It never fails. I buy the latest iPhone, assume that purchase conveys some sort of power to turn me into an expert shutterbug by osmosis — thanks to the camera performance that improves with each of Apple’s successive handsets — and I go about snapping … mediocre photos. As my colleague Yoni Heisler has noted in the past, the default settings and filters in the iPhone Photos app are a bit mediocre, especially compared to what you find in other photo apps like Instagram.
Truth be told, as he wrote in that earlier piece: If you’re looking to add some life to your iPhone photos? You need to get your hands dirty and adjust some of the photo settings yourself. You can also use your iPhone to do a bit of app cross-pollination to create more fun and livelier images, as a new video on TikTok demonstrates.
TikTok Instagram hack
We’re always on the hunt for new hacks like this, and TikTok is especially a haven for iPhone tips and tricks. This particular photos tip lets you add custom sketches and the like to your Instagram photos and stories.
Basically, you open your iPhone’s Notes app. Sketch a drawing or words, then use the selection tool to draw a circle around your creation. Hold down your finger to copy it to the clipboard, then open the template for a fres Instagram Story.
Open the text box, then hold your finger down on it. You should see an option to “paste” in your creation from the Notes app. And voila, this makes it a little easier to create content inside the app, since Instagram’s bells and whistles can get a little overwhelming. There is a drawing option you can use in order to add “handwriting” to an Instagram post or story, but this workaround might perhaps be useful for people who want a simpler way to do this — or who like the way something looks better in the Notes app.
See this iPhone photos trick in action
If you want to see what this process looks like in action, we’ve included video that will walk you through the process.
This iPhone photos TikTok hack came from Katarina Mogus and has already amassed more than 36,000 views. You can check out the original video below.
One more thing
On an unrelated note, here’s another iPhone trick you can use from inside the Photos app that I only just learned about. And you can deploy this one in either the Photos or Videos mode of the app.
If you’ve ever tried to zoom while simultaneously capturing a photo or video, you probably know it can be a little tricky — and result in a bit of a staccato end result as you click the zoom button to your liking. For the unaware, however, you can also do the same thing much more smoothly right from your phone’s screen.
Start recording a video. And then, if you want to zoom? Just drag your finger up on the screen, and drag it down to zoom back out — this way, the zoom looks much more smooth.
More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.