Productivity & Shortcuts

How To: The Way You Select Text on Your iPhone Will Change Once You Know These Hidden Tricks

While there's no denying that iPads are better when it comes to multitasking and productivity, your iPhone has a few tricks up its sleeve to rival even the best iPad features. One thing about iPadOS is that it's really easy to highlight editable text with gestures, but it's just as simple on iOS if you know all the secrets.

How To: Turn Your Contacts into Apps on Your iPhone's Home Screen

When iOS 14 was released, the "Favorites" widget, which provided quick access to your most-used contacts, was nowhere to be seen. There's a workaround that brings it back via the Shortcuts app, but the original Favorites widget was better all around. For those of you looking for something better, try turning all your favorite and most-used contacts into apps on your home screen.

How To: Make Siri Say Whatever You Want Every Time You Connect Your iPhone to a Charger

Whenever your iPhone's not on silent, every time you connect it to a power source, whether it's a wired or wireless connection, you'll hear that iconic chime sound off to let you know that charging has started. There's no way to disable the chime, but in iOS 14, you can make Siri automatically say whatever you want after a successful connection.

How To: There's a Hidden App on Your iPhone — One That Won't Show Up on Your Home Screen or App Library

Every once in a while, an iOS secret surfaces that makes me wonder, "How am I just learning about this?" I remember the first time I found out how to delete numbers in the Calculator app, and when I discovered you could bulk-move apps around the home screen. Now, there's another tip to add to the list: a hidden iOS app whose icon you quite literally can't find unless you know where to look.

How To: Remove Annoying Contact Suggestions in Your iOS Share Sheet Completely or Temporarily

Apple has always strived to make the share sheet in iOS as useful a tool as possible. It has action extensions, share extensions, shortcuts, activities, and Siri suggestions, and you can even customize the order of the buttons to a certain degree. One thing you couldn't change was Siri's suggested contacts at the top. If you've always hated seeing those bubbles, iOS 14 has a way to get rid of them.

How To: The Easy Way to Upload Files Anonymously from Your iPhone So They Can't Be Traced Back to You

If you need to share something online but don't want your personal information attached to the file, use an anonymous file hosting site. By uploading files anonymously, you keep your IP address safe and won't need to create any kind of account that could provide further logging. You can do this in a web browser, but it's much easier to do using a shortcut on your iPhone.

How To: The Secret iPhone Dialer Trick That Dials Extensions Automatically & Navigates Automated Call Menus for You

Automatic phone menus are the worst. You call the number, listen to prerecorded prompts, press button, listen, press button, listen, press button, listen, until you're routed or connected to the right extension, directory, menu, person, or whatever. But you can bypass these automated attendants to get right to where you need to go by setting up a simple shortcut on your iPhone.

How To: You're Searching Your Safari Tabs Wrong — Use This Hidden iPhone Trick to Find Them Faster

I am constantly hitting Apple's limit of 500 open tabs in Safari on my iPhone, so it's safe to say that I have way too many tabs to sort through. With that many tabs open in the browser, it can be impossible to track down the one needed at any given moment. If that sounds like you, stop browsing tab after tab to locate the right one because there are hidden tricks to searching those tabs that make it easy.

How To: Use a Secret Voice Command to Unlock Your iPhone

Your voice is the key to unlocking many features on your iPhone. For example, you can ask Siri to send a text message to a friend, add items to a list, run a custom shortcut, or turn on your lights, but Apple does not allow you to unlock your iPhone with a Siri voice command. Instead, you can turn to a lesser-known feature to unlock your iPhone without Face ID, Touch ID, or typing your passcode.

How To: 32 Things You Didn't Know About Your iPhone's Keyboard

Apple's stock keyboard for iPhone has gone through many changes over the years. Some have been significant, and others more subtle. Overall, most of these updates have been fairly obvious, so you're probably already using them — but there are more than a few interesting features that were slipped in under the radar that you may not know about.

How To: Make iOS Alert You When Your iPhone Only Has 5% Battery Life Remaining

The battery on your iPhone can go from 10% to completely dead in a matter of minutes, or at least it can feel that way. Apple does prepare you with an alert when you hit the 20% and 10% mark, but it's easy to forget to charge your iPhone before it dies even with those notifications. That's why you should also be notified when your battery's down to 5% remaining.

How To: Turn Any Website into a Full-Screen Android App with Ad Blocking, Dark Mode & More

Progressive Web Apps hope to one day bridge the gap between websites and apps by giving the former more access to your phone's features, but they're not very common yet. In the meantime, you can take matters into your own hands with an app that uses your system WebView to render websites in a full-screen, borderless window with a few extra features — a lot like a native Android app.

How To: See Your iPhone's Actual Signal Strength for Cellular Reception

The signal bars in your iPhone's status bar is a great visual indicator for knowing how good your cellular reception is, but they're not very accurate. Instead of showing the actual amount of signal you're receiving, they just give you a general range, and you'll have no idea if three out of four bars is actually a good connection or not. But there is a trick to see the real numbers.

How To: With This Free Tool, You Can Preview the Mail Coming to Your Home Every Day

Most packages sent to you via delivery services include a tracking number that allows you to track it from the creation of the shipping label all the way to your doorstep. The U.S. Postal Service includes tracking information with many of its mailing services, but not for first-class mail or periodicals. Luckily, there's a workaround to that limitation that you can set up pretty quickly.

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