17 cool things you didn't know your iPhone 7 could do
The tips, tricks and hidden features you might have missed.
From helping you sleep at night, take better pictures and send more personal texts to saving you hours looking for that one photo you took last year – there're plenty of hidden features to discover on the iPhone 7. On the other hand, you just could let us discover them (17 features and counting) for you…
The secret magnifying glass.
Tap your home button three times to turn your phone into handy magnifying glass – with a slider to control the zoom and an optional flashlight for getting closer to things in the dark. Perfect for reading the small print, looking at bugs and digging out pesky splinters.
Thanks to iOS 10, your iPhone 7 will now automatically transcribe your voicemails so you don't have to bother listening to them (especially annoying if it's just the sound of someone hanging up). The feature still has a few kinks to iron out so you might notice the odd missing word, but it's already pretty workable.
Change the brightness of the flashlight.
Already indispensible for searching under cinema seats for dropped car keys, the iPhone 7 flashlight is now fully controllable with 3D Touch. Hard-press the flashlight icon to bring up the options - bright, medium or low light, depending on how dazzling you want it to be.
Edit live photos.
Live Photos (introduced in iOS 9) lets you capture a few frames of video around your still images, giving you amazing "moving photos" that look like something out of Harry Potter. New to iOS 10 is the ability to edit your live shots just like any other photo – crop, resize, make brightness adjustments and edit the timing of the live motion.
Close all tabs in Safari.
Now that Apple lets you have an unlimited number of Safari tabs open at the same time, it's quite easy to find your iPhone clogged with hundreds of different windows. With the iPhone 7, gone are the days of spending a whole evening swiping them all closed one-by-one - just hold the tab button in the bottom right-hand corner and select "close all tabs".
Ask Siri to take a selfie.
Shout "take a selfie" at your iPhone 7 and two things will happen: Siri will automatically switch on the front-facing camera, and everyone around you will know you're about to pull a pouty face. Thankfully, Siri can now also operate the rear camera too ("take a picture" or "take a video"), which is especially handy when you're fumbling for the right button with gloves on.
Doodle on your photos.
Open any image in the Photos app, tap the edit button and then the icon that looks like three dots in a circle – giving you the option to add a "markup". It's useful for things like circling important details and adding handwritten notes to photos, and also for stupid things like drawing googly eyes on your cat. Your choice.
You might have discovered this one by accident already. Simply turn your phone on its side whilst you're typing an iMessage and it becomes a digital notepad for you to finger-write your text instead of typing it. What you probably missed though is the extra real estate you get to do it - just swipe to the left to find three extra screen-fuls of writing/doodling space.
Make your phone flash for notifications.
If you don't like hearing the ding or feeling the buzz, you can set your iPhone 7 to blink its flashlight at you when you get a notification instead. To activate the feature, go to the iPhone's settings menu, head to General and Accessibility to find the "LED Flash for Alerts" option.
Find the camera from the lock-screen.
If you're missing the handy little camera shortcut that used to sit in the lock-screen, don't – it's gone, but it's been replaced with something even easier. Just swipe left to open the camera, helping you to shoot in the blink of an eye (or with the swipe of a finger…).
If you have to reset your iPhone 7 for any reason, you might be wondering how you do it now that the Home button has disappeared. It's just as easy – and just as unadvertised by Apple - just hold down the power and the volume buttons at the same time until you see the Apple logo.
Most of us use our phone alarm clock to get up in the morning – but iPhone 7 users can get a better night's sleep than most thanks to the new Bedtime feature. Rather than simply setting a wake-up call, Bedtime lets you chose the number of hours you want to sleep - which includes an alert to tell you when it's time to go to bed. The feature can also track your sleep pattern via Apple Health and let you know if you need more or less of a snooze. Just open the Clock app and select Bedtime at the bottom of the display to get started.
Lock your camera lens.
The twin lens camera that comes with the iPhone 7 Plus is one of biggest reasons to buy it – but you might find an occasion when you want to turn one of them off. Pro users might want to force a shot through the telephoto lens, for example, and videographers might want to avoid the slight flicker that comes from switching. Head into your Photos & Camera settings to toggle the "Lock Camera Lens" option on.
Sing along to your favourite songs.
Either a blessing or a curse for whoever you’re in the same room with – tap the three dotted lines in the bottom right-hand corner of the "Now Playing" screen in Music to see the lyrics to whatever you're listening to. Note that it currently only works for most songs that you've purchased via iTunes.
Search for photos via Siri.
Most of us have phones full of photos and iOS 10 does a great job of sorting them out for us – sifting pictures into years, places, faces and "memories". Finding what you're looking for can still sometimes be tricky though, and you can now use Siri to do the hard work for you. Ask Siri to "Show photos from August 18", "Show photos from last Monday", "Show me photos from Hong Kong" or even "Show me photos of cats" to narrow down the search.
Quickly browse your unread emails.
Apple's Mail app already helps you keep on top of your emails with its swipeable flagging system, but it's still easy to get bogged down with unread messages. On iPhone 7's iOS 10, just tap the icon in the bottom left hand corner of the Mail app to show only the emails you haven't read yet.
Get rid of your boring apps.
Finally, you can get rid of Stocks! Hardwired into iPhones for years, Apple apps like Stocks, Newsstand, Passbook, Compass and Tips are essential home screen icons to some and annoying screen clutter for others. From iOS 10 onwards, if you want to get rid of them, just tap and hold as normal (and if you change your mind later, you can always download them again from the App Store).
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