Productivity & Shortcuts

How To: Can't Find an App on Your iPhone's Home Screen? Its Icon Is Likely Hiding from You

You know that you have Gmail on your iPhone. You get Gmail notifications, you see it in the app switcher, it's in the Settings app, and you even see the "Open" button instead of "Get" or the download icon in the App Store. But you simply cannot find the app on your home screen. If this situation sounds like something you're dealing with, there's an easy answer.

How To: Use This Trick to Quickly Access Spotlight Search from Anywhere on Your iPhone

Spotlight, Apple's system-wide search feature, lets you search for apps, contacts, messages, webpages, music, notes, and other content that's on and off your iPhone. On iOS, it's known as "Search," and you can access it by swiping your home screen down or swiping open the Today View screen. It's not exactly convenient, but an accessibility feature can unlock Search so you could open it from anywhere.

How To: The Easiest Way to Convert Videos to GIFs on Your iPhone

Countless third-party apps and services exist that can convert the videos on your iPhone into GIFs. With so many options available, the problem becomes which one to choose. Do you install something on the App Store that provides good quality but costs money, or should you use a shady online service where you have to jump through hoops to get the GIF? Your best option may be neither.

How To: The Easiest Way to Download High-Res Cover Art for Albums, Movies, Books, Podcasts, Apps & More — Right from Your iPhone

The internet is saturated with low-quality pictures, making it difficult to find a high-resolution image for specific albums, TV shows, movies, podcasts, music videos, apps, and books. Apple uses high-quality images, but it seems impossible to download cover art, posters, thumbnails, icons, and other images from within its apps on your iPhone. Now, with the help of a shortcut, it's as simple as can be.

How To: Take Screenshots on Your iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, or 12 Mini in 6 Different Ways

If you just got an iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max, or 12 mini, and you've never owned an iPhone before, some of the most basic tasks can be baffling. Shutting it down, force-restarting it, quitting apps, and even viewing the percentage of battery remaining sound simple but aren't very intuitive for new iPhone owners. Another big question mark is screenshots, and there are several ways to take them.

How To: Make Your iPhone Switch Wallpapers Automatically When Dark Mode or Light Mode Is Enabled

There are still and live wallpapers on your iPhone that can go dark when Dark Mode is active or light when Light Mode is on, but there's no easy way to do the same for custom backgrounds. That doesn't mean you're out of luck, though, because you can use Shortcuts to build a workaround until Apple gets us an official "Dark Mode" option for automation.

How To: Turn Your iPhone into a Digital Level to Make Objects & Surfaces Straight, Plumb, or Angled

Let's say you're hanging a picture frame, and it doesn't look quite right. Sure, you could grab a spirit or bubble level, but maybe it's in another room or buried in a toolbox somewhere. Maybe you're away from home, away from your tools. As it turns out, you almost always have a level with you, and it's likely sitting in your pocket right now or resting in your hand as you read this article.

How To: Quickly Paste or Save Highlighted Text to Files, Messages, Mail, Notes & Other Apps

Highlight text, tap "Copy," open the app to paste the text into, long-press or double-tap where you want it, and hit "Paste." That's probably what you do when you need to copy text from one location to paste into another on your iPhone. It's a tried-and-true method, but there's a hidden trick for saving and sharing text on iOS that cuts down on that lengthy copy-paste process.

How To: Quickly Download Streamable Videos on Your iPhone Before They Disappear Online

Videos hosted on Streamable may be fleeting or forever. So when you come across a cool video that you want to watch again later, it's a good idea to download it to your device in case it's one that disappears after a few months. There is no built-in download button in the Streamable player, but that doesn't mean you can't save anything on your iPhone.

How To: Always-Updated List of iOS App URL Scheme Names & Paths for Shortcuts

If you've ever customized your app icons or played around with Shortcuts (previously called Workflow), you probably know how important URL scheme names are. Nearly all iOS apps assign themselves one of these names, and you need to know them if you want to add custom icons to your home screen or create a Shortcuts workflow that opens an app on your iPhone up.

How To: Convert Dates & Times to Different Time Zones on iOS Without Leaving the App You're In

Working with people in different time zones can be difficult when scheduling a time to meet up virtually, whether it's on Zoom, FaceTime, another video chatting app, or just a good old-fashioned phone call. The time needs to be good for all parties, and trying to remember UTC offsets and doing mental math isn't easy. Luckily, there's an easier way to deal with time zones on your iPhone.

How To: Quickly Generate Anonymous, Throwaway Email Addresses on Your iPhone to Keep Your Real Email Accounts Safe from Spam

A temporary email can go a long way. Using your actual email to sign up for a mailing list to receive 10% off a purchase doesn't make sense if you don't use the website much. It means you'll have to deal with spam emails from then on, which is why an anonymous email is perfect not to have to deal with all that trouble. And that's where the TempMail shortcut for your iPhone comes in handy.

How To: Stop Notification Banners from Popping Up for Custom App Icon Shortcuts on Your Home Screen

Users on Android could customize their app icons for some time, but it's a relatively new addition to the iPhone. You could change icons since iOS 12, but it really took off in iOS 14 and got even better in iOS 14.3. Still, it's not as easy as on Android, and you'll see a notification every time you open an app with your custom icon. However, there is a workaround to stop those annoying notifications.

How To: Change the Color Theme of Any App Interface on Your iPhone — Without Affecting the Rest of iOS

Few apps on the iPhone give you ways to change their color scheme aside from Dark Mode in iOS 13 and later, but that doesn't mean you can't give an app a new color theme or filtered look. With the Shortcuts app in iOS 14 and later, it's totally possible, and it'll work in practically any app.

How To: Use Samsung's Hidden Undo & Redo Gesture for Galaxy Devices

Everyone raves about Gboard and SwiftKey, but the stock Samsung Keyboard on Galaxy devices is awesome in its own right. It's preloaded, so you don't have to do anything to get it, but at the same time, it's packed with features — even some you might not know about.

How To: This Shortcut Translates What You Say to Text in Any Language in Any App on Your iPhone

When iOS 14 came out, Apple released Translate, an app for translating voice and text between several languages (even within Safari). Unfortunately, it's not as comprehensive as some third-party apps or even Siri. That's why Apple uses Microsoft's translation services within Shortcuts. It may sound surprising, but we're not complaining since you can do some pretty awesome things with it.

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