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The Untapped Features of Your iPhone

By Indira Kasaeva

We can’t deny that our phone is very rarely out of reach. It’s that special device we can’t live without and have a love/hate relationship with – but are you utilizing your phone to the max? Contributing Writer, Indira was inspired to share her hacks after a video her mum sent her altered her texting life.

The Space Button

You have typed up a massive text and then noticed a typo smack in the middle of a word, in the third line. Instead of helplessly trying to fumble with your finger in the right position or giving up and retyping the whole sentence – as we will all admit we have done.

There is a much simpler trick - press and hold the space bar and move it around, your keyboard transforms into a trackpad. This allows you to make the space bar into a cursor, and position it anywhere, and even between a word you need.

Medical ID

Great for first responders, this is a feature that can potentially save a life. In case of any emergency, even with a locked screen – anyone can view your Medical ID details if you have them filled in on your iPhone. Another benefit is that it automatically notifies your emergency contact that you called emergency services when using Emergency SOS and shares your location with them.

To set your details and add an emergency contact, head to: Settings > Health > Medical ID > Edit and fill in any information that would be relevant to medical staff, like existing conditions, allergies, blood type.

Finally, scroll down to Emergency Contact > Add Emergency Contact and select someone from your contact list.

Night Shift by Magic

With the raising concerns over the screen’s blue lights and quality of sleep, if we have an option to reduce the strain on our eyes – we take it. Personally, half the time, I forget to switch to the Night Shift mode before it is too late and I’m already half asleep. Turns out it can be customized to be done automatically.

Head over to: Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift > Scheduled, turn on the Scheduled feature, select your timings and voila!

Flashy Texts

While most of my conscious life my phone is in my hand or within a 30 cm proximity, sometimes I do put it on silent and leave it a bit further (ie out of reach unless I can be bothered to get up!). My luck usually has it, that’s when I get three important calls and seven messages, which wouldn’t have missed had it not been on silent. The solution I uncovered is the flashlight alert (for some reason I always thought it was an app) that’s a built-in feature in our iPhones. Your phone blinks at you with the camera flash for any notifications.

To have a flash alert for texts and calls, here’s the set-up: Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual > LED Flash for Alerts to be turned on.

Do Not Disturb

If you aren’t using the Do Not Disturb feature – you should seriously consider it for bedtime. Especially for digital health reasons. However, if you do use it, play it smart. Otherwise, you might end up like me, having an alarming awakening at 2 am because a friend was banging down my apartment door for an emergency, at that stage I had missed 34 calls from them. To avoid such major stressors, make sure you have Emergency Contacts added to the bypass list for the Do Not Disturb mode. This is customizable for both calls and texts. Steps:

Contacts > Selects The One > Tap “Edit” top right corner > Go to “Ringtone”> Turn “the Emergency Bypass” feature to ON > Tap Done

Shake It Off

If you’re typing something and want to delete it – just shake your phone to “undo” the typing. Shaking it again will allow you to redo and return it, or give you the option to undo the previous text. Much more fun than pressing the delete button! Those who shake their phones a lot for other reasons, also have the option to switch off the feature.

Head to: Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Shake to Undo – that can be turned on or off.

Correct Siri’s pronunciation

If you’re a Siri fan and get annoyed at her pronouncing something wrong, including names – just correct her. Based on research, apparently, all one has to do is say "That's not how you pronounce [name]”. Repeat the word using the correct pronunciation (for you at least) and you will get a couple of options of Siri trying her best, that you get to choose from.


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