If you’ve just installed iOS 15 on your iPhone, here’s a list of the best iOS 15 tips and tricks that will enhance your overall experience while you use your iPhone.
iOS 15 introduces big changes to the iPhone experience, but not all are immediately noticeable. Here are the best iOS 15 tips and tricks you should try first.
Apple’s yearly software updates always bring long lists of new features and changes that can make your iPhone feel like a foreign device.
New updates can be intimidating, but installing them is often worthwhile because Apple’s updates make sure your devices are safe, up to date, and have the latest feature improvements.
We’re going to jump-start you with what you need to know to get up and running with iOS 15 right away with these iOS 15 tips and tricks.
These tricks will surely improve the productivity levels when you use your iPhone running on iOS 15. So without any further delay, let’s have a look at these tips and tricks in iOS 15.
Best iOS 15 tips and tricks
Here is a list of the Best iOS 15 Tips and Tricks in 2021:
1. Set up Focus Modes
Focus is sort of like Apple’s take on the good ole AIM away message, but for the modern era. In short, this iOS 15 trick enables you to set up several profiles for different scenarios that give you more control over how you interact with your iPhone. On vacation? You can block notifications from your work apps and email. Sneaking out for a workout during lunch? The same thing, except you, can opt to allow messages from Slack in case something urgent comes up. You can even create custom home screens that only show you the apps you want to see for a particular scenario.
You can set up Focus profiles by heading to Settings > Focus. You’ll find preset modes for generic Do Not Disturb, along with Sleep (formerly Bedtime), Personal, and Work, with the latter two ready to be set up. Tap on either and follow the on-screen instructions to customize the focus mode, and once complete, you can activate it via the Control Centre. Focus profiles are extremely customizable, so you can really go ham experimenting on what works best for you.
2. Schedule Your Notifications
Some notifications are necessary. Most aren’t. Still, sometimes you want to know about an Uber or Postmates discount code—just not whenever it is the app decides to bug you. The nice thing about iOS 15 is you can now bundle the not-so-important notifications and schedule them to show up at a time of your choosing. Direct messages still go through, and you can choose which apps are part of your Scheduled Summary and which aren’t. (You can even see the average number of notifications a particular app will send you in a day.) Again, this is highly customizable so you can tailor your summary to suit your actual needs instead of relying on an algorithm.
To set it up, head to Settings > Notifications > Scheduled Summary and toggle it on. You’ll then be prompted to set up the system, add the apps you’d like to contribute to the notification summary, and set the time(s) you’d like it to appear.
You can choose up to 12 summaries per day, and there are other configurable options including one that allows time-sensitive apps to break free from Notification Summary.
3. Use Tab Groups in Safari
We aren’t in love with some of the new changes to Safari in iOS 15. However, Tab Groups is pretty awesome. I usually have 100 tabs open in Safari on my phone at any given time, so organizing them is a lifesaver. All you have to do is hit the pages button in the search bar (which is now, confusingly, at the bottom of the Safari app) and from there you’ll get the option to group your open tabs into categories. Easy peasy.
4. FaceTime Android and Windows users
This iOS 15 trick lets you enable anyone, even if they don’t have an Apple device, to join a FaceTime call with you by creating a link to a FaceTime conversation that can be shared anywhere.
Using this new link facility, friends and family members who do not have an Apple account can log into a FaceTime call with you using a web browser opened on any non-Apple device, whether that’s a Windows PC or an Android phone.
This effectively makes FaceTime a platform-agnostic video service, although you do need to be an iOS or Mac user to start the FaceTime call and send the link. Here’s how this iOS 15 tricks work:
- Start the FaceTime app on your iPhone.
- Tap on Create Link.
- Give your FaceTime Link an identifiable name by tapping Add Name at the top of the Actions menu that appears.
- Select a method of sharing your link from the Actions menu, e.g. over Messages or Mail.
- Once you’ve sent the link and the recipient opens it, they’ll be directed to a web page where they can enter their name to join the conversation. Once they’ve joined the call, they’ll have the usual FaceTime options to mute their microphone, disable video, switch the camera view, and leave the call.
5. Use portrait video and audio effects in third-party apps
The new FaceTime portrait video feature in iOS 15 isn’t actually exclusive to FaceTime—it can also be used to create a blur in video calls conducted via other apps, like Zoom and Snapchat.
Here’s how to use iOS 15 video and microphone effects in apps:
- Start recording a video or audio in an app.
- With the video being recorded, swipe down from the top right corner of your screen to open Control Center on your iPhone.
- Touch “Video Effects”, then select the desired video effect.
- Touch “Mic Mode”, then choose your desired audio effect.
6. Remove Home Screen Pages
With iOS 14, Apple offered an option to hide home screen pages on the iPhone. With iOS 15, you can remove home screen pages entirely from the default interface.
remove the home page in ios 15
Long press on empty screen on the home screen and select dot menu above the Dock. First, disable the home screen page that you want to hide and tap on the ‘–‘ icon at the upper left corner to remove the home screen page.
7. Organize Your Notes
If you’re a heavy Notes user, then you’ll be happy to try this iOS 15 trick. You can now use hashtags to more conveniently sort and categorize your random braindumps. If you’re someone who uses Shared Notes, you can also @ other users and view edit history in a new Activity section.
8. Enable iCloud Private Relay
Private Relay hides your IP address and Safari browsing activity from network providers and websites so that no one, including Apple, can see who you are or what sites you are visiting.
It is basically a stripped-down VPN service on offer. Private Relay is only available with paid iCloud plans. You can enable the options from Settings > Profile > iCloud > Private Relay menu.
### 9. Hide IP Address from All Websites
iOS 15 now allows you to hide IP addresses from both third-party trackers and websites. Start the Settings app on your iPhone and head to Safari > Privacy & Security > Hide IP Address and select Trackers and Websites
from the following menu.
10. Use your iPhone’s camera to scan any text
Have you ever wished you could point your iPhone’s camera at a sign or piece of paper and have it automatically identify then copy the text into an email or a document?
That’s where Live Text comes in – this new iOS 15 trick lets you pull any text from pictures you take or have saved on your phone. And once you’ve pulled the text, you can paste it into any text field. It’s great for quickly sharing addresses, phone numbers, and anything else you don’t want to type out manually.
Live Text works with typed and handwritten text and understands English, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Portuguese, French, Italian, German, and Spanish. It’s available on any iPhone (or iPad) released in 2018 or later.
To use the iPhone’s new scan text feature, long-press inside a text field as if you are going to use the copy and paste prompt. Only, you’ll now see a Scan Text button. You may also see a button that uses just the scan icon, which looks like a piece of paper with brackets around it.
Tap the button, which will then replace your keyboard with your iPhone camera’s viewfinder. Point your camera at whatever you want to scan, and then follow the prompts on the screen. For instance, if you’re moving the camera too fast, you’ll see a “Slow Down” message flash on the screen.
As you’re lining up the camera and text just right, you’ll see a live preview of the text your iPhone is identifying and ready to place in your document. Tap the Insert button when you’re ready.
11. Move Safari’s address bar back to the top of your screen
Apple made a considerable huge change to its mobile Safari on iPhone running iOS 15 or above, the URL address bar which on the previous iOS version was always stayed afloat on top, now shifted to the bottom of the screen. While personally, I do think it’s a good move – mainly because now it’s easier for me to reach out to the URL address bar without the need to stretch my thumb – but the change isn’t ideal for everyone. That’s the reason I’m sharing this iOS 15 trick, to show you how you can move back Safari URL address bar from the bottom back to the top.
When using Safari on your iPhone, tap the Aa button on the address bar (don’t long-press, just a tap is fine). At the top of the menu that shows up you’ll see a new option labeled Show Top Address Bar. Tap it to move the address bar up top.
12. Get real-time precipitation alerts from the iPhone’s weather app
Another iOS 15 tip is that you can see real-time snow and rain alerts in the weather app. You can turn on the new precipitation alerts by opening the Weather app, then tapping the three-line icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Next, tap the circle icon with the three dots in the top-right corner of the screen followed by Notifications.
Slide the switch next to My Location to the On position and then tap Done. If you have more cities added to the Weather app, you can also turn on alerts for each one.
The next time rain or snow is getting close to you, your iPhone will alert you a few minutes before it’s going to start. You’ll also receive another alert when the rain is almost finished.
13. Drag-and-drop between apps
With nifty drag and drop gestures, moving files from one place to another feels ever so smooth. Simply pick up the files you wish to move across apps and then drop them all at the desired destination, and you are good to go! If you find this multitasking feature helpful, you would be happy to know that this iOS 15 trick lets you drag and drop images, documents, and text from one app to another. So if you want to learn how to do this, here’s how to drag and drop files between apps in iOS 15 on iPhone.
Start the Photos app and view your recent photos. Don’t tap on a picture to open it full screen, instead place a finger on the photo and start to drag your finger across the screen. Don’t lift your finger when the thumbnail starts to float over the rest of the photos, then switch back to the messages app.
You’ll see a green circle with a + sign in it show up on the thumbnail indicating that you can lift your finger and the photo will be placed in the text field, ready for you to send.
Pretty easy, right? You can use this same iOS 15 tricks to attach a document from the Files app to an email as well.
14. Get more information about your photos
I’ve always had to use a third-party app if I wanted to view any of the finer details stored in the EXIF data about a photo I was sent or took myself. Now whenever you’re viewing a photo in the Photos app, you can swipe up on it to open an information view that will detail where you saved the photo from, as well as all of the EXIF information such as shutter speed, location, the camera used and so on.
The added information is a welcome addition even if you don’t care about all of the finer details. At the very least, being able to see where you saved the picture from (including who sent it to you) is enough.
15. change your iPhone’s text size for a specific app
Sometimes you want the text in your app to be smaller, so you can fit more content on a single screen. Sometimes you want it to be bigger, especially if you’ve been putting off buying those reading glasses. But until recently, if you had an iPhone, you had to pick a single text size as a standard for all your apps.
Not anymore. One of the best hidden new iOS 15 tricks is the ability to adjust accessibility settings on a per-app basis. So you can, for example, keep the text small for your email, but make it a bit larger in Twitter — or vice versa.
To use the new feature, open the Settings app, then go to Control Center and scroll down until you find the option labeled Text Size by tapping on the green + sign.
The next time you’re in an app and you want to adjust the size of the text, open Control Center (swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen on an iPhone that has Face ID, or up from the bottom of the screen on an iPhone with Touch ID) and tap on the Text Size button. Slide the button at the bottom of the screen to the left side of the toggle to indicate you only want your changes applied to the app you’re currently using, and then adjust the font size up or down.
16. Set background Sounds on your iPhone
Another iOS 15 trick is Background Sounds.
‘Background Sounds’ is similar to a third-party Noise generator app, but baked into Accessibility settings. You get six sound options: balanced, bright, or dark noise, ocean, rain, and stream.
To activate ‘Background Sounds’ on your iPhone, head to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Background Sounds. From here, you can tap the toggle at the top to turn on the sound, set a volume level, etc.
17. Watch Movies and TV Shows Together Using FaceTime
Officially called SharePlay, this iOS 15 trick also lets you watch streaming movies and TV shows together. When you’re on a FaceTime call, everyone on the call will see the same synced playback and video controls.
The following steps explain how this iOS 15 tip works. Note that both parties need to be using FaceTime on an Apple device that supports iOS 15, iPad 15 , or macOS Monterey, for SharePlay to work. SharePlay is not compatible with the browser version of FaceTime available to non-Apple device users.
- Start the FaceTime app on your iPhone and initiate a call.
- When the call has connected, tap the SharePlay button at the top-right corner of the screen in the new control panel.
- Tap Share My Screen in the dropdown. After a three-second countdown, screen sharing will initialize.
- Now navigate to the TV app or another streaming app, select something to watch, then press Play.
- Select SharePlay when the prompt asks you if you want to SharePlay content. Other people on the call will also be asked whether they want to join SharePlay with you.
That’s all there is to it. The video will stream to other people on the call. As you chat and watch the stream together in sync, the volume will automatically adjust so that you can hear everyone talking without missing the show, and if you fast forward or rewind the video, other people on the call will be notified.
Did you know that you can also listen to music together using SharePlay? Simply launch Apple Music and choose a song for everyone to hear it at the same time.
18. Adjust the Date, Time, and Location of Your Photos
Up until this point, you had to use the Photos app on a Mac, or rely on third-party iOS apps, to edit the metadata for your iPhone photos.
But now, this iOS 15 trick offers a built-in way for changing these details right inside the Photos app on your iPhone. Here’s how:
- Start the Photos app on your iPhone.
- Select any photo you want to edit the metadata for.
- Tap the i icon at the bottom to view the image’s metadata. Alternatively, swipe up from any part of the image.
- Select Adjust.
- You should see the Adjust Date & Time page. Next, scroll through the calendar by swiping left or right and tap any date. Alternatively, you can also use the arrows to navigate. Remember, you can also choose a future date.
- Once done, tap the original time under the calendar and choose your custom time using the spinner.
- If you want to change the time zone, tap Time Zone and search for a city of your choice.
- Tap Adjust to save all your changes.
19. Track your iPhone with Find My, even if it’s turned OFF
Find My iPhone is a great way to keep track of a potentially lost device. But if someone stole your iPhone, all they have to do is the power it down to disable tracking. Find I may show your device’s last location (if you enabled that in Settings), but that’s not much help.
With these iOS 15 tricks, an iPhone that has been turned off will actually enter an ultra-low power state that keeps the Bluetooth beacon active, effectively turning your iPhone into an AirTag.
You’ll see a little “iPhone findable after power off” notice under the Slide to Power Off interface, too.
20. Keep Night Mode off
For the most part, Night Mode in the Camera app on modern iPhones is a great thing. It can absolutely transform photos taken in very low light.
If the Camera app detects a dark scene, Night Mode is enabled automatically, but sometimes you want that dramatic dark effect, and it’s annoying to disable Night Mode to get it. You have to tap the Night Mode indicator and then slide the timer down to zero seconds.
If you wait a while before taking another photo, it will re-engage automatically.
With iOS 15, you can head to Settings > Camera > Preserve Settings to find an option to preserve your Night Mode settings (among other things). With this enabled, Night Mode will remember when it has been turned off and won’t re-enable itself. If you want to take a Night Mode shot, you can manually tap the Night Mode indicator to enable it yourself.
21. Adjust video playback speed
Apps like YouTube have had variable speed playback for some time now, but the default iPhone video player has not. In iOS 15, the default player (used for many web videos and by lots of apps) has playback speed controls.
When playing back a video, tap the overflow menu in the lower right (the three dots) and you’ll be able to select from up to five different playback speeds.
22. Share things with Siri
Sometimes it’s a pain to share that cool thing you found online. You have to copy URLs or images, switch to Messages, hold down to paste, hope it works…
With these iOS 15 tricks, you can finally just ask Siri. Simply say “Hey Siri, share this with [name]” (or something similar like “send this to [name]” and Siri will share the content on the screen to that person using Messages.
Items like images, web pages, Apple Music or Podcasts, Apple News stories, and Maps locations will share the actual content (or a link to it). For content Siri can’t share, it will warn you that it can only send a screenshot—but Siri will still automatically take that screenshot and drop it in a Message to that person.
It’s all very frictionless. Just ask Siri to share something, and Siri will prepare the item in a flash and ask “ready to send it?” Say yes, and you’re done. No finding and opening share menus, no copy/paste, no flipping back and forth to the Messages app.
23. Translate anywhere
With this iOS 15 tip, you can translate text just about anywhere. In almost any app where you can select text!
Just tap and hold on a block of text to show the text selection window and drag the start and end points—just as you would if you were going to copy/paste. You’ll notice the little popup menu has a new Translate option (in some apps you might have to hit the right arrow to see more options).
You’ll get a warning that the text is going to be sent to Apple to process the translation. Tap Continue and a pop-up card will show the translated text and give you options to copy the translation, change languages, and so on.
Want to do the translation without sending data to Apple? Open Settings, than Translate and enable On-Device Mode. You’ll have to also open up the Downloaded Languages menu and download the languages for which you want to enable offline translation.
24. Keep an eye on app activity
Apple is always expanding privacy features, and with this iOS 15 tricks, you have a powerful new tool to find out which apps are accessing your phone’s features and data.
Start the Settings app, then tap Privacy, and scroll to the bottom to Record App Activity. You’ll have to enable this at the top of the screen.
This will record a 7-day summary of exactly when and how often all your apps access things like your microphone or microphone, or which web domains they visit. Just come back to this screen a week later for a full report.
You can even tap Save App Activity to export a JSON file of all the data if you’re into that kind of thing.
25. Set Recovery and Legacy Contacts
Your Apple ID and iCloud account get more important every year. It’s full of purchases, services, cloud data, photos…if you lost access, a lot of that stuff would be gone forever.
Apple has two welcome new features in iOS 15. Account Recovery Contacts are people you trust that Apple can contact to help you reset your passcode if you ever lose it. They can’t actually access your data, but if you initiate a password reset but are locked out of your own devices, the reset code can be sent to that contact.
To enable it, start the Settings app then tap on your profile at the top. Then choose Password & Security, then Account Recovery. You’ll see an option to Add Recovery Contact.
What about accessing all your content should you pass away? In the event of your untimely demise, a Digital Legacy Contact is a person who can request access to your data after you die. They’ll get access to Messages, Photos, Notes, Contacts, Calendar events, App purchases, and your device backup, but not your iCloud Keychain or licensed media purchases.
26. Use Spotlight from the lock screen
Spotlight search is the tool you get when you swipe down on the screen to search your iPhone. iOS 15 adds another way to access Spotlight Search to another, extremely convenient area: the lock screen.
To use this iOS 15 tricks, simply swipe down on the lock screen to pull down Spotlight Search. Your iPhone doesn’t even need to be unlocked first, so you can use this feature whether you’re holding your iPhone up or flat down on a desk. However, if you decide to tap on something, you will need to unlock your iPhone to continue.
27. Use temporary iCloud storage to set up a new device
With this iOS 15 tricks, when you buy a new device, you can use the iCloud backup to move your data to your new device, even if you’re low on storage. iCloud will grant you as much storage as you need to complete a temporary backup, free of charge, for up to three weeks. This allows you to get all your apps, data, and settings onto your device automatically.”
28. Use the Wallet app to open your hotel room or house
Companies that make HomeKit-compatible locks can add support for a Wallet-based house key that can be used to tap to unlock HomeKit door locks.
Home keys will be available in the Wallet app and can be accessed on iPhone and Apple Watch.
Participating in hotels that use digital keys can allow customers to add those keys to the Wallet app after making a reservation, allowing them to bypass the lobby.
The digital hotel key stored in the Wallet app can be used to unlock a hotel room. After checkout, the hotel room key is automatically archived.
29. Use Siri offline
One of the great annoyances of the iPhone is that you need an internet connection to use Siri. With iOS 15, that has changed! Siri can now process your voice and do many of your requests entirely offline. Siri is faster for some tasks in iOS 15. New on-device processing means you can ask Siri to do things such as set timers and alarms, open apps, control music, turn on the flashlight, and more, all without requiring an internet connection. That means those tasks should happen right away, instead of with a slight delay. This feature requires the 2018 iPhone XS or newer.
30. Search the web by voice
Tap the Tab Bar at the bottom of the screen, and you’ll now see a microphone icon appear in the far right of the text field. Tap the mic and you can dictate your search term to Siri. The moment you’re done talking, the search takes place automatically, without you having to tap or type anything else. It’s very convenient.
31. Identify animals, items and plants in photos
Your iPhone can now identify and tell you more information about an animal, a landmark, a plant or an object, such as a book. An icon is available on top of photos in your gallery and, with a tap, it can identify a pet’s dog breed and show you more information, for example. Or it can name a flower with some background on the plant. The feature is similar to the one that’s been available on Android phones called Google Lens.
Your Favorite iOS 15 Tips and Tricks
So these were some of the best iOS 15 tips and tricks you would love to try on your iPhone today. My favorite iOS 15 tips and tricks include Focus, FaceTime Links, and Live Text. There are surely plenty more hidden iOS 15 tips and tricks to discover, so I’ll keep tapping, swiping, and noting anything I find.