Picture it: you wake up in the middle of the night and check your phone. Maybe you want to check the time (your phone is your alarm clock, after all) or see if that person ever replied to your message. You double-tap or lift to wake it and the screen lights up. You flinch at the bright light, squeezing your eyes shut. It takes a few moments to adjust, even if your screen's brightness is as low as possible.
Since iOS 7, your iPhone automatically updates all of your apps, which is a wonderful thing ... until it's not. Not only does this feature drain the battery quicker when enabled, it can also bring changes to features, settings, and user interfaces in the apps that you already know and love. That's why you can easily disable the feature and stop apps from automatically updating.
A few things on Android and iPhone have not been perfected. For instance, selecting and copying text is a task I often find myself fumbling over. But recently, we stumbled across a nifty way to select text that's a huge improvement over how we've been doing it.
The biggest feature in the iOS 13 update is a new system-wide Dark Mode. It's a simple switch that you enable to turn system menus and Apple apps dark, but it can also darken third-party apps if their developers elect to support it. Trouble is, most haven't yet, so half of your apps likely still have a blinding white background.
Remember when typing without physical keys seemed ridiculous? Now, touch typing is the smartphone norm. That said, mistakes are inevitable on small screens. So before you start hammering on that delete key or shaking your iPhone like a madman, know that there's a better way to undo text you didn't mean to type — no shaking involved.
By default, Apple's Maps features a 2D overhead viewing angle when you search for a place or get directions to a specific address. In the past, Apple Maps had a button in the top-right to view cities and landmarks in 3D, but that has now disappeared for the most part in iOS 13. However, the feature is still available to use — it's just sort of hidden this time around.
Live Photos are a fun way to relive memories, but there's a problem: unless you're only friends with Apple users, sharing Live Photos isn't quite as fun. Without a third-party converter, you can't share your Live Photo in all its moving glory. That is, until iOS 13, where you can quickly turn your Live Photos into videos.
Even if you're totally familiar with all the routes you can take to go home or work, you'll still want to use Google Maps to find the fastest route in current traffic conditions. If you're on Android, there's an extremely fast way to do this.
While iOS has many strengths, in-app settings are not among them. Sure, third-party apps often come with a settings gear, but stock apps? No way. To change settings in Music, Photos, Camera, and other Apple apps, you'll need to leave the app. But there's a hidden trick to quickly access an app's settings — without needing to open the Settings app itself manually.
You open the App Store to see a huge red number hovering over your profile icon. There's a ton of updates to install, so you tap "Update All." But wait! You needed to check Instagram or send a reply to a timely WhatsApp message, but those apps are now stuck waiting for others to update first. Luckily, you don't need to stick to your iPhone's update queue — you can choose which apps to update first.
Your computer has a lot of physical keys. Your iPhone has, at most, four hardware buttons, none of which are used for typing. That means the software has to power the same typing tools you'd find on your Mac or PC, only on a touchscreen. As such, some features, such as the indent tools, are buried so deep you may not even know it's possible to "tab" forward and backward.
On the surface, deleting conversations in Messages seems harder in iOS 13 after Apple removed the "Edit" button on the main page. Fortunately, they added a new gesture that lets you remove entire threads and individual messages with ease.
For most of the iPhone's history, rearranging apps has been a giant pain. On the surface, iOS 13 seems to make things worse — with the new long-press gestures, it takes longer for iOS to know you want to move apps around. That might be true, but iOS 13 also introduced a way to make the process so much faster.
QR codes are like smart little cubes of data. To unlock this data, you will need a QR reader. These are annoying because you typically have to download a third-party app, and some of these apps are shady. Luckily your Samsung Galaxy running One UI has a hidden QR scanner built right in.
In Messages, it's pretty hard to miss the timestamps that appear on top of more recent texts, iMessages, or files. But if you want to view the exact times for each text, you'll need to know about a hidden gesture.
Ever tried using Android's split screen mode only to find the app you wanted to split doesn't support it? Even big-name apps like ESPN still don't support the feature despite the majority of Android devices having split screen. So instead of waiting for the developers, how about we just force compatibility?
When an app is acting up, the first thing you should do is head to its App Info page. Here, you can force stop the buggy app or delete its data and cache. It even lets you manage permissions and notifications, quickly uninstall the app, and more. So you should definitely know about the easy new way to get to this page.
Pasting on your iPhone has never been easier. You're familiar with the old way of doing things — long-press in the text field to bring up the "Paste" option, then tap that option to paste your text. It's not necessarily hard, but trust me when I say there's a better way.
If you have a Chromecast or Android TV, you can mirror your phone's display to the big screen. It's helpful for showing off something you found interesting without having to pass your phone around the living room, but the actual process of casting your screen is a bit clunky. Thankfully, there's a better way.
If you're like me, you reorganize your home screen every few months. But instead of dragging the old icons and dropping them on that "Remove" button up top, there's a much faster, and quite frankly, more satisfying way to do it.