Productivity & Shortcuts

How To: 20 Things Your iPhone's Volume Buttons Can Do Besides Volume Adjustments

The volume buttons on the side of your iPhone are for more than just adjusting volume levels for media, ringers, alerts, Siri, and other sounds and voices. You can use them to perform different actions inside certain apps, and you can even create custom actions using the Shortcuts app. It's not exactly button mapping, but it's as close as you'll get without jailbreaking iOS 15.

How To: These Hidden Gestures Can Instantly Undelete Emails for You on Your iPhone or iPad

It's easy to start panicking when you delete an important email, but it's even easier to undo the mistake on your iPhone or iPad. You can retrieve an accidentally deleted email instantly on iOS and iPadOS with the help of a hidden gesture, and you'll be much more efficient with the Mail app once you learn how to use it.

How To: Snap Photos on Your iPhone Hands-Free for Better Selfies, Group Shots, and Low-Light Pictures

You can take a photo on your iPhone with just one tap or press, but you can also use the Camera app hands-free for more impressive images. Doing so lets you take more detailed selfies, include your whole group in the frame, or get steadier results in Night mode — and it's easy to accomplish. Spoiler alert: using "Hey Siri" is not enough.

How To: Apple's New Cutout Tool Magically Isolates Subjects and Removes Backgrounds from Images on Your iPhone or iPad

Apple's upcoming iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 software updates bring an exciting new feature that lets you instantly lift the subject out of a photo, separating it from the background. Once extracted, you can paste, save, or drop the cutout wherever you want as a new image, and you can even make it a sticker in messaging apps.

How To: Get Rid of Frequently Visited Websites in Safari on Your iPhone, iPad, or Mac

Safari has a helpful feature that shows your most frequently visited webpages whenever you open a new tab or window, but it's not for everyone. If you never use it, would rather have a minimalist start page, or want to prevent other people with access to Safari on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac from seeing the websites you frequent the most, you can get rid of it.

How To: 27 Must-Know Features in Apple's Shortcuts App for iOS 16 and iPadOS 16

Apple made significant improvements to its Shortcuts app in iOS 16 and iPadOS 16, so you can do even more with custom task shortcuts on your iPhone or iPad. The big story is "App Shortcuts," which takes all the work out of building shortcuts, giving you immediate access to premade ones that developers include with their apps. But that's definitely not all you'll find that's new.

How To: Scroll Through TikTok Hands-Free on Your iPhone or iPad Using Simple Voice Commands

If you can't curb your TikTok obsession, at least make it more efficient by taking your hands out of the equation. So when you're eating breakfast, working on your computer, or using your hands for another non-TikTok task, you don't even have to touch your iPhone or iPad to scroll through all of those videos in your feed. Instead, you can just tell it what to do, and it'll listen.

How To: The Easiest Way to Secretly Record Someone's Conversation with Your iPhone

Your iPhone's built-in Voice Memos app is a great way to record the audio around you, whether it be conversations, lectures, meetings, interviews, discussions, chitchat, gossip, or other kinds of talks. But if your goal is to record audio on the down-low without being noticed, you'll need to know the hidden shortcut.

How To: The Trick to Managing iCloud Contact Groups Right from Your iPhone (Since Apple's Contacts App Won't Let You)

You can view and hide iCloud contact groups on your iPhone, but Apple won't let you create or delete groups or add or delete contacts from any groups unless you're on a tablet or computer. Why Apple refuses to add a group management tool to Contacts on iOS is anybody's guess, but there is a workaround you can use instead.

How To: Use a Custom Gesture to Clear All Apps from Your iPhone's App Switcher in Seconds

After just a few hours, your iPhone's app switcher can become cluttered and even chaotic enough that you won't even want to use it. If you like your app switcher clean and tidy, with only your current session's apps accessible, there's a trick to force-quitting all apps simultaneously rather than one by one.

How To: 10 Ways to Show the Battery Percentage Indicator on Your iPhone

When you look at your status bar on your iPhone, you'll almost always see the battery icon, which gives you an estimate of how much battery life you have left before you need to charge the device. What you won't always see is the exact battery percentage, but there are multiple ways to force it out of hiding.

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