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10 incredibly useful tricks for iPhone and Android that make your life easier

10 incredibly useful tricks for iPhone and Android that make your life easier

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Remember when we only used phones for calls? Today is ours smartphones spend all our digital lives.

This includes, of course, your valuable photos and videos. Touch the nine photos that should always be on handfor example, your health and dental insurance cards.

Speaking of photos, how often do you spend too much time looking for your photo to know hidden somewhere in your gallery? Stop scrolling and use this clever trick to quickly find photos.


Your iPhone or Android has a lot of hidden sweets. Here are 10 tricks you will come back to again and again.

1. Start using the check valve

Instead of flipping through pages applications, you can instantly perform a specific task with your phone. I take a lot of screenshots of my phone and I do it by tapping the back of the phone twice. Three taps, and my entrance gate opens. My friend in the same way turns on the courtyard lighting.

In this photo illustration is the Android logo on your smartphone.
(Rafael Enrique / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)

On a iPhone 8 or newer, you can use your finger to tap the back of the phone two or three times to run a custom action. Go to Settings > Availability > Touch > Click back. Choose Double click or Triple touch.

From there, select a specific action. While this is handy, I warn you that from time to time you may accidentally trigger an action.

More Apple Intelligence: 10 iPhone tricks I use every day and you will too

2. Customize shortcuts for the most commonly used applications

Want to add a shortcut to a specific program on the home screen? Not all programs have shortcuts, but you can find out by holding the app.

Here’s how to do it on Android:

  • Click on the app and then lift your finger. If the program has shortcuts, they will appear.
  • Press and hold the shortcut.
  • Move the shortcut to where you want it and lift your finger.

This is a very handy shortcut on your iPhone. Click on the Messages program icon and you will see some of your conversations. Select and hold one of your most contact messages. Drag it to the home screen. Now you press this button to chat.

Trick in focus: If you’re trying to find an app on your phone, don’t go from page to page. On your iPhone, swipe right until the search bar appears at the top. Then enter the name of the application you want to use. On Android, swipe up from the middle of the screen. In the application bar, click Search.

3. Stop skipping great shots

If you’ve ever tried to get a good picture of your children’s play, you know how hard it is to catch movement. Serial mode allows your camera to take pictures faster than possible. You get a few photos every second and then you can choose your favorites to save.

Press and hold the shutter button if you have an iPhone X or earlier. If you have an iPhone Xs or later, swipe down.

Either way, lift your finger to stop the series mode. Then select the photos you want to save by clicking Flared up > Choose > Done.

Woman using smartphone on wooden table.

Woman using smartphone on wooden table.

On Android phones, hold down the camera shutter button to turn on serial mode.

Tired of taking bad pictures? Take the best photos with these ingenious tips.

4. Get rid of the mess

When was the last time you closed all your browser’s tabs? Don’t waste time sorting through them one by one. Open Chrome on Android. Click on the number next to the URL bar to see the grid of all your tabs. Click on three-point menuthen select Close all tabs.

On the iPhone you can do the same in Safari. Touch the icon with the two overlapping frames in the lower right corner. A menu will appear. Choose Close all tabs.

Speaking of your browser, you should clear your cookies. Touch or click here to get steps to do so in your chosen mobile browser.

5. Use your iPhone as a magnifying glass

The last time I had to read a tiny serial number, I remembered how useful it is to use the iPhone’s built-in magnifying glass. No more squinting or running after readers.

Go to Settings > Availability > Magnifying glass and turn it on. Now your magnifying glass is a label of special possibilities. It also works on the iPad.

To quickly access it, if you need it, add it to your Control Center. Go to Settings > Control Center > Customize controls. Click on + button next to a magnifying glass. You will see a magnifying glass icon in your Control Center if you swipe down from the top of the screen.

Customer trying to try iPhone.

Customer trying to try iPhone.

6. The right Google Assistant

Is your smart assistant always wrong with names? It may seem silly to teach your phone to pronounce a name. Make changes to make Google understand you the first time you call someone in the future.

  • Say, “Hey Google, open the Assistant settings.”
  • You choose, then press Your people > Add a person.
  • Choose a Contact.
  • In the “Pronunciation of the name” section, select Write down your own > Record.
  • Choose Play to hear it in response, press Save to finish.

You can do the same with Siri on the iPhone. Click or click here and scroll to number 7 for steps.

Get more out of your Android: 5 hidden Google Assistant tricks that you can try now.

7. A quick way to sign documents

If someone emails you a document that you need to sign, you don’t need to print, sign and scan it. Just use your iPhone. First download the PDF file, click the button pen icon in the upper right corner and sign with touch screen. Click Done in the upper left of the screen.

You can reply to a letter with a newly signed attachment.

If you use AirDrop, you can summarize signed documents with other Apple devices. Click or click here to find out why AirDrop is a useful iPhone feature you should start using.

8. Tell them to forget it

Siri and Google Assistant make distinctive sounds so you know when you accidentally activated them. To prevent Google Now from recording the rest of your conversation, say, “It wasn’t for you.” This deletes everything that has just started to be recorded.

You can say the same to Siri, but be aware that Apple has not officially said whether this phrase erases your previous record from memory. Click here or click here so that all your smart devices don’t listen to you and record what you say.

9. Measure or align anything

Want to see if it doesn’t matter? Get your iPhone and open the Measure app. This useful app uses augmented reality to turn your device into a fantastic measuring tool.

It is easy to use. Let’s say you want to measure a frame. Open the app and then tap the screen on one side of the frame. Scan the phone on the frame and click on the opposite end. The measurement will appear on the screen.

You may need to move the device so that the camera can capture the dimensions of the object. Save the dimension by clicking “Copy”, which adds numbers to the clipboard.

10. Get subtitles while playing videos or audio

If you’re having trouble understanding something or you’re in a loud place, try Live Caption on Android. Use them for podcasts, YouTube videos or even phone calls. This feature is available on Pixel 2 and newer and some other Android phones.

  • Press the button volume button.
  • Under the volume buttons, press Live subtitles icon.
  • Live subtitles are now enabled for all media on your device.
  • To turn off live subtitles, press the volume button and press Live subtitles again icon.

Bonus tip: Wi-Fi on the Moon, Russian cyberattacks and a Google tip to save money on gas

Cell Phone Radiation Expert SAYs FCC “Denies” Health Risks, Demands “Full, Independent Investigation”

Did you know that Wi-Fi is coming to the moon? Yes, indeed. In this episode of Kim Komando Explains I will teach you to find a seat in the airline with the most legroom, save money on gas and a few other technical tips that you will use over and over again. I also have an action plan that can be used to protect myself from Russian cyberattacks.

Check out my “Kim Komando Explains” podcast on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify or on your favorite podcast player.

Listen to podcasts here or where you get podcasts. Just find my last name “Team”.

What questions about the digital lifestyle do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and click or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen or watch The Kim Commando Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Either click or click here to get Kim’s free podcasts.

Copyright 2022, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved. By clicking on the purchase links, you are supporting my research. As an Amazon employee, I get a small commission from qualified purchases. I only recommend products that I believe in.


Learn about all the latest technology in The Kim Komando Show, the biggest radio show on the weekends. Kim takes calls and gives advice on the modern digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to hacking online privacy and data. To get her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website Komando.com.

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