10 extremely useful iPhone and Android tricks to make your life easier

    Remember when we used the phone just to make calls? Today, our smartphones hold our entire digital lives.

    Including your precious photos and videos, of course. Tap or click for nine photos that you always have availablelike your medical and dental insurance card.

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


    Your iPhone or Android has a lot of hidden features. Here are 10 tricks that you’ll come back to time and time again.

    1. Start using the back faucet

    Instead of searching through pages of apps, you can instantly perform a specific task with your phone. I take a lot of screenshots with my phone and I do it by tapping the back of my phone twice. Three taps, and the gate to my driveway opens. A friend of mine also turned on his backyard lights the same way.

    In this illustration, an Android logo is displayed on a smartphone.
    (Image by Rafael Henrique/SOPA/LightRocket via Getty Images)

    On iPhone 8 or later, you can use your finger to tap the back of your phone two or three times to trigger a custom action. Go Setting > Accessibility > Touch > Click Back. Option Double tap or Press three times.

    From there, choose a specific action. While this is very helpful, I warn you that sometimes you may accidentally trigger an action.

    Other Apple Smart Features: 10 iPhone tricks I use every day and you too

    2. Set up shortcuts for your most used apps

    Want to add a shortcut for a specific app to your home screen? Not all apps have shortcuts, but you can find out by long-pressing the app.

    Here’s how to do it on Android:

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

    On your iPhone, this is a super handy shortcut. Tap down on the Messages app icon and you’ll see a few of your chats. Pick and hold one of your cluttered contacts. Drag it to your home screen. Now you touch that button to chat.

    Trick in a Trick: When you’re trying to find an app on your phone, stop moving from page to page. On your iPhone, swipe right until the search bar appears at the top. Then enter the name of the app you want to use. On Android, swipe up from the center of the screen. In the app drawer, tap Search.

    3. Stop missing out on great action shots

    If you’ve ever tried to get a good shot of your kids playing, you know how difficult it is to capture movement. Burst mode allows your camera to take pictures faster than humans can. You get multiple photos per second and then you can choose your favorite photos to keep.

    Touch and hold the shutter button if you have an iPhone X or younger. Swipe the shutter button to the left if you have an iPhone Xs or later.

    Either way, lift your finger to stop burst mode. Then, select the photo you want to keep by tapping Explode > Option > Accomplished.

    Woman using smartphone on wooden desk.

    Woman using smartphone on wooden desk.

    On an Android phone, hold down the camera’s shutter button to enable burst mode.

    Tired of taking bad photos? Take better photos with these genius tips.

    4. Get rid of the clutter

    When was the last time you closed all browser tabs on your phone? Don’t waste time going through them one by one. On Android, open Chrome. Tap the number next to the URL bar to see a grid of all your tabs. Touch three-dot menuthen choose Close all windows.

    On iPhone, you can do the same in Safari. Tap the icon with two overlapping boxes in the lower right corner. A menu will pop up. Choose Close all windows.

    Speaking of your browser, it’s worth clearing cookies. Tap or click here for the steps on your favorite mobile browser.

    5. Use your iPhone as a magnifying glass

    The last time I had to read a small sequence of numbers, I remembered how helpful it would be to use the iPhone’s built-in magnifying glass. No more squinting or running to find your readers.

    Go Setting > Accessibility > Magnifying glass and turn it on. Now your Magnifier is an accessibility shortcut. This also works on iPad.

    To access it quickly when you need it, add it to your Control Center. Go Setting > Control Center > Customize controls. Touch + button next to Magnifier. You’ll see a magnifying glass icon in Control Center when you swipe down from the top of the screen.

    A customer tries out an iPhone.

    A customer tries out an iPhone.

    6. Right Google Assistant

    Is your smart assistant always misnamed? It seems silly to teach your phone how to pronounce a name. Make changes so that Google understands you the first time you call someone in the future.

    • Say, “Hey Google, open Assistant settings.”
    • Select Friends, then press Your people > More people.
    • Select one Contact.
    • In the “How to pronounce names” section, select Record your own > Record.
    • Choose Play to listen again, then press Save to finish.

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

    Harness more of the power of Android: 5 hidden Google Assistant tricks to try now.

    7. Sign documents quickly

    When someone emails you a document you need to sign, you don’t have to print, sign, and scan the document. Just use your iPhone. First, download the PDF file, click pen icon at the top right and signal with your touch screen. Click Accomplished at the top left of the screen.

    You can reply to emails with a newly signed attachment.

    If you use AirDrop, you can share documents you sign with your other Apple devices. Tap or click here to see why AirDrop is a useful iPhone feature you should start using.

    8. Tell them to forget it

    Siri and Google Assistant both make distinctive noises, so you can tell when you’ve accidentally activated them. To prevent the Google Assistant from recording the rest of your conversation, say: “That’s not for you.” This will erase everything it just started recording.

    You can say the same thing to Siri, but know that Apple hasn’t officially said whether this phrase will delete your previous recordings from its memory. Tap or click here to stop all your smart devices from listening to you and recording what you say.

    9. Measure or balance anything

    Want to see something is level? Take out your iPhone and open the Measure app. This useful app uses augmented reality to turn your device into a great measuring tool.

    It’s simple to use. Let’s say you want to measure frames. Open the app, then tap the screen on one side of the frame. Scan your phone over the frame and tap the opposite end. The measurement result will be displayed on the screen.

    You may have to move your device around for the camera to capture the size of an object. Save your measurements by tapping Copy, which will add the numbers to your clipboard.

    10. Get subtitles when video or audio plays

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

    • Press the button Volume button.
    • In the volume controls, tap Live subtitles Icon.
    • Live captioning is now enabled for all media on your device.
    • To turn off Live Captions, press the volume button and tap Live subtitles icon again.

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


    Did you know Wi-Fi is coming to the moon? Yes really. In this episode of Kim Komando Explains, I’ll show you how to find an airplane seat with the most legroom, save money on gas, and a few other tech tips you’ll use over and over. other. I also have an action plan that you can use to protect yourself against Russian cyberattacks.

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

    Listen to podcasts here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”

    What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim and ‘s national radio program tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen or watch The Kim Komando show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

    Copyright 2022, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. Copyright Registered. By clicking on the shopping links, you are supporting my research. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission on qualifying purchases. I only recommend products that I trust.


    Learn about all the latest tech on The Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and offers advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacking. For daily tips, free newsletter and more, visit her website at

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