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Love Apple? Here are features you probably didn’t know about

Are you aware of these features?

Apple iPhone
Credit: Tyler Lastovich / Unsplash

With every new iOS release, there are tweaks and improvements, but Apple doesn’t ever seem to be as forthcoming as they could be with the details. Or, at least, it takes some hard work on the users part to figure out all the new fun stuff.

When they show off the new changes on stage, a lot of the big stuff like dark mode and new map apps take over the show. Of course, it makes sense, for the most significant changes to be the stars. And it is always cool so find out stuff like the macOS Catalina features, or Siri’s new commands and abilities.

But, true to form there are a bunch of features that don’t get the prominent mentions. Here are a few cool ones for you to try out.


Have you ever checked out just how many tabs you have open, only to scroll through and see things from weeks ago? And there are so many of them too! The tab management has always left a lot to be desired, but now, you can head to the Safari settings and opt to close tabs automatically after a day, week, or a month. Or manually – if you are actually keeping on top of it.

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More and more people are using apps on their mobiles now to read. Which is pretty cool, because it means there will always be something aside from Candy Crush to keep you occupied on those long commutes. Apple recognised the number of people reading via their mobile devices, and introduced goals feature to help people reach their reading targets. And, the great part about this is it counts up your audiobooks too.

Hotspot Joy

Many people are going to be enjoying this one. All of the iPhones, Macs, Macbooks and more can automatically connect to your hotspot. This is great if you are working and travelling and the wifi is less than ideal. You can hook your laptop up and carry on doing what you need to. Or, if you have kids and they simply can’t do without the internet – but have used their quota, they can access yours.


One of the most annoying things for a very long time was the inability to be able to select Bluetooth and wireless network from the control centre. After all of these years, it has finally happened. To access it, all you need to do is a long-press on the widget that you want, either Bluetooth or Wifi. You’ll then use the 3D touch on the Wifi or Bluetooth toggles to see all of the services or Bluetooth devices. Easy!

Bye Bye Apps

You know when you’ve downloaded about 5 different applications with the same functionality to see which one you like best, and you have to press and wait for them all to jiggle to get rid of them. It was not the most fun. You can just head straight to the App Store’s update page, swipe left and say goodbye. Interestingly, pending apps will now show up on under your profile page instead of a separate tab too.

Apple Music

Not many people complain about the Music app, but the change is a welcome one. You can now have the lyrics on the screen, in sync with the music – which is useful if you like a good sing-along but isn’t a fan of getting it all wrong. To enjoy this little lyrical help, just tap the lyrics button. They also added a button so that you can see what track is coming up next. Fun changes that make life a little bit easier.

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If you use the calm app, or perhaps you use PayPal a lot, you will notice that you can add shortcuts to Siri now. Not only that, but you can ask Siri to play a track or a podcast in whatever your favourite music app happens to be. You can just use the usual Hey, Siri command, followed by the name of the song and hey-presto.

Spam Calls

If you are the kind of person who turns their phone over when you see an incoming call, and even more so from an unknown number then you are going to love the ‘silence unknown callers’ feature. You can access it from the settings. Settings > Phone and simply turn the slider next to Silence Unknown Callers’ to on. All callers who choose to withhold their number will be sent straight to voicemail – lovely.


If you are terrible at either charging your phone, or you use a lot of apps all day, you might find you have awful battery life. This new smart battery charging will actually help you with this problem. It won’t always charge your phone to that 100% we all like to see. Instead, it will charge it to 80% and then, learning from your habits, it will give that extra 20% just before you remove it from power.


You might be surprised to learn just how many of your applications are tracking you. Some new location settings will allow you to limit tracking to just one instance for each app. If you have previously given applications permission to use location all the time, iOS 13 will now show you a map of the places the app has tracked you.

When that pop up shows up, you will have the option to change the permissions to ‘only while using’, or to keep it as it is.

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Volume Slider

They are also introducing a new volume slider. If you have ever been watching a video on facebook or youtube and turned the volume up you will know just have invasive and annoying that big square block is. It feels like it takes for every to disappear again. All that is about to change with the update. Instead of the ugly – space invasion – square, you’re now going to see a slider on the left-hand side of the screen. It will get thinner after a few seconds – and won’t encroach as much on what you’re watching.

Text Selection

If you have ever been working on your phone, or you simply want to highlight and copy some texts, you will notice that it can be pretty frustrating. The blue highlight bar flys all over the place and in the end you wish you’d just typed it up. That is going to change with better text selection. You will be able to select text by tapping and swiping. There are also tapping options. TRiple-tap will highlight a sentence, and quad-tap will give you a paragraph. And, they’re making it a bit smarter too. It will make it easier to select and address email or phone number.

There are some notable extras too.

  • Voice memo app will now get a pinch and zoom function to make editing much easier
  • Low Data Mode is going to help with data management, by being stricter on which apps can use what amount of data
  • Finally, you will be able to add attachments to the events in the calendar app – very useful for people who like to use the calendar in their phone for work purposes and like to get a quick reminder.
  • Do Not Disturb mode is getting a little update too. It will no longer get activated when you are travelling through public transport.

Overall some very welcome changes, and no doubt as usual with Apple, there are many more that can be discovered and put to use. It always pays to try out the new features on your mobile device, who knows how productive you might be with the extra easy functionality.

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