Top 5 Hidden Features on the iPhone

Top 5 Hidden Features on the iPhone

With iOS 9.3 now officially released and rolled out to the public, many iPhone users have been enjoying its new functionalities. But did you know that apart from these announced features, there are also several secret features on iOS? Here’s 5 of them:

1. Send audio and video messages that self-destruct. Forget Snapchat—Apple has a similar feature. Simply go to the Settings > Messages section, and then scroll down to the bottom. You’ll find the section for audio and video messages, which includes an option to set an expiration date for those messages that you can send out.

 

2. Manage and save battery power. Yes, there’s no need to get an Apple hump, err, battery pack anymore to ensure your iPhone lasts through the day. iOS 9 has introduced the Low Power Mode, which promises to give your phone an extra hour or so of battery power. It automatically kicks in when your phone only has 20% battery left, giving you enough time to have it charged.

But you can manually activate it before it reaches that level, helping you save a lot of power. Simply go to Settings > Battery to switch it on. According to this blog post, the iPhone consumes 38.7% less battery power in this mode than on the regular mode.

And don’t worry about Low Power Mode deactivating all the other new modes on iOS 9. Watch the video below by the guys at 9to5Mac for a workaround using Siri:

 

3. See your actual signal strength. We often see the signal on our iPhones as dots. But sometimes, these readings are inaccurate. To get an accurate numerical value measuring signal strength, follow this quick guide:

a. Enter the Field Test Menu by calling this number on your Phone app: *3001#12345#*
b. This brings up the Field Test Menu. Pull down the Notifications shade to see that signal strength is now in numerical form, on the upper-left corner of the screen.
c. To make this setting permanent, simply hold the power/sleep button until the “Slide to power off” prompt is shown.
d. Once “Slide to power off” option is shown, hold down the Home button to exit the Field Test Menu. This will bring you back to the home screen and you’ll see that signal strength is now in numbers.

Now that you know the actual signal strength, don’t panic if you see a negative number. The closer the number is to zero, the stronger the signal; if you have no signal at all, the number displayed will be -130.

4. Enjoy keyboard commands and new shortcuts. Okay, so you may not always have a keyboard attached to your iPhone. But in the rare case that you do attach a keyboard, you can now use the arrow keys to go through mail on the Mail app on iOS 9.3. You can also use this on your iPad.

Meanwhile, if you want to duplicate photos, there’s also a button for that on the new version of iOS. Simply select the photo in the Photo app and tap the “Copy” button below. And even the Apple News app got a new shortcut. Simply swipe on the right or left while reading a story to see the Like, Save, and Share buttons.

5. Hide stock iOS apps—with a bit of tweaking. If you have a boatload of apps installed on your iPhone, and don’t really use the stock apps anyway, you can hide them from your screen. However, this will need messing with some developer controls and you’ll need a Mac. Here’s a step-by-step guide based on the instructions by bfodder of Reddit:

a. Back up all your files on your phone first to prevent any loss of data, as your iPhone will get wiped during the setup.
b. Put your iPhone on Supervised mode and install Apple Configurator 2.2 Beta on your Mac.
c. Open the Configuration app and create a configuration profile. Under Restrictions, look for the Apps section and then the “Restrict App Usage” option. Set it to “Do not allow some apps.”
d. Add the necessary bundle IDs of thee apps you want to restrict. Lists are available online and are in the reddit thread.
e. Then plug in your phone and apply the profile you created. Voila! The apps will disappear from the home screen.

    Hope you have fun with these hidden features! If you have any other iPhone tips and tricks, share it with us on our Facebook page.


    Clara Buenconsejo
    Clara Buenconsejo

    Author