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More valuable and simple hidden iPhone features

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Photo by Arnel Hasanovic

This is part 2 in our series Simple hidden iPhone features
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Here are another 10 hidden iPhone features that will make your iPhone experience more productive and valuable (the previous column offered another 10 tips, and I’ll feature more in a future column):

Handwrite texts

Ask Siri to take a selfie

Listen to voicemails on iPhone

Transcribe voicemails

Doodle on your photos

Take smooth panorama photos

Activate the trackpad to move the cursor

Scan documents with Files

Delete digits in the Calculator app

Use the spirit level

Can you share some iPhone experiences that have helped you? Let us know in the comments link below.

Handwrite texts

Do you find the iPhone’s soft keyboard awkward and prefer to write texts? Might a small sketch communicate better than more text?

Here are the steps involved:

Ask Siri to take a selfie

Need help taking a good selfie?

Shout “Hey Siri” and “Take a selfie” at your iPhone, and these things will happen: Siri will automatically switch on the front-facing camera, you’ll smile and Siri will take a photo.

Thankfully, Siri can also operate the rear camera. Just say, “Take a picture.” That’s especially handy when you’re fumbling for the right button with your gloves on.

Listen to voicemails on iPhone

Are you tired of using the primitive dial pad user interface to manage and listen to your voicemails?

Visual Voicemail lets you manage your voicemails by:

Here are the steps to access Visual Voicemail:

To use this feature, you must first:

Transcribe voicemails

Are you tired of listening to long-winded marketing voicemails, the sound of someone hanging up or deleting empty voicemails? Do you want to see the text of a voicemail that may be urgent without disrupting the meeting you’re sitting in?

Here’s how to transcribe voicemails and see the results as texts:

To use this feature, you must first:

Doodle on your photos

Have you wanted to annotate or doodle on a photo?

Here’s how:

Take smooth panorama photos

Ever wish you could capture a wider angle without the wider lens? Panoramic photographs overcome this physical limitation.

Use both hands to minimize jiggling. Here are the steps to follow:

You can also take panoramas that move from top to bottom rather than left to right by turning your iPhone to landscape and starting at the top of the panorama image you want to capture.

Activate the trackpad to move the cursor

Finding it almost impossible to position the cursor between two letters on texts by pressing your finger at what you hope is the right spot?

Instead, try this more successful approach:

Scan documents with Files

Have you been frustrated by trying to take photos of document pages with the camera?

It’s almost impossible to position the iPhone squarely and parallel above the page. Also, pressing the Shutter button creates enough movement to ruin the alignment.

Instead, use the Files app to scan document pages. Here’s how:

The Notes app includes a similar scanning feature that’s limited to Notes.

Delete digits in the Calculator app

Have you ever pressed the wrong digit in the Calculator app?

Here’s how to correct it to avoid pressing C for Clear and starting over. Swipe your finger to the right over the numbers you’ve entered and the right-most digit will disappear. If you continue, more digits will disappear.

Use the spirit level

Do you need to quickly check if an edge or a surface is level?

Here are the steps:

Yogi Schulz has over 40 years of information technology experience in various industries. Yogi works extensively in the petroleum industry. He manages projects that arise from changes in business requirements, the need to leverage technology opportunities, and mergers. His specialties include IT strategy, web strategy and project management.

For interview requests, click here.


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