Productivity & Shortcuts

How To: Redial Busy Phone Lines Automatically on Your iPhone or Android Phone

Whether you're calling the unemployment office, a popular radio contest, or any other phone line that gets super busy, having to recall the number manually is a pain. Whatever you do, however, don't punch in the same digits over again and again — our smartphones can help do it for us, saving our time (and sanity).

How To: There's a Hidden Scientific Calculator on Your iPhone

The Calculator app on your iPhone may seem boring and basic, but there are a few interesting tricks worth knowing. You can ask Siri to perform calculations for you, long-press on results to copy them, long-press the field to paste numbers in, and swipe left or right above the keypad to delete digits one by one. The app can also be used as a scientific calculator with just a simple maneuver.

How To: Scan Any QR Code in Seconds with Your iPhone

A QR code is a fun and convenient way to link people to a website or app. On iOS, you have a few ways to scan these codes. You can download a QR scanner to get the job done, but Apple has one built into iOS. Or you can add the QR Code Reader tile in Control Center, but that's not even necessary. There's a better way, one that requires basically no effort to pull off.

How To: Your iPhone's Screen Will Turn Off Faster if You Disable This Setting

Have you ever noticed that when you put your iPhone to sleep, it takes an extra second longer than it probably should for the screen to go black? It's a bit strange and forces you to wait another moment until your iPhone locks. But most of you can avoid the small delay entirely by just changing one setting.

How To: Use This Trick to Unlock Hidden Software Update Options on Your iPhone

The automatic software update setting on your iPhone is nice, but you may not always want to install new iOS versions blindly. New updates could contain bugs and vulnerabilities, and your favorite features may even disappear. With the auto-update option turned off, you can manually download and install updates, but there are also hidden options to be more specific about how you want to do it.

How To: There's a Much Faster Way to Activate Dark Mode on Your iPhone

With iOS 13, Apple introduced system-wide dark mode for the first time on the iPhone, and there are several ways to activate it. You could use the brightness slider to change the theme, have Siri do it for you, or adjust it straight from the Settings app. But there's one way that's faster than all others so that you can switch from light to dark in no time.

How To: The Fastest Way to Share Your Location via Messages on Your iPhone

Apple makes it simple to share your location with your family and friends using tools built into the "info" page for each conversation thread in Messages. With those tools, you can send your current location or share trackable real-time coordinates. But iOS always has a few hidden tricks to make things easier than they seem, and that's precisely the case if all you need to do is share your current location.

How To: Use the Hidden Quick Scroll to Browse Emojis on Your iPhone Faster

When words aren't enough, emojis are there to help. Your iPhone has almost two thousand of them for you to communicate in a more lively manner or to express indifference, excitement, joy, and other emotional states. However, the more emojis that come out, the more difficult it is to find the one you want — unless you know your way around your keyboard.

How To: Create Custom Netflix Watch Lists for Categories & Genres, Then Say Goodbye to Your Overcrowded 'My List'

One of the biggest bummers about Netflix is the inability to create different lists for your favorite movies and TV shows. Instead, you're only able to lump titles into the single default "My List," and that can be impossible to browse. It doesn't separate titles into categories or genres, and titles are arranged for you automatically, so there's not much room for customization.

How To: Doing This Will Free Up Gigabytes of iCloud Storage Instantly

If you use iCloud, you may have experienced alerts such as "Not Enough Storage" and "iCloud Storage Full," especially if you're on the free 5 GB plan. To clear up space on your iCloud account fast, you can delete large files here and there, but trashing one thing, in particular, can clear up gigabytes worth of space instantly.

How To: 17 Things You Didn't Know Your iPhone's Home Button Could Do

The Home button on an iPhone does a lot. That's not necessarily news for anyone who's ever owned an iPhone with a Home button, but what you might not know is that it's capable of so much beyond the standard everyday functions. So if you have an iPhone 7, 8, or the new SE model running iOS 13 or later, keep reading to learn about 17 secret Home button tricks you're missing out on.

How To: Watch Out for This Setting the Next Time You Set an Alarm on Your iPhone

When you set an alarm on your iPhone, you assume it'll go off at the set time. However, that's not always the case. There's one quirk in how iOS handles alarms that, if gone unchecked, will silence every alarm you set so that you won't wake up on time.

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