Smartphones have tons of hidden features, and the iPhone is no exception. You can use your phone’s camera to scan documents – without a scanner. You can also up the quality of your photos and videos, and keep up with your favorite TV show while answering a message.
We’ve rounded up the 6 iPhone tricks you should know to get the most out of your phone.
iPhone tricks you didn’t know you needed
1. Scan Live Text
You can scan any text using your iPhone’s built-in camera. From phone numbers and email addresses, to notes on a piece of paper, the camera will pick up the numbers and words. You can choose to copy, select, look up, translate, or share any text you scan.
- Simply open your camera app, and place the object or text within view.
- A yellow frame should appear, allowing you to detect the text.
- Then choose what you’d like to do with the text (google it, or text to someone else, for example).
You can scan live text if you have an iPhone XS, iPhone XR, and later with iOS 15.
2. Cinematic Mode
This is a great feature for anyone who is still lugging around a DSLR to try and get higher quality photos and videos than smartphone users. The best features in Cinematic mode are the ability to track a subject, and control your depth of field like never before. This is like using the Portrait Mode feature many iPhones already have, but with video.
Your iPhone will automatically track multiple subjects while in Cinematic mode, and you can select one (and later change that subject) before taking a video. Your background will be blurred as your subject stays in focus while filming.
Cinematic mode is only available for the iPhone 13 (all versions – mini, Pro, and Pro Max included) and you must have the latest iOS installed. However, you can edit your cinematic mode videos on other Apple products that have iOS 15 installed if you share it from your iPhone 13 through AirDrop or iCloud photos.
3. Night mode
While Night mode has already been introduced to iPhones, it’s even better on the new iPhone 13 devices. When you’re taking a picture and the camera can tell you’re in a low-light setting, it automatically turns night mode on. You can take a picture in almost pure darkness, and the photo will come out completely clear.
iPhone 12 and later can take selfies and use the time-lapse feature in night mode, so you can capture different types of photos and videos in the dark. Portrait mode can be used with night mode on iPhone 13 only.
4. Scan documents
Similar to scanning live text, you can also scan documents and turn them right into PDFs right on your phone. The easiest way to do this is by opening up the Notes app that comes with all iPhones, and either select a note or create a new one. Then tap the Camera button while in the Note, and click Scan Document.
You’ll want good lighting for this, and once you’ve scanned your document you can either tap Save or scan additional ones. Any phone on iOS 11 and later has this feature.
5. Picture in Picture
You can now multitask even further on iPhones using the Picture in Picture feature that comes with iOS 14 and above. You may have already noticed that you can use other apps while on FaceTime, and it will just bring the video chat window to one of the corners. Picture in Picture can also be used for other apps playing videos. You can open Hulu and stream a TV show as you’re browsing recipes on your phone, or watch a news clip as you text back a friend.
You can either click the PiP button while on your video (it’s a box with an arrow pointing a smaller box) or turn it on automatically. Head to Settings, tap General, and select Picture in Picture. Then make sure that it is toggled on to Start PiP automatically.
6. Slide to Type
Apple features a keyboard setting called QuickPath, and it’ll make typing easier and quicker than ever. Instead of lifting your finger to press each letter of a word individually, you can glide your finger from letter to letter, lifting after each word. This feature is automatically embedded into any keyboard with iOS 13 and later, and you can use it mid-sentence or for every word.
Have a tip to share that we didn’t cover above? Share your favorite iPhone quick tip by commenting below.