The 13 Best Hidden Features of iOS 13

Discover these cool iPhone tips and tricks

Hundreds of new features arrived with iOS 13, but some of the very best features are hidden. From options to silence spam calls to ways to save data to better battery charging and beyond, here are 13 of the best hidden features of iOS 13.

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Send Spam Callers to Voicemail Automatically

Silence unknown callers in iOS 13.

Sick of getting robocalls and spam calls from telemarketers? With iOS 13, you'll never have to hear one again. A setting for the Phone app lets you automatically silence your phone's ringer for all unknown callers and send the calls to voicemail. And it does that without interfering with calls from people in your address book. You can review the unknown calls when you feel like it. Here's what to do:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap Phone.
  3. Move the Silence Unknown Callers slider to on/green.
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A Swipe Keyboard Without Extra Apps

Screenshot of keyboard swipes in iOS 13

Swipe keyboards that let you drag a finger from letter to letter rather than tapping each key have been popular for years. Before iOS 13, you needed to install third-party keyboard apps to get this feature, but those apps were sometimes guilty of invading users' privacy. In iOS 13, a swipe keyboard that respects your privacy is built right into the OS from Apple. Even better, there's nothing to enable — just start swiping on the standard keyboard.

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Smarter Battery Charging

Screenshot of smart battery charging feature in iOS 13

It's counterintuitive, but it's actually not good for your iPhone's battery to be 100% charged at all times. That means that leaving your phone plugged in overnight while you sleep actually reduces the battery capacity and life in the longterm. In iOS 13, smarter battery charging prevents your phone from being charged to 100% until just before you need it. Your phone learns your habits and then only kicks in for the final charge in the last hour before you wake up and use the phone. Enable this setting by following these steps:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap Battery.
  3. Tap Battery Health.
  4. Move the Optimized Battery Charging slider to on/green.
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Lyrics Synced to Music in Apple Music

Screenshot of Apple Music synced lyrics in iOS 13

The Apple Music app has displayed lyrics for the songs in your library since 2018, but that feature is more fun in iOS 13. Now, when you tap the icon to see the lyrics while a song is playing, the lyrics display on the screen at the same time they're being sung in the song. Here's how to view synced lyrics:

  1. Start playing a song in Apple Music.
  2. Tap the lyrics icon at the bottom left corner.
  3. The lyrics display as they're sung.
  4. Tap the lyrics icon again to go back to the normal Apple Music interface.
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Remove Location Data Before Sharing Photos

How to turn off location data on photos in iOS 13.

Sharing photos is great, but photos often have data embedded in them about the location where you took the photo. This can be a privacy nightmare if you share a photo without knowing it has your location in it. In iOS 13, you can strip out the location data before sharing, making your photos more private. Here's what to do:

  1. Open the Photos app and find the photo you want to share.
  2. Tap the photo.
  3. Tap the sharing icon at the bottom left.
  4. Tap Options at the top of the sharing sheet.
  5. Move the Location slider to off/white.
  6. Tap Done.
  7. Share the photo.

Want to learn more about photo sharing? Check out How to Share or Print iPhone Photos.

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Choose Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Connections from Control Center

Choosing a Wi-Fi network using Control Center

Before iOS 13, Control Center's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth features were pretty basic: you could turn each option on and off, and not much more. That changed in iOS 13. Now, not only can you turn them on and off, but you can also choose the networks or devices you want to connect to. Here's how:

  1. Open Control Center.
  2. Long press on the Wi-Fi/Bluetooth control in the top left.
  3. Long press on the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth icon.
  4. Choose from the available networks or devices and connect.
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Save Cellular Data with Low Data Mode

Screenshot of iOS 13 low data mode

If you're running out of cellular data for the month and want to avoid overage charges, iOS 13 can help. Just like Low Power Mode helps conserve battery life, Low Data Mode helps reduce data use from your apps. You won't want to use it all the time, but if you're low on data, try it:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Tap Cellular.
  3. Tap Cellular Data Options.
  4. Move the Low Data Mode slider to on/green.
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Take Full-Page Screenshots of Websites

Taking fullpage screenshots in iOS 13

Screenshots of websites aren't limited only to what you can see onscreen in iOS 13. When you take a screenshot of a site, you can capture the entire page. This is super-helpful if you're a web designer or developer, or want to mark up a full page of content. Here's what to do:

  1. Open Safari and go to the website you want to take a screenshot of.
  2. Take a screenshot.
  3. Tap the thumbnail of the screenshot in the bottom left corner.
  4. Tap Full Page.
  5. Tap Done.
  6. Tap save PDF to Files.
  7. Choose where in the Files app you want to save the screenshot.
  8. Tap Save.

As of this writing, this only works in Safari, not other web browsers that run on iPhone.

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Delete Apps from the App Update Screen

Deleting apps in the iOS 13 App Store app

With iOS 13, you've got a new way to delete apps. Instead of just doing it from the homescreen or the Settings app, you can also delete apps while using the App Store app. Here's how:

  1. Open the App Store app.
  2. Tap your photo or icon in the top right corner.
  3. In the Available Updates list, find an app you want to delete.
  4. Swipe right to left across the app to reveal the Delete button.
  5. Tap Delete.
  6. In the pop-up window, tap Delete to remove the app.
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Three-Finger Taps Do Two Things

Three finger editing options in iOS13

Tapping the screen with three fingers at the same time unlocks a number of features in iOS 13:

Both of these shortcuts work in apps that let you write and edit text, and you must be in text-editing mode to use them. Not all apps support the shortcuts yet, but try them out in pre-installed apps like Notes.

You can also undo typing by shaking your iPhone. That's been an option since iOS 3.

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A New Way to Move the Cursor

How to move the cursor in iOS 13.

On some earlier versions of the iOS, tapping and holding on the keyboard turned into it a laptop-style trackpad that let you move the text-insertion cursor. That goes a step further in iOS 13. Forget having to use the keyboard: you can simply tap, hold, and drag anywhere in a text-editing area of an app to move the cursor. Try it in apps like Notes and other text editors for a much easier way to navigate through your documents.

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Use a Mouse With Your iPhone

Settings to use a mouse with the iPhone in iOS 13

For the first time, you can use a mouse to control an onscreen pointer in iOS 13. While this might be more useful on the increasingly laptop-replacement-oriented iPad (learn how to use a mouse on the iPad here), it's a cool addition to the iPhone. Add a mouse to your iPhone by following these steps:

  1. Get a Bluetooth mouse and put it in pairing mode.
  2. On the iPhone, tap Settings.
  3. Tap Accessibility.
  4. Tap Touch.
  5. Tap AssistiveTouch.
  6. Move the AssistiveTouch slider to on/green.
  7. Further down the screen, tap Devices.
  8. Tap Bluetooth Devices.
  9. Tap the name of the mouse to pair it to the iPhone.
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Use FaceTime and iMessage on Your Second SIM

group facetime screenshot

The iPhone XS introduced to the iPhone the idea of having two SIMs in one device. That allows you to connect two phone numbers, potentially from two different phone companies, to the same phone. Prior to iOS 13, though, you couldn't use the phone number assigned to your second SIM with FaceTime or iMessage. Those features were limited to your primary SIM. Not anymore!