handy shortcuts can really save you time as I proved to my wife recently. A song was playing on her phone and I got a call on my phone so I asked her to turn off the music. She unlocked the phone by sliding her finger, then exited the app she was currently in, then found the Music app, then tapped on Now Playing and then paused the song!
I was like wow, that only took 10 times longer than it should have taken. Instead, I showed her that she only needed to double-press the Home button and the music control would automatically pop up on the locked screen, no need to even unlock the phone! She was impressed.
Anyway, in addition to that tip, I’ll mention 10 more useful iPhone shortcuts that I pretty much use on a daily basis. There are a lot more, but you’ll only end up using or remembering a couple, so may as well learn the better ones.

Tip #1 – Manage Incoming Calls

The iPhone is a phone right, so you probably get a lot of calls. You should probably know that pressing either of the volume controls while the phone is ringing will silence your phone, but continue ringing for the caller. Whether on vibrate or loud, the phone will become completely silent.
silence phone
In addition, pressing the On/Off button at the top of the phone will send the call to voicemail. So instead of your phone ringing away, just press the top button to send them straight to voicemail.
send to voicemail

Tip #2 – Scroll to the Top

I can’t even begin to tell you how useful it is to quickly scroll up to the top of a window on the iPhone. Since the screen is so small, you can end up scrolling down a lot when viewing a webpage, reading an email, or sending a text. In Safari, in order to type in a new URL in the address bar, you have to go back to the top. In Messages, you can quickly call or email someone by going to the top.
top button
On the iPhone, just tap the status bar at the very top and you’ll be bought to the very top of the page. Note that you want to tap on the status bar that has the time listed. Saves a lot of finger swiping!

Tip #3 – Hide the Keyboard

I’ve always found it majorly annoying in Messages that there is not a button to hide the keyboard. Instead, if you are in landscape mode and have the keyboard up, you can barely read one line of a message conversation:
keyboard iphone
To get rid of the keyboard, you need to tap and swipe down from just above the box where you type in the message like shown below:
hide keyboard

Tip #4 – Multitasking

Of course, you should probably already know this one by now, but it’s gotta be mentioned since it’s another one I constantly use. Just double tap the Home button while you’re in any app and the multitasking bar will pop up at the bottom. Then you can switch to another open app by just tapping it. Very useful than exiting the app and then finding the other app and then opening it.
multitasking bar

Tip #5 – Partial Redial

There’s a neat little trick that I learned by accident when messing with my phone. It’s like redial, but not exactly. Basically, if you go into the Phone app and tap on Keypad and then press the Call button, it will automatically load up the last number you called.
redial iphone
Then just press the Call button again and it’ll call that number. So not automatic redial but partial. Don’t use it all the time, but it comes in handy sometimes.

Tip #6 – Caps Lock

Sometimes you need to type something and it has to be in all caps. You can press the Shift arrow key with one finger and type with the other or you can simply double-tap the Shift key and it’ll turn blue and white, meaning that Caps Lock is on.
caps lock

Tip #7 – Zoom into Position

Another super useful trick when typing on your iPhone is the zoom option. A lot of times you have to go back and edit something you typed, but trying to tap with your finger between two characters is half the time impossible and the cursor ends up somewhere else. All you have to do is press and hold your finger over the text and then a magnifier glass will pop up. Slide your finger left or right to move one character left or right at a time. This makes editing text a hundred times easier!
zoom in

Tip #8 – Emoji Icons

Want to type emoticons while writing text messages? Well, they are already built into the iPhone and I didn’t even know this for the longest time. Go to Settings, then General, then Keyboards, then International Keyboard and tap to add Emoji.
Now when you go to type, click on the small globe icon and you’ll get a whole bunch of awesome emoticons.

Tip #9 – Open Camera from Lockscreen

One of the newest and most requested features was the ability to open the Camera app from the lock screen. This has been added and all you have to do is slide your finger up from the lock screen to enter the Camera app directly. This has saved me a ton of time and has allowed me to catch some great moments with my kids, which I normally would have missed because it took longer to unlock the phone and find the camera app.
camera app

Tip #10 – Hide Text Message Content

Even though you can’t hide the fact that you have received a text message, you can at least hide the actual message so someone can’t read that your wife is mad at you because you didn’t talk to her enough the night before! To do this, you just turn off message previews. You can do this by going to Settings, Notifications, Messages and then toggling Show Preview to Off.
hide text message
And that’s about it! Those are my favorite tips and tricks for the iPhone. Hope you enjoy them. Tell us what your favorite shortcuts are in the comments. Enjoy!


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