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I’m an iPhone power user, but even I didn’t know this great iOS trick

Published Jun 27th, 2021 10:33AM EDT
iOS Tricks
Image: Maria_Savenko/Adobe

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After using the iPhone for well over a decade, stumbling across a new iOS feature or setting I wasn’t aware of isn’t all that common. Still, with Apple rolling out new iOS updates with dozens upon dozens of new features every single year, the simple reality is that iOS is brimming with features that can even catch seasoned iPhone users by pleasant surprise.

As a prime example, just a few months ago I came across a simple way to record video footage while simultaneously playing music in the background via Spotify or Apple Music. For years, it was a feature I was wishing for, and little did I know Apple already had it baked into iOS.

As another example, Gadethacks alerted me to the fact that you can easily stop your iPhone from offering up irrelevant Siri Suggestions. Siri Suggestions, as the name implies, is a feature that offers up simple shortcuts for actions that your device, based on previous behaviors, thinks you might want to do.

A few examples listed by Apple include:

  • Create email and events: When you start adding people to an email or calendar event, Siri suggests the people you included in previous emails or events.
  • Receive calls: If you get an incoming call from an unknown number, Siri lets you know who might be calling—based on phone numbers included in your emails.
  • Leave for an event: If your calendar event includes a location, Siri assesses traffic conditions and notifies you when to leave.
  • See your flight status: If you have a boarding pass in Mail or Wallet, Siri shows your flight status in Maps. You can tap the suggestion when you’re ready to get directions to the airport.
  • Type: As you enter text, Siri can suggest names of movies, places—anything you viewed on iPhone recently. If you tell a friend you’re on your way, Siri can even suggest your estimated arrival time.
  • Search in Safari: Siri suggests websites and other information in the search field as you type.
  • Above the keyboard, Siri also suggests words and phrases based on what you were just reading.
  • Confirm an appointment or book a flight on a travel website: Siri asks if you want to add it to your calendar.
  • Read News stories: As Siri learns which topics you’re interested in, they’ll be suggested in News.

While this is all well and good, and typically helpful, some Siri Suggestions just miss the mark entirely. And as it turns out, if you see a Siri Suggestion that isn’t something you’re interested in, you can long-press on the shortcut whereupon you’ll see a “Suggest Shortcut Less” option that you can select.

You’ll see that prompt for shortcuts on the home and lock screen. This trick works the same for contact suggestions in your share sheet, but the prompt here is “Share Less” since the suggested contacts aren’t shortcuts.

You can also adjust where Siri Suggestions appear entirely by going to Settings > Siri & Search and then toggling on or off any of the following options:

  • Suggestions while Searching
  • Suggestions on Lock Screen
  • Suggestions on Home Screen
  • Suggestions when Sharing

From my own experience, Siri Suggestions are typically helpful. Still, the tweaks above can come in handy on the rare occasion that a suggestion is way off-base, or even outdated. As an illustrative example, you might not be too thrilled to see Siri Suggestions giving you a quick shortcut to message a significant other you recently separated from.

And while we’re on the topic of interesting iOS features, make sure to take a look at our list of awesome iOS 15 features Apple didn’t have a chance to highlight during its WWDC keynote last week.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.