15 Things You Didn't Know Your iPhone Could Do

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The iPhone is known for being a relatively simple device that pretty much anyone can pick up and use. You may know the common features but there are actually quite a few things you probably didn’t know you could do with that trusty device in your pocket.

With last year’s iOS 8 update, Apple introduced a lot of little features that can help you do some cool things that you may not know about:

1. Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

You can create shortcuts for common used phrases so you don’t have to type then out all the time. For example, most of my user names online is “jamiepham” so I created a shortcut for it by typing in “jj” instead of my whole name. And for my email address, I created the shortcut “jjj.”

You can do the same for your address, phone number, work/home email addresses, etc.

Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcuts > Add New Shortcut

2. Create a Longer and Complex Passcode

Want to create a more secure passcode for your iPhone? Go to Settings > General > Touch ID and Passcode > disable Simple Passcode. Now, you can create a longer, alpha-numeric passcode that is harder to bypass if you lose your phone.

3. Check Battery Usage

Want to know what’s draining your battery? New to iOS 8, the battery usage screen will tell you what’s been hogging your battery in the last 24 hours and seven days so you know which apps are the culprit.

Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage

4. Use Greyscale Mode to Conserve Battery

Have only a little bit of juice left? Put your phone in greyscale mode to help extend your battery life for a little bit longer.

Settings > General > Accessibility > Greyscale

Note: you can find other tips and tricks to conserve your battery here.

5. Turn Music Off with Timer

Like to fall asleep to your music but don’t want to reach for your phone to turn the music off? You can set a timer and under “when timer ends,” select “stop playing.”

6. Quickly Access Email Drafts

You can easily access your email drafts by holding down the compose button in your Mail app for three seconds and voila, your drafts are now on your screen. Note: this only works with the stock Mail app.

7. Speak Selected Text

Did you know you can have your iPhone speak any text you want?

First, turn the feature on by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > Speech.

Then, highlight the text you want to be spoken and then the “speak” button will now appear. You can also change the English accents to Australian, U.K., Ireland and South Africa, speaking rate, and more.

8. Reachability

Have the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus and can’t read the top of the screen with one hand? Double tap (not press) the home button and the screen will drop down making it easier for you to reach the apps in the top row. This works on any screen and any apps you are using.

9. View a Desktop Website in Safari

More and more mobile websites are now optimized for the iPhone but some are not. If you want to access a desktop website for certain page then tap the address bar, then pull down on the area underneath the address bar and now you will see the Request Desktop Site option.

10. Create a Medical ID profile for emergencies

Your Medical ID profile will contain your blood type, existing medical conditions, allergies, emergency contacts, and more. Once you set it up, it can be accessed through your lock screen through the emergency screen.

To create your profile, open the Health app and then on the Medical ID tab at the bottom right of the screen.

11. Frequent Locations

Your iPhone, by default, tracks the places you go and saves the location data so it can “learn places you frequently visit in order to provide useful location-related information.” If you don’t like this, you can turn it off and clear your history.

Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Frequent Locations

12. Block Unwanted Callers

With iOS 8, you can now block phone numbers that you don’t want to contact you. What it does is sends the caller directly to your voicemail so your phone doesn’t ring.

iPhone app > tap the “i” next to the number you want to block > Block this Caller

13. Mute Text Conversations

Are you in a group text and don’t want to get notified for every single text? You can turn the “do not disturb” mode on the conversation and you it mutes the conversation. Your phone will still receive the messages for that particular person/group but your phone won’t buzz when it comes in.

Messages app > tap on the conversation/text > Details > Do Not Disturb

Also, if everyone if your group text has iMessage, you can now change the name of the conversation as well as leave the conversation.

14. Notification Light

Jealous of all your friends with Android devices who have notification lights? On your iPhone you can turn on your flash to blink when you get a notification.

Settings > Accessibility > LED Flash for Alerts

15. Use Your iPhone as a Level

If you are in dire need of a level, open the Compass app, and swipe left. Your iPhone is now a level you can use while you are working on your house or project.