Apple's iOS has come a long way from its starting point, iPhoneOS, and all of the best iPhones have built on the original promise of the operating system. Steve Jobs demonstrated the power of the iPhone in 2007 with a large order from Starbucks, and the platform has grown year after year with each update adding new features.

Multitasking, Notification and Control Center, and even the App Store were added to the iPhone after its first iteration, and this rapid pace of innovation can make it hard to keep up with new features.

With that in mind, we've put together this list of useful features you may have missed. Some are accessibility options, some need to be enabled, and some are just waiting to be used. All of them, however, will enhance your iPhone experience.

1. Use a cursor to select text

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Texting is a way of life, but it's still surprisingly cumbersome even at the best of times. If you've ever had a missing word added to you by autocorrect, but didn't catch it until you typed a few dozen more words, this tip is for you.

Of course, you can hold your finger on the text to jump to it, but sometimes that can cause an entire word or phrase to be highlighted. For more precise control, we recommend the following:

  • Keep your finger or thumb at the bottom of your screen, below the keyboard.
  • This will dim the keyboard and turn it into a trackpad until you lift your finger or thumb.

Hello, easy text selection!

2. Create text snippets

iOS tips and tricks

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Text snippets are popular with macOS power users, but you can achieve the same result with your iPhone. Best of all, it doesn't require any third-party software.

Text snippets are ideal shortcuts to copy certain phrases that you have pre-recorded. If you're dealing with a customer over iMessage, for example, you might want to send a canned response. With text replacement, you can create a block of text to post every time you type a sentence.

  • Open Settings, then go to General, then Keyboard.
  • Choose Text Replacement and you'll be able to create new replacements, along with the words needed to activate them.

In our example, you can see that typing 'omw' shows 'On the way!', but there are many places where that would be useful. You can also set the emoji to appear as you type, giving it a pleasantly nostalgic feel in a way you just don't get from the emoji picker.

3. Enable scientific calculator

iOS tips and tricks

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The iPad may not have a calculator, but the iPhone does. The problem is that it may seem a bit limited outside of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, at least until you find a new perspective.

Turning your iPhone on its side with the calculator app open will activate the scientific calculator. This adds parentheses, square roots, cosine, sine, and tan options, and the ever-useful π command, among many others.

4. Activate an additional 'button'

iOS tips and tricks

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Although designed as an accessibility feature, the iPhone's "press back" button is useful for advanced users looking for additional information for their device.

  • Go to Settings, then Accessibility, then Touch.
  • Select Back Tap and you will be presented with many options.

You can use it in a variety of ways, like turning on the app switcher, taking a quick screenshot, or opening Spotlight search from anywhere on your device. There are also double and triple tap options which means you can set multiple functions for it.

5. Use your camera's "burst mode"

iOS tips and tricks

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Your iPhone's camera is powerful enough, but there's one trick you may have missed: burst mode. Burst mode, as its name suggests, takes a series of quick images with a single tap, meaning your iPhone can capture a series of action shots.

It's great for nervous pets and toddlers as it allows you to go back and look at your photos after the event and pick the best ones. It is also easily accessible. Simply slide the Shutter button (the one you use to take photos) to the left when you're in the Camera app.

You can also head to Settings, then Camera, and toggle Use volume up for burst to let your volume rocker activate burst mode—just hold it down when taking a picture.

6. Scan documents using the camera

Your iPhone's camera can also double as a very respectable document scanner, and while Live Text means you can extract text from images, it's entirely possible to scan an entire document. Since it's buried in the Notes app, you may not have figured out how to do it.

  • Open Notes, then tap the camera icon, then Scan Documents.
  • Highlight your document and it should save automatically. You can also manually scan with the trigger.

Once the scan is saved, you can also sign it or simply share it via any email or messaging app. It doesn't have the same level of quality as a custom-built scanner, but it's not far off and will certainly work in a pinch.

Not convinced? Be sure to check out our list of the best document scanner apps.

7. Use your camera flash as a notification

iOS tips and tricks

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One last camera trick, which is a bit different. As an accessibility feature, you can enable your iPhone's camera flash to fire when you receive a notification, providing a more visual way to tell when someone is calling or texting.

  • Go to Settings, then Accessibility.
  • In the Audio/Visual section, there is an option for "LED Flash for Alerts".

You can also set it to work only when your phone is on silent, which is great if you prefer your phone not to vibrate on a desk.

8. Main control center

iOS tips and tricks

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Introduced as part of iOS 7 since 2013, Control Center has grown from the bottom of the screen to the top over the years, and it gets a lot more use than you might think.

Although Apple doesn't offer Force Touch these days, you can long-press the Control Center icons for additional options.

With this, you can enable Spatial Audio with compatible headphones, choose a focus mode, get a better view of what's playing in your audio app, or even drill down to two layers: the quad with airplane mode, Wi-Fi -Fi, Bluetooth and mobile signal can be extended to allow you to easily select a Wi-Fi hotspot, for example.

(*9*)9. Recognize any song with Shazam in Control Center

iOS tips and tricks

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Do you remember Shazam? Apple bought the music recognition service in 2018, and it's still a great way to identify the song that's playing, whether you're in a store, at a party, or haven't heard the name on the radio.

Although Shazam has an app, you can also add it to your iPhone's Control Center for easy access.

  • Open Settings, then go to Control Center and tap the More button next to Music Recognition to add it.

Now, whenever you hear a great song, you can scroll down from Control Center and tap the Shazam icon to find out what's playing. If you're on Apple Music, it will even give you the option to add the track to your library.

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