If you have a sleek new iPhone, or even an older model, but with the latest iOS 14 software downloaded, there are plenty of new features to take advantage of that will help you use your phone a little more conveniently.
So whether you have an iPhone 12 Pro Max or an iPhone X, there’s a lot to do. In this feature, we’ll introduce you to some of the interesting tips and tricks we’ve discovered since using the new software and device.
1 – Press on the back for screen capture
Apple’s iOS software has long been the source of many accessibility features, and one of the most recent is the ability to tap the back of your phone to launch specific functions, like taking a screenshot.
To enable it, go to Settings, then search for “Accessibility,” now select “Touch” and scroll down to “Press Back. Choose either double or triple tap, then select “Screen Capture”. Now when you double or triple tap the back of your iPhone, it will take a screen capture.
The notification center is another interesting feature to choose. So you can double tap or triple tap to quickly access the notification center. Really convenient.
2 – Change your default browser and email applications
A new feature of the latest software is that you can use other default applications for things like your web browser or email application. So if you want to use Chrome as your default browser, download Chrome from the App Store, then open the Settings app on your iPhone and find Chrome in the list at the bottom. Tap it, then choose “default browser on the next screen, then choose “Chrome on the next. Now Chrome will be the default browser.
You can do the same with email apps, so if you want to use Spark or Gmail instead of Mail by default, go to Settings, find your third-party email app, tap it, then choose “default email app on the next screen, then choose Spark (or whatever email app you use).
3 – Stop new apps from appearing on your home screen
With iOS 14, we now have an app library, which is great for storing apps you don’t use all the time. But by default, every time you download a new app, it appears on your home screen. If you’d rather go directly to the app library instead and not fill up your home screen, go to Settings > Home screen, then choose “App library only” in the “Newly downloaded apps” section.
4 – See all your apps in a list
By default, the app library automatically sorts apps into folders for you, but if you prefer to see them in a list, you simply swipe down on the screen in the app library, and now all your apps are listed alphabetically.
You can search using the search bar at the top if you like, or quickly scroll to the app of your choice by tapping the corresponding lowercase first letter in the bottom right column (you can also scroll down this column).
5 – Adding widgets to your home screen
iOS 14 has changed things a lot by allowing you to add widgets to your home screen, to add them, simply long press on an application icon on your home screen and select “edit home screen”. Or, for a quicker method, simply long-press an empty area on your home screen.
Now tap the plus sign in the top corner and find the widget you want to add. To see all the apps that support them that you have installed, scroll down and select the app from the list. Now choose the size of the widget you want and press the “Add Widget” button at the bottom of the pop-up window that appears.
If you want a more detailed guide on how to use widgets to create your own custom aesthetic, check out our other feature on this process or watch the video below.
6 – Create smart stacks of custom widgets
One of the widgets you can create is a smart stack, which allows you to scroll through multiple widgets in the same widget on screen. To create your own, all you have to do is drag and drop individual widgets onto each other. Now they can be set to auto-rotate or you can scroll them manually.
7 – Get rid of entire home screens.
Long press on an empty area of your home screen, then press the page indicator at the bottom of the screen. Tap the check mark or tick at the bottom of each screen you want to move. It does not delete the applications, but simply hides them in the application library.
8 – Create a custom dark mode program
Dark mode has been around for a while and is easy to enable by going to Settings>Display, then choosing dark mode at the top. But if you want it to automatically switch to a custom schedule you set, turn on the “Automatic” option, then press the “Options” long tab below. On the next screen, select “Custom Schedule” and set a light and dark time. Now it will turn on and off once you set it.
9 – Edit your Today view.
In addition to having widgets on your home screen, there is the “Today” view which is on the left of your first home screen. To customize this, swipe up and then scroll down until you see the Edit button. Press it and now you can remove all the widgets from the top, to change the window at the bottom of the screen that contains the widgets to the old one, press “customize” at the bottom of the screen to add and remove widgets from there.
10 – Search for your emoji
With the help of Apple’s built-in keyboard, you can now easily search for emoji. Just launch the emoji keyboard and tap on the “Search emoji” field to search for eggplant, smiley face, and poop. Or whatever you’re looking for.
11 – Fake eye contact in Facetime
So this is a cool trick. If you go to Settings> Facetime> Eye Contact, you can enable this toggle and every time you make FaceTime calls, you’ll feel like you’re looking directly at the camera or the person on the other side of the call, even when you’re looking at the screen.
12 – Show the camera controls
When you load the camera application, the controls are pretty basic, but if you want, there are others hidden and easily revealed.
Launch the camera app, then if you hold it vertically, slide your finger up on the camera’s shooting modes line. If you hold it horizontally, swipe left. You’ll now get a whole new set of controls, which change depending on which shooting mode you’re in.
If you’re in classic photo mode, you’ll see a night mode option, live photos, photo aspect ratio and exposure, and flash. To change the exposure, for example, simply press the small plus/minus sign, then drag the slider on the screen until it is exposed as you want it.
13 – Quickly scan a QR code
If you want to quickly launch the phone’s built-in QR code scanning function, simply swipe your finger from the top right corner of the screen to launch the Control Center. Here you can find the small QR code button. Press it and you can quickly scan a code.
14 – Burst photo button
You can use the volume up button to take a burst photo. Just go to Settings> Camera, then enable the option “Use volume up for burst and when you hold the volume up button down in photo mode, it automatically takes a burst of photos.