Apple’s iOS has evolved tremendously over the years and there are a lot of obvious, cool things the system is able to do. However, there are still secrets up iOS 11’s sleeve that you may not be aware of. This guide will help you master some useful and fun features of your iPhone.
12. Place a Speakerphone Call Using Siri
Siri is still learning, but she already has some useful tricks; including the ability to place speakerphone calls. This is really handy when your hands are dirty, when you can’t reach your phone, or there’s an emergency. Simply say “Hey Siri” to get your iPhone’s attention. Then say something like “call my dad on speakerphone.” Siri will dial the number and place the call on speaker for you.
11. Reinitiate Face ID
Face ID on the iPhone X is glorious, most of the time… Every now and again it thinks you’re not you; like when your face is washed out by the bright sun, or you looked at it with your head tilted, or someone “photobombed” you and it scanned the wrong face. It doesn’t happen often, but when it fails it can be a pain to sleep and rewake your phone just to scan your face. Luckily, there’s a better way.
*If Face ID fails and prompts you for password, simply lower and re-raise your phone to reinitiate Face ID.
*Or, if it fails and doesn’t prompt for a password simply lift the Home Bar up slightly and lower it back down to rescan your face.
It’s not perfect, but it’s helpful information. Hopefully Apple will just add a “rescan” option in the future.
10. Don’t Close All of Your Apps
So you have 50 apps on your phone and about 30 of them are open. Will this affect performance? Yes and no, but mostly no. iOS is designed to manage memory intelligently and Apple says it’s better to keep apps open as it can save battery and improve performance; however, some older devices do seem to struggle when too many apps are open.
In rare cases you may need to force close an app. On most iOS devices this is done by double tapping the home button—to enter the app switcher—and then by swiping up on apps you wish to close. With iPhone X there is no home button, instead you swipe up from the bottom and pause to enter the switcher, then press and hold an app until a little red circular icon—with a white minus sign—appears near the top corner of any open apps. Now you can tap this red icon or swipe up to close the app as before. Pro Tip: you can close multiple apps at once by swiping up on multiple apps simultaneously using two fingers.
9. Move Multiple Apps at Once
iOS lets you rearrange apps across many home screens and even lets you create folders; but, moving one app at a time can be tedious. With iOS 11 you can now move multiple apps simultaneously. So moving your new game purchases to a Games folder is a cinch.
1. Simply tap and hold an app to go into “wiggle mode”
2. Then touch and move one of your desired apps, and finally while “holding” said app tap all the other apps you want to move.
3. Doing this will create a stack of apps you can move all at once.
8. Hotspot and AirDrop Control Center Shortcuts
Some people think AirDrop was removed from Control Center in iOS 11; it wasn’t. While in Control Center simply 3D Touch the wireless radio controllers (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Cellular, and Airplane Mode) to access the complete menu, including AirDrop and personal hotspot. This is seriously a nice addition for quickly toggling these settings.
7. Built-in Document and QR Scanners
Wouldn’t it be great if you could scan documents or QR codes with your iPhone right out of the box? Now you can! In iOS 11 Apple added a QR scanner to the native camera app and a document scanner to the notes app.
To scan a QR code, open the camera app and point the camera at the QR code you want to scan. That’s it! Once the code is recognized a tappable rich link will appear at the top of the screen, similar to a notification. In addition to a QR scanner, the camera app also shows a level when pointed downward with the grid enabled. Handy for those Instagram food shots.
If you want to scan a document, open the notes app, choose an existing note or create a new one, press the “+” button, and choose “Scan Documents” to start scanning and adding documents to your note.
6. Poor Wi-Fi connection? No problem!
With iOS 11 the Control Center has quick toggles for radios like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. But they don’t actually turn off the service. Instead the radios are left on for features and integrations like AirDrop, Apple Pencil, and AirPods while disabling the connection to a Wi-Fi network and terminating connections to most paired Bluetooth devices.
Additionally, using geofencing and location data the phone determines when you’ve left the area and toggles the buttons back on automatically. It will also switch them back on after a certain period of time has passed. So if you can’t access a website on your current connection, just toggle off Wi-Fi. It will automatically turn back on when you leave the area or at a later time.
5. One-Handed Mode
This is a handy feature considering how large the displays on modern phones have become. Press and hold the emoji button on the keyboard to choose from a left-handed, a standard, or a right-handed keyboard. Your thumbs will be grateful you did.
4. Wi-Fi Passwords Made Easy
So you know when guests come over and they want your Wi-Fi password; and, you either can’t remember it, don’t want to give it out, or hate typing it in? With iOS 11 things are a lot more simple for your visitors that have Apple gadgets. Now when they choose your Wi-Fi network and you’re nearby you can approve the connection from your own device (as long as it’s already connected). Yeah… it’s pretty cool.
3. FaceTime Photos
When on a FaceTime call you can take Live Photos. How about that? It’s simple: just press the camera shutter button. Of course, if you don’t want others taking your picture you can disable this feature under Settings > FaceTime—just toggle the FaceTime Live Photos switch. Don’t worry though, if a picture is taken, both parties are notified.
2. Screenshots and Screen Recording
Screenshots and screen recordings got a major upgrade in iOS 11. Screenshots are now sent to the bottom left corner where you can expand them, mark them up, and share them. You can also enable a screen recorder in your Control Center settings. This adds a button to Control Center that you press whenever you want to record your screen.
1. Emergency SOS
Last, but not least, Apple has added a new Emergency SOS feature to the iPhone.
*Enable it in Settings, under Emergency SOS.
*It can be triggered by “squeezing” the phone (pressing the side button and one of the volume buttons) for a few seconds.
*The phone will then call emergency services and your specified emergency contacts if Auto Call is enabled.
You can also enable an option to click the side button five times fast to trigger (much easier than it sounds) and even disable the countdown timer to keep things stealthy.