Here we are moving rapidly into the 21st century and what’s missing from the 20th century? Manuals. How-To books. iOS Tips And Tricks for Dummies and Idiots books. Surely Apple wants to save the earth and trees by not printing more manuals, but PDFs work.
Apple’s own website is a complicated and difficult place to navigate just to find some keyboard shortcuts for a Mac, or to pick up on all those tips and hidden secrets iPhone users read about. Why can’t Apple just give us everything we need to know and some of what we don’t need, probably won’t use, but might be interesting or useful anyway?
There’s Not An App For That
Every Mac Menubar in macOS Sierra (and previous versions of OS X) has a Help menu. Most of the time it’s worthless because all it does is point to Menubar selections you can find yourself. What’s missing in Mac, iPhone, and iPad are the lists, tips, and hidden secrets that show up in some applications, and many websites.
Here are a few that many iPhone users don’t know about, including those who are on their fourth or fifth iPhone or third iPad already.
Delete – Press and hold an app’s screen icon. When everything begins jiggling, press the corner X and the app gets deleted. Too juvenile? Too many iPhone users don’t know how to do that.
Convert – This one is relatively new. Yes, many calculators do conversions, but so does the iOS 10 Search Box. Type in 100 inches to feet, or 200 meters to feet, and you get an answer without an app.
Desktop Site – Safari on iPhone is dumber than Safari on a Mac. Too many websites spit out mobile websites to viewers but if you tap the Share Sheet in Safari there’s an option to Request Desktop Site which gets you what Mac users see.
Assistive Touch – This one isn’t for me, but when I show it to iPhone-using friends, many like it. Assistive Touch is a small floating menu that moves about the iPhone’s screen so you can do specific gestures with just a finger.
Shake Undo – This is stupid but I see people using it. Shake the iPhone and it will undo whatever you last did. You can turn it off, too.
iCloud Drive – Many Mac users complain that there’s no built-in file system to iOS. iCloud Drive is close, but oddly enough, you have to turn it on to see it (Settings, iCloud, iCloud Drive).
Lowercase Keys – The iPhone’s keyboard can be all caps or use lowercase keys, too. It’s a simple toggle in the Accessibility section.
Back Button – Apple is stubborn, and it may take awhile for the obvious to sink it at Cupertino, but the Android back button shows up now in the upper left corner of the iPhone’s screen when you switch to other apps.
Do Not Disturb – Contacts has an option to allow specific contacts to bypass Do Not Disturb. Choose wisely.
Find My Watch – This is built-in to Find My iPhone now. There’s also a way to find your iPhone from your Watch. Just open the Watch Control Panel (swipe up).
Fast Camera Access – This is a favorite but I find the Touch ID to be so fast sometimes it bypasses the lock screen with a touch. Need the camera? Forget the Home button and the Camera icon. Simply swipe left on the lock screen and the camera arrives.
These and hundreds of other features, tips, and hidden secrets abound in iPhone and iPad but Apple doesn’t deem it necessary to tell anyone. How hard would it be for Apple to make an app for that? What about Apple’s Tips app? There are some good tips in the Tips app so make sure to check it out. But only 16 in the Featured list, and not many more in other categories. What’s with that, Apple?