I’VE been using an iPhone for years – and there are some tricks that I absolutely love.
Here are a few of my favourite iPhone hacks that you’ll definitely want to use.
You might find you have some very creepy crawlies in your house[/caption]
Before you get started, make sure you’re up-to-date on iOS updates – otherwise some features may be missing.
To check for iOS 16, go to Settings > General > Software Update.
The latest iOS update lets your iPhone camera reveal exactly what kind of critters are invading your house or apartment.
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Apple added a new feature called Visual Look Up last year in iOS 15.
It allowed you to identify objects, places, animals and even plants in photos that you’ve taken.
Now the feature has been massively upgraded in iOS 16 to identify a much wider array of objects and creatures.
“Visual Look Up adds recognition of birds, insects, spiders and statues in your photos,” Apple explains.
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The feature uses machine learning to give you info on what you’re looking at.
If you want to test it, try getting a picture of a spider from the internet – or snap one in your house or garden, if you prefer.
Then open the image in your Photos app and look at the bottom.
If it’s worked, the small “i” icon should have two small stars at its top-left corner.
That means Visual Look Up is available for the image.
Either swipe up on the photo or tap the icon to engage Visual Look Up.
Now tap the icon at the top of the photo info window to read more about the subject.
If you’ve snapped a spider, you should see a read-out for the species.
Typically this will refer you to a Wikipedia page to see if you’ve got a regular house spider – or something more exotic, and perhaps even dangerous.
Of course you shouldn’t rely entirely on Visual Look Up.
After all, it’s just an educated guess – so there’s a chance Visual Look Up may get it wrong.
Your chances are always better if the image is large, clear and bright.
But remember, Visual Look Up works on much more than spiders.
Stay Dry notifications
The iPhone has a hidden setting that gives you weather alerts based on your location.
If rain, hail or snow is about to start where you are, it’ll warn you.
This gives you time to run for cover, turn around on your walk, or pop open the umbrella.
It’s linked to the huge overhaul of the new iPhone Weather app that rolled out with iOS 15 in September 2021.
First, make sure you’re updated to the latest iOS – go to Settings > General > Software Update.
Then grant the Weather app your location info, otherwise it won’t work.
Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Weather and select Always.
You’ll get even better alerts if you grant Precise Location access.
Next, make sure the Weather app can send notifications.
Go to Settings > Notifications > Weather > Allow Notifications, and then select which type of alerts you want.
Finally, you then need to enable weather alerts.
Go into the Weather app and choose the list icon in the bottom-right.
At the top you’ll see an option called Stay Dry.
If that doesn’t appear, tap the three dots in the top right and then go to Notifications.
Tap Turn On Notifications, and then activate the switch for My Location.
Then tap Done in the top-right and it should work.
Now you’ll get a warning just before it’s about to start raining where you are.
You may already know about Shazam – a music-identification tool that was actually bought by Apple.
It lets you quickly identify songs playing on your iPhone – or elsewhere.
Well there’s a fast way to use it.
You can add a quick shortcut to Apple Music recognition in your Control Centre.
That makes it much easier to quickly access.
All you need to do is going into Settings > Control Centre and then add Music Recognition at the bottom of the list.
Then when you swipe into your Control Centre (by pulling down from the top-right of the phone) you can quickly access it.
Simply tap the Shazam symbol – which looks like an S – and you’re away.
But that’s not all.
There’s actually another clever way to access this same feature.
If you didn’t know, you can use the Apple logo on the back of your phone as a button.
To turn on the feature make sure you’ve updated to iOS 14 or later. To do that, go to Settings > General > Software update.
Then go to your Settings.
Scroll down and tap “Accessibility” and then click “Touch”.
Then scroll down to “Back Tap”.
You’ll have the choice to turn on “Double Tap” or “Triple Tap”.
Whichever you select gives you the same options.
Click to see which features you can now control with either a double or triple tap on the back of your phone.
They include taking screenshots, turning the volume up or down, magnifying, scrolling and more.
For example, if you wanted to use a Double Tap to access Shazam, click the “Double Tap” option and then tick “Shazam Shortcut”.
Bear in mind that this feature might not work if you have a thick phone case.
In some ways, this is arguably an iPhone hack that you literally can’t live without.
Thankfully I’ve never needed it – but I take comfort in the fact that it’s set up.
Apple has created a feature called Medical ID that quickly displays your key health info.
“Medical ID helps emergency responders access your critical medical information from the Lock Screen, without needing your passcode,” Apple explained.
“They can see information such as allergies and medical conditions, as well as who to contact in case of an emergency.”
To set it up, go into the Health app then tap your profile picture in the top-right corner.
Under the image, tap Medical ID.
Now choose Edit and then activate ‘Show When Locked’.
You can also select Share During Emergency Call – although this clever iPhone trick only works in the US.
Now add all of your information and then tap Done.
To see your Medical ID, open the Lock Screen then tap the Emergency button.
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Now tap the red Medical ID button to see the info.
You can also use Apple’s Emergency SOS feature to quickly call the emergency services.
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