TikTok has had over 9 billion views for the hashtags #iphonehacks and #iphonehack, but which of these hacks are actually worth trying for yourself?
Catherine Hiley, Uswitch.com mobile expert, shares some of her favourite iPhone hacks from TikTok for 2023:
1. Identify plants with your iPhone camera
If you are looking for an easy way to identify the species of plants that don’t involve reaching for a taxonomy book, why not try your iPhone? Since the introduction of iOS15 last September, iPhone users can now identify plants directly from their cameras.
To see this hack in action, select a photo from your camera roll, tap the Info button, and select Look Up. Visual Look Up will then provide results from both Siri Knowledge and the web. This feature is useful if you are a budding botanist or if you simply want to discover something new.
TikTok users have noted that this trick also works for landmarks, paintings, statues, book covers and even pets!
2. Lift a subject from a photo
Apple’s Visual Look Up tool can also be used to separate an image subject from its background, allowing you to create stickers. This feature is a great way to pull down supporting images for your research notes. And it can also be a fun way to share images with friends.
The ability to lift a subject out of a photo works with both images and screenshots on your camera roll, as well as those found on Safari. To use this feature, simply long press on an image and wait for it to be outlined. From this, you can drag the outlined subject, and directly import it into an email, text message or note. It’s as easy as that!
3. Listen to background sounds on your iPhone
Another iPhone hack that TikTok users have been loving is the Background Sounds feature. Apple designed this feature because everyday sounds can often be distracting, discomforting or overwhelming. The tool enables users to play balanced, bright or dark noises, as well as ocean, rain, or stream sounds continuously to mask unwanted external noise. You can play these sounds by themselves or under any podcast, music or video streaming app.
To access this feature head to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Background Sounds, and then turn on Background Sounds.
4. Edit or unsend an iMessage
Have you ever sent a message and immediately wished you hadn’t? If so, you might be interested in this next hack.
In the Messages app, iPhone users now have the option to unsend or edit a recent iMessage. Not only could this feature save you from embarrassment when sending a text to the wrong person, but it could also give you a way out if you make a critical mistake in your message.
Whether you choose to edit your message or unsend it completely, you can simply long hold on the message you wish to update and select either Undo Send or Edit. It’s important to note that you only have 15 minutes to alter your text. And the recipient of your message will be notified that a change has been made.
5. Set an iPhone sleep timer using Apple Music
For those that enjoy falling asleep to an audiobook or the relaxing sounds of the sea, you might want to give this next trick a go.
Apple’s native Clock application has a hidden feature that now allows you to go to bed with audio playing on your iPhone. What’s more, the audio will automatically stop playing after a set time – ideally, after you’ve fallen asleep. This feature means that your audio isn’t left to endlessly play through the night.
If you want to try this hack for yourself, head to your Clock app and select Timer. From here, you can select the length of time that you want your audio to play, and the When the Timer Ends option. On the next screen, select Stop Playing and Set to save this setting to your phone. After this, tap on the Start button to start the timer. Finally, open the Apple Music App and start playing the audio you want to listen to.
Not an Apple Music user? Not a problem. You can also access this feature directly through the Spotify app.
6. Filter spam messages
Unfortunately, there are no absolutes in preventing text spam. But there are some ways you can reduce the number of spam texts you get through to your mobile. In Apple’s Messages app, you can block unwanted messages, filter from unknown senders and report spam or junk with ease.
To filter messages from unknown senders on your iPhone, open Settings > Messages and select Filter Unknown Messages. Once you have completed these steps, a new tab will appear in your Messages application. This tab will be labelled Unknown Senders and will only feature messages from numbers not saved in your contact book.
If you want to take this one step further, you can also disable notifications from unknown senders. To do this, head back to Settings > Notifications > Messages. Select Customise Notifications and toggle the Unknown Senders switch to off.
Says Catherine Hiley, Uswitch.com mobile expert comments:
“TikTok is a creative platform that revolves around discovery. And today, it is regarded as one of the most popular spaces for inspiration, offering tips and tricks on almost every subject.
“One subject that TikTok users love is iPhone hacks. No matter how long you have been an Apple customer, you’ll be sure to uncover a wide range of new iPhone tips and tricks from the video-sharing platform. By searching for hashtags such as #iphonetips and #iPhonehacks on TikTok, you can discover a multitude of secret iPhone features to impress your friends and improve your handset accessibility.”