What cool things can one do with an iPhone and iPad that most people don’t know about?

Never thought of all these iphone features, but yet its always there for you.

Setting -> General -> Accessibility -> LED Flash for Alerts -> ON
This will cause the flash to blink whenever your phone is ringing, when you get a text message or a push notification. Totally cool!

There are other neat features on the accessibility screen such as custom vibrations and ability to tell the phone to always answer in speakerphone mode or headset mode. You can also set a custom function here for triple-click the home button.  Other things here such as the AssistiveTouch and VoiceOver feature are obnoxious – I don’t think they are as cool.

Triple-tap the screen with 3 fingers (even if the screen is locked!) and it puts the phone in accessibility mode with super giant graphics.  To get out of this mode, triple-tap it with 3 fingers again!


Settings -> General -> Keyboard
The ‘Shortcuts’ section on this screen enable you to teach the phone permanent shortcuts to complicated words you type a lot. For example, if your email address is ReallyLongName@reallyLongWebSite…, you can type something like “xyz” here, so every time you type xyz the iPhone will automatically type ReallyLongName@reallyLongWebSite… for you. Really great if you are multilingual and the iPhone keeps correcting the texts and emails you write in other languages to English

Also on the Keyboard screen, in the ‘International Keyboards’ section, you can add keyboards of other languages. In here there is one unassuming language called ‘Emoji’. Add this keyboard and you will have a fantastic keyboard with 525 colorful icons, symbols, emoticons


I notice the Spotlight Search is a very underused function on the iPhone, you know that keyboard that comes up with the search bar when you scroll all the way to the left?

When you type anything on it, it can bring up and access almost anything that’s stored within your phone, your contacts (can be searched by name or number), apps, messages, calendar events, songs, videos and a lot more (if all else fails, your phone will offer to do an Internet search for you).

You can customize it to your requirements,  by going to Setting > General > Spotlight Search. I keep mine simple with Contacts, Applications, Music and Messages.

I head straight to Spotlight when I need to make a call, send a message (instead of going to my contacts list), to find an app that I might have misplaced among my hundreds of apps or to locate a song (you can search by title, artist or album), instead of scrolling through all my playlists.

As you can see below, after typing just a few letters, it brings up the contact whom I contact most often, starting with those letters. It will bring up the entries based on how you’ve input the fields on your phone.

With respect to my screenshot below, the phrase ‘Male’ could have appeared as name, organisation, etc; and for the songs, it could have appeared as part of the title, artist, album, etc. If i’d scrolled down further, you’d also see messages where this term would have appeared.

Also, like I’d mentioned, you can search by number. These are the contacts whose contact details contain the numbers “8-1-2” as part of their number, or are perhaps,….named “812”.


I’m surprised no-one mentioned Accessibility feature.

1. Guided Access: Introduced in iOS 6 (I think), it’s a good solution to use when you are giving your iPod, iPad or iPhone to someone to use (especially kids).

Guided access forces the end user to use the iDevice in the specific app or way.
It can be enabled by going into Settings –> General –> Accessibility.
You can enable guided access by pressing the home button thrice (triple click).

Once you triple click, you will see this screen and then you can select an area on the screen which you want to disable. This area may contain buttons or anything.

You can also disable the touchscreen completely, disable the hardware home button and disable motion.

The Guided Access can be stopped upon entry of a password.

This feature opens up quite a few possibilities for usage of the iDevice like teaching, POS, interactive apps for malls, shopping centers, experience zones.

Now you can hand your iPad to your child to read a book and can make sure that he is doing that. 😉

2. Zoom

If you have trouble viewing the screen at its current zoom level, you can zoom the screen in to make everything bigger. This trick is pretty useful for people with eye troubles.

After enabling it, just press on the screen twice with three fingers and the screen will zoom in.

3. Assistive Touch

If you have a broken home button or have trouble touching the screen. Once you enable it from Accessibility settings, you will see a big white dot on the screen.

Touching it reveals quite a few features and it has more features.


Add a Phone Number Pause

This trick is very handy especially when calling your network operator or someone in a company with an extension. Phone Number Pause feature in iPhone allows you to tell your iPhone to pause after calling a number and then dial another number. So let’s say you are calling a friend in company “X”. The company telephone number is 0678910, pauses until the call is answered, and then dials 1234 automatically. To use this feature just tap and hold star button”*” after the first number  -a comma will show up- and then add the second number to dial after the pause. If you want to add a pause to an existing contact, edit it, tap the “+*#” button in the bottom left corner, and then tap “pause” button.0678910 and your friend’s extension is 1234. Using this option, iPhone will first dial

Portrait Orientation Lock and iPod Controls

Ever been disturbed by iPhone auto rotation when turning your iPhone? I always suffered this when lying on my bed! Didn’t you too? Just double tap the home button and scroll right to get the Portrait Orientation Lock feature in addition to iPod controls.

Toggle Caps Lock Permanently

Tapping the up arrow in iPhone keyboard toggles caps lock for one character. But sometimes you need to write a sentence or an abbreviation as an example with uppercase letters. Try a fast double tapping to toggle caps lock permanently. One more trick with this tiny button is that instead of tapping the caps lock button and then tapping the character, tap it and keep holding and drag to the desired character and you’ll get it in uppercase.

Two-finger scrolling
When you come across a text box containing long paragraphs with its own scroll bars and need to scroll the text inside the box, you usually tap inside the box and start scrolling. It’s an annoying process. Two-Finger Scrolling is the solution for this. Just use two fingers to scroll the inner text.


I dabble in photography and have a couple cool photography tricks that I’m actually a little shocked no one has mentioned yet:

1. You can use your stock headphones as a shutter release – Just press the volume key. Combine this with a tripod adapter and you have the perfect option for low light photography, or to catch a group photo.

2. Cycloramic – This isn’t a stock option, and you do have to purchase this app, but this app does take advantage of the shape of the later iPhones and the accelerometer to create a hands free panorama.


  • When taking a photo in the camera app, you can use the volume up button to “click” and shoot.
  • Battery percentage can be enabled in General – Settings – Usage.
  • In calculator, if you entered a digit wrong, you can simply swipe right/left on the calculator display to erase the last number.
  • You can use the inbuilt dictionary to define words! Just select a word, in the menu that pops up, click on the right arrow and select define.
  • You can lock to portrait orientation by double clicking the home button and swiping left –


You can also control music playback here.

  • If your phone hangs or there is no display but you can call your phone and it seems to ring, you can Hard Reset your iPhon by holding the Home+Power button together for 10 seconds.
  • If your home key is hard, you can have an on screen button. Goto Settings – General – Accessibility – Assistive Touch. This will enable a small circle on the phone screen which gives you access to several small shortcuts as well.
  • You may enable Blackberry style LED notification for messages/calls from Settings – General – Accessibility – LED flash for alerts.
  • To add emoticons just goto Settings – General – Keyboard – Add – Emoji. To use, while typing click on the Globe symbol in the keyboard
  • You can also set acronym shortcuts for the Chat lingo in Settings – General – keyboard
    • If you cellular data is not working, you can goto www.unlockit.co.nz on your iPhone via Safari and install the relevant profile for your current country/carrier. May work.
    • Easiest way to set an alarm is to tell Siri.
    • If you can’t take a call, you can set a predefined reply from Settings – Phone – Reply with message
    • You can stop music playback after a certain time (if you’re used to listening to some music before you sleep but have no one to switch off the app.). Goto Clock – Timer – set the duration and select When Timer Ends – Stop playing
    • If you have a Draft saved in your Mail app, you can simple see then by holding the compose option in the Mail app.
    • Take a screenshot of the phone screen by holding the home button then also the power button together.


Just some of the many more things:

  1. Turn your calendar in landscape mode on iPhone and iPod touch to get a week view.
  2. Hold down keys on the keyboard to show alternate keys. This doesn’t only work for letters, but also for a few numbers and some symbols.
  3. Under “Keyboards” in Settings, (under General) you can enable some cool keyboards. These include the emoji keyboard for symbols and a keyboard for Chinese where you draw the symbols instead of typing.
  4. Double-tap the time dial when changing times for calendar events to switch between a single-minute and a five-minute incremented dial. This may also work with other apps. (Introduced with iOS 7)
  5. You can use the LED flash for alerts or activate features such as VoiceOver and Zoom in the Accessibity menu under General in Settings; with iOS 7 you can also select “Reduce Motion” to reduce effects such as parallax and “Bold Font” to make text easier to read. “Increase Contrast” removes transparency in the overlays as well, giving Notification Center and Siri a nice solid-black background.
  6. Dial *3001#12345#* within the phone app to access “Field Test mode” which shows behind-the-scenes cellular information. You can then fake a shutdown (Hold down sleep-wake button until shutoff dialog appears, then hold home button until it goes away) to keep a more detailed version of cellular signal on your device.
  7. You can generate advanced log reports to download in iTunes about the usage of your phone by enabling logging. Dial *5005*274# in the phone app and press “Dismiss” when it appears. Then dial another number: on GSM devices (AT&T or T-mobile in the US, for example) that are iPhone 4 or older, dial *5005*62#  then restart your phone; For CDMA devices (Verizon or Sprint in the US, for example) or any devices iPhone 4s or newer, dial *5005*3424# and press “Dismiss” when it appears,  then restart your phone. On all devices after those steps, you can dial *5005*78283# after completing the actions you wish to capture, tap “Reply” and give a description of the capture. These captures record the last 250 MB of relevant data to your phone’s flash storage until your next sync.


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