Four iPhone hacks I just can’t live without – why aren’t you using them yet?

I’ve been using an iPhone for years – and there are some tricks I absolutely love.

Here are some of my favorite iPhone hacks that you will definitely want to use.

You might find that you have some very creepy crawlies in your home


You might find that you have some very creepy crawlies in your homePhoto credit: The Sun / Apple

Before you start, make sure you’re up to date on iOS updates – otherwise, some features might be missing.

To check for iOS 16, go to Settings > General > Software Update.

Spot Spiders!

With the latest iOS update, your iPhone camera will accurately show what kind of critters are invading your house or apartment.

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Apple added a new feature called Visual Look Up in iOS 15 last year.

It allowed you to identify objects, places, animals and even plants in photos you took.

Now the feature has been massively updated in iOS 16 to identify a much wider range of objects and creatures.

“Visual Look Up adds bird, insect, spider, and statue detection to your photos,” Apple explains.

The feature uses machine learning to give you information about what you’re watching.

If you want to test it, try to get a picture of a spider from the internet – or take a picture in your house or garden if you prefer.

Then open the image in your Photos app and look at the bottom.

If it worked, the little “i” icon should have two little stars in the top left corner.

This means Visual Look Up is available for the image.

Either swipe up on the photo or tap the icon to activate Visual Look Up.

Now tap the icon at the top of the photo info window to learn more about the topic.

Once you’ve snatched a spider, you should see an indicator for the species.

Usually, this will direct you to a Wikipedia page to see if you have a regular house spider — or something more exotic and maybe even dangerous.

Of course, you shouldn’t rely solely on Visual Look Up.

Ultimately, it’s just an educated guess – so there’s a chance that Visual Look Up might be wrong.

Your chances are always better when the image is large, clear, and bright.

But remember, Visual Look Up works with a lot more than spiders.

You can use it to identify people, places, animals, flowers and other plants, birds, insects, spiders, and statues.

Stay Dry notifications

The iPhone has a hidden setting that gives you Weather alerts based on your location.

If rain, hail or snow starts to fall near you, you will be warned.

This gives you time to duck for cover, turn around on your walk, or put out the umbrella.

It’s associated with the major overhaul of the new iPhone weather app launched in September 2021 with iOS 15.

First, make sure you’re updated to the latest iOS – go to Settings > General > Software update.

Then give the weather app your location information or it won’t work.

Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > Weather and select Always.

You’ll get even better notifications if you allow access to precise location.

Next, make sure the weather app can send notifications.

Navigate to Settings > Notifications > Weather > Allow Notifications, then select the type of notification you want.

Finally, you then need to turn on weather alerts.

Go into the Weather app and select the list icon at the bottom right.

At the top you will see an option called Stay Dry.

If you don’t see that, tap the three dots in the top right, then go to Notifications.

Tap Turn on notifications, then turn on the My location switch.

Then tap Done in the top right and it should work.

Now you will get an alert just before it starts raining at your location.

Triple tap Shazam

You may already be familiar with Shazam – a music identification tool actually purchased by Apple.

With it, you can quickly identify songs playing on your iPhone – or anywhere else.

Well, there’s a quick way to use it.

You can add a quick shortcut to Apple Music detection in your control center.

This makes quick access much easier.

All you have to do is go to Settings > Control Center and then add music recognition to the bottom of the list.

If you then swipe into your control center (by swiping down on the top right of the phone) you can access it quickly.

Just tap the Shazam icon – which looks like an S – and you’re gone.

But that’s not all.

There’s actually another clever way to access the same feature.

In case you didn’t know, you can use the Apple logo on the back of your phone as a button.

To enable the feature, make sure you have updated to iOS 14 or later. To do this, go to Settings > General > Software update.

Then go to your settings.

Scroll down and tap Accessibility, then tap Touch.

Then scroll down to “Back Tap”.

You have the choice to enable “Double Tap” or “Triple Tap”.

Regardless of what you choose, you have the same options.

Click here to see what features you can now control with a double or triple tap on the back of your phone.

These include taking screenshots, increasing or decreasing the volume, zooming in, scrolling, and more.

For example, if you want to use a double tap to access Shazam, click the “Double Tap” option and then enable “Shazam Shortcut”.

Keep in mind that this feature may not work if you have a thick phone case.

medical card

In a way, this is arguably an iPhone hack you literally can’t live without.

Luckily I never needed it – but I take comfort in the fact that it’s set up.

Apple has developed a feature called Medical ID that quickly shows your most important health information.

“Medical ID helps emergency responders access your important medical information from the lock screen without needing your passcode,” Apple explained.

“They can see information like allergies and medical conditions and know who to contact in an emergency.”

To set it up, go to the Health app and then tap on your profile picture in the top right corner.

Below the image, tap Medical ID.

Now select Edit and then enable ‘Show When Locked’.

You can also choose to share during the emergency call – although this clever iPhone trick only works in the US.

Now add all your information and then tap Done.

To view your medical card, open the lock screen, then tap the emergency button.

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Now tap on the red Medical ID button to view the information.

You can also use Apple’s Emergency SOS feature to quickly call emergency services.

The best tips and hacks for phones and gadgets


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