40 Secret iPhone Features and Shortcuts

There are lots of things that you can do with your iPhone, sure, but we’re willing to be that there are a few more that you either don’t know about or haven’t used before, particularly with all of the additions in iOS 5. Did you know you can put in typing shortcuts similar to Text Expander? Or that you can make custom vibrations for each person? If you didn’t — or just want to brush up on your iOS trivia — hit the jump and find 40 top secret, ultra-cool tips for the iPhone.

Once you’re done becoming an iPhone pro, why not take your apps to the next level with our massive roundup of The Top 100 iPhone Apps!

Camera & Pictures

Want to get the most out of the iPhone’s camera and photos? Follow along as we guide you show you some well known (and not so well known) features of iOS 5 and the iPhone.

1. Use Your + Volume Button as a Shutter on Your iPhone…

Taking a picture by holding your iPhone with just one hand is an easy way to get out of focus images. Fix it by holding your iPhone with two hands horizontally, and then push down the + button usually reserved for raising the volume. Now you’ve got a stable picture!

2. … and Your Headphones, Too

 

The same trick above works for the volume button on your headphones, too. This comes in particularly handy if you have a Glif or similar tripod mount for your iPhone. If you couldn’t already guess, this works for Bluetooth headphones as well.

3. Add a New Photo Album

If you find that your photo album selection lacks a little pizzaz, feel free to add more using this simple trick. Go to the Photos app, click Edit in the top right corner and then click the Add button that shows up in the upper left side of the screen. Now just title the album whatever you want and you’re golden.

4. Quick Look for Pictures You Just Took

Want to look at the most recent image you shot? Open up the camera app and slide the screen from left to right. It’ll show the last picture taken, and you’ll be good to go.

5. Take a Picture With a Double Tap

Stuck on the lock screen but want to take a picture? Double click the home button and look just to the right of your Unlock slider where you’ll find a little camera icon. Touch it, and away you go to taking pictures.

6. Edit Your Photos

Man, those red eyes in that shot look horrible, right? If only you had some kind of way to tweak your shots so that they looked perfect. Turns out you do, all baked into iOS. Just hit Edit on any image, and you’ll be presented with your tools along the bottom row. They’re not super extensive, but it’ll get the job done in a pinch.

Text & Email Functions

Everyone has to type things out on their iPhone, whether it’s text messages or just responding back to an email. Why not make your life a little bit easier? Here are a few tips that will help you out when you’re working behind the keyboard.

7. Text Expansion

Do you find yourself typing the same thing a million times a day? Go to Settings > General > Keyboard and look for Shortcuts after you scroll down just a bit. Then just enter the phrase and appropriate shortcut, and the next time you type that shortcut the phrase will appear. This is particularly handy for things like BRB or your email address.

8. Go Emoji

If you love using emoticons, add the Emoji keyboard to your setup. Just go to Settings > General > Keyboard, then add the Emoji keyboard. This also works if you want to use keyboard in other languages.

9. Use Extra Characters

Want to make sure the accent mark in Montréal is correct? Just hold down the letter you need to accent, and all of the extra characters will appear. Just pick what you need and go from there.

10. Turn On Caps Lock

If you’re really mad and want someone to get the point, or you just like typing in all caps, turn on caps lock by double tapping the shift key. Now you can type with fury!

11. Look Up a Word in the Dictionary

Stumped on what that word in your favorite novel in iBooks means? Wondering why your friend used such a complex word in a text? Look it up using the iOS dictionary. Just hold down on the word that’s got you befuddled, and then touch Define. Now you know the answer and can respond appropriately.

12. Flag an Email

If you’re one of those people who flags every email that comes through, make your OCD happy with iOS 5′s new flag an email feature. To do so, go to your Inbox, hit Edit then select the email(s) you want to flag. Select the Mark tag in the bottom right corner and then select Flag, and you’re good to go.

13. RTF Emails

For those that prefer their email fancy, RTF is now available. Just highlight the word or words you want to accentuate per your usual steps, then select the arrow and then the BIU button to pick between bold, italics or underline.

14. Read Receipts in iMessage

IOS 5 brought us iMessage, and with it the ability to get receipts when other people read your messages. It’s an opt-in deal though, so to turn it on, go to Settings > Messages and turn on Send Read Receipts.

Siri Only

Siri changed the way we communicate with our iPhones, and is one of the big features for the iPhone 4S. If you’ve got one, here are a few tweaks that should help you out along the way.

15. Tweet With Siri

Wouldn’t it be great if Siri allowed you to dictate your tweets? Turns out you can, but it’s a bit of a workaround. First, read up on sending your tweets via SMS, which is available on Twitter’s site. Once that’s all squared away, just add Twitter as a contact in your Contacts, and then treat the service just like it was any other person that you want to send a message. (By the way, if Siri cramps up on you because you used the word Twitter, change it to something different that you’ll remember and it’ll be fine.) You can do this with Facebook too, The Next Web has a great writeup.

16. Get Siri by Holding Your iPhone Up To Your Ear

Not everyone knows about this one, but there’s another way to call up Siri that doesn’t require holding down the home button. Go to Settings > General > Siri, and then select Raise to Speak. Now the light sensor on the iPhone will detect when you’ve got the phone up to your ear, and Siri will pick up. It’s a handy way to use Siri in public without looking like a jerk.

Web

One of the best things about the iPhone when it first came out was that it provided a really good web experience, where viewers could see full pages, not just mobile-optimized garbage. If you want to get the most out of your web browsing experience, here’s a few tips to make things go a little smoother.

17. Private Browsing

Want to make sure that your information isn’t getting sent out to the Internet via Safari? There’s a quick way to fix that: Go to Settings > Safari and then click the tab for Private Browsing. Now all of your activity on the web is top secret, so proceed at your own discretion.

18. Make a Reading List

If you don’t use services like Read It Later or Instapaper, but still want to read a webpage without advertisements, just check out Reader, built into Safari. Just click on the little Reader button next to the URL and your article will come up stripped of all distractions and in easy-to-read text.

19. Tap to the Top

Doesn’t it suck to scroll through a long webpage and then flip back up to show the Address bar again? Just tap the top of the screen by the clock and Safari will zip back up and reveal the address bar, no problem.

20. Saving Images

If you found an image on a website that you want to save for yourself like a wallpaper or icon, just hold down your finger on the picture for a second or two. A menu will slide in from the bottom of the screen giving you the option to Save Image or Copy it to the clipboard. Once it’s saved it’s in your Photo Library, ready for whatever you want.

Settings

There’s a lot you can do in iOS just by playing around with a few settings. Don’t believe us? Let’s show you, then.

21. Update Your OS

One of the nice benefits in iOS 5 is over the air updates, and if you want to find out if you’re eligible, it’s as easy as cracking open the Settings app. Go to Settings > General > Software Update and you can find out if you’re in the clear, or needing to update.

22. Adjust Your Notifications

You’ve probably already played around with your notifications, but there are tons of different ways to manipulate your apps and how they alert you, making it just about perfect to make each app function properly. To get there, it’s Settings > Notifications, and there you can adjust what’s in the Notification Center, and then get even more specific and tell the OS how you want each app to notify you. Everything is clearly described, so you know what you’re getting into beforehand.

23. Custom Vibrations


One often forgotten customization available in iOS 5 is setting your own custom vibrations. To do that, first go to Settings > General > Accessibility and turn on Custom Vibrations under Hearing. Then, go to Settings > Sounds. Scroll to the bottom, and there’s Vibration Patterns. Tap it, and now you can make your own custom vibration on the bottom of the screen. Just tap on the glass the pattern you want, holding down your finger for longer notes. Then you can assign these vibrations to a contact, or use them system wide.

24. Set Your Camera Flash For Alerts

That LED in the back of your iPhone isn’t handy for just taking pictures in the dark, it can also be used for a notifying beacon, similar to the LED on most BlackBerry phones. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and turn on the slider for LED Flash for Alerts, and the next time something comes in, the LED will flash accordingly.

25. Customize Your Alert Sounds

Who wants their iPhone to sound like everyone else’s? Not us, so we customize our alert tones using this simple trick. Go to Settings > Sounds, and now everything from your Calendar notifications to Ringtones can be customized, just pick what you want and there you go.

26. Automatic Downloads

If you have multiple iOS devices, or you purchase things on your computer as well, one option for keeping things in sync is to allow Automatic Downloads of your Music, Apps and Books. To get there, go to Settings > Store and check off whichever of the three you want. Now all of your stuff will work in harmony. How very zen.

27. Fun With AirPlay

If you have an iPhone 4S, iOS 5 brought mirroring to the table, making it possible for you to display your iPhone’s display on your AppleTV. To do so, double tap the home button to bring up the multitasking bar, then swipe to the right twice. Tap the AirPlay button and select what AppleTV you want to deliver to, then check off Mirroring. Now what’s on your iPhone will be on your AppleTV at the same time.

28. Change Your Default Alert Times

If you use your Calendar app, then you know that there are default alerts built into the system, but did you know how to change them? Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts & Calendar > Default Alert Times (which is close to the bottom) and adjust your times accordingly.

29. Change Your iCloud Storage Size

If you find yourself always bumping into the size limit on your iCloud account, you can up the storage levels right on your iPhone. Go to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Buy More Storage and select what level you want to use. You can also downgrade sizing if you think you have too much, too.

30. Tweet It

Twitter is now integrated into iOS 5, so if you ever feel the need to send that pic of Grandma drinking a bit too much wine off to the Internet, now’s your chance. First, setup your Twitter account by downloading the official Twitter app, then go to Settings > Twitter and enter your username and password (if you have more than one Twitter account, no worries, it’s all supported). Now whenever you take a picture, you’ve got the option to send it to Twitter without ever opening the official app.

31. Dissect Your Storage

We’ve got lots of apps that all vie for space on our iPhone’s flash drive, but what if you could find out who was using what? Go to Settings > General > Usage and there’s a list of all of your apps, and how much space they’re taking up. This way, if you find yourself low on space you can delete the offending apps entirely, or just preen them down using the app itself.

The Stuff That Doesn’t Fit Anywhere Else

There are lots of other good tips floating around in iOS, but not all of them are big enough to denote their own category. That’s why we’ve created this one; it’s a general grab bag for whatever other secrets don’t fit somewhere else. Get it? Good. Here you go.

32. Get Week View By Turning Over Your iPhone

It’s new in iOS 5, and it’s fancy. If you want to check a rolling week view of your calendar, just turn it over to a horizontal orientation. Then you can scroll up and down to see hours, or left and right to move through weeks. It’s pretty handy to have when you just want to see what’s coming up in your week.

33. Get Hourly Weather Reports

This one is easy. Pull up the Weather app to get your weekly weather report. Tap anywhere in the week and the current day will expand to reveal the hourly forecast for the rest of the day. It doesn’t work days in advance, but then again, neither does the local weather guy.

34. See Street View in Maps

Pull up Maps and search for something — anything — and you can usually see a little orange dude that shows up on the left side of the destination. Touch that and you go to street view where you can rotate 360 degrees. But what if you don’t have a search destination or just want to see a random area on street view? Just drop a pin. Usually that orange dude will show up again and you can scope out the area before you head down.

35. Take a Screenshot

All these pictures up above? They were all taken using this little trick. Press the home button and the lock button simultaneously and the screen will flash white. As an added bonus, if you have Photo Stream via iCloud, all those images go right into your stream (which is great if your business is posting screenshots like ours is).

36. Location Based Reminders

One of the big selling points with Siri was integration into the new Reminders app, but there’s some cool GPS features built in, too. Make a reminder, and then select to remind you At a Location. You’ll be presented with your current location and the options When I Leave or When I Arrive, or you can just make a custom spot up of your choosing. Just know that this can eat up your battery life because the GPS will be on all the time.

37. Add Twitter Handles to your Contacts

There are two ways to handle this one (see what we did there?). If you start at Settings > Twitter, you can click on Update Contacts and all of your current contacts in your address book will be trolled and connected to their appropriate Twitter accounts. If you want to do it manually (or Twitter can’t find it for you), then go into the contact, hit Edit and then Add Field. Scroll down and you’ll get to Twitter, and then you can manually enter the info.

38. Perform a Hard Reset

Sometimes nothing seems to work on your iPhone, and apps are giving you problems. The answer is a hard reset, which shuts the iPhone off completely — even mid task — and then restarts it. To do this, hold down the lock and home buttons simultaneously for at least 5 seconds, or until the Apple logo appears. When it boots back up, it should be good to go.

39. Give Your Contacts Nicknames

We’ve all got friends that we call by their nicknames, whether it’s KJ, Little T or Jackstands, and sometimes we can’t remember their actual name. To fix that, you can add their nickname into Contacts pretty easily. Go to the contact, hit Edit, then Add Field. Right there at the bottom of the first box is Nickname. Once you get back to the main Edit screen, just add in their nickname and now Siri will recognize it, as will Voice Command.

40. Customize Your Music Controls

There’s only so much room on an iPhone screen, and that’s problematic with the Music app. Some people prefer to search by Artist, others by Playlists, and some don’t even listen to music and just focus on Audiobooks and Podcasts. To customize your Music app, just open it up, hit More then Edit. You’ll see a whole grouping of icons, and then you can drag them to their new location on the bottom of the screen. Fancy.

Got Any Other Good Tips?

If we forgot one here, or didn’t include one of your favorites, feel free to leave us a comment below! The more secret tips we can amass here, the better it is for all iPhone users, right?

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  • Jules

    Lame… Found only one function I didnt know before. Most of the “secret” functions are well known after exploring the settings menu for five minutey…

    • Stephen

      And you’re welcome…

      • Jennifer

        Wow! What a douche canoe you are! Anger management issues much?

    • Paul Dunahoo

      Go be rude somewhere else, not her (or on my website).

      • Jess

        Man, I don’t think he was being rude. Sure, he could have left out the word “lame”, but your list promised to be a bunch of really wonderful, not-well-known things about an iPhone. He’s right – if you take any time at all to get to know your phone (an extra 5 seconds in any of these menus or applications), you would know that your phone did this. I don’t even use mine for most of the functions it’s meant for and I knew most of this stuff.

        If you want to talk about people being rude – perhaps have a little chit-chat with miss “douche-canoe/anger-management”… He’s a douche because he already knew all of this stuff? Cool, I guess I am too… sorry for paying attention to me phone. Guess I better head to my anger management classes now….

        :-|

      • Jess

        Sorry, she* I kept seeing the name Stephen, I now see it was Jules, who is presumably a female.

    • zanahoria611

      Wow aren’t you cool.

      • Faz

        Check out App Trailers on your iPhone/iPod or iPad where you get instant Gift Card codes when you watch app trailers!

        Just download App Trailers here http://bit.ly/ouocEH and then use my bonus code ‘smfazil’ for extra points when you signup.

    • J

      Fantastic… how amazing for you!

      • JDOOSKER

        people can be so rude.. this dude is only tryna help people.. Haters

    • DEB

      THANKS FOR THE TIPS! UNFORTUNATE ABOUT THE SNARKY COMMENTS. SOME PEOPLE ARE JUST UNHAPPY AND LOVE COMPLAINING.

      • Linda

        LOL Love it–and you are so correct…..Called “Choosing life in the Miserable Lane”

      • lizzie

        I agree, I didn’t know most of these and those people made me feel like an idiot. Why can’t people be nice and pass it on?

      • Brian

        I see you used the caps lock secret feature…

    • Lucas

      And these people are incapable of publishing any helpful hints. They’re happy just to be ungrateful. What a shame!!!!

    • Ella Marks

      I know many people who posted above me are hating on your comment, but I have to agree. Anyone who has spent any time playing with their phone or reading the manual (yes, shocking, I know) would know most, if not all, of these functions. That being said, for the people who haven’t bothered or had the time to look into the capabilities of their iphone, this is a decent guide. I simply wish that the title had not been so misleading.

      • MeMeME!

        Agreed. I don’t even own an iPhone and I knew most of this because Android is fairly similar. I came here hoping to find something new that might apply to Android, but found nothing but the same old, same old here… I think the main problem is that this is titled “40 SECRET iPhone features and shortcuts”, these are NOT secrets, they’re quite obvious and if you didn’t know about them, cool, but you can’t claim they’re secrets… =S

    • Tim

      I’ve had my iPhone for almost 2 years and I don’t know half this stuff so I appreciate it. Does it feel real good to put someone down who has worked hard at presenting this information? If it’s so lame, why aren’t you writing the supposed correct and valid article? I’ve had to put up with you Apple know-it-all snots for 25 years now. My God, get a life!

      • chris

        can someone down load something to your phone tharts not suppose to be there from internet or another i phone and make you look like bad guy

    • Denise

      Seriously,
      Just leave everyone alone. The rude comments are obviously from people who have nothing important to do of substance. Yes, I knew quite a few of these tips, but why is there a need to comment smart *** answers? Really

    • ramon

      new to iPhone, didn’t know most of this stuff, I poke around a lot. Thanks. some of us just live to hear our own superiority and complaints about others. Cheers, may you find peace.

    • http://thepete.com thepete

      Don’t listen to the haters–you’re right, this article was pretty lame. If it had been titled “40 things you may not know about your iPhone” then I’d have not felt like my time could have been spent better.

    • Alice

      Awesome thing about the internet: no one forces you to go to any websites. If you want to be a jerk, be a jerk on your own website. She can post about absolutely anything she wants and title it however she wants.

    • Stephanie

      I completely agree with her. Only number 24 I didn’t know..if you pay attention to your phone, like you’re supposed to, and maybe read the quick tips they send with you in your iPhone package, you’d KNOW these tips. They’re also ALL OVER the commercials. Jesus.

    • Cecilia

      Just because you know it, doesn’t mean others do. Plus, it’s handy to see it all placed out, some people just are too lazy or busy to have time to mess around on their phone, so this helps. I agree with what you are saying.. for the most part, but the “lame” isn’t cool.

      • kyra

        you guys take things to heart… just chill and dont make things seem bigger than they are

    • jb

      Not lame at all! I didn’t know about several of these. Thanks!

    • safe as houses

      Good fa’ you. You know stuff that some other people didn’t. Now we all know stuff. Your mum must be very proud of her sonny.

    • aneviltercio

      tell you what “jules” why don’t you go fuck yourself nobody wants to hear you bitch about it if you already knew the stuff why did you look it up?

      • Duh

        As her original comment implies, she had been led to believe by the misguiding language in the title that the tips listed would be much more hard to come by than by reading your “getting started” manual.

    • Good Gravy…

      Everyone is getting so upset because someone decided to voice their opinion that the article was sub par to her expectations using the word “lame.” Lame. Their feelings are hurt over the word “lame.” This is the thin-skinned world we live in.

      • J

        ^ This! The entire world has become pussified! Shame on you all!

  • Jelleke

    I’m familiar with most of these shortcuts and tricks, but thanks for pointing them all out again. I knew I forgot some of them along the road.

    About the Emoji keyboard, do you actually have to have an Emoji app to make that work?

    • Kerrie

      No, you don’t have to have the app. I don’t even know why they made one.

    • Jennifer

      To download the Emoji app go to the app store & type in Emoji free & it will give you the directions on how to follow thru. It’s not just as simple as downloading the app. There are a few more steps than that.

    • stenro

      Actually, iOS 5 has emoji baked in. You do not need a separate app. They are around because before iOS 5 you did need to install one.

      • http://www.trishalyn.com Trisha Lyn Fawver

        Now this was a useful tip as I didn’t know it was included now – thanks for mentioning it and saving me wasted space with the emoji app I don’t even need anymore!

    • abbey

      no you dont

    • expert

      no, it should already be in the system in alphabetical order.

  • http://about.me/docziandras András Dóczi

    Thanks for this compilation even though I was familiar with most of these features.

    There’s one thing though which is not correct in my opinion. Namely, there’s no need to download the official Twitter app to set up the integrated tweeting in iOS 5. It’s enough to enter your credentials in Settings > Twitter and you’re good to go and tweet from the supported apps. And you’re free to use the Twitter app of your choice for everything else.

    • http://about.me/docziandras András Dóczi

      By the way, the Street View trick was a real eye-opener for me, never thought the orange dude was clickable! Now I’m amazed by it and by the animation of entering and exiting Street View.

      • TLK

        I don’t have the little orange dude on my map page…. Any ideas why not?

      • Al

        I think the little orange dude doesn’t show up if the Google truck with the rotating 360 camera didn’t drive down that street and record the views. That address is off-grid for the time being.

      • sve

        My orange dude is grayed out no matter what I do. Any ideas why?

  • tallulah

    I’m pretty sure I did something while in MAPS that enabled a Tomtom-like view of my itinerary! But I couldn’t repeat the trick – it was unexpected!! Anyone know of a way to do it??

    • Kerena

      Click on the page thingie on the bottom right corner. From there, click on List. That will give you a turn by turn list of directions.

  • http://daslive.blogspot.com daslive

    TKS!

  • JChidester

    To capitalize a letter, drag from the CAPS button to the letter.

    • Randee

      new to me!

    • SJ

      That’s a great one for all the acronyms!

    • Jesse

      Cool I didn’t know that one! Thanks!

    • Witteney

      Great hint!

    • Diane

      OOOhhh thanks for this one!!

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  • Bree

    Thanks for these tips, I only knew some of them so it was a great article to read for some new useful shortcuts. I never knew the orange guy on Google Maps was clickable either, or that private browsing is possible in Safari or that tapping the time bar took me back to the top of the screen which is super handy for apps like Tumblr or reading blogs. Thanks again!

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  • http://www.goldfries.com goldfries

    Very nice article but the title is horribly misleading.

    Those aren’t even secrets. They’re just settings or functions that people are often not aware of.

    Secret = UP UP DOWN DOWN LEFT RIGHT LEFT RIGHT X Y A B :P Those aren’t.

  • nick

    thanks VERY much !!!! a couple of right gems there i knew nothing about ! as for the rest of you moaning, be gracious when someone makes and effort to make things better for everyone !

    thanks op

  • Jim

    Thanks! I knew some, some didn’t seem to apply on my upgraded 3GS, but quite a few were new and several I knew about but couldn’t discovered on my own. Even if I found only 1 it was worth it!

  • JC

    This is the first “tip” I discovered when I got my iPhone 4S after Siri completely butchered the pronunciation of my last name.

    It might not be such a secret, unknown tip, and is probably in the manual, but I found it incredibly useful nonetheless…

    It can be challenging for even the most intelligent virtual assistant to correctly pronounce some names, especially ethnic ones. You can set the phonetic pronunciation of first and last names in contacts. Select a Contact in your Address book, select edit. Scroll to the bottom and select ‘add a field’. Select ‘Phonetic First Name’ or ‘Phonetic Last Name’. Try your best to spell the name as it would sound.

    Another way to change pronunciation is to just ask nicely. Activate Siri by holding the home button. Say “Call me ____” you can correctly pronounce your name, or ask Siri to call you something else entirely… like “Your Highness.”

  • http://Thankyou.IwishthiswaswrittenwhenIpurchasedmynewiPhone4s Darryl Evans

    Thank you. I learned a few things tonight. I saved this article because I will forget and will need it for notes to remind me in the future. Please write again if you learn anymore new tricks. I’m sure there are more that we don’t know about yet.

    I wonder if anybody have written a list of commands to ask Siri. For example, Please wake me up in an hour. Siri is able to set my alarm on my phone to go off in an hour. Neat! I read this in an article on the website. I would like to know of anymore commands. I’m learning Siri as I go along. Sometime she understand and sometime not.

    • KDub

      I recently learned how to figure out the things Siri can do by asking her. Siri, what can you do? Attached to each topic is a series of related examples.

    • Sandy

      When you summon Siri, you’ll notice a very small italic ‘i’ to the right of her text asking how can she help you. If you touch that ‘i’ a series of sample questions appear. If you touch those samples, you’ll get more examples of ways to ask Siri questions.

  • frank

    all are good, except the hard reset.
    it doesn’t do anything more than powering it off, and should only be used if the sleep/wake button is not responsive

    • Keith

      My understanding is that it is considered a hard boot and it clears the cache too.

      • Beth Major

        A “hard reset” completely clears the phone of its data….. This little “trick” is a “soft reset” or a “virtual battery pull”…. Much like taking a battery out of any other device….. It does not clear the cache…. It’s simply a reboot.

    • SJ

      It does work. Works similarly to the old “control-alt-delete” on a computer. If your phone seems hung up and can’t get out of where it’s at, the reset will get it back on track.

    • Jess

      It absolutely works. The next time your phone is lagging, even after closing all of the applications that were opened, try it. I am not quite sure what you thought it was supposed to do though – maybe it really doesn’t do what you expected. It’s really just re-booting your phone. Just as you would with a computer.

  • Lee

    Thanks for some very helpful information. On the Custom Vibrations – I was able to record one but cannot figure out how to assign it to a contact. Can you give me a little more info on that process. Thanks again.

    • Nadine

      When I customized my vibration I just clicked the home button and went into my contacts. Then you can select the contact and select edit contact. On that screen you should see a ringtone selection and vibration selections. Click on the vibration selection and it should be under custom vibrations.

  • hueytheg

    TIP – Getting to you text messages faster

    When you have an alert window pop up you can slide the icon across (example – a text message will have a green icon to the left of the message) and it will take you right in to that application.

    I use it mainly for text alerts and facebook alerts that pop up on screen. It takes me right there ready to reply immediately.

    Good post. Not everybody is a know it all :-) Thanks for sharing.

    • Keith

      I just discovered this by accident today in fact.

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  • Andie

    I found this very usefull!!! Can u email ur followers any more tips???

  • JRS

    Go to your contact and click edit, then scroll down, you should find what your looking for.

  • Rez

    Great compilation, I learned about some nice features I didn’t know existed, so thank you!

    It’s a shame there’s always some spotty faced oik who has to wade in with a childish remark… and yes ‘Jules’, I’m talking about YOU!

  • Bill

    Thank you for the article. I knew some tips, forgot some and will pass the article on to many of my senior friends. My only concern is I don’t seem to have the little orange guy
    on my Maps app. I have a 4S and the iOS is up to date. Please help!

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  • Yptcn

    When you look up an address , on the map , there is a pin , that’s where you’ll find the little orange guy ;-)
    I also wanted to say a big thank you for all these tips…some I knew , others not .

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  • JB

    I love the keyboard tip! But no one else seems to be able to read my emoticons. Does the recipient have to have an iPhone, or this keyboard enabled in order to see them?

    • K

      The recipient must also have an iPhone to see the emoticons.

    • stenro

      Do you mean emoticons or emoji? Emoticons you type with characters, emoji are the picture icons. Emoji can only be seen on other iOS devices, Mac OSX or some other devices and IM’s that have it enabled.

    • KDub

      If the recipient has Android instead of iPhone, they can download a free app to see your emojis.

  • matt

    None of these are new to me. The camera option on lock screen was announced to everyone because it was an integral part to the new iOS5 release that coincided with the new 4gs.

    And a note for everyone…while the typing shortcuts are cool…what they don’t tell you is that when you use the abbr. in the middle of the sentence, it’ll still write itself out.

    Ex. *Your intended text* …yeah I’m almost done here, omw soon.
    * What it’ll look like* … yeah I’m almost done here. On My Way! soon.

    E.g. Pain in the ass.

    • Daisy

      I had to work around that too because it can be annoying. If you make “omw” expand to “On my way” it works. Sometimes we’ve got to be smarter than the smart phone.

    • SJ

      Well yes. That’s generally how shortcuts work. You typed the shortcut and the phone filled it in. If you find it to be annoying to you, delete it.

  • http://www.appsmenow.com iphone app list

    great shortcuts and very usefull

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  • http://sergey-oganesyan.ru/ Sergey Ognaesyan

    big thanks, super, for my phone!

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  • Becky

    Thanks! Very helpful.
    I did have to look elsewhere for help with screenshots, though, and found I need to hold down the lock key and then DOUBLE tap my home key to make it work on my new iPhone 4s

    • Rona

      I found BOTH ways work with my 4s….You just have to be very quick if you press the lock and home buttons at the same time

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  • Liz

    I’m a fairly new iphone user and appreciate any and all tips for this phone. I am constantly amazed at I can do with it. Thanks so much

  • John Doe

    Heres another tip which I believe was left unmentioned… Go to settings hit general, accessibility and you can invert the colors turn on voiceover or zoom. You can also change it so that you click the home button three times to view these options. Simple but still worth mentioning.

  • SnoopyNut

    Thank you for all your work in putting this list together. Some I knew, but many are going to be very helpful. BTW, found you on Pinterest! :)

  • Paula

    thanks so much I always wondered how to create albums in my photos!!

  • cissy mims

    i have an icon on my screen that is a lock with a circle around it in the right hand corner i know it something about the camera could you help????????????

    • Joann

      that indicates if you have locked it so that it doesn’t rotate when you turn your phone sideways.

    • Adam

      Hi the little lock and circle you see is the notifaction that your iphone rotational feature is locked in the current position(when you turn your phone on its side the screen rotates) to unlock it double tap your home button and then swipe from left to right in the app bar that pops up and you will see a button on the far left that will unlock the rotation lock

      • Tammie

        OMG thank you! I locked it some time ago, but couldn’t remember how I did it or how to undo it.

  • Rhonda

    I knew several but not all. Thanks for so many tips. I have spent some time exploring! Only thing I am still frustrated with is navigation. Loved it on my Droid… any tips on using the nav. on the iphone. It’s hard to drive and keep having to forward to the next direction. Is just user error?

    • Melissa L.

      Click the little page icon on the bottom right hand corner, then click list… it will give the directions all at once.

    • Tanya

      Download the app Waze. It’s a free turn by turn direction app and it will speak the directions to you as well! I love it!

      • Ettiene

        WAZE is awesome!!

    • lauren

      Download Mapquest (Free). It is just like a GPS; voice navigation, turn by turn directions, has many other options as well and is WAY better than Maps.

  • amanda

    If you turn your phone on its side when you have the calculator open, you get a scientific calculator (no need to download an app).

    • Liz

      This is amazing. I didn’t know it did that and I find this very helpful as I am always forgeting my calculator and I need it because I am taking advance calc.

    • Heidi

      oohh…thanks for this one. I don’t need trig functions, but I missed having the silly percent key!

      • http://camisetaspersonalizadas.overblog.com/ camisetas

        We will use it in the next app! Thanks for sharing ; )

    • Bo

      Great to know- Thanks

  • Carolyn

    Thank you…. C’=

  • brenda

    Thank you for the tips!
    Two more questions:

    1). Is there an easy way to arrange the icons on my home screens? The current way~ trying to slide icons from page to page~ drives me nuts.
    2).How do I change the tone of the alarm?

    • Keith

      You can do this much easier in iTunes while the phone is plugged in and after it is done syncing. Click on the phone icon on the left and it will bring up the iPhone screen. Click on the Apps tab at the top and you will see your screens as they are laid out. Just move the buttons around as you need them.

    • stenro

      A little tip I use to make it a little easier on the phone:
      move one of your task tray icons to the last page of your apps. Then create a new group of apps you want to move and move that group into the task tray. As you get to the screen you want, slide the app out of the group onto the screen and repeat. When done, move the original app back to the task tray.

      • Charlie

        Can you tell us what you mean by a “task tray”?

  • Kristin

    Having the same frustration with navigation. That is the only thing that was betteron my droid. It is very hard to drive and arrow over for the directions. Isn’t there a feature somewhere where the drictions are voiced to you as you approach the direction? Thanks for the tips, I’m new to iPhone, but love it so far!

    • Rily

      MapQuest has a free app that does voice navigation. Unfortunately, the iPhone doesn’t do voice nav through Google Maps.

    • Tanya

      Download the app Waze. It’s a free turn by turn direction app and it will speak the directions to you as well! I love it!

    • stef

      Is there a way to change your default navigation search to show traffic and choose the shortest time? Mine always selects for major highways by default, which during rush hour tend to be the longest time

  • Marci

    Thanks for this I learned a few more things, but bc I use my phone for personal & business use I would like to know if there is a way to create groups in my Contacts/Phone book?

    • Liz

      There isn’t, unless you use an app that is designed for that. There are a few that do this. One is mailshot (i have it and am in no way involved with it or benefit from it). I also know that the admins at my worksite have created server groups (not in contacts) that I can use on my iphone. It is a distribution list that is stored on the server. I don’t know how they set it up, however.

    • Sam

      If you log in to iCloud on your desktop, it will give you the ability to sort your contacts into groups. You then just need to make sure your iPhone’s cloud settings have the contact option turned on.

  • BeAzer

    Not sure if everyone knows this one either, i didnt. if your phone is acting “slow” or lagging, all ur apps stay open when u close out of them. if you double click the home bottom it will bring up a bubble at the bottom of the screen and if you tap and hold the icons and hit the minus in the left corner it will totally close out of the app and quicken ur phone back up.. i had like 30 apps open and was complaining about my phone being slow when my brother told me this!! i close all my apps this way evrey night!! :o)

    • Amanda

      That actually isn’t true :/ those are just recent apps you have used…if you click on your photos, that icon will be there too. Doesn’t mean it’s ‘running’, the photo icon doesn’t ‘run’. Just letting you know, sorry.

      • Jenn

        Amanda, not sure where your got your info but you’re incorrect. Yeah the apps do still run in the background after you use them & they also eat your batt life up faster so yes it’s best to double click & click their minus signs to make them stop runnin in the background.

      • stenro

        Jenn- not true. After a while they do not run and do not eat the battery (or memory.) Apple has them time out after a certian time of inactivity. They also enforce this as a feature that a developer has to put into the app. Apple specifically did this to avoid battery and memory issues- they talked about it during the launch of iOS 5.

      • Jess

        Actually, it’s 100% true. Just doing it should be proof enough. And if that’s not, maybe ask someone who works for Apple (I’m not talking about a retail salesperson, I mean a person who KNOWS Apple). And for Stenro – “after a while”… so, admittedly, for a “while”, they do drain the battery. I have iOS 5, and unless the “after a while” is after 24+ hrs of inactivity, my phone is a “dud”.

        Just sayin’ :-)

      • TC

        Amanda is correct. They are just shortcuts–not running apps. Why would Apple make it so that your apps run FOREVER? That would be senseless. Deleting the recently used apps from that menu is an exercise in futility. Search the web and you will find countless, technologically, scholarly articles addressing this very debate–you’ll find none that support the “running in the background” theory.

    • maggs

      oh yes i was told this to by an apple rep

      • maggs

        how do i add these tips to my pinterest

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  • Julia

    Thanks for this list there were like 5 I didn’t know about. Especially thanks for the caps lock! I figured you could do all caps but I couldn’t figure it out on my own. Sure I could of asked my nerdy for apple husband but I just knew I would figure it out. :)

  • http://mamazenblog.com Jen@mamaZEN

    I really like this. I love technology, but have little patience for sitting around messing with settings. Unless I am pointed to something or do it by accident, I miss stuff. I think this was really great!

  • Meghan

    I had a best buy tell me to be deleting all ur open apps in the bottom by double clicking when ur on ur main page… Press and hold them and delete them once a day! Cause they take up alot of battery!

    • No

      Leave it to a Best Buy rep to get it wrong. No need to close all of the apps, they hibernate on their own and do not chew the battery.

      • Amy Smith

        Why is there a way to shut them down then?

  • avpamo

    This was extremely eye-opening for me. Thanks for compiling it all.

  • Jamie

    Thank you so much for the tips, now how did you get it where responses come like you have it here? Please keep me updated!

  • jayna

    thought I knew everything about my new iphone, turns out I don’t know squat! Thank you so much for this, found this on pinterest:)

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  • Chris

    #5 – display the camera icon on the lock screen … no longer requires a double-tap of the home button once you upgrade to iOS 5.1 … it’s now a built-in always-on feature.

    • Sarah

      My camera access from the lock screen doesn’t seem to work. Where I used to be able to double tap previously on the lock screen to open the camera, now the icon is now there but when I tap it, the lock screen “bounces” to show me the camera screen below and then the lock screen falls back down in place and I still have to unlock and click on the camera app to access it.

      How do I make the camera work again in this fashion? I used to use it a ton on the go!

      • kc

        You just have to slide the camera icon upwards; no more double tapping.

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  • Lynn

    Thanks for taking the time to put all of this together! Some I knew and some I didn’t, but it was nice refresher for things forgotten due to lack of use. I didn’t know abut the Safari “Privacy” setting – now its seems like a no-brainer. Thanks again!

  • Werewolf

    Thanks a lot for sharing the above info, I’ve just bought 4S and these info were very helpful.
    I just wants to add another tip:

    on your headphones remote, there is a button in between + & – it can very useful if you are listening to music.
    single click: pause/play
    double click: next track
    triple click: previous track

    thanks.

    • Andrei

      I’ll add to that,

      -single click then hold: talk to siri / voice command
      -double click then hold the the second click: fast forward
      -triple click then hold the third click: rewind

  • Christina

    Thanks! I learned a few new tricks. I would add the option for Shortcut creations in the Keyboard settings. I hadn’t heard of it, but it’s very helpful. I use it to send texts while driving (I type in “dri” and it types “I’m driving. I’ll answer when I park.”).

  • Thomas

    Just thought I’d warn you ‘private browsing’ doesn’t work how you think. All it does is make sure you history and form entries and cache/cookies/sessions aren’t saved. To the Internet, you are just the same from a security standpoint with private browsing on, only difference is it doesn’t remember anything you did.

  • Wendy

    Thank you very much. For us who don’t know it all, this is greatly appreciated! Found on pinterest.

  • ShortyBeth

    I found everything very helpful.

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  • Tiny leaks

    Blackberry convert here, new to iPhone as my office was kitted out with them on Friday. I was the BB guru, now on Monday I will be the IP Guru! Blind leading the blind but thanks for the tips. Its like opening a present and I want to know what other secrets are still to find now.

  • Tiny Leaks

    Ha, my phone now calls me “your highness”!

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  • JordansMom

    Thanks~~I didn’t know about some of these!!!

  • Bontac

    Thanks so much!!! Is there a way to use ringtones that I have purchased? I can not figure this out.

    • sara

      You can’t download ringtones directly to your iPhone. You have to hook it up to iTunes, put the ringtones into iTunes and then load them onto your phone like you would with music. There should be a separate ringtones folder in your iTunes.

      • sam

        ummm… iTunes has a ringtones section. like search “ringtones”

  • Shine

    Beleive it or not, there is always someone out here like me… a complete newb to the the Iphone (Apple in general) and these tips have been very helpful to someone who is just learning. Pay no mind to the unfortunate sarcasm of others, this has been extremely helpful and very much appreciated. Thank you! :-) :-) :-)

  • Silvia

    Is there anyway I can find my I phone just with the serial number? It got stollen in Cancun, I’m still living here and it would be so awsome to find my phone that I miss immensely, you just don’t know how I miss my Iphone. Do you think it is a way to find it like in the movies where you can trace where that i phone goes or is or should I just be miserable and forget about it…LOL
    Thanks

    • Tanya

      Yes! There is a way to locate it! There is a “Find my iPhone” tool and app. If your phone is still on… Go to icloud.com/find and type in your apple id and password and you can try to locate it! I had my iPhone stolen a few months ago though and somehow the person who stole it knew how to either keep it off or make it untraceable. But was able to see where it was for the first hour or so! Good luck!!!

  • Rachel

    Great advice thank you! :D

  • beka

    Here’s good one my DH told me about. When the phone is active and a call comes in you can accept or decline but when you haven’t been using it and a call comes, there is only an accept button. If you want to decline the call double push on the power button and it goes straight to voicemail!

    • KDub

      Thank you!! I missed that feature from my previous crappy droid phone!

    • MySnowowl

      You can also use the volume down button to send unwanted calls to voice mail

  • Pamela

    Here’s a clever one…. if the home button no longer works (it happens), go to Settings, General, Accessibility, then turn Assistive Touch to ‘ON’. This will place a moveable home button on the screen.

    • Nick

      Wow! that is a great tip!! My friend was just telling me her home button didn’t work, and that she had to power her phone off and back on every time she switched apps. She is now in heaven!

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  • lizwiz

    One of the things I often use that a few friends did not know about even after having the phone for months is double-tapping the home button to visit recent apps. Besides this, if you double-tap, then slide the apps that pop up to the right you will see a Portrait Orientation Lock (super handy for when you’re reading in iBooks or looking at sideways pictures), and some Music control settings like pause/play, skip, and the title of what you are listening to.

  • Marilyn

    Being a non-techy new iphone user I really appreciate having some one give hints on how things work. My grand kids will be impressed with what I’ve learned. Don’t let the negative comments of a few get to you. Some people are not happy unless they are putting others down. Says more about them than you.

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  • Lisa

    upgraded software, i have everything but siri?? Any help?

    • Shane

      Siri by default is turned off on phones sold in Canada (not sure