We’re still getting used to iOS 7 and now Apple is set to release iOS 8 (it’ll come with the iPhone 6). iOS 8 promises a better experience – don’t they always? – but don’t say goodbye to 7 yet. You may not know it as well as you think; it has plenty of features that you probably haven’t heard about and are well worth exploring.

1. Level just about anything

Need to hang something on the wall or make sure everything’s in perfect alignment? Go to the compass app, slide left, and you’ve got an instant leveler!

2. Head gestures

Did you know that you can control your phone just by turning your head to the left or to the right?

Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Switch Control and click on Switches. Choose camera and set the settings to what function you would like to assign to either movement. Switch Actions include: Scanner Menu, Resume Auto Scanning, Stop Scanning Select Item, Move to Next Item, and Move
to Previous Item.

3. Shake your phone to undelete

Accidentally deleted an important e-mail or a text message you were just writing? Shake your iPhone! Your phone will then ask you if you want to undo the delete action, click OK.

4. Scroll shortcut

Have to scroll a really long web page? Tap the status bar at the top of the screen to go back to the top.

5. Charge your phone in half the time

Simply put your phone on airplane mode!

6. Disable parallax

If you’re annoyed with the parallax on your iPhone, just go to Settings > General > Accessibility and then change Reduce Motion.

7. Make a passcode with letters

If you want your phone’s password to be a word instead of a 4 number code, change it by simply going to Settings > Passcode and then turn Simple Passcode off. Then turn Passcode on. You may then enter your new passcode.

8. See timestamps on your text

If you’ve ever wondered what time you sent or received a message, simply swipe the conversation window to the left to reveal the timestamps.

9. Alternative ways to take a photo

Use your earphone’s volume button to snap photos.

10. Add custom vibrations to specific contacts

Wouldn’t it be cool to know who texted not just by the ringtone, but by the vibration you’ve attached to that particular contact? To do this, go to the contacts app and set the ringtone, text tone and vibration pattern you like. Now you can tell which messages are urgent and from whom without even looking at your phone.

23 Comments
  1. Oh, wow! I’ve been jailbreaking my iPhones for years now, for sneaky features such as these. I had no idea Apple implemented them into the iOS. I’m going to have to go play with it now! Thanks!

  2. Wow I didn’t know that undelete feature that was pretty handy. But why the sake though? I guess you do shake your hands and your phone when you go “Crap! I deleted that Harvard acceptance email!” I don’t think Harvard does that. Anyways, it’s a nice feature to have.

  3. I wish I read this a year ago! I think I knew about 4 out of these 10, some great tips here. Charging while on airplane mode is going to be an absolute lifesaver for me, thanks.

    I notice a lot of new apps incorporating the shake function for different actions, it is an easy thing to do without pressing anything I guess.

  4. You can undelete your messages? Wow that’s great I never knew that at all that’s a great feature. Now I just have to wait for the iPhone 6 to come out and see if these features still work.

  5. Yup that compass app is pretty useful. I’ve been using that leveler for quite a while and it’s really a great help. As for the undelete feature, well that I didn’t know for sure. But lucky for me I’m careful when it comes to my messages but still, it’s nice to know that I can just shake my phone and watch my deleted messages come back form the iPhone graveyard of things.

  6. I’m surprised. I didn’t know that iOS 7.1 came with such interesting tools. They’re certainly taking a step in the right direction when it comes to usability and simplicity. I’d love to see Apple come out with more innovative uses for the iPhone their other products. Hopefully other companies can follow suit and make something even more interesting.

  7. How did I not know about the leveler! That is fantastic! we are always tearing down and rebuilding something in my house, and I am going to use the heck out of that feature! I didn’t know about custom vibrations either. As a person whose phone is always on vibrate in my back pocket, this will save me from having to dig it out of my pocket at inopportune times.

  8. Some of the features mentioned are very new to me and some of them I have already figured out myself. I did not know that you can shake your phone and bring back any email or message that you accidentally deleted, that is amazing. I seriously have to try some of these features out. My husband showed me the time stamp feature, which i find is pretty cool.

  9. These are very useful features that will obviously use, who knew that you could do so much with your smartphone. I was particular impressed with custom vibration, I use it almost every day. Another thing that changed my life was the disabling of parallax which was very useful.

  10. Thanks for showing us the light! My only concern here is shaking the phone to undo a deletion. I put it to the test, I erased a message and shook it. The result: “Undo Address Input”. I pressed “ok” and I do not know what happened after that.

  11. Wow, very cool! I had no idea I could turn on airplane mode to charge my phone faster. I’ll definitely be using that tip. I was also unaware that I could shake to undelete things. I feel like I should know these things by now–I’ve had an iphone for over five years! They should tell you this stuff when you buy it. Thanks for the tips.

  12. That custom vibration is awesome, it will be really effective when you have to keep your phone silent, but also want to take the calls of a specific person. We can miss so much by not checking our phones and the manuals thoroughly, so thanks. The airplane mode charging is something I haven’t tried, so I will do that. Not sure about head gestures, but I am going to try to take a selfie with my head phone volume button.

  13. I’ve been using Android for a while, but some of these features that are seemingly available on it looks pretty useful, particularly the ability to set a custom vibration per contact. I hate it when I think I’ve got an important text, check my phone, and it’s just a Facebook notification.

    Hand gestures could be used for something handy too – I wonder if you could stream to Apple TV via Airplay, and then swipe your hand over your phone to skip your current song. I can see that being ridiculously convenient.

  14. I never knew that charging while on Airplane Mode decreases amount of time to charge. That is very useful for those who need a quick charge but do not have the time.

    I too have noticed how Apple is paying attention to the features present in the jailbroken scene. While many criticize Apple for doing this, considering it “stealing”, I think that it is a good step for the company to appeal to more of its customers.

  15. Although these features are quite amusing, they’re kinda useless. Except the passcode thing, I didn’t like keeping my passcode just a 4 digit number, that helped. But all in all, I guess and hope that iOS 8 brings in some major much need improvements to the way iPhone’s work right now.

    • Really? You think the instant undelete feature is useless? In my opinion that was by far the most useful and practical one, because who wouldn’t like to be offered that choice whenever a photo or message is deleted by mistake? It couldn’t get easier than shaking the phone either!

  16. Even though I’m almost always looking at new features on iOS, I’ve never heard of a lot of these, all of which could definitely come in handy. Thanks for this.

  17. I’ll tell my friend (who owns an iPhone) about those amazing features! I bet he doesn’t know most of them! The most useful one and everyone who owns this phone should know is the shaking your phone to undelete something you just deleted! I wish my android offered me the same option, sadly that’s not the case! Thanks for the amazingly useful article, can’t wait to tell my friend!

  18. I had to let it all cool down and cautiously check them out one by one after updating. Those very different uses of a phone are breathtaking, and I don’t want to miss any single feature. Numbers 3 and 10 are pretty advanced features that I wouldn’t have figured out on my own. Updating the iOS can get very intense.

  19. Some of these features aren’t new to iOS 7. The volume button to take a picture was introduced in iOS 5 or iOS 6 I believe. The “tap to go to top” feature was introduced all the way back in iOS 4 or iOS 3, Custom vibrations to contacts was in iOS 6, Airplane mode was there since iOS 3, complex passcodes was there in iOS 4. However, the other 4 are new to iOS 7 as far as I know.

  20. Are the phone ‘upgrades’ for iPhones weak or is that just me? I mean you are paying all that money for a ‘new’ phone with these minor features. The day I buy an iPhone is the day they come out with something relative to holographic tech on their program (no offense to Apple fans).

  21. These were all REALLY good tips actually, I didn’t know about the leveler or the airplane mode charging actually! 🙂

    I knew about most the other stuff, but probably just because I’m a tech nerd.

    I’ll be sure to use these tips in the future, thanks! 🙂

  22. I’m surprised that there are quite a few ‘hidden’ gestures that I didn’t know about. I just tried the ‘shake to undelete’ feature and it worked. Most of these I feel can be considered gimmicks but some have their own uses. I just hope that I don’t look like an idiot while trying them out in public.

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