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16 iPhone hacks that’ll improve your life

After 14 years, 29 different models, and almost 15 iOS updates, we like to think we know our iPhones pretty well. Which means that when it comes to iPhone hacks you’ve probably heard it all before. From closing your background apps for better performance to using Airplane mode for speedier charging, there are lots of tried-and-tested hacks out there. But will they really improve your life? Well, we’ve got 16 iPhone hacks that you may have never heard of before but will definitely improve your life – even just in small ways!

Luckily, you don’t need any hacks when it comes to finding the right iPhone insurance for your needs and budget – you just need Gadget Cover! Give us a call today for a quick, hassle-free quote and start protecting your tech.

Cleaning iPhone

iPhone Hack #1 - Make messaging a breeze

When it comes to texting we all have our own individual quirks and phrases that we use a lot. But while we can get pretty quick at typing, those longer phrases can often be a drag to tap out letter by letter. Activating the Text Replacement function is a great way to use simple abbreviations to replace longer phrases.

For example, typing ‘GM’ will be replaced with ‘Good morning’ automatically, or ‘OMW’ will become ‘On my way’. To activate, simply open Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement.

To add your own bespoke text replacement, tap the + icon, enter your phrase and shortcut, then hit Save. To remove a text replacement you no longer need, select Edit, hit the delete icon then Delete. To save any changes, hit Done.

iPhone Hack #2 - Type even faster with one finger

The iPhone’s QuickPath feature lets you slide your finger across the keyboard to select letters, rather than tapping. It might seem strange, but it really is so much faster and you’ll probably make less mistakes.

While QuickPath is turned on by default if you don’t want it then go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Slide to Type and toggle off.

iPhone Hack #3 - Make iPhone alerts far less irritating

Constantly checking our screens or listening out for sounds to notify us of incoming calls, texts and other notifications is one of life’s many irritations. With this iPhone hack you can be subtly notified instead by the camera flash blinking on the back of your phone. Perfect if you’re in a quiet restaurant or you’re trying to get your little one off to sleep! Here’s how:

  • Open Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual.
  • Tap LED Flash for Alerts.
  • Move the toggle switch to On.
  • Move the Flash on Silent toggle switch to On. Your iPhone will now flash when the ring switch is silent.

iPhone Hack #4 – Never worry about missing an emergency call again

Turning on Do Not Disturb can be a great way to get some me-time away from friends, family and work. But it can often leave us fearful that we won’t be contactable in an emergency. But there’s no need to worry with this easy hack.

Simply go to Contacts and find the person you want to hear from, and hit Edit in the top right corner. On the edit page, click either Ringtone or Text Tone. Then select Emergency Bypass. That person can now contact you even when Do Not Disturb is on.

iPhone Hack #5 – Quickly measure objects

We already know we can use the iPhone’s handy Measure App to measure objects – we mentioned it in our previous iPhone hacks and tips guide no less. But it can be a bit slow and fiddly.

If you want something a bit quicker, did you also know your iPhone automatically detects the dimensions of rectangular objects? First, open Measure, then point the iPhone camera at the object. If the object is rectangular (say a picture frame) then a white measurement box will appear around the object. Tap the white box or Add button to see the measurements. If you move your iPhone slightly the object's area appears. Handy indeed.

iPhone Hack #6 - Get a better night’s sleep

Using your time and location data your iPhone can automatically adjust the colour of the iPhone display to make it easier on your eyes. And with research suggesting the bright blue light of your phone screen can disrupt sleep, if you want a decent night’s rest the Night Shift feature is definitely worth turning on. You can do this in two ways:

  1. Go to the Control Centre and firmly press the Brightness control icon. Next tap the Brightness icon to turn the feature on or off.
  2. Go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift.

While Night Shift turns on automatically between sunset and sunrise, you can schedule it to a different time.

iPhone Hack #7 – Irritated by Siri's voice?

After a few months Siri’s voice can easily leave you feeling a bit ‘Meh’. If you fancy a change then head to Settings > Siri & Search > Siri Voice and choose the accent or voice you want.

If you really can’t bear listening to Siri any longer then hit Siri Responses and turn on Always Show Siri Captions.

Finally, if you don’t even want to speak to Siri then you can type your requests to Siri instead of saying them. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Siri and toggle the Type to Siri slider to On. Now when you activate Siri a keyboard appears to let you type your command.

iPhone Hack #8 – Hands-free unlocking

Apple has done amazing work in recent years to make iPhones more accessible. And like all great ideas these developments are useful to any user. So, say your hands are often full or dirty and you don’t want to have to type your passcode to unlock your iPhone. Simply do the following to create a custom voice control command to unlock your iPhone hands-free.

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > Voice Control > Customise Commands > Create New Command.
  • In the Phrase Editing window, type in the phrase you want to use. Because anyone will be able to unlock your iPhone using this phrase it’s best to choose something more unusual than ‘Open iPhone’!
  • Tap Action > Run Custom Gesture. Now tap your screen in the exact places you would if you were entering your Passcode. This might take a bit of practice. Once you get it right, tap Save.

Now the next time you want to unlock when your hands are dirty, simply tap the screen and say the magic words! Be aware that for this to work Voice Control needs to be enabled on your iPhone.

iPhone 11 Pro Max

iPhone Hack #9 – Save on finger strain

With big screens making some icons a bit of a stretch to reach with one hand this hack is very worthwhile. To turn on and use the Reachability feature do the following:

  • Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > and turn on Reachability.
  • If your iPhone has a Home button, lightly double-tap the Home button.
  • If your iPhone has Face ID, then swipe down at the bottom of the screen.

The contents of the screen will then move down toward the bottom of the screen to make them easier to reach. Once you hit the icon you want, everything returns to its original position.

iPhone Hack #10 – Put a stop to app review requests

We get why apps ask us to provide a review, but it really is something we can all do without. If you never want to receive such a request again then do this:

  • Open Settings and hit your name at the top.
  • Hit iTunes & App Store, then scroll down and toggle In-App Ratings & Reviews to Off.

A simple solution to one of life’s milder irritations.

iPhone Hack #11 – No more sharing of grubby AirPods

While the sign of true friendship is the ability to share a pair of grubby AirPods to listen to the same song or video on your iPhone, it isn’t the most hygienic thing to do. To avoid sharing ear wax try this great hack – provided you both have compatible wireless headphones that is.

  • Connect your AirPods to your iPhone by tapping the AirPlay icon either in the Control Centre, from your lock screen, or the app you're using.
  • Hit Share Audio and then hold your friend's headphones near your device (this might need some tweaking based on the type of headphones).
  • When your friend's headphones appear on your screen, hit Share Audio again.

It isn’t just AirPods that this works with. Check Apple’s website for the list.

iPhone Hack #12 – Get Siri to find you some great tunes

The ever-helpful Siri can perform a whole variety of tasks to make your life better, and they don’t all involve flashy showboating from the virtual assistant. One of the many little jobs we love Siri to do is to find our favourite radio station.

Simply say ‘Hey Siri,’ and follow up with ‘play BBC Radio 1’ or whatever radio station you want to listen to.

iPhone Hack #13 - Move multiple apps quickly and easily

Good app housekeeping is one of the many ways to get the best out of your cherished iPhone. Rearranging apps on your iPhone's Home Screen is a popular activity for when you’ve got a couple of minutes to spare but it can take a while when moving each individual app. This simple hack means you can move several all at once.

First, press down on an app you want to move until they all start wobbling. Now use a different finger to tap the other apps to move. As you add apps they will all be grouped into a stack. Now, without removing the finger, drag this stack to a new page and drop them all to their new home, et voila.

A useful hack even if it does require a little finger dexterity.

iPhone Hack #14 – Stop apps from spying on you

One of the downsides of all those useful apps is that they all have a tendency to want to keep an over-watchful eye on us. Many apps on your iPhone include trackers from other companies seeking to collect your important personal data. Reacting to customer privacy concerns Apple has taken action with the new App Tracking Transparency feature in the iOS 14.5 update. This handy tool not only makes it much easier to block ad trackers but it also won’t limit the functionality of the apps.

For a whole lot more on how to stop iPhone apps from tracking you , read our recent Gadget Cover guide. It really has all you need to know about putting a stop to app tracking.

iPhone Hack #15 – Let Apple do the work for you

If you've never used Apple's Shortcuts app or you've only dabbled, it's well worth getting to know the ins and outs of this app. It can boost your iPhone in a whole variety of new and interesting ways. Download it from the App Store and get started on making tasks easier and quicker.

iPhone Hack #16 - Get the right iPhone insurance every time

Perhaps the most obvious hack of all, even if we do say so ourselves! We know a lot about iPhone hacks but we also know how to find you specialist iPhone insurance. Our dedicated team of insurance pros are ready and willing to set you up with an iPhone insurance policy that meets your needs.

Policies arranged by Gadget Cover include protection for things like accidental damage, liquid damage, theft, breakdown and unauthorised usage. And for an extra premium it can also be covered against loss, too.

Choose a policy from Gadget Cover and it can be extended to your immediate family. So, if your partner loses or damages your iPhone you’re also covered.

And we don’t just cover the iPhone itself. If your iPhone is accidentally lost or stolen, we will refund the cost of unauthorised transactions made using your e-Wallet facility up to a maximum of £500.

So, what are you waiting for? Get a quick quote for iPhone insurance today.

Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.

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