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5 Useful iPhone Features You Didn’t Know



5 Useful iPhone Features You Didn't Know

Photo by Bagus Hernawan on Unsplash

At this point in the evolution of the iPhone, it’s easy to overlook how amazing the devices in our pockets are. They’ve replaced dozens of separate gadgets, turning entire categories of items into simple apps. When’s the last time you saw a physical calculator? Now it’s just the calculator app. When’s the last time you saw someone using a dedicated portable music player? Now, you can listen on demand to nearly all recorded music with multiple streaming services on your phone.

With all this technology and power in one device, it’s hard to keep up with what they can do. New iPhone features come out with every iOS update. Here are a handful of cool iPhone features you should know about.

1. SOS Emergency Service

In an emergency, you want to contact emergency services and your loved ones as fast as possible to let them know where you are. This functionality is built into iOS as an iPhone safety feature. To activate an emergency call on any iPhone released since iPhone 8:

  • Press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons.
  • A slider will appear, then the iPhone will make a warning sound and begin a countdown.
  • At the end of the countdown, the iPhone will call emergency services and send an alert text to your emergency contacts with your location.

2. Text Effects

There are some fun iPhone text features to experiment with. In the iOS messages app, you can create animations to give your texts that extra spark. There are two types of effects: bubble and full screen.

  • Bubble effects animate an individual message bubble. You activate them by typing a message and holding the send button (which appears as a blue up arrow). A menu of different bubble effects, such as Slam and Loud, will appear above the send button for you to preview and select.
  • Full-screen effects animate the entire message screen. Type your message, then hold the send button. Next, hit the Screen button that appears on the upper right of the screen. Swipe left to preview the screen effect options. Tap send to use an effect.

3. Scan Documents

Some iPhone features get bold announcements on release, and others quietly nestle into existing products. An underused feature of the Notes app is that it can scan documents.

To scan a document:

  • Create a new note.
  • Tap the camera icon.
  • Tap Scan Documents.
  • Position the camera so that the entire document is in view.
  • If the phone is in auto mode, the document will automatically be captured. If you’re in manual mode, you’ll need to press the Shutter button.
  • Finally, tap Save.

4. One-handed Keyboard

There are times when you’ve got one hand busy but need to knock out a quick text. If that’s a familiar dilemma, try the iOS one-handed keyboard. To active it:

  • Tap and hold the smiley face emoji or world emoji.
  • Select one of the keyboard layouts that appear, such as the symbol for pushing the keyboard within reach of your right thumb.
  • To return the keyboard to normal mode, touch the left or right edge of the keyboard.

5. Adjust and Lock Camera Focus

There are iPhone camera features behind the simple user interface. For instance, you can manually set the camera focal point and lock focus. To set focus:

  • Touch the screen to see where the automatic focus is set.
  • Tap the part of the image where you want to set focus, then drag the brightness up or down to dial in your exposure.
  • If you want to lock focus so it preserves your manual settings for upcoming shots, press and hold the focus area until AE/AF Lock appears.
  • To remove focus lock, tap the screen again.

There you have five useful and perhaps previously unfamiliar iPhone features. Still hungry for tips? Consult the iPhone User Guide, a comprehensive overview of iPhone functionality from Apple itself.

SEE ALSO: An Apple Hack a Day: 7 Mac Hacks and Tricks to Simplify Your Life

Scott Tepfer is President and EVP of Sales at WeSellCellullar. He has close to two decades of experience in selling pre-owned devices.

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