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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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      40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

      40 Top Productivity Apps for iPhone (2018 Updated)

      Over the years here at Lifehack, we’ve discussed plenty of apps that you can use to improve your overall productivity.

      There are certain ones that many of our contributors and editors (past and present) have adopted over the long-term — there are always the stalwarts that stick around. But there are also new apps that crop up every day, adding more and more depth to the app category.

      Some of the apps are incredibly plain and simple, while others are more robust and offer more features than you can shake a stick at. And everyone has the one they prefer.

      It’s been our job (and still is our job) to keep abreast of all of the productivity-type apps out there. As a result — and as a bit of a refresher — we’ve put together a list of 40 best productivity apps for iPhone to provide you with an all-in-one resource for you.

      Productivity apps to help you get things done

      1. OmniFocus

      This app is, while pricey, considered to be one of the (if not the) most robust and full-featured productivity apps on the market.

      Download it here.

        2. Forest

        Train yourself to put your phone down and stay focused on the task at hand by playing with this planting game. It’s fun and will help you achieve more.

        Download it here.

          3. Things

          Another robust choice, this app is a favorite amongst “productivityists”.[1]

          Download it here.

            4. 30/30

            Recently covered here at Lifehack

            , 30/30 is a newcomer to the game that incorporates lists and timing of tasks into an elegant and easy-to-use interface.

            Download it here.

              5. Any.Do

              A beautiful-looking app that is both easy on the eyes and your wallet.

              Download it here.

                6. PocketLife Calendar

                This calendar app is specifically designed to be stylish and super easy-to-use. You can organize your life easily with different modern features.

                Download it here.

                  7. Asana

                  We’ve covered Asana here at Lifehack

                  , and it is being actively developed by a strong team committed to making collaborative task management a more efficient and effective experience.

                  Download it here.

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                    8. ToDoist

                    This app keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most important projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

                    Download it here.

                      9. FlowTasks

                      From the folks at MetaLab, Flow is a gorgeous collaborative task management app that is easy-to-use and incredibly functional.

                      Download it here.

                        10. Calendars 5

                        This calendar app focuses on events that help you to keep track of upcoming events and tasks easily. It has everything you need to organize, track and complete your to-dos.

                        Download it here.

                          11. Clear – Tasks, Reminders & To-Do Lists

                          A fun and innovative list-making app that relies on swiping and pinching to make things happen. Clear created a lot of buzz when it launched, and might be the perfect to-do list gateway app for many.

                          Download it here.

                            12. Due

                            A robust reminders app that lets you store and maintain reminders of all types. It’s replaced Reminders for me when it comes to the basics, and it’s worth a look if you want to keep the mundane stuff out of your head and cluttering your mind.

                            Download it here.

                              13. Checkmark 2

                              I use this app

                              for location-based reminders (such as groceries I need to get or single items I need to pick up from various locations). Checkmark is simple to use and a valuable addition to my productivity arsenal.

                              Download it here.

                                14. TeuxDeux

                                Created by Tina Roth Eisenberg and Fictive Kin — Teux Deux is simple and incredibly stellar in terms of design. If you like lists (including the popular “Someday Bucket”) and want to associate dates with tasks, then Teux Deux will be right up your alley.

                                Download it here.

                                  15. Wunderlist 

                                  Another incredibly popular choice is Wunderlist. Part of 6Wunderkinder’s software family, it sports a gorgeous design and is incredibly functional. We’ve talked about the app a couple of times here at Lifehack, so check those posts out here.

                                  Download it here.

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                                    16. Nirvana

                                    For the GTD enthusiasts, there’s Nirvana. Straight from the source: “Nirvana frees your mind to focus on actually getting things done. If you’ve had enough of generic to-do lists, it’s time for Nirvana.”

                                    Download it here.

                                      17. Priorities

                                      An elegant-looking task management app that has received decent reviews,[2] this could be the one for you if you’re not a fan of OmniFocus or Things — especially if you need (or want) to share tasks with others.

                                      Download it here.

                                        Productivity apps that help you build habits

                                        18. Productive

                                        With this app, you can plan your habits with an easy-to-use interface, schedule habits for any time of the day, set smart reminders for each time of the day and stay on track with useful feedback. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to build a habit that sticks.

                                        Download it here.

                                          19. Habitica: Gamified Taskmanager

                                          You can complete tasks and build habits in a more fun way with this app. Input your Habits, your Daily goals, and your To-Do list, and then create a custom avatar. Check off tasks to level up your avatar and unlock features such as armor, pets, skills, and even quests.

                                          Download it here.

                                            20. Streaks

                                            This app follows the model of the popular “don’t break the chain method” in that you use the app to track how you are donig in the pursuit of your goal. Great for goal-setting — and an easy and elegant interface to boot.

                                            Download it here.

                                              21. Remember The Milk

                                              Another popular to-do list app, Remember The Milk has a huge following. It has plenty to offer, including the ability to share tasks with others.

                                              Download it here.

                                                22. Day One Journal

                                                When it comes to journaling, nothing really beats Day One. Its latest update added a slew of features that will make you want to start making journaling a habit.

                                                Download it here.

                                                  Productivity apps that makes organization easy

                                                  23. Evernote

                                                  Touted as the world’s most widely-used productivity app, Evernote an be used simply as a notetaking app or can be customized to be your GTD app of choice — among other things.

                                                  Download it here.

                                                    24. Pocket

                                                    You can save an article, video or link you want to read or watch later to Pocket from anywhere including your computer, Safari, email, and your favorite apps like Facebook, Twitter, Flipboard, and Feedly.

                                                    Download it here.

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                                                      25. Sync.Me

                                                      This app identifies unknown phone calls, warns you from annoying spam calls, and adds a caller picture to your contacts from Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

                                                      Download it here.

                                                        26. Droplr

                                                        One of the most popular file-sharing apps out there today. Straight from the source: “Stay productive on the go. Droplr for iPhone keeps you in sync and makes sharing on the iPhone natural.”

                                                        Download it here.

                                                          27. Dropbox

                                                          Before iCloud, there was Dropbox. And there still is Dropbox, which is still widely used by both Mac and PC users all over the globe. It’s like having a flash drive in your iPhone. A must-have.

                                                          Download it here.

                                                            28. iDolly 

                                                            In conjunction with Dolly Drive and DollySync, iDolly allows you to edit and share your documents from your iPhone.

                                                            Since all your changes sync automatically to all your devices, the current version of a document will always be accessible because Dolly Sync keeps everything in sync. Very handy.

                                                            Download it here.

                                                              29. Soulver

                                                              It may seem odd that a calculator app shows up on this list, but this is no ordinary calendar app. Ben Brooks over at The Brooks review describes Soulver as follows: “It is what calculators would have been if they were invented at the same time computers were, instead of what we have with most calculator apps.” [3]

                                                              Download it here.

                                                                Productivity apps that help you work smart

                                                                30. Captio

                                                                A simple capture tool. Straight from the developers: “It’s simple. Open Captio and start typing. When you’re done, hit Send. The note is immediately delivered to your email inbox.”

                                                                Download it here.

                                                                  31. Drafts

                                                                  A tremendous capture tool that allows for simple capture, followed by sending items to various applications such as OmniFocus, Things and more.

                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                    32. NoteShelf 2

                                                                    This is a perfect note-taking app for you. You can take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists. You can organize them into categories or groups.

                                                                    Download it here.

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                                                                      33. Doodle

                                                                      This app links directly with the Doodle service, which is one that allows you to plan and organize meetings far more efficiently and effectively. Lifehack contributor Steve Dotto has written about Doodle more in-depth here.

                                                                      Download it here.

                                                                        34. TextExpander (Legacy)

                                                                        I have saved countless hours of time with TextExpander, and despite its inability to be as robust on iOS as it is on the Mac, it is still a worthy app to have in your arsenal.

                                                                        Download it here.

                                                                          35. Launch Center Pro

                                                                          A quick launcher for the iPhone that doesn’t just launch an app…with some of them it can do much more. This app saves you time by launching complex actions in a single tap.

                                                                          Download it here.

                                                                            36. GoodReader

                                                                            This may seem to be an odd one to make this list, but here are plenty of reasons why it is here with this article.

                                                                            Download it here.

                                                                              37. LogMeIn

                                                                              Want to be able to control your Mac from wherever you are? Then get this app.

                                                                              Download it here.

                                                                                Productivity apps that improve security

                                                                                38. 1Password

                                                                                There is simply no better password manager out there. I’ve even put together a 1Password Emergency Kit worth looking at here.

                                                                                Download it here.

                                                                                  39. LastPass Password Manager

                                                                                  You can store passwords and logins, create online shopping profiles, generate strong passwords, track personal information in photo and audio notes.

                                                                                  All you have to do is remember your LastPass master password, and LastPass autofills web browser and app logins for you.

                                                                                  Download it here.

                                                                                    40. Truecallers

                                                                                    Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers and call friends easily with this app. With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, you’ll need this app.

                                                                                    Download it here.

                                                                                      There are plenty of other options out there (and we’ve heard from readers in the past as to what they enjoyed using), but these 40 are among the best.

                                                                                      Reference

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