Uncover these 28 secret iPhone features you should be aware of

One iPhone hack that makes life easier is being able to customise Control Centre. By adding your favourite and most-used widgets to Control Centre, you can access them with a simple swipe down, even when your iPhone is locked. This is super handy when you need a feature immediately. We find Music Recognition the most useful - no more fumbling around Home Screen folders, desperately trying to find the Shazam app before the song ends. To customise your Control Centre, go to Settings, then tap Control Centre. Scroll down to More Controls and add any controls that’ll be handy at a moment’s notice.

With Back Tap enabled, you can assign a range of different functions to both a double and a triple finger tap on the back of your phone, kind of like gestures on a trackpad. You could, for example, use a double tap for your torch and a triple tap for your Camera – these are both incredibly useful when you’re using your phone at odd angles and can’t reach the Lock Screen icons or the Control Centre pull-down menu. There’s a range of different time-saving and accessibility functions you can assign, and you can even combine the feature with Shortcuts for even more customisation. To enable Back Tap, open the Settings app and tap Accessibility. Next, tap Touch, then tap Back Tap. Tap either Double Tap or Triple Tap to assign functions to each.

iOS comes with advanced sharing abilities using Siri. Instead of sharing the old-fashioned way by tapping the Share button, you can use Siri to share whatever is on your screen with a contact. It’s not a life-changing feature, but comes in handy when you need to share something quickly or don’t have your hands free to do so. An image or photo can be shared, as can a song you’re listening to on Apple Music. If Siri can’t share your screen, for example with the Weather app, it’ll take a screenshot and send that instead. To share your screen with a contact, say “Hey Siri, share this with…” whomever you’d like to see it.

Even people with the smallest hands can find the compact keyboards of phone screens a little hassle-prone. Scanning through large chunks of text to find the exact spot you want to edit can be a tricky task, although it has been improved in iOS 17. To help with this, your iPhone features a hidden trackpad, which can be used to scan easily and precisely across your screen. Just press and hold the Space bar on your iPhone’s keyboard to turn that keyboard into a trackpad.

While many modern iPhone models like the iPhone 15 Pro are waterproofed to IP68, it’s still no fun to get stuck out in the rain. Handily, the iOS Weather app has you covered with an easy-to-read interactive weather map so you can easily see the day ahead’s weather and never get caught out again. With a scrolling 12-hour forecast for anywhere on the planet, featuring temperature, precipitation, wind strength and air quality overlays, and all of your locations pinned, the app’s weather map virtually turns you into a weather reporter, and is difficult to stop using once you’ve started. To enable the interactive forecast, open the Weather app and tap the map icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen.

A little-known feature that can save you a ton of time is the ability to drag and drop between iPhone apps. With the drag and drop feature, you can quickly and easily import an image or video from your photos or a web page, or even a PDF from your files, and drop it into an app like Notes or Messages. This hidden feature can be a little tricky the first time around. Here’s the gist; tap and hold on the file you want to move, then move it toward the top or bottom of the display. Then, while continuing to hold that file with one finger, you swipe up from the bottom of the screen with another finger and open the app you want to drag your file into.

Like us, you might have thought the native Calculator app was a little basic, especially when compared to those giant calculators you used in maths class at school. Well, maybe you should give it another chance: the humble Calculator app actually has a few tricks up its sleeve. Turn the iPhone landscape to unveil a scientific calculator, and swipe left or right at the top of the display to delete digits.

It used to be that scanning a document to turn physical pages into a digital file required a dedicated scanner or all-in-one printer. And indeed, for perfect copies, this is still the case. But what if you just need to quickly turn that line from your textbook into a quote in your notes app? Unsurprisingly, iOS has a neat solution, and your iPhone’s camera is also a handy tool to convert physical text into digital. To get started, open an app you want to scan text into – this could be Notes, Messages, or any other app that lets you enter text. In the text-entry area, tap and hold for a couple of seconds then release your finger. You should now see a scanner icon and ‘Scan Text’ appear.

If you’ve ever typed in a code to find your IMEI or phone number (*#06#) when selling your phone, you may have an inkling of what this one’s about. What you might not know, though, is that as well as codes to find those numbers, there are also codes to tell your iPhone to do a whole range of things, from hiding your number (141 followed by the person’s number and area code), to diverting calls (**61 when you don’t answer, **62 when your iPhone is unreachable, or **67 when your iPhone is busy) and even launching a field test mode (turn off Wi-Fi, then enter 3001#12345#) to see data about your cellular connection. Simply open your Phone app, then head to the keypad and dial in one of the codes.