I’ve recently upgraded my mobile phone to the latest iPhone 7 Plus and for a good a month now I have been testing the device and its capabilities. So far I am loving the new features it has to offer – I’ve been a fan of their software and hardware for a very long time.

In fact, I was among the first in UK to own the very first iPhone when it launched back in 2007, 28th October, 6:00pm at the O2 store (yes it was only available on O2 network back in those days). Now you might think that is a bit too extreme but hey, I’m a true Apple fan.

Now as many of you know there are pros and cons to the iPhone (or should I say iOS devices). This can become a massive list, so I have kept it short with ‘5 Useful iOS Tips & Tricks’ users can benefit from:

1. Guided Access: This feature has been around for a while now but is noteworthy. It keeps you locked in a single app by triple clicking the home button. Once activated, it doesn’t matter how may times you press the home button, you cannot access any other app unless you disable it by triple clicking the home button once more and entering your passcode set. I think this is really useful if you handover your phone to other users such as friends and families (in my case, my 18-month old son). To enable this feature, you would need to activate it under Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access.

2. Use of force touch (iPhone 6S and above) with the keyboard: If you have used an iPhone for a while, then you will know how annoying it can be to adjust the cursor. It can be inaccurate sometimes because the letters are small and then you end up selecting something you didn’t want to. Well now you can use force touch to move the cursor wherever you want with ease by simply pressing onto the keyboard slightly harder, and swipe towards the direction you want to reposition the cursor. It’s that easy.

3. Japanese text emoji: Does anybody remember emojis that were created using endless amount of special characters used, just to create images on mobile phones before we even had smartphones? If you miss sending text emojis the old fashioned way; now you can have a collection all ready at your disposal by activating it from Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards and finally adding the Japanese ‘Kana’ Keyboard. Go back to your keyboard; tap the globe icon and then the emoji button to access the original text emojis you loved sending.

4. Reduce Motion: Every time you access/exit menus, interfaces, apps or even when you unlock your device, there is a long motion transition that takes place. You can reduce this to improve performance or and increase speed in usability. This can be achieved (yes, you might have guessed it) under Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion. Now all transitions have been replaced with a soft fade effect. Trust me, it makes a difference in terms of user experience. Especially in older iOS devices running iOS 10.

5. Quick reply to messages using force touch (iPhone 6S and above): Surprisingly a lot of users don’t notice this, but you can quickly respond to messages by pressing slightly harder on the screen when a text notification pops up whilst using another app. So you no longer have to exit the app you are currently using to reply. This technique also applies to the locked home screen. So I would recommend using force touch (if you have a recent model) to be more efficient when messaging.

Bonus Trick – Quickly switch between apps (you need force touch devices for this trick): I know I have this list for my top ten but this had to be added too. You can switch between apps by pressing the left edge of the screen with more force and fully swiping across the screen to the right in order switch between apps running on your device. This also allows you enter multitask mode via a quick glance. I discovered this trick by accident!

So a few new ‘Tips & Tricks’ to access more features and user interfaces to further enhance your experience through new methods. I hope you have enjoyed them and take these with you to use on your iOS device. Thanks for reading.

Signing Out, Umar Miah (Web Developer).