Who wouldn’t want to make a secret button on the back of their iPhone?
Your iPhone has almost infinite depth. No matter how long you’ve had it, you can always learn something that makes your life a little bit better.
Want to make your home screen less crowded? Use your phone battery-less during the day? Some iOS settings are easy to find, but others are buried in your iPhone.
You can improve your iPhone’s performance, make it easier to use, or make it meet your needs by adjusting 22 iOS settings. Which button is hidden? It’s the second.
Those interested in the future can learn about iOS 16 this fall, including its new features and compatible devices. A beta version of iOS 16 is also available right now.
1. Prevent apps from tracking your precise location.
Apps like Doordash, Postmates, Google Maps, and Waze all need to know your exact location to deliver food to the right place or get you where you want to go. But not all apps need to always know exactly where you are.
You can easily stop an app from finding out where you are. Choose an app (like Instagram) in the Settings app, tap Location, and then turn off Precise Location. If you disable Precise Location, apps can only find you within a few kilometers.
2. Make your iPhone’s back into a button
You may use the iPhone’s back to snap a screenshot or activate low power mode. Shortcuts can play music in the gym or turn on smart lights at home. But the setting is deep in your settings, and here’s how to find it.
Go to Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap in the Settings app and choose one of the two ways to tap (double or triple tap). Tap the back of your iPhone to access the camera, flashlight, scroll, and more. Tap on an action or shortcut to set it up for double or triple taps.
3. Restore full-screen notification of incoming calls.
If you get a call when your iPhone is unlocked, a banner-style notification will appear at the top of the screen, along with a button to accept or reject the call. However, this marker wasn’t always present.
Before iOS 14, when your iPhone was unlocked and in use, the incoming call screen would take up the whole screen. It caused a lot of trouble, but it got the job done.
When the banner showed up, it was a welcome change for many people because it’s less obvious and lets you keep using your phone even when you’re getting a call. But if you don’t like the banner and want to switch back to the full-screen alert, which is more noticeable, go to Settings > Phone > Incoming Calls and tap Full Screen.
4. Disable any unwanted or unnecessary 5G service.
Smart Data instantly transitions between 4G LTE and 5G networks on Apple’s 5G iPhones 12 and 13.
But you might find that your iPhone’s battery runs out faster than it used to. Turn it off if you don’t want to give up battery life for faster 5G speeds. You can always turn 5G back on if you want to or if the service where you are gets better.
Activate LTE by opening the Settings menu, then selecting Cellular > Cellular Data Options > Voice & Data. This will turn off 5G on your iPhone 12 or iPhone 13 and force it to always use 4G LTE, even if you have 5G coverage.
You can also choose 5G On if you want your iPhone to only use a 5G connection when one is available.
5. Adjust how much data a 5G connection uses.
If you’re happy with how your 5G works, you might want to check out this network setting. Select “Data Mode” from the list of options under “Cellular” in the “Settings” menu. There are three potential outcomes: Don’t limit the data usage of 5G, Standard, and Low Data Mode.
Short explanations for each option don’t fully explain the initial choice. Apple says more 5G data will improve video and FaceTime calls. It also lets your phone get software updates and stream high-definition Apple TV and Apple Music content. Third-party app developers can also use it to make their apps better.
Check your iPhone to verify sure the default setting matches your carrier and data plan.
6. Don’t let apps fill up your home screen.
The App Library provides easy access to all of your installed programs. Apps are stored here, and any new apps you download will also show up on your home screen. If you download multiple apps, your home screen can become cluttered.
Go to Settings > Home Screen and choose App Library Only. This will stop downloaded apps from showing up on your home screen. Swipe left on your home screen to access the App Library.
7. Use a face mask to unlock your phone.
Masks prevent you from using Apple’s Face ID to unlock your iPhone. Face ID just doesn’t work when half of your face is hidden. And using your passcode to unlock your phone does work, but it’s not as easy.
With iOS 15.4, you can now turn on a face unlock feature that makes it easy to unlock your iPhone when you’re wearing a face mask. Before the update, you needed an Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone.
To use your Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone, open the Settings app on your iPhone, then go to Face ID & Passcode. Scroll down until you find the “Unlock with Apple Watch” section. To see this setting, you must be connected to an Apple Watch. Here, you can turn on the feature for any watches that are connected to your iPhone.
If you have an iPhone 12 or 13 that runs iOS 15.4 or later, you can unlock it while wearing a mask and without an Apple Watch. Open Face ID & Passcode from the Settings app. From there, you can turn on or off Face ID With a Mask and select Face ID With a Mask. It’s really cool.
8. Return the address bar to the top of Safari.
With the release of iOS 15, Safari moved the address to the bottom of the screen. This was a good change for people with smaller hands who had trouble reaching it with one hand when it was at the top. Even while it may feel more natural now that the URL bar is closer to the keyboard and where you usually put your thumbs, many people are accustomed to seeing it at the top of the screen.
If you want to put the address bar back at the top of the screen, go to Settings, tap Safari, and choose the Single Tab option under the Tabs heading.
9. Include features that can be accessed even if your iPhone is locked.
Even if your phone is locked, there are times when you might want to access certain information. Because of this, Apple lets you use the notification center, Control Center, the ability to reply to messages, and the Wallet app without having to unlock your device.
Launch the Settings menu, select Face ID & Passcode, and then enter your passcode when prompted to modify the functions you want to be able to access from the lock screen. Scroll down until you see the section called “Allow Access When Locked,” and then move the sliders to suit your needs.
10. Set your preferred email app or web browser as the default.
It took a long time, but the iOS 14 update in 2020 finally let you pick your own default apps, at least for email and browsing the web. This means that when you tap a link or the “Send” button on an email, your iPhone will open the web browser or email service you choose instead of Safari or Mail.
To get started, open the Settings menu and select the app you’d like to set as a default (such as Google Chrome or Outlook) (such as Google Chrome or Outlook). Then, you should see a button that says something like “Default Mail App” or “Default Browser App.” Tap that, and instead of Safari or Mail, choose the app you want to use.
11. Put all of your notifications on your lock screen.
When you use Apple’s Face ID technology for the first time, you’ll notice that you can’t see what new alerts and notifications are about on the lock screen. For example, you won’t be able to see who sent you a text message or what it says. Instead, you’ll just see a generic alert that says “Messages.”
On all iPhones equipped with Apple’s Face ID technology, the content of an alert is hidden by default until you pick up your phone and unlock it. It’s a privacy feature that I like, but I can see how it could be annoying (I’ve heard a few complaints from readers and family members alike).
You can change how notifications show up on your lock screen by going to Settings > Notifications > Show Previews and choosing Always. On the other hand, you can choose “Never” if you want your notifications to always be hidden from the lock screen.
12. Turn HDR video off (or on) to share videos
On the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models, Dolby Vision may be utilized to record high dynamic range (HDR) video. That means your videos will be brighter, the colors will be more accurate, and the contrast will be better. It sounds great, doesn’t it? It is. But there’s a problem: HDR video won’t work with every app or service.
Developers will have to update their apps to accept HDR video, but even after that, the person watching the video will need a device that can handle the difference in quality to notice it. For Apple devices, this includes the iPhone 8 or later, the iPad Air coming out in 2020, the iPad Pro second generation, and some Macs.
So, how can you share videos with everyone? You might choose from the following, though:
You can turn off HDR video by going to Settings > Camera > Record video and moving the switch next to HDR Video to the Off position. From now on, all videos will be recorded in the standard dynamic range, so sharing or editing them shouldn’t be a problem.
Leave HDR Video on, but use the Photos app to share the video instead of the Facebook app to upload it when you want to share it, for example, on Facebook. When you use the Photos app, your iPhone will automatically change the video to SDR and upload it. When you send the video to another iPhone user, Apple will figure out if their iPhone, iPad, or Mac is compatible with HDR Dolby Vision. Apple will automatically change the video for you.
When you leave HDR Video on and need to edit your video, you can use Apple’s iMovie app or the Photos app that comes with your iPhone. You can also use iMovie to export the video as SDR.
13. Put cool wallpaper on your home screen to make it your own.
Change your wallpaper or background. This is another change you should make to your home screen. Apple has added its own new wallpapers, which are pretty cool.
Open the Settings app on your iPhone, and from the list, choose Wallpaper. Make sure the “Dark Appearance Dims Wallpaper” switch, which you can find below the two small previews of your wallpaper, is on. Select Stills or Live by tapping Choose a new background now. See the circle on each wallpaper’s bottom. It has both black and white parts.
This circle means that the wallpaper has both a light mode and a dark mode. Your phone will automatically transition between the two depending on how it is configured.
If you don’t like the dark and light modes, you can also set live wallpapers as your background.
14. Switch to dark mode to save power.
About Dark Mode: If you don’t want to keep adjusting the brightness of your screen, you can use your phone’s dark mode instead. Most of the time, dark mode changes the white backgrounds of apps to black backgrounds. In turn, the darker colors help your phone save power because they use less power.
Go to Settings > Display & Brightness and then choose Dark at the top of the screen to turn it on.
Most third-party apps have also added this feature. The color scheme for Apple’s apps will automatically change to a dark one.
15. Use Focus Mode to manage your alerts
Every day, we get a lot of alerts, but not all of them are always important. Focus Mode is a feature that was added to iOS 15 by Apple. Think of it as a personalized “Do Not Disturb” feature that works in certain situations.
Focus Mode prevents unimportant alerts but lets crucial persons and apps through. There are different kinds of Focus Modes that you can set up for different situations.
Apple has options for Do Not Disturb, Personal, Sleep, Work, Driving, Fitness, Gaming, Mindfulness, and Reading. You can create your own customized mode as well. It can be configured to turn on automatically, and apps can highlight your status to let others know you’ve disabled notifications.
To start, open the Settings menu, tap Focus, and then choose one of the options to set how you want to be notified. To add a new Focus, tap the plus (+) sign in the upper right corner.
16. Change the size of the text on your screen
You can change the font size on your iPhone to make it easier to read with just a few taps. Navigate to Display & Brightness > Text Size in Settings’ menu.Use the slider to change the size of the font until it looks right to you.
Use the Bold Text button next to Text Size to emphasize text.
17. Alter the appearance of Face ID
Face ID, Apple’s feature for recognizing faces, keeps learning new things about your face with each scan. Try the “Alternate Appearance” option if you’re having trouble getting Face ID to recognize you every time.
Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode > Type in your PIN > Set up a different appearance and go through the registration process again.
18. Turn off auto brightness to keep your battery charged longer
The brightness level of your iPhone’s screen can have a big effect on how long the battery lasts. By default, iOS will change the brightness of the screen based on how much light its sensor sees. But if you want to be in charge of everything, you can turn off auto-brightness. This will keep the brightness level where you set it until you change it again.
If you go to Settings > Accessibility > Display & Text Size, you’ll find a switch at the bottom of the page to turn off Auto-Brightness.
Now, you can adjust your screen by opening Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen on a device with a home button or down from the top right corner on a newer iPhone.