8 Cool iPhone Tricks That Might Be New to You

If you're like me, you primarily use your iPhone for two functions: 1) snapping a constant stream photos of your children doing adorable things, and 2) surfing Twitter in a feeble attempt at escapism when your adorable children are driving you up a goddamned wall.

I rarely even talk on my cellphone, mostly because I always assume the person on the other end of the conversation is rolling their eyes and making their hand do that yack yack yack will she EVER shut up? thing.

I'm ... a little socially awkward. *adjusts retainer*

Anyway! For anyone who's looking to brush up on their iPhone tech trickery without the pesky requirement of engaging in an actual human-to-human conversation, I've got a handy Top Eight list for making the most of your phone/computer/to-do list/web-surfing/camera machine.

Check 'em out, and impress your nerdy friends with your pro moves:


Double-tap for tunes. Even when your iPhone is locked, double-tapping the home button brings up the audio controls and play/pause/etc. for whatever's queued up in your iPod playlist.

Ask for the time. Press and hold the home button to bring up Voice Control, then say, "What time is it?" Duuuuuuuude. The future is now.

Quick search. Swiping to the left from your first home screen pulls up search, where you can sift through music, contacts, emails, and more. Note, however, that the last two results for any search are always "Search Web" and "Search Wikipedia"—a quick way to find what you're looking for without launching a browser.

Force-quit a misbehaving app. Double-tap the home button while your phone is unlocked to show a panel of most recently used apps, and if you press and hold an app icon, you'll see minus signs appear beside each app. That allows you to force one particular troublesome app to shut down, instead of restarting your whole phone.

Save web graphics. From Safari, tap and hold an image to save it to your camera roll or copy it to the clipboard. 

Find words on a web page. Safari's search bar lets you find websites, but you can also use it to locate words on a particular page. Type in your search term and scroll to the bottom of the results, where it says "On This Page."

Add accent marks. From the keyboard tap and hold a letter (like E) to bring up all its variations (like é).

Fine-tune your fast forward. When you're playing music or videos, you can slide the progress bar right or left for high-speed forwarding or rewinding. But if you also slide your finger down when you're in this mode, you access half-speed, quarter-speed, and fine scrubbing.

(These all generally assume you're running iOS 4.3 for iPhone 3GS and the AT&T iPhone 4, by the way.)

Were any of these tips new to you?

Image via Flickr/John.Karakatsanis

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