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This hidden iOS 8 trick will add a great dimming effect to your iPhone’s screen

Published Oct 23rd, 2014 10:55AM EDT
iOS 8.1 Features
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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Like every other smartphone on the planet, the auto-brightness feature on Apple’s iPhone models including the iPhone 6 never works quite the way people want it too. The bright settings are too bright and the dim settings are too dim, so despite the obvious benefits to battery life, many users disable auto-brightness in their iPhone’s display settings. This means that any time a user wants to adjust the screen brightness on his or her phone, a trip into the Settings app or a swipe up to open Control Center is needed.

But there’s a cool hidden trick that will make it fast and easy to instantly dim your screen anytime you want.

FROM EARLIER: A new iPhone 6 problem arises: Dye from jeans is ruining the iPhone’s plastic strips

The Accessibility section in Apple’s iOS Settings app is packed full of features designed to help people with a wide range of disabilities. It’s also a treasure trove of nifty tricks that can add awesome new functionality to iPhones and iPads.

As noted by Reddit user “JrB11784,” there a nifty trick involving iOS’s zoom feature that is quite useful.

Using a few features within the accessibility settings in iOS 8.1 and many earlier versions of Apple’s mobile platform including iOS 8, iOS 7.1 and iOS 7, users can add a gray filter to the iPhone’s display that can be enabled and disabled on command, effectively dimming the iPhone’s display to a desirable brightness setting in less than 1 second.

Here are JrB11784’s instructions (with edits), which were originally found on an Apple forum:

  1. Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Zoom -> Enable Zoom
  2. Tap the screen quickly with three fingers three times
  3. Press ‘Choose Filter’ > ‘Low Light’, then set Zoom Region to “Full Screen Zoom”
  4. Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Accessibility Shortcut (it’s at the bottom) -> Set to “Zoom”

Now, simply press the home button on your iPhone or iPad three times quickly and the screen will dim. Press it another three times and the brightness will return to its previous setting. It’s a great way to make adjusting your iPhone’s brightness on the fly quick and easy without having to deal with Apple’s auto-brightness setting.

SEE ALSO: This secret trick will dramatically improve your iPhone’s battery life

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.