It was June 29, 2007 when the first iPhone appeared in stores, and in hindsight it’s plain to see just what a monumental release it was. From how we communicate with each other and schedule our days, to how we consume media, to how we take photos and videos, the iPhone has been steadily shaping our lives for a full decade.
First of all: thanks, Apple. Sure, we say it with our wallets each time you release a new iteration (and more often than that with all the apps), but it’s nice to say it with words sometimes too, right?
Because the iPhone rolled up a bunch of gadgets and tools into one—the camera and video camera, the notepad, the music player, etc. And in doing so, it not only lightened the average person’s load, but it propelled the world into a new era. No kidding, the iPhone has been credited with some impressive global changes including vast spikes in internet usage and digital photography.
Today we walk around with the full power of the Internet in our pockets, shooting high-resolution video straight to our friends and followers via social media apps, asking Siri to set a reminder to flip the laundry over, and, of course, talking on our phones…because we still do that, too.
To celebrate ten years of the iPhone and recognize the fact that we still don’t know all the cool stuff it can do, we’ve rounded up eight awesome iPhone features that many people don’t know about but probably should.
Customize iMessage replies
You know those three default messages you get prompted with as responses to a call you can’t take? Go to Settings > Phone > Respond With Text and change it to whatever you want.
Enable Medical Emergency locked-screen setting
A nurse recently took to Facebook to champion the iPhone’s Medical Emergency feature that allows first responders to access vital medical information in the case of emergency. Take ten minutes and follow the steps here to set this up on your and your loved ones’ devices.
Charge faster (and last longer) in airplane mode
This trick has been helping people get the most out of their sometimes temperamental lithium ion battery. By putting your iPhone in airplane mode, it will charge faster if it’s plugged in, and last longer if it’s not.
Track exactly where you’ve been
If you’re trying to figure out if your kid is really going to the library after school or not, you’ll want to look into this creepy little hack. Go to: Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Frequent Locations, and you’ll be presented not only a map of all of the places you’ve been, but the time spent at each place. God, you spend a lot of time at home, don’t you?
Use the built-in level in the compass
“Google Maps will show me the way! Not the digital version of some old timey compass,” you’ve probably scoffed at the seemingly useless compass app (which, no, you can’t delete). Well, what if we told you that if you swiped right once inside of the compass app, it transformed into a totally useful level. Why not call it “Compass and Level,” Apple!? The latter is actually useful for weekend DIY projects.
Put your music on a timer before bed
If listening to tunes lulls you into dream land every night, learning to set a timer to shut off the music (so you don’t wake up to some EDM remix of Taylor Swift at 4am) is a game changer. Open the Clock app and go to: Timer > When Time Ends and instead of selecting a sound (most are set to “Radar” by default) click “Stop Playing” and set the time duration.
Close apps faster
You know how to close one app at a time—double tap the “Home” button when your phone is unlocked and then swipe up. But the iPhone can actually close three apps at a time. Use three fingers and swipe on!
Shake it to undo
The backspace key is handy for deleting unwanted text, but what if you want to do some other function like pasting or deleting? Like command + Z on your MacBook Pro, your iPhone also has an undo option—just shake it from side to side. Yes, just like a Polaroid picture.