This year I committed to free iPhone classes at the Apple store and online tutorials. Here, I offer up some hacks, short cuts and new features that most newer iPhones have but you may be missing out on.
The Apple store on Greenwich Avenue provides support mastering your iPhone with one-on-one appointments and free classes like Customizing your Apple Watch, Taking Charge of iPhone Privacy and Photo Lab Directing the Portrait. Discover what is being offered this week, and sign up online at apple.com/retail/greenwichavenue/
6 iPhone Hacks You May Not Know
1. Tune In
iPhones can add noise or reduce it. Let’s start with adding noise. If you need to focus or would prefer to have a conversation with a little more privacy, your phone can function as a white noise machine. Additionally, if construction on the house next door is making it hard for you to focus on work, you can provide background sounds—everything from the ocean to rain.
• Background Sounds
• Make your selection
2. Tune Out
You might not be aware of the noise- canceling features that most newer AirPods offer. If you’re on a plane or train and want to tune out fellow travelers, you can turn on noise cancellation. Conversely, if you’re out walking and want to be aware of sounds around you as you listen to your favorite podcast (a wise safety move), follow these steps but select Transparency, and you’ll be able to hear some noises around you.
• Put your AirPods in your ears.
• On your phone, go to Settings
• Choose AirPods
• Choose Noise Control
• Here you can add noise cancellation to one or both ears.
3. Look Up feature.
• Look at any photo you have taken, and at the bottom of the page you’ll see options—share, heart, star and trash.
• Press the star, and you will find all sorts of information about your photo, including the Look Up feature. When the photo is an object such as a plant or animal, it will quickly analyze the photo and identify the object. I use this feature all the time when I’m in the garden evaluating emerging plants to determine if they are weeds or perennials sprouting from last year.
• Categories of Look Up also include Landmarks. If you’re looking through photos trying to identify where they were taken—for example, one of your kids standing in front of a lighthouse that you can’t quite remember—the information is a click away. Your phone will immediately identify any landmark in the background.
4. Take Note
For those of us who love to share a great recipe or recall a key paragraph from a book, iPhoto has a feature that allows readers to scan words right into Notes or share via text or email.
• Open your phone to Camera. As the camera focuses on the text to be photographed, a symbol (lines framed by corner marks) will appear on the bottom right of the screen. Tap it. It will turn yellow.
• On the photo screen, two brackets will appear. Guide them to the text you want to capture.
• A list of options will appear—Text, Email, New Quick Note, Save to Files, etc.
• If you’re traveling and come across a sign or menu in a foreign language, use the steps above. Tap the right arrow in the options bar, and “Translate” will appear. The phone will effortlessly translate the text for you.
5. Say Cheese
You don’t have to hand your phone to strangers or set a timer and dash, hoping to make it into your shot. If you have an Apple Watch, you can use its handy remote function to take pictures.
• Position your phone to view the area in which you want to be photographed.
• Once you have the shot lined up and have joined the picture, open your Apple Watch and click on Apps.
• Scroll down to the Camera Remote.
• You can set a timer to go off in three seconds, so your hands are free.
• You can also set the photo to be taken from the front or back of the camera. By using the front-facing feature, you can see the phone screen to assure everything and everyone you want is in the photo.
• To avoid balancing your phone on tricky surfaces, consider a lightweight tripod that is small enough to fit in your purse, like the GripTight PRO 2 GorillaPod with bendable legs.
6. Your Very Own Personal Assistant
Artificial Intelligence is here in a big way, so make it work for you. iPhone’s Siri is at your disposal, and Apple swears it isn’t listening to you unless you ask it to. Your iPhone only starts recording after receiving the “Hey, Siri” command. I use Siri to make an appointment or add to my to-do list while my hands are busy making dinner, folding laundry or when my eyes need to stay on the road.
• Put an event on your calendar.
“Hey, Siri, add lunch with Millie tomorrow at noon to my calendar.”
• Set a reminder.
“Hey, Siri, remind me to call the dentist tomorrow at 9 a.m.”
• Set a timer.
“Hey, Siri, set timer for ten minutes.”
• Create lists.
“Hey, Siri, create a Grocery List.” You can now add to the list as needs come up. “Hey, Siri, add tomatoes to Grocery List.”
• Place calls, send texts
“Hey, Siri, call Lily.” And “Hey, Siri, text Steven dinner is at eight.”
• Get basic information, perfect when traveling or when you just want to know more.
“Hey, Siri, how old is the Eiffel Tower” or “Hey, Siri, how many calories are in a chocolate croissant?”