Productivity & Shortcuts

Blank Icon Maker: The Easiest Way to Place Apps, Folders & Widgets Anywhere on Your iPhone's Home Screen

While Apple has been making strides in iPhone customization, it's still not up to par with what Android is and always has been. You can hide apps from the home screen now in iOS 14, but for everything that's still there, you can't add gaps between icons on the same page to segregate them where you want. However, some workarounds give that effect.

How To: Change the Brightness of Your iPhone's Lock Screen Flashlight

Whenever you need a flashlight, your iPhone's LED flash may be enough to break through the darkness, and you don't even need to unlock your screen to use it. But your LED flash's brightness level may be too strong or not powerful enough. It's not immediately obvious how one would change those lumens from the lock screen, but doing so is almost as fast as turning it on.

How To: Miss When Siri Used to Display On-Screen Transcriptions of Everything Spoken? You Can Get That Back in iOS 14

With iOS 14, Siri no longer takes up the entire display unless you want it to. That may be a good thing, but the update also axed the live feedback when listening to you and responding. Siri used to transcribe your words in on-screen text before answering, and it would transcribe its own answers as well. While it looks like those are gone, you can bring them back to life at any time.

How To: Bring Back Full-Page Siri in iOS 14 So You're Not Distracted by Any Apps Underneath

Full-page interfaces are so iOS 13. With Apple's iOS 14, alerts such incoming phone and FaceTime calls now appear as small banners instead. The same goes for Siri. Instead of using your iPhone's full display, Siri now exists in an unobtrusive overlay. But if you miss the focus that full-screen Siri used to bring, you're in luck because the feature still exists — it's just hidden.

How To: Lock Any App on Your iPhone Behind Face ID, Touch ID, or Your Passcode for Extra Privacy & Security

Apple does not provide a native way to lock apps on your iPhone behind Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode. For a long time, we've wanted that option for improved privacy and security, but Apple does allow developers to use its authentication protocols. Apps like Messenger, Outlook, and WhatsApp give the option to lock them down, but for the apps that don't, you can force it with a little time and effort.

How To: Secure Your iPhone's Clipboard So You Won't Accidentally Paste from Other Devices or Share Your Copied Content

Continuity connects all of your Apple devices so that they all work seamlessly together. For instance, you can start tasks on one device and finish them on another, view and send text messages or make calls on your iPhone from your iPad, iPod touch, or Mac, and even use an iPad as a monitor for your Mac. Its Universal Clipboard feature is also really useful, but it can also be quite annoying in iOS 14.

How To: Need More Time on a Work Assignment or School Project? Corrupt Your Files to Extend Your Deadline Without Question

You have an assignment due, whether it's homework for school or a project for work, but you've only got a few hours left. There's no way you're going to finish in time and do a good job, and you don't want to turn in anything incomplete or half-assed. While it may seem you're out of luck, there's a simple way to buy yourself more time.

How To: Auto-Change Your iPhone's Background with MacOS Big Sur's Dynamic Wallpapers

Three new wallpapers showed up in iOS 14.0, each with dark and light versions, while iOS 14.2 added eight more. Each iPhone also has live wallpapers catered specifically for it. However, none of Apple's wallpapers are dynamic. That means they won't change automatically based on certain conditions, such as what time of day it is. MacOS's do, though, and you can get those working on your iPhone.

How To: Make Your iPhone 12 Pro Max Feel Less Huge When Using It with One Hand

For all of its many perks — from the best iPhone camera system money can buy, to arguably the best smartphone display on the market — the iPhone 12 Pro Max is undeniably huge. It has the largest iPhone screen to date despite being 0.46 cubic inches smaller than the iPhone 11 Pro Max in overall size. If you're finding it a little too much to handle with one hand, there are ways to make it much easier to use.

How To: This Shortcut Lets You Easily Download Twitter Videos & GIFs to Your iPhone's Photos App

There are tons of different ways to download videos and GIFs from Twitter onto your iPhone for offline viewing, but frankly, they all kinda suck. You might have to download a third-party app or copy a link and paste it into a random website — and while they work, there are better options. TVDL, a shortcut on iOS, makes the process of downloading Twitter videos and GIFs fast and easy.

How To: Play YouTube Videos in the Background on Your iPhone — Even When the Display Turns Off

It's pretty clear with all of the annoying "Get YouTube Premium" pop-ups that litter the YouTube app that Google really wants you to pay for its Premium membership tier. That's why you'll see that "Get background play with YouTube Premium" ad after closing YouTube with a video playing — even in iOS 14 which supports Picture in Picture playback. But there are workarounds for background listening on iPhone.

How To: Force Restart the iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro & 12 Pro Max When It's Frozen or Buggy

Apple's latest offerings, the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max all feature the A14 Bionic system on a chip, the fastest chipset ever seen on a smartphone, running 50% faster than any other CPUs. But despite the advanced technology, even the iPhone 12 is privy to internal issues, which is why you should know how to force restart it if it ever freezes.

How To: Shut Down & Restart the iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, or 12 Pro Max

Except for the second-generation iPhone SE, all new iPhone models omit the Home button. In its place, the Side button takes charge, taking care of tasks like pulling up Siri, activating AssistiveTouch, and opening Apple Pay. If you swap your older Home button model for an iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, or 12 Pro Max, you'll need to relearn simple actions like shutting down and restarting the device.

How To: Force-Close Running Apps on the iPhone 12, 12 Mini, 12 Pro, or 12 Pro Max

Whether it's an iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, or 12 Pro Max, know that these devices are the most powerful smartphones Apple has ever made. Still, bugs happen, and you might find yourself with an app that isn't performing quite as it should. When that happens, it's best to force-close (or force-quit) the problematic app instead of waiting for it to fix itself, which may never happen.

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