Gadget Hacks How-Tos

How To: Identify Any Song Playing on Instagram, TikTok, and Other Apps on Your iPhone Using Shazam

Since Shazam became available on iPhone, it's been easier than ever to identify a song playing somewhere in the background. You could hear something you like while watching a movie or sitting in a coffee shop, and all you have to do is open the Shazam app and have it listen for you. But what about music playing on your iPhone via Instagram, TikTok, and other social media apps?

How To: Update Your iPhone's Lock Screen with an Attention-Grabbing Note, Reminder, Warning, or Other Custom Message

There's a lot you can customize on your iPhone's Lock Screen — wallpapers and photos, widgets, the display mode, notifications, and even the time's font and color. But there's another feature that lets you add custom text for whatever you want, whether it's an inspiring quote, a reminder, a warning to anyone who dares touch your iPhone, or even just your name.

How To: Your iCloud Email Lets You Create Aliases to Protect Your Primary Email Address and Organize Your Inbox

On your iCloud Mail account, you can easily use subaddressing to create hundreds of new iCloud email addresses to give to companies and other parties, all of which go straight to your primary iCloud email address's inbox. The problem with these types of alternative email addresses is that you can't ever respond to emails with the plus tag intact. But Apple has another alternative for you to start using.

How To: 10 Features Coming to Apple News on Your iPhone with iOS 17.5 — Including Some Big Ones!

The app getting the most significant update on iOS 17.5 is, by far, Apple News. While there are a few changes in Books and Settings, as well as minor changes in apps like Podcasts, Apple News has at least 10 new features and changes you should know, some of which are worth getting excited about.

How To: 24 New Features and Changes Coming to Your iPhone with iOS 17.5

Apple released iOS 17.4 on March 5 with over 30 new features, but now it's iOS 17.5's turn for the spotlight. The update, currently in beta, gives us a few interesting updates and changes for iPhone, including a new word game, and there's even a sneak peek at what could be coming in the stable build.

How To: Use Your iPhone's Built-in Image Analyzer to Reveal the Hidden Meaning Behind Symbols, Signs, and More

When you encounter a mysterious laundry care symbol or alarming vehicle indicator light, you might just ignore it rather than ask somebody, search online, or open a user manual for the answer. If you have an iPhone, there's an easier way to decipher the meanings behind perplexing symbols and signs—and it only takes a few seconds.

Text Replacements: The Secret Weapon to Typing More with Less on Your iPhone, iPad, or Mac

There are plenty of tools that'll help you type faster and more efficiently on your iPhone or iPad, such as Slide to Type, Dictation, and even a case with a physical keyboard. But one of the best tricks will help you type frequently used words, phrases, sentences, email addresses, and more faster, and you can sync your settings with your Mac so you can type more with less effort on all your Apple devices.

How To: Focus Profiles Will Change How You Use Your iPhone — Here's How to Set Them Up for Distraction-Free Experiences

There's a powerful tool on your iPhone that can fine-tune your iOS experience based on what you're doing and when, and it's completely customizable. With it, you can control what notifications appear or are silenced, who can call you, which Home Screen pages you want to view, the Lock Screens you can pick from, and more. And you can automate it based on a variety of triggers.

How To: Force Restart an iPhone 15, 15 Plus, 15 Pro, or 15 Pro Max When It's Frozen, Glitchy, or Won't Turn On

The iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max are Apple's most powerful iPhones to date with features like USB-C connectivity, improved camera capabilities, and faster CPUs. But no matter how impressive these phones are, they can still freeze, become unresponsive, or get stuck when powering on — and a force restart is how you get things working again.

How To: Use Your iPhone to Hear the World Around You Better, Spy on Conversations, Listen to Your Heartbeat, and More

What started as an accessibility setting for hearing aids turned out to be a super helpful tool for anyone with a good set of Bluetooth headphones. The problem is that most iPhone and iPad users still don't know about it. If you're one of them, you need to see what this underrated gem in iOS and iPadOS can offer you.

How To: Automatically Bypass Human Verification Prompts on Your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to Experience Fewer CAPTCHAs

Some websites require you to perform a verification task so they know you're human and not a bot. It helps websites curb spam, abuse, unauthorized access, and cyberattacks but also adds an obstacle for anyone trying to visit their content. If you find it more of a nuisance than a necessary evil, there's an easy way to reduce the number of human verification prompts you receive on your iPhone, iPad, and/or Mac.

How To: Turn a Viral TikTok Sound Bite or Song into Your iPhone's Next Ringtone

There seems to be no end to all the viral TikTok sound bites and trending TikTok songs, and there's a good reason why they are ingrained in the fabric of our pop culture. TikTok's short audio clips can evoke laughter, tears, and a wide range of other emotions, and many of them just happen to be the perfect length to add to your iPhone's or iPad's arsenal of ringtones.

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

Whenever your iPhone's ringer is on, you'll hear Apple's iconic "Connect Power" chime every time you connect it to a wired or wireless power source, which lets you know that charging has started. There's no way to disable the sound without turning on Silent mode, but there is a way to make Siri automatically say whatever you want after a successful connection.

How To: Take Scrolling Screenshots of Entire Webpages, Text Documents, and More on Your iPhone or iPad

When you take a screenshot on your iPhone, it's automatically saved to your Photos app. You can ignore the screenshot thumbnail or swipe it away, but you shouldn't. If you open the screenshot editor instead, you'll gain access to your iPhone's most useful screen capture tool: full-page screenshots.

How To: 5 Hidden Features in Safari's 17.4 Update for iPhone and iPad You Didn't Know About

The latest 17.4 update for Safari includes a prompt for EU users to choose a different default web browser available in their region. It also gives us new ways to customize the Favorites Bar on an iPad. And Apple Cash virtual numbers are now supported as an AutoFill suggestion. But there are also some hidden changes in Safari 17.4 for iOS and iPadOS that you might not ever notice unless you keep reading.

How To: Unlock Your iPhone's Many Hidden Text-to-Speech Features to Make It Read Virtually Any On-Screen Content

Speech-to-text technology can be seen on your iPhone in various places, from the Dictation tool to Apple's new behind-the-scenes, auto-created transcripts for podcast episodes. Your iPhone also has some pretty impressive text-to-speech capabilities. With them, your iPhone can read webpages, documents, or whatever text is on the screen out loud to you — only some of these tools aren't easy to find.

How To: View Podcast Transcripts on Your iPhone to View, Search, and Navigate the Audio

Apple's Podcasts app just got a big feature: transcripts. Before, you had to rely on third-party services or the off chance that podcast creators posted transcription links to each of their episodes. Now, you can view, read, and search show transcripts directly in Podcasts, whether uploaded from the creators or automatically generated by Apple.

How To: Your iPhone Just Got 118 More Emoji — Here Are All the New Characters and Variations

There are now more emoji on your iPhone's keyboard that you can send as reactions or stickers or insert wherever else you use emoji — and it's about time. It's been nearly a year since the last emoji update for iOS, and we only received support for 31 new ones then. The new iOS 17 software update brings almost four times as many.

How To: Your iPhone Can Help Keep Clutter from Piling Up in Mail and Messages — Here's How

Many of your accounts online likely require two-factor authentication (2FA) or two-step verification (2SV) to confirm your identity when logging in, and there's a good chance the second factor or step for each is a one-time email or SMS verification code. If you get a lot of email and SMS codes, it can clutter your Mail and Messages apps with junk if you don't delete the messages after signing in.

How To: Unlock Safari's Secret Dual-Search Engine Experience to Optimize Your Web Browsing

If you prefer to use Google or another search engine for everyday browsing in Safari but would also like a more secure browsing experience for all your secret searches, there's a simple way to switch between them quickly while also adding additional layers of security on top of your already clandestine browsing.

How To: Rotate Wallpapers on Your iPhone to Photo Shuffle All Your Favorite Pics by Tap, Lock, Hour, or Day

Your iPhone has plenty of already-created Apple wallpapers just waiting for you to set as your Lock Screen and Home Screen backgrounds. But using a photo from your own library can provide a more emotional connection, help you express yourself better, and give your phone a more unique look. To maximize these effects, auto-rotate your personal images daily, hourly, when locked, or when tapped.

How To: Turn Your iPhone into a Samsung Galaxy S24 or Z Fold 5

Are you thinking of switching from an iPhone to an Android phone? Before you make a permanent change from Apple to the other side, it's good to try out the other ecosystem and see if it makes sense for you. If you can't get your hands on an Android phone to try it out, you can simulate Android right on your iPhone. You can even see what a foldable smartphone feels like!

How To: You Don't Need Safari to Add Web Apps to Your iPhone's Home Screen — Try These Browsers Instead

Safari isn't the only web browser on your iPhone or iPad that will let you add icons to your Home Screen for progressive web apps and website bookmarks. Apple gave developers the key to its "Add to Home Screen" feature, and your favorite iOS or iPadOS web browser may already support it.

How To: Hear Conversations During Calls Much Clearer with These Hidden iPhone Features

Whether it's everybody or just a specific contact you can't hear during audio and video calls when wearing headphones, your iPhone has hidden, little-known tools to help you catch every word they say in the conversation. Even if you can normally hear everyone during calls, customizing these headphone preferences can make conversations crystal clear.

How To: Get the Time Without Looking Using Apple Watch's Hidden Time-Telling Features

Our everyday lives are inundated with displays from smartphones, computers, tablets, TVs, and other devices, so it's important to find ways to limit your screen use wherever possible to improve your overall digital well-being. One simple thing you can do if you have an Apple Watch is make your watch tell you the time so you don't have to look yourself — and this little-known feature is easy to unlock.

How To: The Best Smartphones to Buy in 2024

If you're in the market for a new smartphone and want nothing but the best of the best, now's the time to act. Some of the greatest phones money can buy are being released as we speak, while others are still in their prime and will continue to be for most of 2024. Whether you want an iPhone or Android, we've rounded up the best picks you have to choose from for top-of-the-line specs and advanced features.

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