Learn to draw on photos or check your heart rate

Your phone can do a lot more than you think, but no one points out the myriad hidden settings and features when you buy it.

Sometimes you realize you don’t know how to do something simple until you need it. Tap or click for the steps to record your iPhone screen.

Other features are more hidden. Some of my favorite handy tricks hide in the accessibility menu. Tap or click here to discover 10 useful features anyone can use.

Here are 10 more ways to get the most out of your iPhone. I bet you will use them again and again.

1. Markup

Markup is a powerful tool that you may not even realize. It lets you edit screenshots and photos, add signatures to PDFs or other documents, insert text and draw on images without downloading a third-party app.

To draw on photos:

• Open the photo and press Editthen the markup button. It looks like a pencil inside a circle.

• Press the More to add a description, text, signature or magnifying glass to zoom in.

• Once you have made your selection, press Dothen touch Do again.

To sign a PDF and other documents:

• Open the document and press Editthen the markup button.

• Press the To add button to add text or signature.

• Faucet Do twice.

Notes is another basic installed app that is worth using. Tap or click here for five useful things you didn’t know Apple Notes could do, like creating locked messages only accessible by password, Face ID, or Touch ID.

2. Check if a surface is level

Next time you hang a picture frame, grab your iPhone instead of looking for a level in the garage. Here’s how it works:

• Open the installed file Measurement app.

• Tap Level, then hold your iPhone against an object. Use it as you would a normal level.

Easy right? Your phone can be a trusty DIY companion. Tap or click for seven useful ways to use it for your next home improvement project.

3. Delete your last 15 minutes of search history

Are you looking for a gift? Or maybe you’re looking for something private, like a health issue. It’s easy to erase the evidence if you use Google for your research. Try this quick removal option:

• Open the google application.

• Press your profile picture in the upper right corner.

• The third option on the screen should be Delete the last 15 minutes.

• There is no confirmation button. Once you press the button, your history will be deleted. There is a short window where you can undo the action.

Google knows a lot more than what you’ve searched for in the last 15 minutes. Tap or click here to erase everything Google knows about you.

4. Improve your FaceTime chats

Let’s say a friend calls you for a FaceTime chat. You’re happy to talk, but you’re a little distracted. There’s a trick to multitasking without looking rude.

Introduced with iOS 14, Eye Contact makes it look like you’re maintaining eye contact, even if you’re looking at another part of your screen. This works even when chatting with multiple people:

• Open Settings > FaceTime.

• Drag the toggle next to Contact lenses to the right to activate it.

STUCK ON THE PHONE? Break Your Phone Addiction With These Proven Settings

5 SMART TECH TIPS:Buy discounted gift cards, improve TV image and more

4. Flash notifications

Don’t want to miss a notification, but need to be quiet? Instead of vibrations and sounds, you can set your iPhone’s LED flash to flash when your phone is locked and silent.

• Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio-visual.

• Activate LED flash for alerts.

• You can then activate Flash on muffler if you want the LED to flash only when your iPhone is silent.

NOTIFICATIONS DROP YOU INTO THE WALL? It’s up to you to manage them, here’s how.

DO YOU LOVE THE WORLD? A new archive website has all the daily puzzles you missed

5. See what’s flying above your head

Here is a fun garden game. Look up and guess where the plane above you is heading. Los Angeles? New York? Paris?

Just ask Siri this sentence: “What are the flights above?” You’ll see the carrier, flight number and altitude in seconds.

6. Turn off notifications for a conversation

The constant pings of group messages can be a bit too much. If you’re done with the conversation in a group message or need a break, treat yourself to silence:

Touch and hold a conversation in your message list.

• Faucet Hide alerts.

IPHONE INSTRUCTIONS: Create and manage group chats on your iPhone

TECHNICAL INSTRUCTIONS:Here’s how to capture a screenshot on any device

7. Fix Siri’s pronunciation

Siri is actually pretty smart, but the smart assistant has issues with some names. You can help him:

• Open contacts and select contact you want to add a phonetic pronunciation.

• Faucet Editthen add the field.

• Faucet Phonetic first, middle or last name.

• Enter a phonetic spelling for your contact’s name in the Phonetics field.

• Faucet Do.

If you prefer to do it with your voice, say “Hey Siri, learn to pronounce (contact name)”. Siri will ask you how to pronounce the first and last name.

8. Check your heart rate without Apple Watch

We’re stepping out of the Apple ecosystem a bit here and using the Google Fit app. This is a convenient way to check your heart rate without a wearable device.

First, link your Google account. You will also be asked if you want to link the data to Apple Health. Then follow these steps:

• In the Google Fit app, tap Browse at the bottom of the screen.

• Faucet Vitalsthen Check your heart rate.

• Follow the prompts and place your finger on your iPhone’s rear camera.

• After about 30 seconds, the app will estimate your heart rate.

According to Google, the app estimates blood flow using the camera by tracking subtle changes in the color of your finger. Make sure you are in a well-lit area.

Google Fit can also measure your breathing rate by observing chest movements through your smartphone’s front camera. Check your breathing by selecting Track your breathing rate in the Vitals menu.

If you have an Apple Watch, make sure all essential health settings are turned on.

9. Undo typing with a shake

We all make mistakes when sending messages or typing text into notes or emails. You can highlight the incorrect text or hold down the delete button, but there’s an easier way.

Shaking your phone will display a Cancel entry window with the Cancel option. Tap it and your words will disappear. Shake the phone again and select Redo the entry if you want to get them back.

10. Send your precise location

Usually I give you methods to hide your location – but sometimes you really need someone to find you. You don’t need to fiddle with your GPS app either.

• Open a text message and choose the person you want to share your location with.

• Press the information icon > Send my current location. Your recipient will see your position on the map.

• You can also choose Share my locationthen select how long you want to share it.

BONUS TIP:My Mom’s Cancer Journey Is Over

My mother was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer in December 2017. By 2020 she was cancer free. But the cancer came back with a vengeance and the doctors used the word ‘hospice’. Here is my own journey with his passing.

Check out my podcast “Kim Komando Explains” on Apple, Google Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite podcast player.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando”.

Discover all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For his daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit his website at Komando.com.

The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.

Comments are closed.