The 10 Best iPhone Hacks & Tips for 2023

Make your iPhone work for you

The iPhone packs many great features, but you can make it even more potent by unlocking the iPhone hacks and tricks hiding in your smartphone. There are hundreds of these secret features, but here are our picks for the best iPhone hacks.

These hacks work on all iPhone models unless otherwise indicated.

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Charge Your Battery Faster in Airplane Mode

The Airplane Mode icon in the iOS Control Center

Want to charge your iPhone's battery as quickly as possible? Put it in Airplane Mode first. Airplane Mode turns off many features of the phone, including cellular and Wi-Fi networking, so there's less for the battery to do and it charges faster. Just remember to turn Airplane Mode off when you're done charging.

To use Airplane Mode: Open Control Center (swipe down from the top right on iPhone X and up or up from the bottom on other models) and tap the airplane icon.

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Closing Apps Doesn't Save Battery Life

The App Switcher in iOS

You may have heard that quitting apps helps your iPhone battery last longer. No matter how many people say it, it's simply not true. In fact, quitting apps can actually make your battery need a recharge sooner. So, don't quit apps you're not using, just leave them in the background.

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Accessibility, Audio/Visual, and LED Flash for Alerts options in iOS Settings

Want to get notifications of new texts, incoming calls, or other useful information without looking at your iPhone screen or listening for sounds? With this hack, you can make the camera flash on the back of the iPhone blink when you have a new notification.

In Settings, go to Accessibility > Audio/Visual > LED Flash for Alerts and move the slider to on/green. Also, activate the Flash on Silent slider.

This hack works on all iPhone models with a camera flash.

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Take Photos With the Volume Buttons

The Volume buttons on an iPhone 14

Apple, Inc.

Tapping the on-screen camera button isn't the only way to take photos. There's actually a much easier way to take snapshots quickly, without looking at or tapping the screen. Once the Camera app is open, click the volume up or down button and your phone snaps a photo. This option even works with headphones that have inline remotes.

Some models can take photos with the volume down button, too.

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Let Siri Help You Take Photos

Siri on an iPhone

Siri can make taking photos faster. While it can't actually capture the photo, Siri can open the Camera app to the setting that you ask for, so you just need to tap the camera button (or click the volume button). Here's what to do:

Activate Siri (hold down the Home or Side button, depending on your model) and ask Siri to take a photo or video. Your options are:

  • "Hey Siri, take a photo" (you can also say "picture")
  • "Hey Siri, take a square photo"
  • "Hey Siri, take a panoramic photo"
  • "Hey Siri, take a video"
  • "Hey Siri, take a slow-motion video"
  • "Hey Siri, take a tap-lapse video"
  • "Hey Siri, take a selfie."

When you have the image you want, tap the camera or volume button.

The selfie feature requires iOS 10 and up.

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Type Your Commands to Siri Instead of Speaking Them

Typing a question to Siri on an iPhone

Siri is great, but you can't speak to Siri and get answers out loud in every situation (and, for some people with disabilities, speaking may not be an option). In those cases, you can use Siri if you have Type to Siri turned on. This trick lets you access Siri and give it commands by typing.

In the Settings app, select Accessibility > Siri and move the Type to Siri slider to on/green. When you activate Siri, a keyboard will to let you type your command. You can also speak using the microphone icon.

This hack works on all iPhone models running iOS 11 and up.

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Accessibility, Display & Text Size, and Smart Invert/Classic Invert in iOS Settings

Dark modes are a popular feature for people who often use their devices in the dark. When you enable dark mode on your iPhone, the interface switches to dark colors that are easier on the eyes in low-light situations (they're also helpful for people with color blindness). While dark mode will help make the screen easier to see for most people, the iPhone also has two more options for those who want extra visual help.

Open Settings, and then go to Accessibility > Display & Text Size, and then pick either Smart Invert (which switches some on-screen colors to Dark Mode) or Classic Invert (which switches all colors).

This hack works on all iPhone models running iOS 11 and up.

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Add a Virtual Home Button to Your Screen

Touch and AssistiveTouch options in iOS Settings

If you have an iPhone X or newer, you might miss the old hardware Home button. Even if you have another model, you might want the options and functionality of adding a virtual Home button to your screen. This is a great hack because it provides fast access to features that otherwise require gestures or multiple taps.

To enable this virtual Home button, open Settings, and then go to Accessibility > TouchAssistiveTouch and move the slider to on/green. From this screen, you can also set actions for single taps, double taps, and long presses on the back of your iPhone.

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Replace Your Keyboard With a Trackpad

Tap and hold the space bar on the keyboard to turn it into a trackpad

It's such a pain to move the little magnifying glass cursor around the screen when you're trying to select a specific piece of text. We have a trick for you that makes placing the cursor in text much simpler. It works by turning your keyboard into a trackpad, like a mouse on a laptop.

To activate this feature, tap and hold the Space bar on a keyboard when you're entering text. After a second, the cursor will "pop," and you can drag it whenever

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Measure Spaces Using Augmented Reality

The Measure app for iPhone

You might know that your iPhone has a built-in Level you can use to straighten pictures or shelves. But it also has an app called Measure that allows you to measure distances on your iPhone using augmented reality. The powerful Measure app works with the iPhone 12 and later; these models use Lidar, which allows the devices to calculate distances in 3D space quickly.

You can plot points and lines to measure walls, furniture, or other items. If Measure senses a whole surface, it can also automatically calculate its side dimensions, area, and more.

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