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Think Different: The 15 Best Apple iPhone Hacks

Out of all the contemporary smart devices on the market, we can’t argue that Apple offers one of the more friendly user experiences out there. Naturally, this comes with the cost of limited customization (looking at you Android power users) and the need to immerse yourself into the Apple ecosystem at large (phones, desktop, tablet, email, music, etcetera all synced up in the Cloud), but those willing to participate are rewarded with a streamlined experience unlike any other in the modern technological landscape.

That’s not to say, however, that a learning curve doesn’t exist. For any new iPhone user will surely have some exploratory questions while diving into their new device. Hell, even seasoned users can learn a new trick or two from time to time. And that’s what we set out to accomplish here specifically; iPhone tips, tricks, and hacks to help you get the absolute most out of the device. What lies below are 15 separate hacks to do just that — from simple storage backup to sending customized visual responses and reactions to text messages. Just take a gander and see for yourself.

1. Back up Your Data

One rule about smartphones we simply can’t ignore is their impermanence. These are fragile devices that aren’t immune to reckless living and/or nefarious acts by others. That said, it’s important to utilize your iCloud storage to back up important data. This goes for both the iPhone and Mac computer as well. And the process is fairly simple: Settings > [your name] > tap the device > tap iCloud Backup.

2. Find My iPhone

Partially in line with what’s outlined above, losing your iPhone is going to happen. The time and money saving solution, however, lies in two very simple steps: 1) Ensuring the Find My iPhone setting is toggled on in your settings (Settings > [your name] > iCloud > Find My iPhone) and 2) Getting the Find My iPhone app so you can track it via a second device if/when it’s misplaced.

3. Set Up Medical ID

It’s never a bad idea to ensure that if something dire was to befall you, key medical info was accessible to emergency personnel without your assistance. All you need to do is open the Health app > tap Medical ID > tap Edit. Here, you can input key details like any allergies you may have, medical conditions, next of kin, etc. Plus, all this info is then accessible from the lock screen.

4. Activate Do Not Disturb While Driving

We don’t need to preach about texting and driving. The proof is already out there and present on billboards across our national interstate highway system. What we can suggest, though, is ensuring you’re not tempted to pick up the phone while driving by enabling Do Not Disturb automatically while driving. Just go into your Settings > Do Not Disturb > Automatically to engage.

5. Measure Anything

Available in the new iOS 12 update, the Measure app utilizes AI, machine learning, computer vision, and facial recognition to measure just about anything through the camera lens. Are the measurements exact? Not quite, but you should be given valid estimates without fail.

6. Today View

Viewing day-to-day plans, meetings, and touch points is a sure-fire way to make the most of your waking hours. Today View offers just that — displaying what’s on the docket by simply dragging down from the top of the screen. Add, subtract, or update widgets via the Edit button to customize Today View as well in order to make the most out of this handy feature.

7. Set a Music Timer

Need some noise while falling asleep or just in general but want to ensure it stops on time? Simple. Just head to the Clock app > Timer > scroll to the end > select Stop Playing as the option. That way, whatever white noise or playlist you have on will conveniently quit once the timer runs out.

8.Siri Song History

Let’s face it, Siri has a better memory than we do. It only makes sense then that we confide in her for our music history. Just head to the iTunes Store app and you can find any and all songs Siri has been asked to identify. Just tap the three-line icon at the top > choose “Siri.”

Key iPhone Terms to Know

Personal Hotspot: Allows you to share your internet connection with other devices via WiFi, Bluetooth, or USB.
Control Center: A quick means of adjusting settings, media playback or other features. Accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.
AirPlay: The brand’s local streaming technology for media via the Apple TV and/or Homepod.
AirDrop: A wireless method or transferring files electronically.
Night Shift: Adjusts the hue of your screen at the end of the day to correlate with the setting sun. Purposed for healthier sleep cycles.
Home Kit: Apple’s smart home API that allows smart objects (like the Homepod and smart outlets) to communicate.

9. 3D Touch Folder Notifications

One way to keep the home screen as neat and tidy as possible is through the use of organizational folders. However, if things get a little complicated (notification-wise that is) then you can easily view which app in each folder hosts a pending notification by tapping and holding that partially folder (otherwise known as 3D Touch) to get a glance at which app needs attention.

10. Dim the Screen for Low Light

Blue light in the dark can strain your eyes into next week. So, if checking your phone in the dark is a must, you can dim the screen below the normal threshold by going to settings > accessibility > zoom > zoom filter > low light. From here, all you need to activate this setting is to triple-press the power button on the iPhone’s right-hand side.

11. Animoji Reactions to Messages

In iOS 10 updates or later, you can up your reactive responses via text thanks to Tapback reactions sent by holding down the chat bubble in the conversation. Once more, in iOS 12 or later you can even add your own Memoji or Animoji into the convo as well.

12. Swipe-to-Delete in Calculator

Not that we’d recommend conducting calculus in your iPhone, but for greater-than-simple math equations on the Calculator app, you can now delete the last type edit (in case there was a mistake made) by swiping from the right to the left atop the results section. And don’t worry, this can be done multiple times. Think of it as a Command + Z option for the app.

13. Customized Text Alerts

Need to know who’s texting you and when? Simple. Now you can create custom text tones and ring alerts for specific contacts so you know who’s lighting up your phone without taking a look. Here’s how it’s done: Open your Contacts app > tap Edit > tap Text Tone > tap desired selection in the Alert Tones section > tap Done.

14. Quiet Delivery for Notifications

Reserved primarily for iOS 12 or later users, Instant Tuning allows you to manage notification delivery — in this case delivering quietly — via the following procedure: Press the notification on the lock screen > tap Manage > select Deliver Quietly in the new menu that’s displayed over the lock screen.

15. Multi Keyword Photo Search

Got hundreds (or even close to 1,000) photos on your iPhone? A little keyword search functionality can go a long way when digging through the archives. In this instance, the device’s multi-keyword search option in the Photos app can really help. Simply start typing generic keywords in the search bar and the device will utilize its object recognition software to serve any and all images that fit that description. You can also get as descriptive as possible with multiple keywords per search.

The 15 Best Apple HomePod Hacks

Time to enjoy the entire ecosystem from within your own home with the HomePod. And guess what? There are several tips/tricks/hacks for this device as well. Just click here to get a birds-eye view of the best Apple HomePod hacks for more info.