Hidden iPhone Features You Never Knew Existed

by Jake Wyatt

Last updated on 29th September, 2022

iPhone is undoubtedly one of the most popular smartphones in the world. It is not just because of its great camera and easy user experience that the iPhone distinguishes itself from other smartphones on the market.

Most iPhone users are unaware of how to fully utilize their gadget. There are numerous hidden features on the iPhone that can be useful to you and improve your daily experience.

There are plenty of hidden iPhone features you likely don’t know about.

1. Back Tap

This feature is available on iPhone 8 and later. With this feature, you can command your iPhone to perform certain functions when you double tap, or triple tap the back of the iPhone.

To enable this feature, go to Settings -> Accessibility -> Touch -> Back Tap. Select Double Tap or Triple Tap, then choose an action. For example, you can command your iPhone to take screenshot when you double tap the back of the phone.

2. Transform your keyboard into a trackpad

Moving the cursor around with your finger to choose a bit of text on your iPhone can be stressful especially if you’re trying to be precise. Another option is to magically change your keyboard into a trackpad. You can do this by long pressing the space bar. After that, you’ll notice how you can use the bottom of your iPhone display as a handy trackpad.

3. Record video with the soundtrack of your choice

If you’ve ever wanted to record a video while playing music at the background, you’d realize that the music stops playing as soon as you start recording the video. Thankfully, there’s a creative way to record video while music is playing in the background.

There’s this iPhone feature that does the trick if you already have a soundtrack in mind and don’t want to waste time editing the background music afterwards. Here’s how it works. Once you have a song from Spotify or Apple Music playing in the background, open up the Camera app. Instead of going into video mode, press and hold the white shutter button while dragging it to the right. Upon doing so, your iPhone will start recording video as music in the background continues to play.

We’ve compiled a list of hidden iPhone functions that nearly appear to be magic tricks. Even pro iPhone users will likely discover something new and fascinating here.

4. Backspace on the Calculator app

If you typed the wrong number into your iPhone’s Calculator app, simply swipe left or right to delete it. The rest of what you input will be remembered by the calculator, so you don’t have to clear everything to start from scratch.

5. Limit your phone access to kids and friends

You’ll enjoy this feature if you have a child who frequently hijacks your iPhone to play a game or watch a movie, or if you have a nosy roommate who borrows your phone for one thing and then attempts to do something different.

There is a feature called Guided access, one of Apple’s most important accessibility features which is hiding inside your iPhone’s settings and briefly restricts the screen to the current app.

You won’t be able to exit the app or open anything else unless you use your passcode, which I hope only you know.

You can use this feature by going to Settings -> Accessibility -> Guided Access and turn it on. After that, you may alter a number of options, such as how you want to leave this mode, the shortcut you want to use to turn it on, how you want to exit the mode (You can turn on Face ID/Touch ID instead of Passcode).

To enter this mode, simply triple tap the side/home button after you have opened the app you want to enable this mode for. And tap “Start”.
To exit this mode, triple tap the side button, you’ll be prompted to enter your passcode. You should then tap “End”.  If you have Face ID/Touch ID turned on, you can double tap (not triple) to exit the mode.

6. Close tabs in Safari browser automatically.

If you open lots of tabs in the safari browser but forget to close them, you can ask Safari to close these tabs automatically without going through the stress of closing them one after the other. Here’s how:

Go to Settings -> Safari -> Close Tabs. And select an option (After One Day, After One Week, After One Month)

You can also close all tabs in Safari manually by holding down the new tab button in your browser. Select “Close All # Tabs”.

7. iPhone has a Hidden Magnifier

There’s a magnifier in iPhone which is by default hidden. This hidden feature will help zoom in smaller objects near you.

Go to Settings -> Control Centre. Click plus on Magnifier. You can now access the magnifier from the Control Centre. You can now zoom and detect if there are objects nearby

8. Your iPhone has a built-in Sleep Timer

With this feature, you can set your iPhone to automatically stop playing any media when the time elapses. Maybe you want a lullaby to put you to sleep, but you want the music to stop playing when you fall asleep. You can simply do that with this feature. Open the Clock app
Tap Timer at the bottom (and Set the timer length by spinning the hour, minute, and second dials to your preference.)
Tap When Timer Ends
Scroll to the bottom and select Stop Playing, then Tap Set.
Tap Start
Your iPhone will stop playing whatever it’s playing when the timer ends

9. Add captions to photos and videos

If you keep thousands of pictures and videos on your iPhone, you may find it quite stressful scrolling through looking for a particular image or video. With this feature, you can caption your media and use the keyword to search for the photos/videos later.

To caption any photo or video you capture, simply swipe up on it, hit the “Add a Caption” field, then type your caption or keyword. When you’re done, it will instantly save to your iCloud Photos.

10. Hide Photos/Videos from Snoopers

Do you have sensitive pictures or Videos you don’t want anyone else to see? You may not have not noticed but this is possible.

You may prevent images from showing up in your general photo library using the Photos app. When you open that app, this will prevent the display of private pictures.

To hide photo(s) tap on one or select the pictures you want to hide.

Scroll down until you see Hide and tap that option. This will move your picture(s) to the Hidden album.

The secret folder can be found by heading to Photos app and scrolling down until you see Hidden. If you don’t want the Hidden folder to appear at all, go to Settings and turn it off in the Photos area. (Go to Settings -> Photos -> Show Hidden Album and turn it off.

The Hidden and Recently Deleted photo albums will require your passcode/Face ID to view the contents in iOS 16, which will be released later in 2022.

11. Scroll Up to the Top with One Tap

Tap the area at the top of the screen if you’re scrolling down a page and want to go back to the top. You’ll be taken back to the top with this tap. You can do this not only on online pages, but almost everywhere else on your phone as well, including apps and settings screens.

You can tap the top of the screen to return to the top rather than frantically flip-scrolling. 

12. Scan Docs with your iPhone

iPhone has a hidden inbuilt scanner in the Notes app that scans your documents and lets you share in PDF format.

Find the full tutorial here

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