10 iPhone settings to save time

Your iPhone already saves you a lot of time with its wonderful multitasking functionality, eliminating the need for a separate camera, calculator, GPS, etc., but we have ways to save you even more precious time.

Here are ten handy tips, tricks and tips that will improve your efficiency when using your Apple smartphone.


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1. Teach your iPhone’s Face ID to recognize you when you’re wearing a face mask

Thanks to a recent update, it’s now possible to “teach” your iPhone to recognize you when you’re wearing a face covering. This saves time because you don’t have to spend time removing your mask when you want to use your iPhone on the go.

Head to your Settings app. Scroll down to see “Face ID & Passcode” and tap it. In the next menu, activate “Face ID with a Mask” so that it appears in green. In the next screen, tap “Use Face ID with a mask”.

Credit: Screenshot / Apple

This now prompts you to place your face in a frame that will appear on screen. If you don’t hit the sweet spot, your phone will advise you on where to position yourself. You do not need to wear a mask for this process. Then you need to move your head in a circular motion following the green lines around the perimeter of the circle on the screen. If you are not moving in the correct direction, your phone will ask you to follow an arrow.

Once the process is complete, you will be able to use your iPhone without removing your mask first.

2. Add tools to your iPhone’s Control Center

Your iPhone’s Control Center offers shortcuts to the tools you use often. While some tools are in your Control Center by default, you can customize what appears in your iPhone’s Control Center to suit your needs.

To access your control center, just swipe down on the right side of your iPhone screen.

Control Center screenshot

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To add or remove tools from your Control Center, you need to head to your Settings app. In Settings, scroll down to see “Control Center” and tap it. This brings up your Control Center menu showing “Included Controls” near the top of the screen and “More Controls” toward the bottom. These are the controls that you have the ability to add. Options include “Low Power Mode”, “Text Size”, etc.

To add controls, just tap the green plus icon next to the tool’s name to move it to your control center. Now you can enjoy quick access to a range of useful tools.

3. Create handy “Back Tap” actions

We love this clever iPhone feature – you can program your device to perform certain actions based on how many times you press the back of your phone.

This little trick is part of the iPhone accessibility suite of tools and is quick and easy to set up. Go to your Settings app, select the Accessibility menu, then click on “Tap”, then scroll down to see “Back Tap” and tap it.

iphone backtap screenshot

Credit: Screenshot / Apple

You can now select different actions for your phone to perform if you double or triple tap the back of your device. These include opening the camera and control center, mute your phone, activate your torch, screenshot and volume control. You can select an action for the double tap and triple tap setting.

4. Quickly access certain app features

A nifty time-saving trick you can use for your regularly used apps is to “long-press” — so press and hold — app icons. Depending on the app, this will show all available shortcut actions.

longpress screenshot

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For example, a long press on Twitter gives you a shortcut to create a new Tweet. A long press on Gmail shows you a shortcut to compose a new email. A long press on the iPhone clock app gives you options to set an alarm and start a timer. A long press on the Google app quickly performs a Google search.

It’s also a great way to quickly activate certain camera settings. If you long-press the camera icon, you’ll see options to take portrait and portrait selfie, take standard selfie, and record video.

You can experiment with your favorite apps by long-pressing the icons, so see what other shortcuts are available.

5. Create a Speed ​​Dial Button

You can create an icon-shaped speed dial button for your most frequently called contacts. To do this, you need to use the Shortcuts app on the iPhone. This is now native on recent iPhone models, but anyone with an older iPhone may need to download it from the App Store.

In the Shortcuts app, scroll down to see the “Call” section and click the plus icon to create a new shortcut. Choose from your contacts when prompted, then tap “Add to Home Screen”.

screenshot of speed dial shortcut

Credit: Screenshot / Apple

Now you can give this shortcut icon a name, probably the contact’s name, and then you can choose a photo from your camera roll to represent that person. You can now call that person directly by tapping the icon on your home screen.


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6. Use the volume buttons in the Camera app

The iPhone Camera app has a built-in trick that lets you use your volume buttons to use it.

cute dog in camera app

Credit: Screenshot / Apple

When the Camera app is open, press the volume up or down button to capture a still image. Pressing and holding one of the volume buttons starts video recording for as long as you press the button.

7. Use voice control to open apps

As part of the accessibility feature of iPhone, you can control your device using your voice. If you enable voice control, you can ask Siri to open apps.

voice command screenshot

Credit: Screenshot / Apple

Go to your Settings app, tap Accessibility, then tap “Voice Control”. Enable this option and you can now speak commands such as “Hey Siri, open Twitter”, “Hey Siri, give me my camera”, or “Hey Siri, do a search”.

8. Take a still photo while shooting a video

The iPhone camera is a multitasking marvel. While recording a video, it is possible to take a still image at the same time. While in record mode, look to the right of the record button to see a second white button.

camera app screenshot

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Tap it to grab a still image at any time during your recording process. Do note, however, that any images you capture while recording will be at video quality resolution, so not as high quality as your regular iPhone snaps.

9. Pin a text conversation to the top of your message list

If you text someone often, there’s a nifty way to make sure you have quick access to that particular text conversation. You can “pin” this conversation to the top of your Messages app list.

screenshot of pinned conversation on iphone

Credit: Screenshot / Apple

Go to your Messages app and find the conversation you want to move to the top of your messages list. Swipe right on the last message from the contact you want to prioritize. You will now see a yellow pin icon appear, tap on it. This conversation will now appear at the top of your Messages app.

10. Find Camera Roll Photos Faster

Scrolling through your iPhone camera roll to find a certain image may take some time. There is a search trick that can save you a lot of time. Your iPhone has a pretty robust keyword-based search feature built into your Photos app.

photo of dogs using iphone camera roll search

Credit: Screenshot / Apple

Go to your Photos app to access your Camera Roll. From there, tap on the “Search” option at the bottom right of your screen. Enter the most appropriate keyword for what you are looking for and images related to that keyword through your iPhone’s image recognition software will appear instantly.