Tweaks & Hacks

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: 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: Stop AirPods from Annoyingly Auto-Switching Between iPhone, iPad & Mac So They Stick to One Device

You're watching a YouTube video on your Mac, then go to check something on your iPhone. Of course, because you had a video queued on iOS, your AirPods automatically switch from your Mac to your iPhone. Now, your Mac's YouTube video is playing out loud, and you have to reroute your AirPods back over to macOS. Luckily, there's a hidden setting you can change that fixes this whole issue.

How To: Generate Live Captions for Any Streaming Video or Audio File Using Chrome's Desktop App

Captions are great for catching every word and important sound in a movie or TV show, but now there's a way in Google Chrome's desktop browser to enjoy captions for any audio file or source. You could ensure you never mishear a comment during an online meeting, and you could even follow along to a song's lyrics on platforms that don't already have in-sync lyrics, such as SoundCloud.

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: The Fastest Way to Dim Your iPhone Screen Lower Than the Lowest Possible Brightness

In the dark, even the lowest brightness option on the iPhone can still feel a thousand burning suns. No matter whether you're in bed or at the movie theater, you don't want to create a distraction with your smartphone. That's why you might want a brightness that isn't readily available on your device — but luckily, there may be a way to go lower than the lowest brightness.

How To: Silence Annoyingly Loud Emergency Alerts on iPhone Without Disabling Them Completely

Emergency alerts are important for keeping us updated on extreme weather, natural disasters, and other important events. They're also super scary when you're not expecting them. These alerts are so loud and intrusive that it's tempting to disable emergency alerts altogether on your iPhone. Luckily, you don't need to do that to preserve your sanity.

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: Trick Your MacBook's Touch ID into Registering Twice as Many Fingerprints for Each Account

While Touch ID has been a part of the iPhone's legacy since 2013, Apple waited until 2016 to add biometrics to its MacBook lineup, and it's not as impressive. An iPhone with Touch ID can register up to five fingerprints, but Macs can only register a maximum of three per account. If that seems unfair, there's an easy trick to doubling that number, meaning six of your fingerprints could unlock your laptop!

How To: Use a Different Apple ID for Apple Music Without Using Family Sharing

Your Apple Music subscription is tied to the Apple ID that subscribed, so you can stream content from any iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, or watchOS device that your Apple ID is signed in to. However, things get slightly more complicated when you want to listen to Apple Music on another device you use with a different Apple ID, such as a work iPhone. Complicated, but not impossible.

How To: Take a Screenshot on Your iPhone Without the Annoying Thumbnail Preview Showing Up

Since iOS 11, a thumbnail preview appears on your iPhone whenever you take a screenshot. It's useful for access to quick sharing options and editing tools, but you can't disable the preview image. You can wait for it to disappear or swipe it off-screen, but that's as good as it gets — until now. In an iOS 14 update, there's an option to disable the screenshot preview — only you won't find it in Settings.

How To: Download TikTok Videos Without Watermarks on Your iPhone

TikTok has grown to be one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. The video-sharing app is a driving force for viral content, spurring various popular movements in dance, pranks, comedy, and more. And as one might assume, videos on TikTok don't stay on TikTok — they're shared on Instagram, Twitter, and other services where millions of people get the chance to also view them.

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