An iPhone helps us to stay connected, entertained and productive – and it also takes great photos. While there are no shortage of features that set it apart from other smartphones, we’ve come up with six clever iPhone hacks to help you get even more out of the device.
An Easier Way to Take Photos
The iPhone has one of the best smartphone cameras around – but sometimes reaching for the shutter button on the screen isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially if you’re trying to line up a killer selfie or a group shot. To make it easier, you can activate the camera shutter with either of the iPhone’s volume keys on the side of the phone. Or, you can use your voice. Simply say “Hey Siri, take a photo” or “Hey Siri, take a selfie” and she’ll get to it. You can also ask Siri to shoot a video or take a panorama shot. For this to work all the time, make sure you allow Siri to respond when the iPhone is locked. Go to Settings > Siri & Search > Allow Siri When Locked and toggle that to on.
Turn the Keyboard into a Trackpad
Trying to edit text on the iPhone touchscreen by pinpointing the area of the screen you want to move the cursor to has always been a little finicky. Wouldn’t it be easier to use a trackpad? On the iPhone you can. While you’re using the keyboard, tap and hold the spacebar. The letter keys will disappear and the keyboard will transform into a trackpad. While still pressing the screen with the same finger on the screen, you can move the cursor about freely and position it more accurately.
Shake Your iPhone to Undo
The iPhone has a handy undo feature when typing, deleting text and sorting emails – all you need to do is give the iPhone a shake from left to right. When you do, a window will appear on the screen with an “Undo” option to select. For example, if you delete an email and realise you needed to keep it, give the iPhone a shake and a window will appear with an option to retrieve it. If you make a mistake cutting, copying or pasting text, you can get a do-over with the simple shake of your phone.
Forget the tape measure, your iPhone can measure things using Augmented Reality (AR). Open the Measure app in the Utilities folder. (This comes automatically installed on your phone; if you have deleted it, just search for “Measure” in the app store to re-download. Unfortunately it does not work with some older models.) It will fire up the camera and display a white circle which you position over the object you want to measure. To start, tap the “+” sign at the top of the screen over the point you want to start measuring, then move it to the other side of the object and tap the “+” sign again to finish. The iPhone has just used AR to work out the distance between the two dots you placed – a very handy feature when you’re furniture shopping.
Resize the Keyboard
The size of the iPhone screen can make it hard to type one-handed, but there’s a way to reduce the size of the keyboard to make it easier. On the iPhone keyboard you’ll notice a small globe in the bottom left hand corner. Press and hold the small globe and a pop-up window will appear with the options to create a smaller keyboard to the left or right of the display, so you can easily type one handed whether you’re left or right handed. To return the keyboard back to full size, press and hold the globe again and select the full size icon in the middle.
Use a Magnifying Glass
For anyone who has forgotten their reading glasses but still needs to read a document or a menu, the iPhone can come to the rescue with its Magnify feature, which turns the camera into a magnifying glass. To activate this feature, go to Settings > Accessibility > Magnifier (or Settings > General > Accessibility > Magnifier on older phones) and switch it on. Now with a triple click of the home or the side button (depending on your iPhone model) you can activate it and control the level of magnification with the slider. You can also capture images in this mode.
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