Productivity & Shortcuts

How To: Free Up Space on Your iPhone Quickly Without Deleting Any Important Data

Even with the convenience of online storage like iCloud and Google Drive, data management can be a constant struggle on your iPhone. If you continuously find yourself having to delete messages, photos, videos, and other files to make room for other things, know that there's an easy way to free up space without erasing anything important or having to dig through documents and data yourself.

How To: Find & Remove Files from Deleted Apps on Your iPhone to Free Up More Storage

Since iOS 11, your iPhone has been capable of offloading hardly used apps to free up storage space for more useful data. But offloading only gets rid of the app's binary, meaning its documents and data are stored on your device in case you reinstall the app. That can take up a lot of space itself, so it's good to periodically review files for offloaded apps and purge the content you no longer need.

How To: Stop Apps Installed on Your iPhone from Downloading Automatically on Your Other iOS Devices (& Vice Versa)

The benefit of going all-in on the Apple ecosystem is that your stuff is connected across all of your Apple products. That said, I really don't need every app I download on my iPhone appearing on my iPad, and vice versa. That's why addressing this setting is crucial for maintaining some level of order across your multiple iOS devices.

How To: This Discreet Panic Button for iPhone Will Help You Escape Bad Dates, Uncomfortable Encounters & Annoying People

Strange or uncomfortable encounters can be difficult to get away from sometimes if you're overly polite and don't want to hurt anybody's feelings. Thankfully, your iPhone can help save the day, providing you with a plausible excuse to exit the scene without having to conjure up some last-minute reason on the spot.

How To: Use Any Song on Your iPhone as a Gradually Increasing Alarm for a Gentle Wakeup

If you'd rather be gently relaxed out of bed instead of stressed out at loud alarm sounds, there are a few things you can do on your iPhone. One of your best options is to use carefully selected songs that start out calm and soothing and gradually increase in intensity and volume. But you could also use a more intense track you know will wake you up, only set to ascend in volume to ease you out of slumber.

How To: Use Customizable App Pickers on Your iPhone's Home Screen to Group Apps, Reduce Clutter & Find Apps Faster

If your iPhone's home screen is littered with apps in no discernible order, and you rely on muscle memory to locate one when you need it, it gets harder with each new app icon added. Folders can help organize the mess, but you can also create your very own app picker or group of app pickers. They act similar to folders but show apps in a list and let you add the same app to multiple app pickers.

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: This Is Absolutely the Fastest, Most Convenient Way to Toggle Your iPhone's Flashlight On & Off (Hint: It's No Button)

It's easier than ever to toggle your iPhone's flashlight (or torch) on and off. From your lock screen, home screen, or from within any app, most iPhone models will let you enable or disable the flashlight from the Control Center, via the Notification Center, or with Siri. But there's an even faster and more convenient way to trigger the flashlight button, and you don't even have to look at your iPhone to use it.

How To: You Can Run Shortcuts Right from Your iPhone's Lock Screen & Here Are 6 Ways to Do It

Shortcuts are meant to make your life easier, and iPhone shortcuts are no exception. They can use different triggers, manual or automated, to perform actions in the background, allowing you to do things like send a prewritten text message during a bad date or change your wallpaper at certain times of the day. However, sometimes it's not only about the shortcut itself but about how fast you can run it.

How To: Stop Your iPhone from Automatically Sharing Audio to Your HomePod or HomePod Mini

Pushing music from your iPhone to your HomePod or HomePod mini by just moving the devices close to each other is certainly a great party trick. But if Handoff is too easily triggered, you might not think it's worth the wow factor. Thankfully, there's an easy way to stop your iPhone from sharing audio to your HomePod or HomePod mini (and vice versa) if you're finding it happens way too often.

How To: Block Those Annoying Cookie Consent Notices from Appearing on Websites in Safari

As a means to combat annoying and intrusive advertisements in Safari, Apple added native support for content blockers on the iPhone. Instead of being bombarded by notifications, banners, and pop-ups, content blockers prevent them from opening, which can also be said about those annoying cookie consent notices that many websites now have.

How To: The Easiest Way to View Exif Metadata for Photos on Your iPhone

Most of the images in your iPhone's Photos app contain exchangeable image file format data known as Exif or EXIF data, which has several helpful uses. You can use countless apps capable of reading Exif data, many of which are paid or limited. But you already have an app on your iPhone that can give you important details about each image — and I'm not talking about the Photos app.

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

Apple's Shortcuts app for iOS has matured quite a bit since its early days as "Workflow." There are actions now for pretty much everything, so even a new iPhone user without automation or coding experience can build impressive shortcuts to automate tasks and increase their overall efficiency. However, to become a pro shortcuts builder, you need to know about URL scheme names.

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: 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.