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12 iPhone Tricks You Didn’t Know Your iPhone Could Do

12 iPhone Tricks You Didn’t Know Your iPhone Could Do

Discovering new iPhone features is a great way to spice things up when interacting with your device. Not only that, but finding out about a new feature could even make your iPhone-using experience more productive. It’s important to remember that finding new features isn’t instantaneous—it can take months before you’ll encounter a new feature, often by mistake. No worries, Lifehack is here to help you discover new features to enhance your iPhone experience.

Take Photos with Headphone

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    Let’s start with something simple. When taking photos, it is important to remember that despite the advanced features that come with the iPhone camera, it is still an iPhone. There are times when photos become jittery, but one way to lessen the possibility of blurry photos is to take photos by using your headphones as a shutter button. When in the camera app, simply press the center of the headphones and the photo is taken.

    Boost Photos HDR

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      HDR stands for High-dynamic range photos. What this technology essentially does is take two photos, match both of their best qualities together, and offer up a stunning photo in about 3-5 seconds. The iPhone allows you to take these type of photos by going into the camera app, clicking “Options” at the top center, and switching on “HDR”. It’s important to remember that HDR automatically turns off when you adjust flash settings, and HDR automatically adjusts lighting, so put this into consideration as well.

      Define Terms Dictionary

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        If you are like me, you try to have the least amount of applications as possible, especially if the iPhone—from a native app—does something just as well. This is the case with word definitions on iPhone. Simply press and hold on a word to highlight, using the blue circles to narrow down to a single word, then clicking “Define”. From there, the pronunciation, part of speech, and definition along with an example appears. It’s simple, but sweet.

        More Access with AssistiveTouch

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          Apple has successfully made iPhone more accessible for people with disabilities. Through the Assistance feature in settings, seeing- and hearing-impaired people can use features that help them navigate. Luckily, you don’t have to be differently-abled to take use of these features.

          When in the accessibility section (General > Accessibility), you’ll find the “AssistiveTouch” feature. This allows you to have a button available to easily access Siri, favorites and the home screen. In “device options”, you can do everything from taking a screenshot to rotating your device without doing anything more than clicking a button.

          Get Notified with LED Alerts

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            Blackberry and other devices make it easy to know when you have a notification with the use of the red notification light at the top left, and you may be surprised to learn that the iPhone has a notification option as well. In Accessibility, you can have your iPhone’s camera flash go off when you have a notification. Simply go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Activate “LED Flash for Alerts”.

            Scroll to Top – Faster

            When reading text or scrolling through a web page, the hardest part is having to get to the top. It’s time consuming and involves a lot of thumb movement. Why go through the trouble when you can quickly scroll to the top with one tap? First, find the top tab bar, this is where you’ll find signal strength, time, and battery life. Then, all you have to do is click that area.

            Quick Access When Locked

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              A locked iPhone shouldn’t have to stop you from quickly being able to do common iPhone tasks. Two options you have when your iPhone is locked are Siri access, and photo taking. You can activate Siri as normal by pressing the home button twice, and to take a photo, just find the camera icon at the bottom right, then press and flick all the way up.

              Hide Native Apps

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                The App Store offers so many ways to make your iPhone work for you. You can find apps that make tasks simpler to do or more advanced, and as a result, native apps that come with the iPhone can become unnecessary. Leaving them out in the open can become an eyesore and takes up space.

                What can be your saving grace? You may be be surprised to learn that Parental Controls can help. When iPhone restrictions are enabled, that prevents access by essentially hiding the app. You can do the same by going to Settings > General > Restrictions > Enable Restrictions > Enter Your Password > Switch toggles off to enable restrictions.

                Emoticons Galore

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                  The second best way individuals find ways to express emotions from afar is through the use of emoticons., but the text emoticons don’t cut it nowadays. iPhone allows you to have emoticons on board, without having to download an app. Simply go to the keyboard settings of iPhone (Settings > Keyboards > Add New Keyboard… > Emoji). When you are ready to use it, simply bring up the keyboard, then press and hold the globe at the lower left until you see Emoji. Click on that.

                  Know When iMessages are Read

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                    Whenever you are annoyed about not hearing back from someone you’ve messaged, iMessage offers a great solution: through the use of Read Receipts, you can view when a message has been read and at what time/date. To activate, go to Settings > Messages > and toggle on Send Read Receipts. This not only allows you to know, but also allows the recipient to know you’ve read their message.

                    iCloud Reading List

                    The last lesser-known feature of iPhone is the iCloud Reading List. When you are visiting a webpage on your Mac, you may want to finish enjoying the page or news article on your iPhone. If both devices are connected to the same iCloud account, this is possible. Once iCloud is set up on your Mac and iPhone, just go to Safari > Bookmarks icon > then iCloud Tabs. Separated by device, you will see a list of the active tabs on that device that you can view on your iPhone.

                    Switching Keyboard Quickly

                    When you want to type a number, it is inconvenient to switch to numbers, type one number and then switch back to normal keyboard. If you press and hold the number key and then slide to the number and lift your finger off, it will type the number and automatically switch back to previous keyboard.

                    Secret and lesser-known features are a great way to make interacting with your iPhone more productive and fun. Let us know in the comments which feature you were most surprised/excited to learn about.

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                    Last Updated on November 3, 2020

                    20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                    20 Best Mac Apps for Productivity You Need in 2020

                    Whether you use your Mac for work or just for your personal projects, you’ve likely found yourself wondering how to improve your productivity. There are only so many hours in a day, and so much mental stamina you can muster before you run out.

                    There are dozens of tricks you can use to improve your own productivity and outlook, but if you’re looking for a more objective, comprehensive fix, the best thing to do is equip your Mac with productivity apps designed to help you do more in less time.

                    This Lifehack-exclusive list has some of the best productivity apps to help you feel less tired, improve your energy, and ultimately help you get more done every day.

                    What Makes For the Best Productivity Apps?

                    Beyond productivity tips, there are dozens of productivity apps to choose from too. With that in mind, here are some of the core aspects of ideal productivity apps that have formed this list.

                    • Non-intrusive – you want a productivity app to weave seamlessly into your workflow and not cause disruptions. From using the app to the overall display, it shouldn’t cause any interruptions.
                    • Good interface – Again, you want to be able to use these apps easily and have them benefit you. The easier you can navigate around these apps, the better.
                    • Fair pricing – Many of these have free trials that allow you a good chance to test before you buy. If you do decide to pay for it, the monthly pricing plans should be reasonable for what you are getting.

                    1. Todoist

                      Available for all iOS devices, Todoist is a note-taking and organization app that can keep you on top of all your projects—both personal and professional.

                      Its best features are all free to use, including browser extensions, task creation, and interactive boards you can use to organize all your notes.

                      If you want to pay the optional $29 yearly fee, you can get even more advanced features like backups and automatic reminders. Even with the free version, you’ll stay far more organized.

                      Download: Todoist

                      2. 1Password

                        You may not realize it, but you probably spend a ton of time recalling your passwords, especially if and when you forget one to an app you use on a regular basis.

                        1Password is an app for Mac that saves and remembers all your passwords for you in one place, so you can access all your favorite sites with a single click.

                        You’ll save time and keep all your accounts secure simultaneously. A personal plan is $2.99 per month.

                        Download: 1Password

                        3. Bear

                          Bear is a unique kind of note-taking app designed to make it easier for Mac users to jot down notes on the go. With it, you can create to-do lists, give yourself reminders, and outline concepts for future brainstorming sessions.

                          It comes with many different inline styles so you can customize your notes to your personal preferences, and remember the context in which you wrote them. The core version is free, with a $14.99 per year version available as well.

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                          Download: Bear

                          4. Hazel

                            Hazel by noodlesoft is an automated organization tool designed for Mac that will help you automatically organize your files based on any custom rules you want to create.

                            For example, you can set it to move untouched items from one folder into another folder labeled “action items” if they haven’t been addressed within a week. It can save you hours of organization over the course of a few weeks. A single license is a flat $32.

                            Download: noodlesoft

                            5. Alfred

                              Alfred is an all-in-one app designed to save you time with Mac shortcuts and convenient custom actions. You can use it in a variety of ways.

                              For example, you can access Alfred’s clipboard memory so you don’t copy and paste the same material over and over, or set up custom workflows to automate some of your most repetitive tasks.

                              It’s a paid app, with multiple price points based on the features you desire.

                              Download: Alfred

                              6. TextExpander

                                TextExpander does exactly what the name suggests; it allows you to type a short snippet of text, and expand that text automatically.

                                For example, you can create a custom expansion that allows you to conjure a full paragraph you type repeatedly by simply typing a unique abbreviation. Once you get used to your custom combinations, you’ll spare your fingers from typing thousands of words.

                                An individual account is $3.33 per month.

                                Download: TextExpander

                                7. Backblaze

                                  If you’ve ever experienced a crash, or theft of your Mac, you know how much time a system restore can cost you. You’ll spend hours replacing the files you lost, and lose thousands of files that are irreplaceable.

                                  Backblaze is an automated, inexpensive way to back up your entire Mac for just $5 a month.

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                                  Download: Backblaze

                                  8. Keyboard Maestro

                                    Keyboard Maestro is an older app that still has the power to make your life easier. With it, you can automate any number of tasks based on a certain trigger (such as a hotkey combination, or an event like connecting to a wireless network). A single license only costs $36.

                                    Download: Keyboard Maestro

                                    9. Snagit

                                      There are many applications for a good screen-capture app, whether you’re trying to illustrate a tech problem you have or just want to make an interesting meme. Snagit makes it easy, with built-in editing for both still images and video. A single license covers two machines, and costs $49.95.

                                      Download: TechSmith/Snagit

                                      10. Bartender

                                        Bartender is the cleverly-named app that helps you clean up and organize all your menu bar icons. You can also access them quickly with keyboard shortcuts.

                                        If you’re like most Mac users, those icons get cluttered quickly and stop you from working efficiently. It’s free to try for 4 weeks, after which you’ll need a $15 license.

                                        Download: Bartender

                                        11. Otter

                                        Otter is the Mac app for the note taker who hates typing. It’s an intelligent voice-recognition system and note-taking app that will help you transcribe your conversations, keep notes during meetings, and even take contextual notes to yourself in your own time.

                                        Best of all, it’s free to get started!

                                        Download: Otter

                                        12. Flux

                                          Do you often find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, or feeling unable to get to sleep after a day of staring at your computer? That could be because of the unnatural blue light that radiates from your Mac.

                                          Flux naturally adapts your display to emit light that matches the time of day, so you can sleep better and feel less tired. It’s also free!

                                          Download: Flux

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                                          13. PDFpen

                                          If you deal with PDFs on a regular basis, you probably find yourself wishing for some kind of tool that can let you mark up those PDFs however you want. Without a dedicated app like PDFpen, this can be difficult.

                                          PDFpen lets you edit PDFs in almost any conceivable way, giving you more power and saving you time. A single license is $74.95.

                                          Download: Smile Software/PDFpen

                                          14. OmniFocus

                                            OmniFocus is all about task management. It has a clean interface that allows you to tag your tasks, schedule events, and even automate certain features.

                                            It’s one of the most comprehensive solutions on the market, so there’s a bit of a learning curve to get the most out of it.

                                            A standard license is $39.99, while the pro version is $79.99.

                                            Download: OmniFocus

                                            15. Franz

                                              It’s tiring to switch between dozens of different chat programs like Facebook Messenger, Slack, and WhatsApp, whenever you want to have a conversation with a different contact.

                                              Franz’s solution is simple; offer access to all these apps in one convenient package. And best of all, it’s completely open source.

                                              Download: Franz

                                              16. MindNode

                                                If you’re the brainstorming type, you need an app like MindNode to help you efficiently organize your thoughts. There are dozens of tools you can use to connect ideas in a mind map, or simply jot down notes for future reference.

                                                The core app is free, with in-app purchases available.

                                                Download: MindNode

                                                17. Focus

                                                  The internet is a wonderful thing, but it can be awfully distracting. And if you’re like the majority of us, you’ve interrupted work on a project because of some attention-grabbing site or bad online habit. That’s where Focus comes in.

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                                                  This app allows you to block the worst offenders with custom time limits and other constraints, so you can focus on the task at hand. A single license is $19.99.

                                                  Download: Focus

                                                  18. CleanMyMac

                                                    Chances are, your Mac isn’t working as fast as it could, thanks to gigabytes of clutter and unnecessary files on your system. CleanMyMac helps you scan your Mac, monitor its health, and ultimately clean it up—so you can handle all your tasks that extra bit faster. A single license is $39.95.

                                                    Download: CleanMyMac

                                                    19. Grammarly

                                                      A spelling error or grammatical mistake can cost you big time. It could be the source of a worse grade on a big paper, or compromise your credibility in the workplace. Thankfully, Grammarly can help you.

                                                      This Mac-integrated writing assistant monitors all your writing and makes live corrections, so you’re alerted to your potential mistakes before they become permanent.

                                                      A free version exists, but the premium version will cost you between $11 and $30 a month, depending on how you pay.

                                                      Download: Grammarly

                                                      Focus To Do

                                                        Focus to-do is one of the top productivity apps for your iPhone around. It even has a desktop client that you can connect to effortlessly. The app is built around two things: the Pomodoro technique and task management. It achieves these things with amazing balance. All that you have to do is create a task and then set the timer right within the app itself.

                                                        There is also great flexibility with the Pomodoro technique as well. You can choose whether to take a 5 minute break, take a longer one, or even skip it. On the task management side, you can also create reoccurring tasks, reminders, and place a priority on tasks too.

                                                        Download: Focus To Do

                                                        The Bottom Line

                                                        These productivity apps should help you squeeze more productive hours out of every day, but they aren’t the only tools you’ll have to help you find success.

                                                        Make the time to learn about and experiment with all the life hacks that can make you more productive. By improving your devices as well as your outlook and focus, you’ll be able to get far more done in a day, and feel better doing it.

                                                        More to Boost Productivity

                                                        Featured photo credit: Patrick Ward via unsplash.com

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