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Try these iPhone secret codes to unlock hidden features in iOS 15

Updated Nov 1st, 2021 1:55PM EDT
iPhone and AirPods on a wood table
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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It may come as a surprise to many, but there are several hidden iPhone codes that have been part of the iOS user experience for years now. And though most users might find these secret codes more intriguing than useful, some actually bring some interesting utility to the table.

Again, these secret iPhone codes aren’t exclusive to iOS 15. But seeing as how iOS 15 was released just a few weeks ago, we’d be remiss if we didn’t briefly highlight some of the cooler iOS 15 features you might not be aware of. Though Apple highlights most of the biggest iOS changes during its WWDC keynote, there are inevitably dozens of new features the company simply doesn’t have time to cover.

To help you get the most out of your iPhone, we’ve compiled some of the best hidden features that most people do not know about. These can help make your life easier. You can also learn more about your phone, no matter which version of the iPhone you have. It makes sense to know the most about your phone.

The first iPhone code – hide Caller ID

I’m not sure if this iPhone code is all that secret, but it may come as a surprise to folks who didn’t grow up in the 90s. It will, however, be very familiar to folks who did. This also will matter to those who actually still make phone calls (mostly people who grew up in the 90s and before). You can even try and call back those robocalls who ask about your car’s extended warranty perhaps.

Put simply, if you want to prevent a caller ID from displaying your number, you can press *67 before making a call. You can also go into Settings / Phone and select Caller ID if you want to change this setting without dialing each time before a call.

Get a better gauge on signal strength

iOS 15 Safari
Safari Search Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

This is a nifty little feature that’s not unique to the iPhone necessarily. We’ve written about your battery life but what about your signal strength? Basically, there’s a way to get a better read on your signal strength than checking to see how many bars you have.

To see your signal strength represented by a number — and watch it change depending on how strong your signal is as you move around — go to your keypad and enter *3001#12345#. Next, press the call button. Once there, a Main Menu screen should appear. If you hit LTE > Serving Cell Mess, you can see how strong your signal strength is.

Access your iPhone’s IMEI with this easy trick

If you want to find out your device’s International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) number, you can do that quite easily. Your IMEI is a unique 15-digit identifier for your own iPhone. This is helpful if you need to unlock your smartphone on another network.

For this secret iPhone code, simply type *#06# into the keypad and you’ll be good to go.

You can also access this information by going to Settings > About > IMEI

For additional secret iPhone codes, make sure to check out this list compiled by the New York Post.

Awesome iOS 15 features worth knowing

iPhone 12 Pro and 13 Pro
iPhone 12 Pro and 13 Pro Image source: Christian de Looper for BGR

While we’re on the topic of secret iPhone functionality, we thought it might be a good time to quickly reference a few iOS 15 features you might not be aware of.

Better text selection – iOS 15 brings back the magnification loupe for text selection. Apple notes that you’ll be able to “select exactly the text you want with an improved cursor that magnifies the text you’re looking at.” Apple originally launched the amazing magnifying glass for text editing, though the company then changed this feature in subsequent iOS releases. Now, you can use the magnifying glass again for text selection which is so much easier than the hunt-and-peck method.

Drag and drop between apps – Apple is bringing some desktop functionality to the iPhone. For the first time, users can drag files between apps. For instance, it’s now possible to drag an image from your Photos app right into a Mail message. You also do this in multiple apps by holding your finger on the item you would like to drag, then swiping up on the home button, going to the app you would want to paste in, and that’s all for drag and drop!

Live Text – This is an awesome iOS 15 feature Apple did mention in its WWDC keynote. Live Text, in short, can analyze text in a photo and subsequently allow you to copy and paste it.

As we covered previously:

For example, imagine you’re at a restaurant and want to send your friend a list of menu items. Instead of taking a photo of the menu which might contain small or hard-to-read font, Live Text can select the text and paste it right into a text message.

It can also translate text from one language to another, and even translate handwritten notes into text.

Keep your battery charged

Not only can you find hidden iOS 15 There are also three settings that you can choose from that will help boost your battery life. App tracking settings are crucial to the life of your battery. Not every app needs to know your location. There are more too. Make sure you check them out.

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.

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