iPhone Tips and Tricks 2020

Ever since the release of Apple's first iPhone in 2007, users haven't been able to get enough. The company has built up a loyal fanbase, who consistently praise the iPhone for its simplicity, speed and top-tier features. Now that Apple has surpassed 1.5 billion active devices, it's safe to say it's one of the most popular smartphone brands in the world.

Despite all this popularity, even the most dedicated iPhone users might not know about all of the secret iPhone tips and tricks you can do with your device. From fun text message effects to travel hacks and safety features, there is so much more for iPhone users to discover.

iPhone Tricks Apple Won't Tell You

With every new iPhone release comes a slew of built-in features — so many that it can be a challenge to keep up. Whether you use your phone for business, pleasure or both, Apple has you covered with all kinds of shortcuts to help you communicate better, stay productive and get the most out of your phone.   

  • Photography
  • Messaging & Calls
  • Text Effects 
  • Siri
  • Usability
  • Productivity
  • Travel
  • Safety & Security
  • Entertainment


Add stickers to pictures
Snap a faster selfie
Take expert photos with the grid feature
Use Burst Mode


In an era where many people live and work from their cell phones, the ability to take stunning photos and high-quality videos has become more important than ever. Everyone knows Apple produces some of the best smartphone cameras on the market, but you may not be aware of these features:

  • Add stickers to pictures: Add fun stickers, words, shapes and filters to your images by tapping the "Effects" button after taking a photo. This is also a fast way to block out sensitive information, like a visible phone number or address, before sending the picture to someone else. 
  • Snap a faster selfie: iPhones have a great feature that allows you to quickly access your camera, so you can snap a selfie or record a video before a moment has passed. Use 3D Touch to long-press the camera icon and access shortcuts for picture and video functions.
  • Take expert photos with the grid feature: Most smartphone cameras have a built-in grid system for taking better photos, but many people forget it's a feature. By using the grid, you can position your subject or camera lens to capture a well-composed picture.
  • Use Burst Mode: Burst Mode is an easy way to make sure you get the best shot, especially if you're shooting a moving subject or looking for something more candid than a traditional portrait or posed photograph. Turn on Burst Mode by pressing and holding the camera shutter button and listen for the rapid shutter sounds to follow.

Messaging and Calls

Before smartphones were all about camera quality and third-party apps, messaging and calling were the most important features. Return to those roots with these time-saving tips:

  • Silence unknown callers: With robocallers, telemarketers and spammy phone calls on the rise, you probably spend a lot of your day swiping to ignore calls from people you don't know. Say goodbye to non-stop phone calls by sending unknown callers straight to voicemail. You can find the Silence Unknown Callers feature in your phone settings.
  • Finish sentences quickly: Ever need to jot important information down into your phone notes quickly? Save yourself some time by hitting the space bar twice to add an automatic period at the end of your sentences. You can also use Apple's new QuickPath feature, which allows you to swipe across letters to spell out words instead of pressing each one individually.
  • Access the trackpad: For easier navigation when typing messages, you can transform your keyboard into a touchpad with a cursor — similar to the kind on laptops — by pressing and holding your space bar while you're in Messages. 
  • Silence message threads: Group chats can be a lot of fun, but constant notifications every time you receive a new message might be a little tiring. To silence a message thread, swipe left on the conversation and press "Hide Alerts."
  • Make it personal: You probably already have pictures assigned to each of your contacts, but you can take that personalization one step further. In addition to assigning each person their own ringtone, you can also give them a personal vibration setting, so you know who's calling or texting even when you've silenced your phone. You can find this feature in the Sounds and Haptics section of the Settings app.

Text Effects

If you're texting with a friend who also has iMessage, add some flare to plain messages with these iMessage tricks:

  • Pew pew: When you send "pew pew" to one of your friends, the screen will display a colorful laser light show. 
  • Screen effects: When you really want your text message to have an impact, you can choose a screen effect inside Messages. Press and hold the send button to attach special screen effects with your message, like balloons, fireworks, shooting stars, confetti or spotlights. This same menu lets you choose whether you want your message to be delivered with "Slam," "Loud," "Gentle" or "Invisible Ink."
  • Well-wishes: Send well-wishes to your loved ones from afar with screen effects that trigger when you type things like "happy birthday," "happy new year," "happy Chinese new year" and "congratulations." You'll have fun sending them, and your loved one will feel special when they open the message — it's a win-win.
  • Text Replacement: Text Replacement is one iPhone feature that is both convenient and fun to play with. By opening the general section of your Settings app, you can choose to replace certain words or phrases with shortcut versions. For example, instead of having to type your entire email address every time you log in to a new site, you can set up a quick shortcut symbol or word.

Millions of people rely on Siri for everyday tasks, like setting alarms and reminders, scheduling calendar events and communicating hands-free.


Millions of people rely on Siri for everyday tasks, like setting alarms and reminders, scheduling calendar events and communicating hands-free. You probably know you can change Siri's accent, but you can also:

  • Teach Siri new names: Have a new nickname? Activate Siri and say, "Call me [name] from now on" to change the way Siri refers to you. You can also teach Siri how to better pronounce your contacts' names by saying, "Siri, that's not how you pronounce [name]." 
  • Communicate via text: A hushed library, peaceful parks, in the classroom, near your napping child — you never know when you're going to need Siri's assistance. In your Accessibility settings, there is an option to toggle on "type to Siri," so you don't have to talk out loud to your phone in quiet settings or in public unless you want to.
  • Identify songs: We've all been riding in the car or shopping at the grocery store when a catchy new song starts playing on the radio, and we can't wait to get home and search it online — only to forget everything about it by the time you make it back. Stream the track directly to Apple Music and save it for future listening by asking Siri to identify the song.
  • Have a conversation: Siri is a reliable digital assistant, terrific co-pilot when traveling and a gifted comedian. Pass the time by asking Siri to tell you a knock-knock joke or jam out to your assistant's very own beatbox track. You can also ask fun questions, such as, "What's your favorite color?" and pop culture references like, "Is winter coming?"


Add stickers to pictures
Undo actions with a shake
Quick jump to the top of your screen
Cut battery consumption
Add additional faces to Face ID
Tell your browser to close tabs automatically
Move multiple apps at once
Adjust your volume with a touch


The best smartphones are those that save us time, with convenient usability features, such as:

  • Undo actions with a shake: Have you ever typed out a long message, only to change your mind in the end? You're not alone — which is why Apple added the ability to shake your phone to delete a message quickly.
  • Quick jump to the top of your screen: If you're browsing Safari or scrolling through a timeline on a third-party app, save time — and give your thumb a break — by touching the top of the screen to jump back to the top of the page.
  • Cut battery consumption: Head to your Battery Health section and turn on Optimized Battery Charging to conserve your charge a little bit longer. You can also switch to airplane mode to save some battery in a pinch.
  • Add additional faces to Face ID: If you share your phone with someone else, you can add multiple faces to your Face ID for easier access. Go to your Face ID and Passcode section and select "Set Up an Alternate Appearance." 
  • Tell your browser to close tabs automatically: If your phone is behaving sluggishly, you may have too many browser tabs open. Navigate to your Safari settings to close your browser tabs manually or schedule a set frequency for Safari to shut tabs down automatically.
  • Move multiple apps at once: If you spend hours meticulously perfecting your home screen, you'll love this time saver. Instead of moving each app one at a time, you can hold your finger down, select multiple apps and drag to move them all to a new screen at once.
  • Adjust your volume with a touch: Control your phone's volume from your touchscreen by clicking the volume button once and then dragging your finger up and down your screen to adjust the level until you find a comfortable setting.


If you depend on your cell phone to help you stay organized and get projects done, you'll love these productivity tips:

  • Use the Measure app: Need to tackle some projects around the house? The iPhone Measure app is an augmented reality (AR) feature that lets you use your camera as a measuring tool to get dimensions easily. Take your handiness to the next level by combining this with the Compass app, enabling you to turn your phone into a level. 
  • Limit yourself: If you're struggling to stay focused or want to limit your time on social media, your iPhone will let you set limits for specific apps in the Screen Time section of your settings.
  • Turn your device into a magnifying glass: Toggle the "magnify" setting in your phone's Accessibility section to turn your device into a magnifying glass.
  • Scan important documents: Easily scan and upload important paperwork and files without purchasing a bulky scanning machine by going to your Notes app, pressing "scan documents" and snapping a picture. 


Your iPhone is here to help you reach your destination quickly and safely with these cool features:

  • Share your ETA: Whether you're meeting a colleague for lunch or traveling home for the holidays, you can share your ETA with anyone directly from your Maps app by tapping the gray menu line above your arrival time. 
  • Find your parked car: It happens to the best of us — you park your car before heading into the store, only to return later with no memory of where you left your vehicle. Avoid wandering around any more parking lots by pairing your device with your car's Bluetooth and enabling the "Show Parked Location" feature in the maps section of your settings. From here on out, you can select "Parked Car" in your Maps app, and your iPhone will help you find your way back. 
  • Check your flight status: Stay up to date on the status of your flight by typing the name of your airline and flight number into Safari. While you're waiting, you can transfer your boarding pass to your Apple Wallet by opening the confirmation email and granting your device permission when it asks if you want to add it. 


• Distraction-free driving
• Set up Self Destruct
• Fill out your Medical ID
• Hide pictures from albums

Safety and Security

Smartphone features are for more than entertainment and fun iPhone text tricks — they can also keep you safe and secure your personal information with features like these:

  • Distraction-free driving: The Do Not Disturb feature is one of Apple's smartest and definitely worth exploring. By enabling this feature in your settings, you can prevent your phone from receiving calls or texts while you're driving and instead send the person a message letting them know you'll be in touch once you're no longer behind the wheel. 
  • Set up Self Destruct: By turning on the "erase data" setting in your Touch ID and Passcode section, you can enable a self-destruct mode that automatically erases all of your data after 10 failed attempts to unlock your device. Proceed with caution — if you're someone who struggles to remember log-in information, you should only use this feature if you are storing sensitive information on your phone. 
  • Fill out your Medical ID: Medical ID is a built-in Health app feature that lets you fill out potentially life-saving information, including your blood type, medications, emergency contact information and more. By allowing it to "show when locked," first-responders can access the information quickly if necessary. 
  • Hide pictures from albums: Keep your photos as private as possible by making them invisible in your albums. This means, when you hand your phone off to a friend, they won't accidentally swipe too far and see the rest of your photos. To hide a picture, open the album it's in, select the photo, touch the "share" button and tap "hide photo."


With mobile gaming, video streaming and Apple Music, your smartphone is one of the easiest ways to unwind and pass the time.


With mobile gaming, video streaming and Apple Music, your smartphone is one of the easiest ways to unwind and pass the time. Enhance your experience with the following:

  • Listen to your ebook: Listen to your favorite ebook by enabling the Speak Screen in the Spoken Content section of your Accessibility settings.
  • Connect to a console controller: Say goodbye to swiping and tapping and become a mobile gaming pro by syncing your wireless Xbox or Playstation console controller with your iPhone via Bluetooth. 
  • Set a timer for automatic shut-off: If you like to fall asleep watching videos and listening to music, you can set a timer in the Clock app to staop playing them at a specific time, which helps preserve your battery.
  • Listen to live radio: iPhone users with iOS 13 or higher can ask Siri to play live radio stations directly from your device, so you can stay up-to-date with the latest chart-topping singles and favorite live shows on the go. 

New iPhone Features in 2020

The past few years have seen iPhones make enormous strides in usability and their already advanced operating system with the release of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and Max, iPhone SE and iPhone XR. With the upcoming release of the iPhone 12, Apple is poised to continue setting a standard for the industry.

iPhone users today can enjoy all the perks and convenience that comes with new technology, including: 

  • More cameras: It's no secret that Apple has been pushing the boundaries of cell phone photography. Now iPhone users can enjoy professional-level photos with multiple built-in lenses and artistic portrait mode options. 
  • Enhanced water resistance: Recent iPhone releases have shown improvements in their water-resisting capabilities. While the iPhone XR and iPhone SE can withstand up to 1 meter of submersion for a half an hour, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro can handle 2 and 4 meters for the same amount of time, respectively. 
  • A new design: According to the information Apple has released about the upcoming iPhone 12, it looks like fans of the brand are in for a major redesign. Early models show a much thinner, flatter and less rounded phone body, three enlarged camera lenses and several visibly stunning colors to choose from.
  • Accessories: New Apple accessories — including Airpods and the Apple Card — integrate seamlessly with recent iPhone models and create an even better experience.
  • iOS 13 and iOS 14: iOS 13 is Apple's latest operating system that gives users a faster device, dark mode, unique portrait and lighting abilities, and enhanced privacy and security settings. Upcoming iOS 14 promises to be even more impressive, with redesigned home screen widgets, picture-in-picture capability and pinned conversations.



Upgrade to a New iPhone and Deposit Your Old Device at ecoATM

When you're ready to upgrade to a new iPhone and experience these tips, tricks and features for yourself, ecoATM can help you get rid of your old one responsibly. By turning in your old device to an ecoATM kiosk, you're doing your part to minimize e-waste, which is the fastest-growing form of municipal waste in the United States. You can even get some cash to put toward your new phone!

Here's how it works:

  1.  Prepare your old phone: Ready your old device by backing up any photos, notes or contact information you want to keep. Then, erase all content and settings and wait for your phone to restart.

  2.  Find an ecoATM near you: Find an ecoATM kiosk near you. Once you're there, simply plug your old device into the test station.

  3.   Wait for your quote: Wait while the kiosk examines the model and condition of your device and compares it to market value. This won't take long. If you want a general idea of what your current phone is worth, you can check current device estimates online.

  4.   Sell it on the spot: Once the kiosk has finished, you can choose to accept the offer and receive cash on the spot.

Earning money and helping the environment has never been so easy than with ecoATM.