Discovering hidden iPhone features

Alexis O.

Managing Editor

Every iPhone has features that are not-so-obvious until the user accidentally finds them and tries them. While the instruction manual gives no inkling on how to use these new, exciting features, each one is mentioned somewhere on the web and in detail on Apple’s website. The majority of iPhone owners, however, will never take the time to research how to use these features until they need it. Eventually, all of these features come in handy to the average user.  

Voice control, or Siri, is a feature Apple introduced with the iPhone 3GS, 4S, and 5. This feature allows one to make a call or play music by just speaking the words to the phone or into a Bluetooth headset. To invoke voice control, the user just presses and holds the home button until the voice control screen appears and one hears a beep. This also works if the center button of the iPhone headset is pressed. Then wait for a second beep before speaking; if the phone is in vibration mode, then the phone will vibrate instead of beep. Voice control makes it time efficient and easier to maneuver and use the iPhone.  

Autocorrect is another feature that can be accessed using the iPhone. Everyone had those embarrassing text messages where a dirty word is sent to parents or peers. Junior Christian Taylor says, “Autocorrect is my lifesaver. There have been so many times that I’ve misspelled things, and autocorrect saved me!’ Thankfully, autocorrect is to the rescue! For those who know there are words that they frequently destroy with their uncoordinated fingers, they can create a shortcut so that next time they get it wrong, the iPhone will automatically correct it with the right word. All that has to be done to add the word is to press the “general” key and then “keyboard” key. Then, simply type in the abbreviation wished to be used for the word. Now, the user can abbreviate large words or phrases that once could not be bothered spelling correctly/writing in full, and the iPhone will replace them. In contrast, this requires identification of the words one usually butchers, and it can be a little time consuming putting together a list. To avoid autocorrect altogether, one can simply learn how to spell. It also can be disarmed by pressing the off button by the autocorrect application.

Most people have let their friends borrow their phone to make a call or search the web at some point. Does one really want his or her friend to know what he or she has been looking at? Deleting history on a computer is easy, but not many people are aware how to accomplish this task on a smartphone. The option is there, even though Apple is not exactly making a big deal about it. All that is needed to be done is to switch the browser to “private.” While at the task, clear the history, cookies and data by hitting “clear history” and “clear cookies and data.” Now, no more annoying websites can harass one’s phone with ads and third party invitations, and that “personal” website one likes to visit will remain his or her little secret. The only downside is that Safari (the web browser) will no longer remember URLs that were recently visited. Typing in the URL will have to now be done every time one wishes to visit that website.  

Another feature available is the option to delete singular calls. Paranoid? Everyone has that one person that he or she does not want anyone to know that he or she still speaks to over the phone. Senior Michael Mooney states, “This option works wonders in my life, for I am a somewhat sneaky person. I wouldn’t want this week’s girl to know about the other ten I talk to.” Fear not. The iPhone can help. Hit the “phone” app, tap the “recent” calls icon, and simply swipe over the number desired to delete. After the red button appears, tap it. Watch the call disappear instantly. Now, one can keep his or her call history to themself. On the downfall, abusing the power and forgetting the call will still show up on the phone bill is possible, so use responsibly. Other than that, this feature can be very useful.  

Along with everything already mentioned, the calendar featured on the iPhone is a very useful feature that can be a great deal of aid to one’s daily life – well, anyone who is technologically savvy that is. By simply turning the phone on its side, the whole week, color-coded and everything, becomes visible. Scroll left to view past events. Upcoming events are viewed to the right. This allows one to stay on top of his or her appointments and get a color-coded layout of his or her week. Unfortunately, this feature does not show weeks and months; therefore, one will have to be aware of this on his or her own.

In addition, ringtones and message alerts are a personal decision. If one does not want to draw attention to himself, then this option is a must. Go into “settings” > “general” > “accessibility,” and then turn “LED flash for alerts” to “on.” This makes the phone only flash when one receives a call or text. Users will have a vibrant, visual alert for calls and texts without drawing too much attention to themselves, especially in school environments that use luminous lighting. Unfortunately, with this feature, one will not be appreciated in a movie theatre or dark places.

In all, the iPhone has many features that can make daily life easier. For those who did not know about the variety of features, utilizing and discovering these different features is fun and could be beneficial. There are many more waiting for iPhone owners to explore!

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