15 iPhone Hacks to Save You Time and Make You More Productive

There are no shortages of lists on iPhone hacks. Many of them tell you the same tired tricks that you already know (is there anyone that still doesn’t know that you can charge your battery faster by putting it in airplane mode?), or tricks that, while interesting, are not all that practical (do you really need to teach Siri how to pronounce something?). This list is all about the hacks that will save you time, and therefore, make you more productive. You spend a lot of time on your iPhone. Make every second count.

1. Quickly Insert Numbers and Symbols

Need to insert a number or symbol into something you’re typing? Rather than taking the time to switch over to the numerical keyboard, you can simply hold down the ‘123’ button, slide to the number or symbol you want and let go. That number or symbol will be inserted.

2. Space Bar to End Sentences

Along the same lines, rather than switching over to the numerical keyboard and tapping the period symbol at the end of a sentence, simply hit the space bar twice to automatically add a period. Not only that, it will also capitalize the start of the next sentence you type.

3. Space Bar as Trackpad

The space bar is a really handy multi-tasking tool. Ever type something out and realize you have to edit something? Instead of trying to use your fingers to move the cursor to where you want, which is usually an exercise in frustration, you can hold down the space bar, then easily move the cursor around.

4. Space Bar to Highlight and Select

You can also use the space bar to highlight and select text. Hold the space bar down to enter trackpad mode and navigate to the text that you want to select. Without releasing the space bar, use another finger to tap and release on the keyboard to enter text select mode, and use your finger to select the text you want highlighted.

5. Shake to Erase

Ever type a whole lot of something and need to delete it all? Rather than tediously holding down the backspace until it gets to each and every single character, you can just shake your phone. You’ll get a prompt asking whether you want to ‘Undo Typing.’ Go ahead and hit ‘Undo’ and it’ll erase everything you just typed. Changed your mind? Shake again and hit ‘Redo Typing’ and the text will reappear again.

6. Swipe to Undo and Redo

Shaking your phone is not the only way to erase text quickly. When it’s not convenient to shake your phone, you can also erase what you just wrote and ‘Undo’ by swiping left with three fingers. Reverse that and ‘Redo’ by swiping right with three fingers.

7. Close Three Apps at Once

Got too many apps running and want to clear them out in a hurry? You can also use three fingers to close three apps at a time. From the app preview, rather than swiping up to close just one app at a time, you can swipe up with three fingers to close three apps. A time saver when you’ve got just about every app running in the background.

8. Delete When Using the Calculator

Working on an equation and realized you typed the last number wrong? Instead of hitting ‘C’ or ‘AC’ to clear the entire thing, you can swipe left or right over the number to delete what you just typed. Need to erase the last few numbers? Swipe that many times.

9. Turn Your Calculator Into a Scientific Calculator

For most basic math operations, the regular calculator that pops up when you open the app will do just fine. But when you need to do more advanced calculation, such as logarithms and tangents, then you need a scientific calculator. Open the calculator app and turn your phone sideways, and all of a sudden, it’s a scientific calculator.

10. Quick Web Search

If you’re looking for something online, you don’t need to take the extra time to open Safari first. Open your search window by swiping left. Type in whatever you’re searching for, and choose from the listed Safari results below.

11. Autofill URL Suffixes

Trying to get to a website online? There’s a quicker way. Instead of typing the full URL, including the suffix (.com, .org, .net, etc.), just hold down the period key and a list of the standard website suffixes will pop up for you to choose from.

12. Go Back to the Top of the Screen

You’ve spent a long time scrolling down, reading a long article online, or getting caught up on your Facebook or Instagram feed. And now you need to get back to the top of whatever page you’re at. Luckily, you don’t need to scroll all the way back up. All you need to do is tap your phone at the top of the screen, near where the clock is, and it will take you back to the beginning.

13. Text Replacement

Save time typing out long phrases, or even your email or postal address, by assigning a shortcut. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard (or even quicker, hold down the emoji key and choose ‘Keyboard Settings’) then select ‘Text Replacement’ and hit the plus symbol in the top right-hand corner. Assign a shortcut (that is not an actual word) to a longer phrase and you’ll never have to type the whole thing out again.

14. Scan a Document

There’s no need to find an actual scanner if you need a document scanned. You can use your phone. Open the Notes app and open up a new note. Press the camera icon and choose ‘Scan Document.’ Point the phone at a document and a yellow box will appear. It automatically looks for edges, but you can also adjust manually. Press ‘Keep Scan’ when you’re happy with the result.

15. Search in Settings

Need to change a setting on your phone but don’t recall where exactly to find it? No problem. All you need to do is swipe down while you’re in the Settings app to pull up the search bar. Simply type in what you’re looking for and let your phone find it for you.

How many of these hacks did you already know? Got any other ones to suggest? Let us know in the comments below.



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