There’s a lot to love about the iPhone, and it can be overwhelming at times. Apple’s smartphone includes thousands of handy features tucked away in places you might never discover unless someone told you about them. With that in mind, we’ve picked out ten great features every iPhone owner should be using—newbies and veterans alike.
Silence Unknown Callers
If you’re tired of interruptions by phone calls from unknown numbers or spammers, you can silence them completely. Open Settings, tap “Phone,” then scroll down and toggle the “Silence Unknown Callers” switch to the on position. While enabled, all calls from numbers that aren’t in your Contacts list will go straight to voicemail without ringing. You’ll still see silent notifications for the calls if your iPhone is unlocked.
Customize Your Control Center
Control Center allows you to quickly access media playback controls, system volume, Wi-Fi settings, your screen’s brightness, and more. (To see it, swipe downward from the upper-right corner of the screen on phones with Face ID, and swipe upward from the bottom edge of the screen on iPhones with Home buttons.)
Control Center also includes a customizable slate of shortcut buttons that you can change to suit your needs. To customize Control Center, open Settings and tap “Control Center.” There you can add or remove Control Center shortcuts to functions like the flashlight, timer, calculator, low power mode, Apple TV remote, and much more. It’s very handy!
Reclaim Peace With “Do Not Disturb”
Do Not Disturb mode (which is part of a feature called “Focus“) is a great way to silence all of your notifications when you don’t want to be disturbed. You can schedule it to turn on and off automatically, or just turn it on manually in Settings > Focus or when using Control Center (tap the crescent moon icon). When activated, your iPhone won’t ring or vibrate with calls, and you won’t hear alerts from any notifications. You can toggle it off quickly at any time using Control Center.
Share Photos and Video With AirDrop
AirDrop allows you to easily share photos, videos, and other files from your iPhone to other nearby Apple device owners. It works locally through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and you can find the AirDrop option under the share menu.
To use it, open the Share sheet in almost any app (tap the square with the arrow coming up out of it), then select the AirDrop icon, which looks like a bunch of concentric circles with a wedge cut out of it. Then choose who you want to share with, and your files will be beamed wirelessly to the other device. AirDrop must be enabled and configured properly on both devices, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll wonder why copying files between devices hasn’t always been this easy.
Turn On Low Power Mode
If you find yourself running out of battery power before the end of the day, you can extend your battery life by turning on Low Power Mode. When Low Power Mode is on, your iPhone will disable background tasks, reduce screen brightness, and your iPhone’s screen will darken faster when idle. To turn it on, open Settings, tap “Battery,” then toggle the “Low Power Mode” switch to the on position. You can also add a Control Center shortcut that will let you toggle Low Power Mode quickly with a swipe and a tap.
Get to Know Siri
Siri is your personal assistant on Apple devices, and if you haven’t experimented with it before, you might be surprised at just how handy it can be. To use Siri, hold down the Side button (on iPhones with Face ID) or the Home button (on iPhones with Touch ID) and say what you need out loud. Or you can configure Siri to activate just by saying “Hey Siri” at any time.
Siri can do things like send messages, play music, make calls, set alarms or reminders, trigger shortcuts, and much more. You can also ask Siri questions and get answers on many topics. And you can customize Siri’s voice pitch and accent in Settings.
Take a Screenshot
If you want to capture an image of exactly what you see on your iPhone screen, you can easily take a screenshot. Once taken, you can view and share the screenshot like any other image stored on your device.
How you take a screenshot depends on which type of iPhone you have. On iPhones with home buttons, press the home and Sleep buttons simultaneously. If your iPhone has Face ID, press the Side button and the Volume Up buttons at the same time. Your iPhone will capture an image and save it to your Photos library for later viewing.
Use Family Sharing to Share Purchases
If your family uses Apple devices, you can take advantage of Family Sharing to share app, music, and movie purchases with your family. That means people in your family won’t need to buy those items again. Each member must have an Apple device and an Apple ID, and you all need to be in the same family group. To set it up, open Settings and navigate to Apple ID > Family Sharing, then follow the instructions. Once configured, everyone in your family will have access to shared content in the App Store and through other apps that support Family Sharing.
Pay Without Cards Using Apple Pay
If you left the house and forgot your credit or debit cards at home, you can purchase things easily using Apple Pay on your iPhone. You can also use Apple Pay on supporting websites. To set up Apple Pay, open the Wallet app and tap the plus (“+”) sign in the corner to add a credit or debit card, which you’ll need to have on hand. Once you’ve added a card, you can use Apple Pay in person by tapping your iPhone against a NFC pay terminal in a store, then confirm with Touch ID or Face ID.
Disable Notifications the Easy Way
One of the most annoying aspects of owning an iPhone is the amount of notifications you can receive from all kinds of apps if you allow them. They seem innocuous at first, but with hundreds of apps, you can end up getting disturbed at all hours of the day.
You can manage which apps send notifications in Settings > Notifications, but also there’s an easy way to turn them off on the Notification Center or Lock screen just as they appear. To do so, swipe your finger to the left on a notification and select “Options,” then select “Turn Off” in the menu that appears. Peace at last! Have fun using your iPhone.
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