iOS 14 tricks are one of my favorite kinds of posts to write about. Even though many users might already know about the primary and popular tricks out there, there are still thousands of people who buy a new iPhone every year and are new to the iOS experience who might know how to get the most out of their iPhone.
iPhone 12 is the latest iPhone from Apple, and it is launched with the newest version of iOS 14 with a ton of great new features and design changes that both new users and long-time users of iOS might not be aware of.
Of course, some trendy ones, like adding widgets to your home screen and changes to the Siri and Call UI you might have heard of.
But this post is a massive collection of 40+ iOS 14 tricks that both new users and advanced and long-time users of iOS will find useful in their daily usage of their iPhone.
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Some of these tricks are new to iOS 14, and some of them have existed in iOS for a while, but this post will be covering all these iOS 14 tricks in detail with as much information as necessary.
Feel free to let us know in the comments section below if you already knew about any of these iOS 14 tricks and mention if you have any tips or tricks that are not mentioned in this post.
Either you are a new user of iOS 14 or have been an iPhone fanatic for a long time, there is something for everyone in this post, and I am confident that your experience with iOS 14 and the way you use your iPhone 12 or older will change drastically after you finish reading this post.
40+ iPhone 12 and iOS 14 tricks for new and advanced users
Enable back tap action
This feature was introduced to iOS 14, and it is exclusive to the iPhones that are running the latest version of the iOS 14 update; it is one of the most useful iOS 14 tricks and my favorite in this list.
What it does is that it allows you to double or even triple tap on the back of your iPhone running iOS 14 to launch an app or run a specific task, action, or even a series of actions with the help of the shortcuts app on your iPhone.
For example, you can configure it to launch the Camera app or Instagram or anything you want every time you double or triple tap on the back of your iPhone.
This feature could also be configured to launch everyday actions like locking your iPhone’s screen, taking a screenshot, muting your iPhone, enabling Siri, controlling your volume, enabling the flashlight, and much more.
The best part about this feature is that you can configure it to run any shortcut from the Shortcuts app on your iPhone whenever you tap on the back of your iPhone, so the possibilities are endless.
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So, to enable this back tap action feature on your iPhone 12 or older, go to Settings->Accessibilty->Touch->Back Tap.
From here, you can then select the Double-tap or Triple tap options to choose any action you want to be performed when you tap on the back of your iPhone.
Hide apps on the home screen
With iOS 14, Apple also added a new feature to the Homescreen called the App library that automatically categorizes all the apps installed on your iPhone and adds them to folders based on the category, making it much easier to access them.
You can also swipe down on the App library page and access the list of all the apps installed on your iPhone and even search for them.
So, when you have this App library with all your apps neatly organized according to categories, why do you still need to have all the app icons lying around on your home screen, making it too hard to find the specific app you are looking for.
Thankfully, Apple has also added an option to hide both individual apps and entire app pages from the home screen in the iOS 14 update.
To do these iOS 14 tricks, just press and hold on the App icon that you want to hide from your home screen, and then once you enter the jiggle mode, tap on the minus symbol on the app icon or select the Remove app option from the pop-up menu.
From here, select the Remove from Home screen option, and this app will now be hidden from your home screen and will only be available in the App Library, or you can also access it by searching for it.
To hide entire app pages, enter into the jiggle mode again by long-pressing on an app icon and then tap on the dots on the bottom of the home screen.
You will then be taken to the app pages edit screen; from here, uncheck the pages you want to remove and then hit done to remove the app pages from your iPhone’s home screen.
Change default apps
One of the best iOS 14 tricks is that you can now change the default browser or email app on your iPhone.
This means that you no longer have to be stuck using the Safari web browser or the Mail app on the iPhone as the default apps and get redirected to them every time you click on a link or open an email.
Because let’s face it, not everyone wants to be tied to an app, and frankly, there are much better browser apps and mail apps out there that could replace the Safari browser and the Mail app on your iPhone.
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To change the default Email app or browser app on your iPhone with the iOS 14 update, go to the Settings app and then scroll until you find the Browser app or the Email app that you want to set as the default app on your iPhone.
Now open the App settings, and then click on the Default Browser app or the Default Mail app option and then select the app you want to set as the default app from the list.
Allow access to only selected photos to apps.
One of the best privacy-focused iOS 14 tricks is that you can now restrict access to your photos when certain apps request to access your iPhone’s Gallery when you want to share a photo or a video through the app.
This new option allows you to select only selected photos from your gallery or all the images when an app requests permission to access your Gallery.
You can also choose to select None when you don’t want to share any of your photos to an app that you think doesn’t need to request for this.
So, you can now choose to share only work-related photos to your Email apps and only your selfies to social media apps and so on, thus significantly improving your privacy and security.
To use this feature, go to the Settings app and then open an app for which you want to restrict access to your photos.
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From here, select the Photos option, and on the next page, you can choose from the options, Selected photos, All photos, and none, and based on your selection, the app will only be able to access some of your pictures or none of them.
You will also get this pop up when you are using an app for the first time on your iPhone and share a photo through the app.
Block ads in Safari
One of the best features of the Safari web browser on your iPhone is that it is one of the few browsers in iOS that supports extensions from the App store.
Even the most downloaded third-party web browser, Google Chrome, does not support installing extensions on iOS.
So, if you are looking to install an ad-blocking extension on your iPhone, just like you do on your computer, Safari is a great option, as it is already installed on your iPhone and supports a bunch of great ad blocking extensions.
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I use the Adguard extension from the App Store to block some video ads in Safari, and to do that, first install any ad block extension of your choice from the App Store.
After this, launch the extension app and then use it in the Safari browser on your iPhone.
It would help if you also went to the Safari settings and then enable the Block popups option and then the Content blocker options from the Content blockers settings.
Change your compromised passwords.
There are many privacy focussed iOS 14 tricks introduced in the latest update. Identifying and changing your compromised saved passwords from the Safari browser is one of the most useful ones.
Just go to the Settings app on your iPhone, and from here, open the Passwords section and make sure the Detect compromised passwords option is enabled on the Security recommendations page.
From here, you can check all your compromised passwords that have either appeared in a data leak or have been reused on multiple websites.
You can then directly either change the compromised password by going to the website or delete the password and create a new one from the Security recommendations page.
Set custom ringtones
Follow the below post to learn how to set custom ringtones on your iPhone in a few minutes without even using iTunes.
Set Live wallpapers
Live wallpapers are a great way to customize your iPhone and give it a unique look instead of setting the same old static and boring photo wallpapers like everyone else.
There are many great live wallpaper apps available for the iPhone, and you can download all of them for free from the App store.
Check out the below link to download some of the best live wallpaper apps for iOS 14 and customize your iPhone 12 to your liking.
Configuring and scheduling DND mode
The Do Not Disturb mode in the iPhone is probably the most underestimated and underutilized feature.
Most people enable the DND mode and then forget about it, but it can do so much more than just hiding your calls, messages, and notifications.
If you go to the Settings app and then into the Do Not Disturb page, you can see many options over here that are helpful.
You can customize and configure various DND options like allowing calls only from your favorite contacts or repeated callers, and even choose the Auto-reply option and send a custom response to people who call you when DND mode is enabled.
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There is also an option to schedule the DND mode to be automatically enabled and disabled during the day’s specific times.
Automatically silence unknown callers.
This feature will be convenient if you get many unknown calls or spam calls that you want to avoid.
Just go to the Phone app settings and then enable the Silence unknown callers option, and your iPhone will now automatically ignore calls from new numbers.
You can still see when you get the calls and check the voicemail messages from these numbers from the iPhone app.
Setting screen time limit for apps
This is one of the best iOS 14 tricks that will help you to be more productive and control how your kids use your iPhone or their own.
The Screen time limit feature in iOS 14 will allow you to set specific time limits for using your iPhone’s apps.
For example, if you set a 1-hour time limit for Instagram on your iPhone, the screen time limit app will automatically restrict access to the Instagram app with a password after you have used the app for 1 hour.
The timer automatically resets every day, and you can extend the limit by entering the password. This feature also helps you keep track of how you use your iPhone and monitor your kid’s usage.
To enable the screen time limit for the Apps and games on your iPhone, go to the Settings app and then open the Screen limit settings.
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From here, open the App limits page, and then you will be asked to create a password using which you can add, remove, and bypass the screen time limit for the apps on your iPhone.
You can then select what apps you want to limit the usage time for, the time limit for the app, and what days of the week you want to enable this limit.
Once the screen time limit for an app has been enabled, the timer will run every time you open and use the app, and once the limit has been reached, you will not be able to use the app unless you bypass or delete the time limit using the passcode you created earlier.
Identifying songs from the control center
This new iOS 14 trick was introduced to the latest iOS 14.2 update, where Apple added the ability to add the Shazam icon to the control center of your iPhone. You can instantly recognize any song that is playing nearby.
To use this feature, go to the Settings app, open the Control center settings, and then hit the green plus icon next to the Music recognition option to add the Shazam music recognition feature to your iPhone’s control center.
From now on, you can tap the icon from the control center to identify any song that is playing nearby.
The app will also redirect you to the song page in Apple Music to stream it directly from your iPhone.
Adding widgets to your home screen
As mentioned earlier, Apple finally added the option to add widgets to your iPhone’s home screen in the iOS 14 update.
You can now add both system and third-party widgets to your home screen and customize them to your liking.
Most widgets are available in three different sizes, including small, medium, and large, and can be placed anywhere on your home screen.
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Just long-press on any app icon on your home screen to enter the jiggle mode and then tap on the plus icon in the top left corner to select and add any widget from the list of available widgets on your iPhone.
Setting up sleep mode and sleep tracking.
Sleep mode and sleep tracking features were also introduced in the latest iOS 14 update, and you can now enable the Sleep tracking feature and schedule sleep mode to run automatically on your iPhone.
The sleep schedule option allows you to set a bedtime and a wake-up time and send you reminders accordingly. It will automatically enter into the Wind-down mode to avoid any distractions when you are sleeping.
You also can set a sleep goal, enable sleep reminders, and track your time in bed by analyzing when you start and stop using your iPhone during the night.
The sleep tracking pattern and the number of hours you have slept every day can be monitored from the Health app on your iPhone, and you can get better and more accurate results if you have an Apple Watch and wear it while sleeping with the sleep mode enabled.
Changing app icons
There are a lot of customization based iOS 14 tricks in this list, and this one is my most favorite.
With iOS 14, you can also now change the app icons to anything you want on your iPhone to give it a truly unique and fresh look and make using your iPhone more exciting.
Follow the below post for detailed instructions on how to change the app icons on your iPhone using the shortcuts app.
App icon quick actions
The quick actions included in some of the app icons on your iPhone allow you to quickly launch the commonly used options from within apps without actually opening the app and going through several steps.
To do this, just long-press on any app icon, and then if the app has any quick actions available, it will be shown in the pop-up menu.
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Click on the action you want to perform, and it will be directly executed instead of opening the app and going through multiple pages and settings.
Customizing the control center
The control center on your iPhone could be customized to your liking by adding and removing icons and options from there to make it easier to access only the most essential and useful options from the control center.
To do this, go to the control center settings from the Settings app on your iPhone, and then you can add or remove options from the control center and also rearrange how the options appear from here.
Adding a third-party keyboard
The default keyboard on your iPhone lacks some serious functionality like haptic feedback, gesture support, advanced dictionaries, customization options, and so on.
Thankfully, there are many third-party keyboard options available that could be used to replace the default keyboard on your iPhone.
To do this, check the below post to find some tremendous third-party keyboard apps for your iPhone and how to change the default keyboard app on your iPhone in iOS 14.
Customizing app notifications
App notifications in iOS 14 can also be customized according to your liking on how they appear. Should they be shown on your lock screen, or should you even get notifications from an app?
To customize the app notifications on your iPhone, open the notifications settings from the Settings app, and then from here, select which app do you want to customize the notifications for.
From here, you can customize several notification settings like whether the notification from the app should be shown on the lock screen or only on the notification center and whether it should appear as a banner notification or no.
You also have other options like enabling or disabling sounds for the app notifications, showing previews in the lock screen when your iPhone is locked or if the app icon should display the notification badges for the number of unread notifications.
Enable always listen for Hey Siri
You can enable the Always listen for “Hey Siri” feature from the Siri settings under Accessibility options in your iPhone’s Settings app.
This feature will ensure that your iPhone will always listen to the Hey Siri command even when your iPhone is locked or facing down on a table.
It will be handy to perform completely hand-free tasks like calling someone, creating a reminder, or setting the alarm.
Auto-fill your passwords with Face ID or Touch ID
One of the best and most useful features of Face ID besides unlocking your iPhone easily is that it can automatically fill in saved passwords and login details in websites and apps.
This way, you don’t have to manually type your login information and password every time you want to sign in to a website or an app and use the Face ID to fill in your details in the relevant fields automatically.
To enable this feature, open the Face ID & Passcode page in the Settings app on your iPhone and then enable the Password AutoFill feature from here.
Other Face ID features
Other useful features could be enabled using the Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone.
You can use it to lock specific apps that support the passcode locking feature and even enable features like Attention aware that will only allow you to bypass the Face ID lock if you are directly looking into your iPhone with your eyes open.
You can enable these features as well from the Face ID & Passcode page on the settings app on your iPhone.
Share your approximate location instead of an accurate location.
Another iOS 14 privacy-focused update also allows you to share your approximate location with apps instead of the accurate location.
For example, instead of sharing your pinpoint location like your street name, house number, etc., it will only share a few kilometer radii of your location, so the app that wants access to your location doesn’t exactly know where you are.
This feature significantly improves your security and privacy. To enable it, open the Settings app on your iPhone, go to the Privacy Settings, and then Location Services. From here, open the app you want to change the location setting too.
Disable the Precise location option, and your iPhone will now only share your approximate location information with the app.
Disable in-app ratings and reviews popups
By disabling this option from the App Store settings in the Settings app on your iPhone, you can stop popups and rating pages in apps and games that keep asking you to give a rating and a review before you have even used its app.
If you prefer to give ratings and reviews by going to the App Store app page, then go ahead and disable this option.
Assign custom vibration patterns for contacts
In iOS, you can set custom vibration patterns for each of your contacts to identify who is calling even when your phone is in silent mode and is in your pocket or on a desk.
You can choose either from the list of available custom vibration patterns or even create a pattern of your own and assign it to any contact.
To create and assign a custom vibration pattern to a contact, open the Contacts app on your iPhone, Open the contact you want to assign the pattern to, and then click on edit.
Select the ringtone and then the vibration option, and from here, you can either pick one of the available vibration patterns or choose the create new vibration option to create your pattern and assign it to the contact.
Search for Emojis
You can also search for an emoji from both the default iOS 14 keyboard and a supported keyboard to quickly find the emoji you want to use.
To do this, tap on the emoji icon on your keyboard, search for the emoji you want using the keyword in the text field, and select to use it.
Some apps like iMessage also suggest emoji replacement for the words you are typing, and you can tap on it to replace a word with the relevant emoji.
Quick launch Apple Pay
There is a quick way to launch and use the Apple Pay card on your iPhone by double-pressing your iPhone’s side button.
To enable this option, Go to the Wallet & Apple Pay section in your iPhone’s settings app and then enable the Double-click side button option.
Password protect your notes.
With the iOS 14 update, there is a new trick to protect your most important and confidential notes in the default Notes app on your iPhone.
To lock your notes with a password, Go the Password section under the Notes app settings in the Settings app and then set a password to use to lock and unlock your Notes.
You can also choose to use Face ID or Touch ID to unlock your notes.
Once you have set a password, go to the Notes app and then open the note you want to lock, tap on the options button, and select the Lock option from the popup menu.
Hide your caller ID
If you want to call someone from your iPhone but you don’t want to reveal your identity, or you want to make an anonymous call, you have the option to hide your caller ID before making the call.
This will hide your phone number and only display No caller ID when calling someone from your iPhone.
To hide your caller ID, go to the Phone settings on your iPhone’s settings app and then open the Show my caller ID option and disable it.
Hide photos and videos
With the iOS 14 update, you also have the option to hide photos and videos from your iPhone’s gallery now.
To do this, open the Gallery app on your iPhone, and then select the photo or video you want to hide, and then tap the share icon and select the hide option.
Your hidden photos and videos will now be moved to a hidden album in the Photos app, and you can choose to hide this album as well from the Photos settings page in your iPhone’s settings app.
Add captions to photos and videos.
Another useful trick in the Photos app in the iOS 14 update is that you can add captions to your photos and videos to add a note or a descriptive title to the image.
To do this, open the Photo or video you want to add a caption to and then swipe up to reveal the caption field. From here, you can type and add any caption you want.
Restore deleted photos
Just like macOS, iOS also has a Bin feature in the Photos app. Every time you delete a photo or a video from your Gallery, it will be stored in the Recently deleted album for 40 days before being permanently deleted.
You can find the recently deleted album under the Albums tab in the Photos app and restore any deleted photos or videos from here within 40 days of deletion.
Scan documents from the Notes app
The Notes app could also be used as a built-in document scanner on your iPhone, and you can scan and convert any physical document into a PDF file or add it to your notes.
To scan a document using the Notes app on your iPhone, Create a new note, open an existing note, tap the Camera icon at the bottom, and choose the Scan documents option.
Understanding the privacy dots
The Privacy dots are a new feature introduced in the iOS 14 update, and you might have been wondering why you suddenly see green or orange dots appearing on the top of your iPhone’s screen.
These dots indicate if an app uses the camera or the microphone on your iPhone, where green means an app has recently accessed your camera, and orange means your microphone has been used.
Scan QR codes from the Camera app
The camera app on your iPhone can also be used for other functionalities besides just taking photos, and one of them is using it for scanning QR codes.
Just point your iPhone’s camera at a QR code on a book, paper, or a website, and it will automatically scan it and show the information behind it like a text, contact number, link, or an address.
Scheduling dark mode
Just like the DND disturb mode, you can also schedule dark mode on your iPhone to automatically turn on and off during specific times or sunset and sunrise.
You can enable the dark mode scheduling option by going to the Display settings and enabling the automatic mode and then setting a custom time for it to be enabled.
Creating custom home screen widgets
Besides being able to add system and third-party widgets to your iPhone’s home screen in the iOS 14 update, you can also create your custom widgets and add them to your home screen as well.
To know how to create custom widgets and check out some of the best third-party widget apps for iOS 14, check out the below post.
Check Airpods noise level.
When you connect your Airpods or Airpods Pro to your iPhone running the iOS 14 update, you can check your music or audio calls’ current noise level by clicking on the ‘live listen’ icon on the control center.
If you do not have this icon, you can add this by going to the Control center settings on your iPhone.
Enable PiP for Facetime and video calls
One of the most exciting and useful iOS 14 tricks is enabling and using the new Picture in Picture mode on your iPhone.
You can enable this from the General settings on your iPhone, and from now on, you can leave the app when you are making a video call or watching a video, and it will continue in PiP mode.
Translate app features
A new translate app is included in iOS 14 that lets you translate from English to 5 different languages by typing and talking in the conversation mode.
Just search for the Translate app and then enter the word or phrase you want to translate in English or any other language to proceed.
You can also rotate your iPhone in the translate app and enter the conversation mode where your phone will automatically record your voice and then translate it to the selected language and then it will do the same for the other language as well.
Noise reduction in voice recordings
The Voice memos app in iOS 14 also includes a new, improved noise reduction mode that automatically removes the noise in your audio background and makes it sound more precise and much better.
Just open the Voice memos app and then start recording audio. And you have finished recording, tap on the edit button and automatically select the magic wand icon to remove the audio recording’s background noise.
iOS 14 tricks for iPhone 12
Feel free to let us know in the comments section below which one of these iOS 14 tricks is your favorite and which one of them you find to be the most useful.
Please share this with your friends and family who have recently bought an iPhone 12 and are new to iOS and even to those who have been using it for a long time and might know some of the iOS 14 tricks in this list.