Productivity & Shortcuts

How To: Your iPhone's Using More Data Than It Needs, but This Could Stop It

While mobile data caps are larger than they used to be, many of us still have limits to contend with. If you find yourself up against that ceiling month after month, your iPhone itself might be to blame. Luckily, there's an easy fix to stop your iOS device from burning through data in the background.

How To: Add Dropbox, Google Drive & Other Cloud Storage Apps to Files on Your iPhone (& Manage All Your Docs from One Place)

The built-in Files app on your iPhone has only gotten better since it was introduced in iOS 11, with small improvements after each new iOS version. You can manage files on your internal storage as well as in iCloud Drive, but one of the best features is being able to manage media and documents from all of your cloud storage accounts in one place.

How To: There's a Quick Gesture to Open Hidden Camera Settings on Your iPhone

The camera on models in the iPhone 11 series includes an ultra-wide lens to take wider images, Night mode for taking better-looking photos in low-light environments, and a 16:9 frame for shooting. With these new features comes a slightly redesigned interface in the Camera app, one that even the second-generation iPhone SE received despite only having one of those three features.

How To: Use This Trick to Quickly Select All Photos & Videos on Your iPhone to Bulk Delete or Share

With high-resolution photos and 4K videos being standard these days, it's no surprise that media hogs most of the storage space for many iPhone users. If that's you, there's always iCloud, but you only get 5 GB free, and a paid 50 GB or 200 GB plan can fill up fast. To save money and reclaim storage, you can just delete content from the Photos app, and there's a trick to doing it faster.

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: Share Apple Music Songs to Spotify Users (& Vice Versa) on Your iPhone

To share a song or album to family and friends, it's as easy as copying its link in the app and pasting that into a message. However, not everyone uses the same music streaming service, so a link to an Apple Music song won't do a Spotify, Tidal, Pandora, Deezer, or YouTube Music subscriber any good. If you're on an iPhone, though, there's an easy way to convert links from one service to another.

How To: Use These Tricks to Set Timers Faster on Your iPhone

The native timer feature on your iPhone works well enough that you probably haven't even thought about installing a third-party timer. With just a few taps, you can get a countdown for any amount of time up to 24 hours (or one second shy of 24 hours, to be precise). But as fast as it can be to set a timer from the Clock app, there are even faster ways to start the countdown.

How To: Add Custom Shortcuts to Your iPhone's Share Sheet & Reorganize Them for Quicker Access

With Shortcuts, Apple has designed a way to create your own tools and automations right on your iPhone. And to top it off, your creations can be accessed in a variety of ways, including Siri phrases, widgets, and the Shortcuts app itself. Perhaps even more useful is adding them as custom actions to your Share Sheet and making them available to you system-wide.

How To: The Simple Way to Enable Caps Lock on Your iPhone

When you need to type in all caps on a computer, you just press the "caps lock" key. But no such key seems to exist on iOS. The "shift" key appears to work at first but will deactivate once you type one capital letter. Holding down the shift key while you type gets the job done, but it's a pain. While it might not be obvious, enabling caps lock is actually really simple.

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.