Every year, Apple introduces dozens of new iPhone features that, more often than not, fly under the radar. While Apple naturally highlights a select few of these features during its WWDC and iPhone unveiling events, I’ve always wondered why Apple doesn’t have a webpage that lists some amazing iPhone features that, for whatever reason, are largely ignored. For instance, the ability to record video on your iPhone with music from Spotify or Apple Music continuing to play in the background came as a surprise to most iPhone users until a video about it went viral on TikTok a few months ago.
With that said, Apple is hopefully coming around. To this point, Apple last week released a video on YouTube which highlights 10 helpful iPhone tips. Hopefully, we’ll see similar content emanating from Apple in the future. In the meantime, there’s an ongoing thread on Reddit where users are detailing their favorite iPhone features that aren’t widely known. It’s a nice and informative reservoir of information and we’ve highlighted a few of the best ones below
A list of awesome iPhone tricks and lesser-known features
It might be controversial to start with AirDrop given that it’s been around for a long time, but I’m constantly shocked at how many people are completely unaware that this feature exists. Especially now that most people rely on the wireless transfer of data, being aware of Airdrop is key. In a nutshell, AirDrop makes it easy to wirelessly send documents, photos, and videos to nearby iPhone users with incredibly fast transfer speeds. Apple has a handy support document detailing how to use AirDrop on the iPhone over here.
Instantly scroll to the top of a website or app
If you’ve been scrolling through a website and want to instantly jump back to the top of the page, there’s a solution. Simply tap the top of the screen right where the bottom of the notch begins. Note that this iPhone feature also works within apps. Say, for example, you have a photo library of 13,000 photos. You can quickly jump to the beginning of your photo library with the same trick.
And speaking to my point above about Apple not providing this type of information itself, one user writes:
That’s my biggest complaint about iPhones, many useful or basic things that you’d want to do are hidden/counterintuitive and you can go years struggling with something because you didn’t know there was some hidden way to do it.
This feature was delayed but was recently released in an iOS 15 update. SharePlay makes it easy for users to watch and enjoy media content together. One awesome aspect of SharePlay is that also lets users share their screens with other iOS users. This will certainly make fielding tech support calls from family members much easier.
Delete a digit from the calculator
This is a handy iPhone feature for all you calculator nerds out there. If you accidentally type a wrong digit into the Calculator app, simply swipe the number field to the left or right, and the digit will disappear.
Strong resale value
While not an iPhone feature in the typical sense, one user mentioned the high resale value that often accompanies iPhones. Put simply, used iPhones retain a lot more of their retail value compared to rival devices from Google and Samsung. This makes it easier to upgrade because you can always trade in your existing device for a hefty chunk of cash.
Sure, there are rival mobile payment systems out there, but none is as easy to use as Apple Pay. Even though top-of-the-line Android devices are arguably as good as the iPhone these days, Apple Pay is still the most efficient card-less payment solution out there. Even when Apple transitioned from Touch ID to Face ID, Apple made sure to keep the payment process incredibly easy and efficient. And of course, using Apple Pay on the Apple Watch is product and software integration at its finest.
Sharing your WiFi password with friends
This is a great iPhone feature you should be aware of. If you want to share your WiFi network password with friends or family, select your WiFi network and tap the “Share Password” option. Note that for this feature to work, WiFi and Bluetooth need to be on for both devices. Additionally, you need to be signed in to iCloud and, as Apple notes, “make sure that the email address you use for your Apple ID is saved in the other person’s Contacts.”
Pin a text conversation for quick and easy access
To pin a text conversation at the top of the Messages app, simply find the conversation you want to keep handy. Next, long-press on the person’s name and you’ll see an option to pin it at the top.
Redditors brought this up several times, so it’s clear that Android is the cause of some bloatware-related PTSD.
One user writes of this iPhone feature:
Lack of annoying bloatware. No I don’t need 2 text messaging apps, no I don’t want to review my damn calculator app/Notes app on the store to try boost its success for the company. If Samsung treated their Android builds more like iOS they’d lose a lot less buyers to iOS IMO.
On a related note, I remember once looking at my friend’s Android and asking him why he had a Nascar app and a portal app from his carrier on the home screen. He said that it came with the phone and wasn’t sure how to remove it.
Find lost devices even when turned off
With iOS 15, it’s now possible to locate a lost or stolen iPhone even when turned off. To make sure this is turned on, go to Settings and then tap on your name at the top of the display. Next, go to Find My > Find My iPhone. From there, make sure the Find My network toggle is turned on.