We stare at them ALL DAY LONG and yet this trusty (and sometimes pesky) little gadgets still have a few tricks up their sleeves.
Provided you have a newer iPhone, and you’ve updated it to the current software, the below 5 ‘secrets’ should have you off-and-running more efficiently.
- You Can Use Siri Hands-Free
Under Settings > Siri > Allow “Hey Siri”, be sure that “Hey Siri” is activated. Now, as long as you have your phone plugged into a power source, you can activate Siri without needing to touch the home button. Just start a question or command with “Hey Siri, ” and she will wake up and answer. For example, try asking “Hey Siri, what’s the temperature today?”
- Open Your Camera by Swiping the Lock Screen
Sometimes (ok, let’s admit it…it happens often) we find ourselves in a picture-perfect moment that we need to capture right NOW! If you’re like me, you need to fumble through a passcode to unlock your phone, then scroll through your way-too-many screens until you find the camera app. Right? NOPE! With the latest software, all you need to do is swipe left (it used to be ‘up’) to open your camera and have it picture-taking ready. What a great safety feature too if you need to capture something fast. Again, this works on the Lock Screen which is super cool.
- Swipe Left on the Control Center to Access Music
The Control Center is that handy dandy screen that you can access by swiping up (yes, even on the lock screen). The Control Center gives you quick access to Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Flashlight, Calculator as well as your Camera and a few other nifty shortcuts. Well…if you have the Control Center open, and you swipe it left, you can access your music controls. That’s right, with only two swipes of the screen you can get to your music controls. Who-da thought??
- Double Tap a Text Message to Add Your “Reaction”
When you double-tap a text message, a bubble screen pops up that gives you the option of adding your reaction or thought to that message. Reactions include a heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, HaHa, !!, or ?. When you choose one of these, it attaches itself to the message, and you will see it both on your screen as well as on the screen of the person who sent you the message. Sound reminiscent of a favorite Social Media platform? I think so.
- Make a Phone Call with Wi-Fi Calling
Now, THIS cool bit of information is something that I was thrilled to find out about just the other day when my cell phone service provider was having issues and my calls kept dropping. I called my provider who acquiesced telling me that you can actually make phone calls over wi-fi when your cell service is down. This excellent feature allows your iPhone to make voice calls using wi-fi in the same way that Facetime sends video and sound. This technology has been around for a while in the form of VoIP, and now you can find it on your iPhone! For many customers, this is a godsend as some providers’ cell signals do a notoriously poor job of penetrating buildings or reaching to remote areas. As long as you have wi-fi available, you can go to Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling to turn it on and use it. When you do, your phone will say Wi-Fi in the top-left corner instead of LTE. I imagine that this feature will also allow you to use your existing cell phone to make free wi-fi calls while overseas. I will definitely be looking into this.
Enjoy your newfound knowledge and don’t forget to be amazed when you also realize that the power you hold in your hand is thousands of times more advanced that the computers that took man to the moon. Wow!