7 Little-Known iPhone Features You Should Be Using

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  • The new iPhone is coming soon, and it isn't cheap. 
  • Luckily, earlier iPhones and versions of iOS have some amazing features you might not know about. 
  • Try these tips for faster charging, finding photos more easily, and converting currency amounts with ease. 

"Smartphone," indeed! 

On Sept. 7, Apple announced the upcoming release of the brand-new iPhone 14 line, which will include the standard iPhone 14 (starts at $799), 14 Plus (starts at $899), 14 Pro (starts at $999), and 14 Pro Max (starts at $1,099). Along with debuting these new devices (and new Apple Watches and AirPods), Apple also dropped news about the latest iOS update, iOS 16. While there are many buzzy features that will come along with this update, including the ability to unsend and edit iMessages, new safety features, and upgrades to Apple Pay, I'm willing to bet that your current iPhone has a few features you may not have ever used. 

Let's face it, it can be an expensive prospect to be an Apple fan -- trust me, I know. That said, one of the things that keeps me coming back to Apple's tech products is that they are packed with useful attributes and functions that offer improvements for daily life. After all, what's the point of mobile phone technology if it doesn't make our lives easier and better? And the nice thing about discovering the existing features of your current iPhone is that you can hold off the hit to your budget that buying a new one will cause. So here are seven features you may not have realized your current iPhone has. Some of these were even a surprise to me! 

1. Add photo captions

Did you know you could add captions to your photos? I certainly didn't, and given how many photos I take (it's an embarrassingly high number; I am 100% that millennial who takes too many photos of her food and her pets), this feature is bound to be a timesaver for me. If you take a photo you'll need later, just swipe up on it, and type in a caption. You can later search for it with a word from your caption! 

2. Hide apps you don't use

I hate having a home screen full of apps on the loose, so I keep my iPhone apps organized in folders in the bottom tray. But if I don't feel like integrating an infrequently used app into one of my folders and just want it off my home screen, I can tap and hold it, tap "Remove App," and then select "Move to App Library." 

3. Search without opening your browser

Want a timesaver? You don't have to open your web browser to search for something. Just swipe left from the home screen, type your Google search into the search bar, and select the browser in the results there. 

4. Charge faster

OK, here is another one I definitely should have been using much sooner. If you put your iPhone into Airplane Mode when you charge it, it'll charge faster, since web notifications and GPS won't be running in the background. 

5. Customize text notifications

If you're a frequent texter, you can change the vibration pattern for people in your contacts. Just go to an entry in your contact list, tap it to open, hit "Edit" in the top right corner, then scroll down to "Text Tone" and select "Vibration" to change to one of several preset vibration patterns. 

6. Backspace on calculator

This is the hack for you if you are prone to typos (don't worry, it happens to the best of us). If you accidentally enter the wrong number on the iPhone's calculator app, you can swipe left or right to erase the last number typed in. You can do it more than once if you goofed up on multiple numbers! Calculator app will remember the rest of your numbers, so you don't have to start over from scratch. 

7. Convert currency

Are you a world traveler? It's easier to check currency conversion rates from your iPhone than you may have realized. Swipe left from the home screen to access that search bar mentioned above, and type what you want to calculate (say, 50 CAD to USD) and you'll get the conversion. 

If you've looked at your finances and decided not to spring for a new iPhone 14 (or one of its more expensive upgrades), it'll certainly be better for your bank account. Until it's time for a new phone, play around with these features and enjoy living in the age of smartphones!

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