10 Shortcuts Every iPhone User Should Know


iphone hacksThe release of the revolutionary iPhone X last year reinvigorated the buzz around the iconic Apple smartphone range. With its wraparound display and curved aspect, the iPhone X proved hugely popular with consumers and critics alike.

The X moniker was used to mark the tenth anniversary of the iPhone range – and throughout that decade the manufacturer has built no end of nifty tricks into its flagship phone. Indeed, there are so many that even the most devoted Apple fans might not be familiar with some of them. So, here are ten of the most indispensable tricks and shortcuts to help make every iPhone user’s life just a little easier.


Charge your iPhone faster 

One of the perennial bugbears of iPhone users has been the rather paltry battery life of the smartphone. As the Apple handset becomes ever more complex, it places a bigger demand on the battery. While there’s not much we can do to change that, there is a trick of the trade you can use to charge your iPhone a bit faster: set it to airplane or flight mode. To do this, open the Control Center from the Home screen. Then, simply tap the plane symbol to engage flight mode.

Undo a typing error

Over 8 trillion text messages are sent each year around the world. That’s a fair bit of typing being done on mobile phones! And texting remains the most common reason to use mobiles phones, according to a poll conducted by mobiles.co.uk. If you’re looking for a quick way to right those typing wrongs – no matter how comical they may be – give your phone a quick shake. This will prompt your iPhone to undo it.

Undo a typing error


Reduce your URL search time

 Web browsing has also become a central aspect of the modern smartphone, with many of us surfing the net via mobile devices when we have a bit of downtime. With 4G already here and 5G on the way, mobile networks are becoming ever more sophisticated. To browse even more efficiently, hold down the full stop to quickly select from the most popular top level domains (think .com, .org and .edu).

Reduce your URL search time


Display tracking data

Apple – and other tech companies, for that matter – has come under criticism for its propensity to track customers and record data. There’s no doubt that the iPhone is certainly capable of capturing an inordinate amount of data, and this doesn’t find favour with all users. Want to know precisely what tracking data your iPhone is recording? Navigate to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Frequent Locations. Here, you’ll find all the tracking data your iPhone has compiled.


Create custom vibrations

 Recent iPhone releases have become ever more sophisticated in their customisation options, as Apple attempts to make its signature device as flexible as possible. And one area where the mega-corporation has particularly delivered is in providing various vibrations to signal different functions. But this feature can be tailored even further. To access custom vibrations, navigate to the Contacts tab and select Edit, then Vibration. With the ‘Create New Vibration’ tool, you can then set up custom vibrations for various iPhone events.

custom phone vibrations


Use your iPhone as a level

DIY-ers and perfectionalists alike know how tricky it can be to ‘eyeball’ whether something is level. Turns out that the iPhone has a spirit level feature built in to recent releases – and it works just as well as a conventional tool. To use this feature, access the compass app and then swipe to the left. This will drag open the spirit level.

iphone level


Create custom replies for missed calls 

Despite many of us being glued to our smartphones, we never seem to be around when that important phone call arrives. Luckily, the iPhone offers a variety of different options for users to handle missed calls. One such feature allows you to create custom replies, which can be especially useful if you’re expecting a particular caller. Set it up by navigating to Settings > Phone > Respond With Text. From here, you can create custom text responses for moments when you can’t get to the phone.

custom phone replies


Switch apps quickly with 3D touch

 ‘3D touch’ is one of the standout new introductions to the iPhone range over the last few years, with touch-sensitive technology delivering a myriad of new features. Many of the benefits are software-related, and one that regular iPhone users will definitely appreciate is the ability to switch between apps quickly. This feature is particularly simple to carry out. Press down firmly on the left edge of your screen, then swipe to the right side of the display to move the app that you’re finished with out of the way.

switch app quickly


Find anything on your iPhone

The iPhone comes with a vast amount of storage space, but this can also mean a vast amount of chaos! If your phone is a higgledy-piggledy mess, fear not. With Apple’s search function, you can locate just about any app, object or message easily and quickly. Swiping downwards on the Home screen at any time will bring up the search interface. From there, type a search term into the box and all occurrences of it will appear below.

find apps on iphone


Take a screenshot

There’s nothing quite so frustrating as taking an accidental screenshot – for the hundreth time. But when you actually need to capture the info or image on your screen, simply press the Home and Power buttons (or Power and Volume Up buttons, on an X) at the same time. With iOS 11, you can quickly crop and share the image, save it as a JPG, or delete it altogether.


While it’s nearly impossible to cover every iPhone shortcut, we hope that these particularly useful ones will be a good starting point to get more out of your smartphone!




Johnson, L. & Mahboubian-Jones, J. (2017) 23 secret iPhone tips and hacks that you didn’t know about. digitalspy.com
Apple Support. (2017) Use Airplane Mode on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Apple Watch. support.apple.com
Williford, T. (2016) 15 Tricks Every iPhone User Should Know How to Do. apartmenttherapy.com
Hoffman, C. (2017) 10 Hidden Gestures and Shortcuts on the iPhone. howtogeek.com

Brookes, T. (2018) 12 Useful iPhone Shortcuts You Didn’t Know or Forgot About. makeuseof.com

Daily Express. (2017) Top uses of our smartphones – and calling doesn’t even make the list. express.co.uk

Apple Support. (2018) Use Search on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. support.apple.com

Brookes, T. (2018) 12 Useful iPhone Shortcuts You Didn’t Know or Forgot About. makeuseof.com

Barbara Davidson


Babs is a Senior Content Writer and financial guru. She loves exploring fresh ways to save more and enjoy life on a budget! When she’s not writing, you’ll find her binge watching musicals, reading in the (sporadic) Chicago sunshine and discovering great new places to eat. Accio, tacos! 


The information in this article is provided for education and informational purposes only, without any express or implied warranty of any kind, including warranties of accuracy, completeness or fitness for any particular purpose. The information in this article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial or any other advice. The information in this article is general in nature and is not specific to you the user or anyone else.