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With included documentation as sparse as Apple's, there are plenty of them...

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Good question; bad grammar. "With included documentation as spare as Apple's, there are plenty of them." –  Evan Kroske Jul 15 '10 at 20:45
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Should probably be community wiki, since you make a list of features. –  Gnoupi Jul 29 '10 at 20:09
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When you ask users to contribute to a list of answers, the question should be community wiki. I converted this question. –  Robert Cartaino Jul 30 '10 at 5:59
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Nice cut and paste job from SU Gnoupi, thanks :) –  Jon Hadley Jul 30 '10 at 8:21
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@Cawas: That feature has been removed. If a question should be made community wiki, more often than not, it's simply a poor question. But, for that rare occasion that a question should be make community wiki, flag it for moderator attention. –  Robert Cartaino Dec 26 '10 at 3:50

44 Answers 44

When using the keyboard, if you tap the 123 button, and slide your finger (without lifting it) to any number or punctuation symbol, when you lift your finger the keyboard will return to the alphabetic keyboard automatically. One less tap!

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The same is true for the shift key; press-slide-release instead of tap-tap to get an uppercase letter. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 6 '10 at 19:46

Clicking the home button and power button will capture your screen and put it on your Photo Albums

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Really, really hidden features that will only appear if you chant the correct spells:

Dial :

*3001#12345# *

to bring up the spirit of iPhone's Field Test mode (this is different from the DFU mode familair to jailbreakers), which will give you information about towers and signal strength, 3G/EDGE network and much more info which no mortal would ever need.

iPhone Field Test

*#06#

will display your IMEI. No need to tap Call.

And some spells that only works in AT&T land:

*777# and tap Call. Account balance for prepaid iPhone.

*225# and tap Call. Bill Balance. (Postpaid only)

*646# and tap Call. Check minutes. (Postpaid only)

And a few more enchantments related to call forwarding :

*#21# and tap Call. Setting interrogation for call forwards.

Discover the settings for your call forwarding. You'll see whether you have voice, data, fax, sms, sync, async, packet access, and pad access call forwarding enabled or disabled.

And lots and lots of other spells for all occassions, phew...


*#30# and tap Call.

Calling line presentation check.

This displays whether you have enabled or disabled the presentation of the calling line, presumably the number of the party placing the call.

*#76# and tap Call.

Check whether the connected line presentation is enabled or not.

State whether the connected line presentation is enabled or disabled. Presumably similar to the calling line presentation.

*#43# and tap Call.

Determine if call waiting is enabled.

Displays call waiting status for voice, data, fax, sms, sync data, async data, packet access and pad access. Each item is either enabled or disabled.

*#61# and tap Call.

Check the number for unanswered calls.

Show the number for voice call forwarding when a call is unanswered. Also show the options for data, fax, sms, sync, async, packet access and pad access.

*#62# and tap Call.

Check the number for call forwarding if no service is available.

Just like the previous, except for no-service rather than no-answer situations.

*#67# and tap Call.

Check the number for call forwarding when the iPhone is busy.

And again, but for when the iPhone is busy.

*#33# and tap Call.

Check for call control bars.

Check all the usual suspects (voice, data, fax, sms, etc) to see whether barring is enabled or disabled for outgoing.


originally submitted by GeneQ on Super User.

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You can't access the Field Test Mode in iOS4. –  Mark Robinson Aug 4 '10 at 15:37
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You can't in 4.0. You can in 4.1 (barely meaningfully). You can in 4.2. –  Jason Salaz Nov 10 '10 at 18:39

Scenario: You are trying to take a picture of yourself (and perhaps a friend), so you have the phone turned around, and you cant seem to hit the "shutter" button to take a picture.

Tip: Hold your finger on the "shutter" button, turn the phone around, and when you are ready to take a picture remove your finger. The picture will be taken when you remove your finger. This is much easier than the "old" approach.

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Nice trick, +1. Btw: in iOS 5, you can use the volume-up-button to take a picture. –  Tim Büthe Aug 10 '11 at 7:59

Special characters on the keyboard.

  • Hold down E, Y, U, I, O, A, S, L, Z, C, or N to bring up accented letters
  • Hold down $ in the number/symbol keyboard to display other currency symbols
  • Hold down “ or ‘ in the number/symbol keyboard to access alternative quote characters
  • Hold down ? or ! in the number/symbol keyboard to bring up the ¿ or ¡ symbol
  • Hold down the .com key when entering Web addresses to bring up options for .net, .edu and .org. (You can also do this trick when entering email addresses in Mail by tapping and holding the . (period) key.)

iPhone extended keyboard

(from http://mac.elated.com/2009/01/05/15-secret-iphone-tips-and-tricks/ )


originally submitted by Herb Caudill on Super User.

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holding down the .com key will also display country-specific extensions for your locale e.g. .co.uk –  Rich Seller Jul 29 '10 at 23:14

Tapping the status bar will almost always bring you to the top of the scroll view.

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It's not necessarily a iPhone feature; it's more of a feature that many applications have, right? –  Maxim Zaslavsky Jul 15 '10 at 17:40
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Actually, it is built in to the standard table-view control provided by iOS, so developers don't have to do anything special to make it happen. Thus, practically any application that has a "scrolling list" will have this feature, unless the developer really screwed up. –  Kristopher Johnson Jul 18 '10 at 22:01
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@Kristopher Johnson, not "table-view" but any scroll view. –  rightfold Jul 11 '11 at 21:45

Go to Settings->General->Keyboard, and turn on Enable Caps Lock. When typing the shift key will still behave as before, but now you will have the option to double-tap it to turn on Caps-Lock (shift key will turn blue). Useful for acronyms, and shouting.

originally submitted by jwaddell on Super User.

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+1: I love this tip - I had my phone for almost a year before I realized it was there! –  RedFilter Sep 21 '10 at 15:37

Double tapping the space key ends a sentence by filling in a period.

originally submitted by Sathya on Super User.

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Also auto-capitalizes the first letter of the next sentence. –  BradC Aug 11 '10 at 16:11

Since the screen is multitouch, you can hold the Shift key while typing other keys to type them in uppercase (just like a real keyboard).

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double tapping shift leaves it active to save you a bit of RSI –  Rich Seller Aug 6 '10 at 18:10
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@3rdparty -- Not obvious to me; I never knew that –  Robert Fraser Aug 8 '10 at 23:29

If you hold your finger down on a link in Safari then you can open the linked page in a new "tab".

originally submitted by John Topley on Super User.

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You can play videos even when the phone is locked.

Sometimes I listen to video podcasts, where all I am interested in is the audio. When doing this, if you lock the phone the podcast stops playing.

However, you can start the podcast playing again even with the phone locked. Just double press the home key to bring up the iPod controls and then press play.


originally submitted by andynormancx on Super User.

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Everyone knows about pinch to zoom in/out on Google Maps. Many people know that they can double-tap to zoom in. Did you know that you can do two-finger-tap to zoom out? So useful when driving with iPhone mounted on dash.

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2-finger tap on maps to zoom out. I do mean 2. 3-finger tap doesn't do anything on maps on my iPhone. –  Brian Kim Aug 7 '10 at 19:16

Since the 3GS, you can use the headphones remote button to stop/start video recording

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Double clicking the home button in iOS4 shows a custom task bar with your recently used and still running multi-tasked apps. Click and hold to close them one by one.

Also shows the iPod controls as before.

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Make that iOS4 running on a 3GS or above –  nevster Jul 15 '10 at 14:58
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Also, these apps aren't always 'still running', they just have their states saved in memory. –  jmlumpkin Nov 10 '10 at 13:43

In 3.0, you can adjust the scrubbing speed through a song by touching the scrubbing slider, then moving your finger down on the screen. Different distances from the scrubbing bar mean different (slower) scrubbing speeds.

While it's not exactly private browsing, you can clear your Safari history, cookies, and cache from the Settings application in the Safari menu.

The Home button (when pressed in the Springboard) by default will send you to the first screen of applications. However, if you press Home, wait for the first page of apps to be displayed, then press Home again, the Search screen will be presented. Subsequent presses will toggle back and forth between the first apps page and the Search page. (Note that you have to delay slightly between presses, otherwise the two-press shortcut will kick in and launch some other app (iPod by default)).

originally submitted by Tim on Super User.

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I've just discovered that if you scroll to the top of the list of Contacts in the Phone app, your own phone number is listed above the search field.

originally submitted by John Topley on Super User.

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Only works when accessing the Contacts through the Phone app. In the Contacts app itself, your number is not displayed. –  codinguser Aug 30 '10 at 7:13

In 3.0, you can hold down the hyphen key on the keyboard to get an em dash character. Similarly hold down the period to get an ellipsis. You can also hold down keys such as "a" or "e" to get accented versions of those letters.

originally submitted by John Topley on Super User.

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In the Mail application you can select the portion of text that you want to quote. Hit the Reply button and the selection will appear at the end of the email, instead of the whole original message.

originally submitted by John Topley on Super User.

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In the maps app you don't have to pinch to zoom in and out. Double tapping zooms in and tapping with two fingers zooms out.

This makes it much easier when you are using the phone with one hand.

originally submitted by andynormancx on Super User.

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And triple-tap to zoom out. When you use this double/triple-tap, you jump from one true scale to the next, avoiding muddy images that occur in between true scale steps. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 6 '10 at 20:03
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How do you tap with two fingers using only one hand? :) –  Nippysaurus Oct 6 '10 at 7:01

In 3.0, when editing some text, shake the phone to get the option undo your edits. To redo your edits, just shake the phone again.

originally submitted by andynormancx on Super User.

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You can double tap the shift to keep caps lock on.
Tap just below the seek/scrub bar to hide/show it.

originally submitted by e11world on Super User.

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(Does not work on my iPod Touch 2nd Gen with iOS 4.) Sorry, it DOES work, but only if you activate scroll lock in the keyboard settings (as posted somewhere below). –  Martin Aug 5 '10 at 15:02
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Needs to be enabled in settings first. –  Nippysaurus Oct 6 '10 at 7:02

You can listen to any audio that is being streamed through Quicktime in Safari (.mp3, .m3u, .pls etc files) in the background.

Start the stream via a link in Safari.app, and then hit the home button and the audio will continue to play.

This was very notable pre-iOS4, not sure if it worked pre iOS3 though.

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In Maps, you can switch to street view by dropping a pin, tapping it, and then tapping the little orange guy.

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VoiceControl has some undocumented features:

  • If you have multiple phone numbers for people, you can say which phone number to call, 'call John Smith home', 'call Davey Jones mobile'.
  • If you have assigned nicknames, you can use them too 'call wife', 'call dad'
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If the iPhone is locked, and you double press the Home button to bring up the iPod controls while playing a song, shaking the iPhone skips to the next song.

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While using the iPod/music app:

  • single clicking the headphones remote button will pause the music.
  • double clicking the headphones remote button will skip to the next song.
  • triple clicking the headphones remote button will go back to the previous song.
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When the iPhone is locked you can still access the iPod back/play/pause/next track buttons by pressing the Home button twice - only discovered that the other day and completely by accident...!

originally submitted by Mike McClelland on Super User.

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If you've come around a good picture in your safari browser and sadly there's no option to save the image, you can do it via, screenshot feature in iPhone. Just hold the power button on top of iPhone and while holding it, just press Home button once. You'll get the screenshot of your iPhone screen which you can edit later easily with Photoshop Express.

http://mobile.photoshop.com/iphone/

Hope it helps. :)

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Or just hold your finger on the image until a save and copy button appears. –  Jonathan. Nov 12 '10 at 0:26

Starting from iOS4, while listening to music in iPod app the screen turns on for a second to show what song is currently playing. It won't happen if the iPhone is in your pocket.

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  • If you slide your finger from right to left in a Podcast the "Delete" button appears

alt text

originally submitted by Eduardo Molteni on Super User.

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