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20 Secret iOS Shortcuts And Gestures You Probably Don’t Know

20 Secret iOS Shortcuts And Gestures You Probably Don’t Know

There are lots of awesome things about iPhones and iPads, and iOS aficionados can spend hours exploring Apple’s flagship devices. There are few things more interesting than playing around and using the unexpected shortcuts, especially after the additions in iOS 7. In fact, iOS 7 contains more shortcuts and quick-access features than any of its predecessors.

Master those gestures and you can use your fingertips to glance at your emails faster than before and navigate between your apps at a tremendous speed. And that’s just for starters.

Here are twenty iOS shortcuts and gestures that you were probably didn’t know about that will enable you to accomplish complex tasks speedily, and in style.

 

iOS shortcuts

    1. Move an Event in the Calendar in a Jiffy

    Did you know that events in your calendar can be changed or moved simply and quickly, just like the icons on your iPhone’s home screen? To do this, just tap and hold on to the event in day mode. You’ll see two dots that have appeared around the box. You can drag edges of this box up and down to make a change in the event duration. To move an event, just tap and drag the entire event.

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    2. Quick Access to Spotlight Search

    If you feel that Spotlight Search has disappeared from iOS 7, you’re wrong. It has just been integrated into every screen so that you can have easy access to this facility from just any home screen. All you need to do is touch anywhere on the home screen (not the top edge, which is reserved for Notification Center). Next, swipe down gently. The screen will drop down and the Spotlight field will reveal itself.

    3. Take a Sneak Peek at Recently Taken Pictures

    If you want to take a quick look at the pictures you have just taken, go to the camera app and simply slide the screen from left to right. The last picture taken will immediately pop up!

    4. Include More Emojis

    If you’re looking for ways to include more emojis into your texts within nanoseconds, there’s a way for that too. Open Settings, go to General and then to the keyboard. Add Emoji keyboard and you’re ready to use as many emojis as you want in your text. You can use the same settings to access keyboards in other languages.

    5. Use Your Ears to Open Siri

    This is certainly a rare gesture control! You can now open Siri without holding down the Home button. Open Settings, go to General and open Siri. You get an option of ‘Raise to Speak.’ Once you activate this option, the light sensor on the iPhone is set to work. Simply press the phone to your ears, and once the sensor detects your ears, Siri will open up.

    6. Scroll Up with the Menu Bar

    Scrolling up manually through the web pages is irritating. Now you can do so without using your hands–you can scroll up by using the menu bar. When you read an article or any other long text, then simply tap the menu bar present at the top of the screen. This will take you to the top of the web page or article. This feature works with most browsers and apps.

    7. A Quick Glance at Drafts

    Apple provides you with the ease of viewing your drafts from the Mail’s main menu. To get to your drafts within seconds, press and hold the ‘Compose’ button present in the bottom right-hand corner. This will immediately present the drafts folder and you can get back to complete those incomplete messages you left in a hurry.

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    8. iPad’s Split Keyboard for Typing Faster

    If typing on Apple’s tablet is troubling you, there is a more comfortable keyboard available for you. By holding down the keyboard key of iPad, you can split the keyboard apart. This way you can type easily with your thumbs, which is better for people who are accustomed to typing on Smartphones. In order to put the split keyboard in a convenient position, just drag the keyboard button upwards.

    9. Set Custom Vibrations

    Setting custom ringtones are known by everyone, but custom vibrations are a rare feature. Here’s how to do it. Open Settings > General > Accessibility. In Accessibility, you’ll find Hearing. Go here to turn on Custom Vibrations. After turning it on, navigate back to Settings and again open Sounds. At the bottom, you’ll find Vibration Patterns.

    Tap this option and customize vibrations at the bottom of the screen. Simply tap on the pattern you want. You can hold down your finger to get longer notes. Assign these customized vibrations to specific contacts.

    10. Swipe through Safari History

    The latest iOS 7 has bestowed Safari with a gesture-based navigation of its own. Simply swipe from left edge to the right and the screen goes back to previous page of browser history. Similarly, swipe the right edge to left and the screen will take you forward (if you’ve gone back to a previous page). These gestures come in quite handy in finding a particular web page, especially on a tablet or Smartphone.

    John.Karakatsanis
      11. Use Camera Flash for Alerts

      A great thing that iPhone users don’t know is that camera flash of their Smartphones can smartly be used for alerts, too. Here’s the way to set it. Navigate to Settings > General > Accessibility. There you’ll find Flash for Alerts. Slide on and the LED in your iPhone will start serving as alerting beacon.

      12. Sync Your Downloads

      Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all your downloaded files could be synced automatically across all your iOS devices? Rejoice! It is possible now. For music, apps and books, IOS 7 allows you to sync your downloaded files through Automatic Downloads. To do so, go to Settings and open Store. Here you can check Automatic Downloads option for any of the three, i.e. music, apps and books. After that, all your files will stay in harmony across all devices. Neat!

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      13. Quick Navigation of Home Screen and Multitasking Drawer

      Apple’s iPad consists of few gestures that enable users to navigate through the home screen easily and quickly.

      Pinch the screen with four fingers and you’ll get back to the home screen. You don’t even need to click the home button. To get to the multitasking interface, simply swipe, four fingers up. However, if these gestures don’t work on your iPad, then perhaps you need to turn them on. Go to Settings > General, and there you’ll find options for these gestures.

      14. Better Control Over Symbols and Letters

      Apple provides you a better and faster way to get capital letters, numbers, and special characters. Press the shift key and then, drag your finger to the desired letter. Similarly, you can get numbers too. First of all, press the number key and then drag it to the required number. Although you still have to use the number button and shift key, typing becomes much easier this way.

      For special characters, simply hold down on any keyboard button and you instantly get all the special characters for that letter. This even includes the ‘.com’ that appears by holding down period button in Safari.

      15. Keep an Eye on Storage

      You may get an application that is free of cost, but never one that doesn’t eat memory and space on your IOS device. If you are lacking storage, go straightaway to Settings > General > Usage and you’ll get to see a list of all your applications and which app is eating how much memory. This dissection of storage comes in highly useful when you’re trying to find some useless apps that you need to get rid of.

      16. Save Images Right from Websites

      If you’ve come across a beautiful image that you want as your wallpaper, put your finger on that image and hold it for a second or two. A menu slides from the bottom of the screen where you can find the Save Image option. That’s it. Simply save it and it is ready to adorn your iPhone’s or iPad’s screen. Besides Save Image, you also get an option for copying it to the clipboard.

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      17. Refresh by Simply Pulling Down

      Surprisingly, this gesture’s been around for quite some time, though some iOS users are still unaware of it. It’s a useful and easy shortcut to refresh–just pull down. Whether you’re looking at your Inbox or using an app, pull down the window and all contents of the page are refreshed. When you pull down, you will see an icon or arrow along the top that indicates that you’ve pulled far enough and now the page is refreshed.

      18. Shortcut to Phrases

      Avid SMS senders will love this one. It’s seriously irritating to type the same phrases several times every day. Now you can create shortcuts for such phrases. Open Settings > General > Keyboard. After you reach Keyboard, scroll down to find Shortcuts. Next, enter the phrase and a shortcut for the same. Next time you need to type the same message, simply type the shortcut and the phrase appears automatically. This gesture can also be extremely useful for texting numbers or email addresses and unwieldy chunks of text.

      19. Find the Meaning ASAP

      Some people just love to play with words and if you have a friend who keeps texting you with difficult-to-decipher messages, or you’re stuck with an unknown word while reading an eBook, then here’s how you can find word meanings ASAP. When you come across any such word, simply hold down on it. Select the option called Define, and you will discover the meaning!

      20. Browse Secretly

      If you want Safari to keep your information intact, then browse secretly. You can go incognito with Safari. Navigate to Settings > Safari, then click the button of Private Browsing. That’s it. Now you can browse secretly.

      If you have more interesting iOS shortcuts or gestures that you love, please feel free to share in the comments.

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      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

      Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

      Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

      Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

      So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

      Joe’s Goals

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        Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

        Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

        Daytum

          Daytum

          is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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          Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

          Excel or Numbers

            If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

            What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

            Evernote

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              I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

              Evernote is free with a premium version available.

              Access or Bento

                If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                Conclusion

                I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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