Apple's mobile platform iOS began its life in 2007 as a surprisingly simple operating system. Whereas earlier smartphone platforms were complex to the point of being overbearing, the iPhone stripped away all the bells and whistles, and left the user with only the features he or she needed. Or rather, the features Apple said he or she needed.
Since then, iOS has grown more and more complex as hundreds of new features are added each year. On the plus side, more functionality obviously makes the iPhone more useful and capable each year. But this flood of new features also means that there are some great things you'll never find because they're buried.
Of course, that's where we come in.
We spend a lot of time sharing tips and tricks for the iOS and Android alike, because we want users to get as much as they possibly can out of their devices. Where the iPhone is concerned, we given readers plenty of guidance over the years.
Some recent highlights include a hidden iPhone feature lets you perform one of 6 secret functions in an instant, and 15 tips for squeezing as much battery life as possible out of your iPhone.
Today, we want to highlight a trick that's particularly cool, and most people have no idea it exists.
Apple recently added interactive notifications to iOS, and they're used in a bunch of different ways. For example, you can reply to a text message or an iMessage right from within the notification box.
Did you know that you can also call someone using iOS's interactive notifications?
People set up reminders constantly when they need to call people at a specific time. But if you use Apple's Reminders app instead of a third-party app, you'll be able to place those calls the instant you're reminded.
There are two keys to this trick. First, the person or business you're calling needs to be in your contact list. Second, you need to use Siri to create the reminder.
So, for example, this morning I told Siri to “remind me to call Time Warner Cable in 5 minutes.” When the reminder was triggered, here's how it looked on my lock screen:
Then, a simple swipe to the left opened up the following options:
As you might have guessed, tapping the “Call” button in the notification will launch the Phone app and call the intended contact.