25 iOS Tips, Tricks and Secrets You Need to Know

Miscellaneous iOS Tricks

Want to achieve even greater iOS mastery? These hidden tricks let you do even more with your iOS device.

Set a More Sophisticated Passcode

By default, iOS 9 requires you to create a passcode of at least six digits, but you can create a more complicated one if your prefer, especially if you have a Touch ID-enabled device, which makes you enter your passcode only rarely.

1. Open Settings.

2. Tap Passcode (or Touch ID & Passcode if you have a device with a fingerprint scanner).

3. Enter your current passcode when prompted.

4. Tap Change Passcode.

5. Enter your current passcode.

6. Tap Passcode Options. A pop-up menu provides options for Custom Alphanumeric Code and Custom Numeric Code. With the latter, iOS will still prompt you to enter your passcode with a numeric keypad instead of a keyboard.

Create a Medical ID

You can store important medical details on your iPhone in case of emergency, thanks to iOS 9's Health app. That way, if your phone is accessible during an emergency, medical professionals can be alerted to any existing conditions.

1. Open the Health app.

2. Tap the Medical ID icon in the toolbar.

3. Tap Edit.

4. Enter any relevant details — allergies, conditions, medications, blood type, and so on — and decide whether the information should be accessible when the phone is locked.

Lock Focus in Camera

The cameras on iOS devices do an adroit job of keeping your images in focus, but sometimes you want to manually specify exactly where the focus and exposure should be. Fortunately, the Camera app makes that pretty easy.

1. Open the Camera app.

2. Tap and hold on the screen where you'd like to lock the focus.

3. Release when you see the "AE/AF Lock" banner appear.

4. Tap the shutter button or volume buttons to take a picture, as usual.

5. Tap anywhere on the screen to release the lock.

MORE: 11 Best Improvements in iOS 9

Access Calculator's Scientific Functions

iOS contains a capable calculator app, but it's actually even more useful than you might know. If you're looking for more advanced features like square roots, sines, cosines, tangents, and so on, just use this handy tip: turn your iPhone into landscape orientation while in the Calculator app. (Make sure that your Orientation Lock is off -- swipe up to access the Control Center pane and tap the lock icon on the far right.)  

Define Words

Ever get an email with a word that you just don't know? Relax: iOS has a built-in dictionary app that makes it easy to get a definition of any word in pretty much any app.

1. Tap and hold on a word until the loupe appears.

2. Tap the Define button in the pop-up menu that appears.

3. When finished, tap Done. (You can also tap Search Web to look for the word in Safari using your default search engine.)

Use The Timer To Automatically Stop Playing Music

Some people like falling asleep to music, and your iOS device can oblige you by letting you set a sleep timer so that your tunes don't play all night.

1. Start playing music.

2. Open the Clock app.

3. Tap Timer in the toolbar if the timer is not already displayed.

4. Choose how long you'd like the music to continue.

5. Tap When Timer Ends.

6. Scroll down to the bottom and select Stop Playing.

7. Tap Set.

8. Tap Start.

Use Your iPhone as a Level

In a pinch, your iPhone can help you figure out if that picture you just hung is straight, or whether you need to shim that IKEA table you just assembled.

1. Open the Compass app.

2. Swipe to the left.

3. Place the phone on a flat surface, or turn it on its edge to determine whether or not the item in question is level; if it is, the display will turn green and read 0°.

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  • Johnny_D
    "Use The Timer To Automatically Stop Playing Music"
    ~
    BEST TIP I'VE EVER GOTTEN. I've been trying app after app after app looking for a good "sleep timer" feature in it, and it's been here all along.
    ~
    THANKS!
  • Runebinder
    The timer for music is great, not seen that one before. A really easy way to show desktop sites in Safari is to do a long press on the refresh icon in the address bar, a menu pops up with Request Desktop site and Reload Without Content Blockers.