20 things you didn't know your iPhone could do

narrow iphone image
Are you making the most of all your iPhone can do? Or are you using it as a very expensive alarm clock or (heaven forfend) just a phone?
These tips from Mumsnetters on how to make the most of your pocket-sized computer are actually, literally, properly life-changing.


1) If your iPhone is in calculator mode, turn it on its side to get a scientific calculator


iPone scientific calc

2) You can close your apps to preserve battery

If you think you've left something running in the background that's draining your battery, double-click your 'Home' button.

A row of all live (or recently live) apps will appear on the bottom of the screen - you can hold your finger on one of them and they will all start to 'wobble', then you can turn them all off.

If you're running iOS7: Double-click the home button - your apps come up on the bottom of the screen and you swipe up to remove.

app toggle


3) You can use your iPhone as a dongle to bootleg the internet

As this Mumsnetter explains: "If you have unlimited data you can use it as your broadband (tethering). I don't have a landline or broadband at home, the phone does it all."

4) If you shake it while typing it can undo what you've written.

If you shake again once undone, it will redo.

5) Volume buttons are camera shutter buttons too.

6) Hold the shift key to get caps lock on 

Or if you're running iOS7, double-tap the shift key 

7) Save yourself time with custom shortcuts

"You can create custom shortcuts, so that rather than typing out my email address in full, I just type the shortcut and it autocompletes it for me. I have loads of these set up - my address, phone number, email, DOB etc."

For the autocomplete, it's Settings > General > Keyboard > scroll right to the bottom, then "add new shortcut"

8) It can remind you to do things based on where you are (if you have a 4S or 5).

"So, for example, when you leave work it can remind you to post a letter, or to buy milk when you pass the supermarket.

You just need to specify that it uses your info. Go to Settings > General >  Siri > My Info

Then you can select your contact details. This way you just have to say 'home' or 'work' or 'other' as you can enter multiple addresses under your own contact details."


Make sure location services are turned on and accessible by 'reminders'. Settings > Privacy >  Location Services > TOGGLE ON > then scroll down to 'reminders' and TOGGLE ON

Make sure you have any locations you might use in your contact list along with the locations 'name'.

9) Or what time it is...

"It's also really easy to ask Siri to remind you to do something at a particular time. For example, I might ask Siri to remind me to phone mum once a fortnight on Mondays at 9 in the morning.

It can take a little practice but I can nearly always to get it to work first time. I have set SIRI to give 'voice feedback' so I know if it doesn't understand."

Go to Settings > general > Siri > voice feedback TOGGLE 'Always'


10) In iOS7, the app clock picture is actually a clock - not just a picture of one

"I know that's stupid but I didn't notice for ages" (Ed - neither did we

Fun with Siri

11) Ask Siri to sing you a song, it's so clever


12) If you ask Siri 'why are fire trucks red?', you'll get a hilarious answer

13) You can show off with continental letters

"If you press and hold a vowel, it brings up a set of European options - umlauts and accents etc - so you can write Zoë properly!"

14) Stop the screen rotating

"If you swipe up on the menu, you can click on an icon that stops the screen rotating if it senses you've gone horizontal. This is really useful when MNing or playing Candy Crush in bed. It looks like a phone with an arrow round it."

15) If you search in Spotlight for a deleted email or text, you'll find it

16) Multiple photos in email

If you want to send multiple photos in an email use the select key in photos and then click the email button as normal.

17) You can whizz back to the top of a page

"If you are miles down a MN thread (example poster's own) and you want to get to the top, just touch the screen above the address bar and it will whizz back up."

And some parent-specific hacks... 

18) "The little torch is fab for doing the night feeds!"

19) Guided Access is a God-send

To switch on Guided Access, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access

"When you triple-click the home button in any app you can circle any area (including the whole screen) that you don't want to be activated on touch. This can include the Home button. It's great for giving the iPad to kiddies safe in the knowledge that they can touch the screen as much as they like and it will stay in the app"

Guided Access


20) And, finally...

"If you give it to your toddler whilst you have your bikini line waxed, she can FaceTime your male cousin in America and show him what is going on."

shocked cat






Last updated: about 3 years ago