Top Hidden Features of the iPhone

Jul 26, 2017
How To

Given the simplicity of the iPhone for the greatest degree of usability, the complexities of the system itself are masked under a clean design with minimal buttons. As a device that boasts so many different functionalities coupled with apps that are able to further its potential, there remain features that are lesser known to the masses of users. In this article, we explore the various hidden functions offered through the iPhone that may not be immediately apparent to many.

Bedtime Mode

The first hidden feature that will be looked at is Bedtime Mode which can be found in the clock application. At the bottom tab of the app that indicates “Bedtime”, it can track sleep, give them an alarm in the morning, and make suggestions on when to go to sleep to optimize performance. Furthermore, the settings can be customized to indicate what time users would like to sleep at and when to wake up, all of which will alter the results of the sleep analysis that is done on a weekly basis. The alarms can be catered to be different each day or set as one-time alarms with reminders. Through Bedtime Mode, users can easily get into a sustainable sleep routine while monitoring it in the sleep analysis section.

Reverting Lock Screen Access

With the new iOS 10 update, accessing the apps beyond the lock screen requires a hard button press while the version previous to the update only needed a gently tap. Although a minor change, this may affect the overall user experience as an unfamiliar change. In order to revert back to the tap instead of the hard press, users need to go into the Settings App, General, Accessibility, and then Home Button. From there, the setting can be changed by selecting “Rest Finder to Open” which will eliminate the need to press down on the home button that is present with the new update.

Parked Car Locator

A new feature that may be hidden to many is that the Maps app can now help users locate where they have parked. With this, the feature automatically remembers and tells the user when they are going back to their vehicle. In order to set this function up, users first need to go into the Settings app, scroll down until they find Maps, then turn on the option to Show Parked Location. Upon doing this, the Maps app will show the parked location of the vehicle as long as it connected to Bluetooth or car play stereo which will make finding it much easier, especially in a large and crowded parking lot.

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Force Touch on Tools

In iOS 10, force touch on various applications will allow for access of quick links within the app for functionalities without having to open it. A hidden feature that leverages this is that force touch for more options can also be used on various tools such as the flashlight and timer. For example, by using force touch on the flashlight, options appear for the different brightness levels while using it for the timer will bring up quick options for 1, 5, and 20 minute timers. This feature can also be used for the camera to take a photo, record in slo-mo, record a video, or take a selfie instead of having to open and navigate through the app. With this feature, many basic tasks are streamlined as they are preloaded onto the force touch option.

Voicemail Transcription

Beyond being able to receive and store voicemail, the new iPhone offers a feature which transcribes voicemails so that users are able to read it as well. For those who need to make notes of the voicemails that they receive or remember a message that was left for them, this function can save users a tremendous amount of time instead of having to manually write the notes. The transcriptions are done automatically and as soon as the voicemail is received so that there is no buffering time from when the message is received to when it is transcribed.

Announce Calls

To have Siri announce who is calling, users can go into the Settings app, search for “announce calls” and select from a list of options in terms of having it announce incoming calls. For example, users can select always, headphones & car, headphones only, or never to indicate in which circumstances would they want Siri to announce their calls. This function, although not known to many, can be high applicable to those who often receive calls during their commute as having the caller be announced can help drivers keep their eyes on the road for a longer period of time.

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Quickly Eliminate Notifications

In the event that users are getting too many notifications in their dropdown menu, being able to quickly eliminate them can be extremely helpful. To do this, all that a user has to do is force touch on the “x” button on the notification and then select “Clear All Notifications”. In doing so, all of the notifications are eliminated at once instead of having to go through and discarding each one individually.

Comment on Each Message

With so many changes to iMessages, one of the most subtle ones that are easy to miss is the ability to leave a simple emoticon on received messages. For example, users are able to tag a heart, thumbs up or down, haha, or question mark emoticon to messages that they receive to show the sender their feelings of it. Similar to that of Facebook’s introduction of a wider range of emojis that can be used on a post, this feature is one that is simple to utilize as all that is required is for the user to force select a message for the options to appear.

Although the iPhone appears to be simple to use at the surface, it offers many functions that are not well known or easily accessible. To access the full potential of the iPhone, following this article to unlock the hidden features can significantly streamline many processes as well as provide functionalities that users may not have previously known about.

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Kevin Chau

Following my passion in the realm of business and entrepreneurship, I am always eager to develop skills that enable me to learn, build, and grow. My previous projects, both academic and personal, reflect my dedication towards expanding and applying my theoretical knowledge for practical results in these fields.

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