14 iPhone tips, tricks and hidden features that every owner should know

Watch our new video walkthrough to learn about cool iPhone tips, tricks and secret features such as downloading any video, getting precise battery info, and so on.

Video: 14 iPhone tips, tricks and hidden features

To help iPhone owners discover some of the essential features in iOS 16, we’ve asked our videographer, Michael Billig (@michael_billig), to create a video around it. In the fifteen-minute video walkthrough embedded at the top, Michael showcases more than a dozen iPhone tips, tricks and secret or hidden features.

From default settings you’re recommended to change to essential shortcuts you can download and install—and beyond—here are the fourteen underrated iOS 16 features that every iPhone owner should know and take advantage of.

How to use these secret iPhone features

Apple's iPhone 13 Pro Max with home screen widgets and app icons is being held in front of the camera in this still image screenshotted from iDownloadBlog's video walkthrough covering 15 iPhone settings designed for optimal experience
  1. Text replacements: In Settings → General → Keyboard → Text Replacement, set up phrases and their shortcuts so you can type something like “omw” and have it automatically expanded to “On my way!”
  2. Scheduled Dark Mode: Have iOS automatically turn on Dark Mode for you by going to Settings → Display and Brightness, then choose Options under the Appearance heading to create a schedule for Dark Mode.
  3. Focus-specific home screens: In Settings, choose a focus and select any home screens to be available on your phone and/or watch when this focus is active.
  4. Spotlight: When searching using Spotlight, you can drag any app from search results and drop it onto your home screen. This is an even better method to quickly add an app to the home screen than dragging it out of the App Library.
  5. Drag and drop on iPhone: In apps like Photos, select an image and drag it a bit, then touch one or more other images to create a bundle. Without lifting your finger, swipe up with another finger to go to the home screen, switch to another app like Pages and just drop your images there.
  6. Secret screenshotting tools: When you take a screenshot, touch the thumbnail in the bottom-left corner to bring up the Screenshot tool and then hit the + (plus) icon in the bottom-right corner to access a myriad of edition editing tools.
  7. Detailed battery information: For a deeper insight into the battery health of your iPhone, install the Battery Stats shortcut. With that done, follow the instructions in the video to get a more nuanced, more accurate overview of your battery capacity.
  8. Download any video: iOS makes it challenging to save videos. Grab the Download Video shortcut and install it on your phone to be able to save any video to the Photos app, be it a YouTube video, a TikTok clip and so on.
  9. Quick Bluetooth connections: Instead of going to Settings → Bluetooth every time you want to connect to a Bluetooth device, open the Control Center, touch and hold the Network card to pop it up a bit and then touch and hold the Bluetooth icon to get a list of nearby devices you can connect to.
  10. Instantly add a song to Up Next: Swipe from left to right across a song to add it instantly to your Up Next queue with haptic feedback. This is way faster than having to touch and hold a song to bring up the contextual menu with the Add to Up Next option.
  11. Find cool shortcuts: In the Shortcuts app, hit the Gallery tab in the bottom-right corner to find a long list of shortcuts from Apple and third-party apps grouped by use cases like Photography, Essentials, Featured and more.
  12. Change defaults: Make your life easier by turning on these toggles in Settings: Battery Percentage in the Battery section; Haptic in General → Sounds & Haptics → Keyboard Feedback; and Text Message Forwarding in the Messages section.
  13. Adjust the Music app settings: In Settings → Music, adjust settings for audio quality for Wi-Fi and cellular streaming, automatic downloads, spatial audio, lossless audio, offline cache size (Optimize Storage), equalizer settings and more.
  14. “What’s that song?”: Apple platforms integrate the Shazam engine so you can ask Siri to name a song. Better yet, add Shazam to the Control Center in Settings → Control Center so you can identify songs playing in apps. To reveal a history of recognized songs, touch and hold the Shazam icon in the Control Center.

Those are the fourteen features in iOS 16 that we think every iPhone owner should take advantage of to improve their experience. Now, you may be familiar with some of them—and that’s perfectly fine with us. We’d like to know about your list of secret iPhone features, so do share it with other readers in the comments down below.