Surprising iPhone Features You Probably Didn't Know About

Measure Distances by Pointing Your Camera

The app works using augmented reality (AR), where the measurement is overlaid in the camera viewfinder. Drop points to measure multiple differences, and then use the shutter button to snap a picture. The app is fairly accurate, though you should be aware that measurements are approximate.

Measure Angles and Check Things Are Level

The Measure app has another trick up its sleeve: the ability to check angles and act as a digital spirit level. Open the Measure app and tap on the “Level” tab, then place your iPhone on a surface to measure the angle. At 0º (level) the black level indicator will turn green.

Help You Find Your Way (and Measure Altitude)

The Compass app on your iPhone works whether or not you have a mobile signal. Tap on the compass face to mark a bearing so that you know how far away you are from the direction in which you’re traveling. On the screen, you’ll also see the current altitude (elevation) and your GPS coordinates.

Play Background Sounds to Help You Sleep or Focus

There are six sounds to choose from, including three variations of white noise, the ocean, soft rain, and a stream. Enable your iPhone’s Accessibility Shortcut to quickly trigger the feature.

Create 3D Models

Perhaps one of the most impressive iPhone features is the ability to create 3D scans simply by moving your device around a space. You can do this with a standard iPhone using photogrammetry techniques, which convert 2D images into 3D models, with an app like Polycam.

Speak for You and Mimic Your Voice

Live Speech is an accessibility feature that lets your iPhone speak on your behalf. You can nominate some of your favorite phrases under this menu for quick recall. You can map multiple features to this function.

Recognize Sounds and Notify You

Your iPhone can be trained to recognize sounds like a doorbell or smoke alarm for accessibility reasons. The iPhone is already trained to recognize some of the most common sounds like fire alarms, dogs barking, and emergency vehicle sirens. You can tap on “Custom Alarm” to add your own to the list.

Social media can take up way too much of your time. Fortunately, you can use Screen Time on your iPhone to limit how much time you spend on social media.

Isolate Subjects in Photos and Videos

Isolate subjects on your iPhone using the Photos app. This feature isolates subjects and places them on a transparent background.

Help You Converse in Another Language

There are many apps you can download from the App Store to translate speech and text, but Apple includes one on your iPhone that can even work offline. Launch the Translate app to get started. Tap on “Conversation” mode for a more natural conversational style of translation.