General

4 secret functions you never knew your iPhone could do

If you’re going to shell out the money for an iPhone, you might as well get your money’s worth by utilizing all of its amazing features. With each new update comes an array of new functionality, so it can be hard to keep up. Here are some of the most amazing iPhone functions that you might not know about.

Scan documents in Notes

Close-up photo of a hand touching an iPhone screen
Credit: Onfokus/ iStock

Every day, the need for hard-copy documents dwindles a little more. Even if you do have a hard copy of a document, you can share it via your iPhone without going through the trouble of getting a third-party app. Since iOS 11, the Notes app provides this handy feature. Open Notes and create a new note. In the toolbar, tap on the + sign. One of the menu items that pops up will be Scan Documents. A camera will automatically pop up and capture a document you put in its view. You can even capture more than one document. If you’re satisfied with the scan, hit Save, and your scanned document will appear in a new note. If you want to turn it into a PDF, hit Share, and the option will come up.

Share your Wi-Fi password with one click

Photo of people looking at their phones
Credit: kate_sept2004/ iStock

When you have people over, or you’re at someone else' house, it can be inconvenient to connect to Wi-Fi. This is especially true if the password is some long random jumble of letters and numbers, which is often the case. Luckily, in iOS 11 or later versions, the days of crouching over a wireless router and squinting is done. You can now share Wi-Fi passwords automatically with others in your contact list. If the password is saved on your phone, you can share it with others. First, make sure Bluetooth is on both phones and that the phones are near one another. The person who wants the password should go to Settings > Wi-Fi and tap on the network they want to connect to. The person who has that password saved will automatically receive a pop-up asking to share the Wi-Fi, and the password field will fill in on its own.

Turn your AirPods into hearing aids

Photo of AirPods, a carrying case, and a charging cable
Credit: yunava1/ iStock

If you’re having trouble hearing, and you own a pair of AirPods for your iPhone 5 or later, you’re in luck. It’s a feature called Live Listening. Your AirPods can go into the hearing-aid mode with a few simple clicks. Go to Settings > Control Center > Customize, and then click Hearing. Now your AirPods magnify people’s voices. Even if you don’t normally need a hearing aid, this can be super helpful in specific situations, like if you’re in a crowded room and want to get a little clarity about what the person you’re talking to is saying. It works best when the bottom of your iPhone is facing the person you want to hear, as the technology uses your iPhone’s microphone. It should also be as close as possible to that person for optimal results.

Use lyrics to search Apple Music

Close-up photo of the Music app button on an iPhone screen
Credit: stockcam/ iStock

Have you ever wanted to hear a song, but you couldn’t remember the name of the song, or maybe even the musician’s name? If you know some of the lyrics, Apple Music can help you out. Starting with iOS 12, you can type in lyrics in the search bar to find the song. You’ve always been able to do this with Google, but it’s even more convenient to be able to do it directly in your music player.

Unlocking Apple’s power

Photo of the Apple logo on a gray background
Credit: AngiePhotos/ iStock

We hope that these handy iPhone tips will make your life just a little bit easier. And now that you know them, you can share them with others and make yourself look like a real technology pro.