Top 50 iOS 15 Tricks and Tips. On September 20, Apple released iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing millions of users to several new tentpole features for iPhone and iPad, including Focus Mode, Notification Summary, a redesigned Safari, and more. Today Legacy Geek share iOS 15 Tricks and Tips.
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Top 50 iOS 15 Tricks and Tips
However, in addition to the headline features, Apple has made numerous tweaks and changes to its mobile operating systems in order to make the time you spend using your iPhone or iPad more efficient, functional, and enjoyable. iOS 15 Tricks and Tips.
To that end, we’ve compiled a list of 50 new and improved features in iOS 15 and iPad OS 15, some of which may have slipped under your radar. Continue reading to refresh your memory or to learn something new.
List of iOS 15 Tricks and Tips
1. Customize Your Safari Start Page
In iOS 15, Safari’s redesigned Start Page is a one-stop-shop for all of your Bookmarks, Favorites, Frequently Visited Sites, Siri Suggestions, iCloud Tabs, Reading List, and Privacy Report. It also has a number of customizable options, such as the ability to select your own Start Page wallpaper. You can even use iCloud to sync the appearance of your Start Page across all of your devices.
To open a new tab in the Tabs view, tap the + icon in the bottom left corner, then scroll to the bottom of the Start Page and tap the Edit button. Control what appears on your Start Page by using the switches. Favorites, Frequently Visited, Shared with You, Privacy Report, Siri Suggestions, Reading List, and iCloud Tabs are among the options.
Turn on the switch next to Use Start Page on All Devices to sync your Start Page settings with other devices linked to the same Apple ID. By tapping the big + button, you can also enable the Background image option and select one of the existing iOS wallpapers or create your own from your photos.
2. Copy Links From Tab Group
If you have numerous websites in a Safari Tabs Group that you want to share with someone, for example, via email or Messages, you can copy all the URL links to the clipboard as shown below.
Open the Tabs Group, then tap the group’s name at the bottom of the screen, followed by Edit in the top-left corner of the Tab Groups card menu. Tap the ellipsis in the circle next to the Tabs Group in question, then choose Copy Links.
3. Podcasts Keyboard Shortcuts
The Apple Podcasts app for iPad now has a slew of new keyboard shortcuts. Traditionally, the only keyboard shortcut in the app was Command + R to refresh feeds, but there are now a total of 17 keyboard shortcuts.
Several of the latest shortcuts include Space bar to pause, Command + Right Arrow to skip to the next episode, Shift + Command + Right Arrow to skip 30 seconds forward, and Option + 4 to set double-speed playback. Hold down the Command key, as you would in any iPad app, to see all of the available keyboard shortcuts.
4. Password Lock a PDF Document
In iOS 15, Apple has added the ability to password-protect PDF documents. The only restriction is that the PDF must be on your iPhone – for whatever reason, you cannot lock documents in iCloud.
To open the PDF document, launch the Files app, navigate to On My iPhone, and select it. Then, in the bottom-left corner of the screen, tap the Actions button, scroll down below the sharing options, and tap Lock PDF. You’ll be prompted to enter and confirm your password.
5. Delete or Rearrange Home Screen Pages
Apple has made it easier to stay on top of your Home Screen management in iOS 15 by allowing you to rearrange Home Screen pages and even delete individual pages entirely.
Hold your finger on a space on the Home Screen to enter jiggle mode, then tap the dots above the Dock to enter the Home Screen pages view. Simply drag pages around as if they were apps to rearrange them. To delete a page, tap the minus button in the page’s corner, then confirm that you want to delete it. Apps from deleted pages will remain in the App Library.
6. Custom Text Size Per App
You can add a button to the Control Center in iOS 14 that allows you to change the text size on the screen on the fly. Any change you make is reflected systemwide, regardless of your preference; however, in iOS 15, this is no longer a limitation, and the setting can be specific to a specific app.
When you open the Text Size selector in Control Center, you’ll notice new options to apply the text size adjustment to the entire system or just the app that’s currently open. iOS 15 will also remember your selection, so you can exit the app to do something else and then return to it with your preferred text size intact.
In Settings > Accessibility > Per App Settings, you can manage a variety of app-specific customizations.
7. Use Text Selection Magnifier
Apple has reintroduced a new version of the magnifying glass for text selection after removing it in iOS 13. From a user standpoint, removing the loupe seemed like an odd decision by Apple, as it makes it more difficult to see where the cursor is located under your finger.
The latest magnifier is slightly smaller than the original, but its reappearance is likely to be welcomed. To bring up the magnifier and move the cursor within the text, simply press and hold your finger on any text input area.
8. Split View Apps in the Multitasking View
Split View isn’t a new feature in iPadOS, but there’s now an on-screen menu for controlling it in iOS 15, giving users who don’t know the gestures a visual hint that the feature exists. A small ellipsis icon at the top of apps that support Split View, when tapped, reveals three options (from left to right): fullscreen view, Split View, and Slide Over.
Tap Split View or Slide Over, and the current app will be pushed to the side to reveal your Home Screen, allowing you to choose another app to share the screen with. When you have two apps open in Split View, each will have an ellipses icon in the top center of its window that you can control independently. It’s worth noting that some apps, such as Mail and Notes, have a fourth option called Center Window, which allows you to open a specific email or note in the center of the screen.
9. Drag Apps From Spotlight to Home Screen
The functionality of app icons that appear in Siri Suggestions and Spotlight search results has been limited to opening the app in iOS 14. However, in iOS 15, you can drag an app from Spotlight and drop it directly onto the Home Screen, eliminating the need to constantly drag app icons between Home Screen pages to rearrange them.
You can now also delete apps directly from Spotlight using a long-press Quick Action that was not available in previous versions of iOS, allowing you to quickly get rid of any apps that have languished in your App Library.
10. Use the Shelf View
Supported apps in iPadOS 15 now launch with a new Shelf View at the bottom of the screen. The Shelf shows all open windows for the current app, including any multitasking instances, allowing you to easily switch between them.
When you interact with an open window, the Shelf minimizes, but you can resurface it by long-pressing the app’s icon and selecting Show All Windows.
11. Save Multiple Web Images to Your Photo Album
Apple adds the ability to drag and drop images, text, files, and other items across iPhone apps in iOS 15. In many apps, you can drag a single item with one finger and select additional items by tapping them with another finger while dragging. The items that have been selected move together and appear stacked beneath the finger that is dragging the original item. The items can then be dragged as a group and dropped into another app.
For example, you can perform a Google image search, then drag multiple images from the web results into Photos and add them to a photo album.
12. Use the New Small Calendar Widget
Unfortunately for many iOS 14 users, the square Calendar widget only displays the current day and any events, rather than the entire calendar month, which can only be seen in the larger 2×4 widget.
This always seemed like a waste of widget space, but thankfully, iOS 15 introduces a new 2×2 widget that displays the entire calendar month with the current day highlighted. In another related change, you can now use the color picker to make a calendar a custom color, in addition to the seven default color options provided by the Calendar app.
13. Disable Badge App Notifications
When users are in Do Not Disturb or “Focus” mode, app badge notifications can be turned off. Navigate to Settings > Focus and select Do Not Disturb or any of the other Focus modes available. Then, under “Options,” go to Home Screen and toggle the switch next to Hide Notification Badges to the on position.
When you enable Focus or Do Not Disturb mode, all apps will no longer display a notification badge on the Home Screen. Of course, users can disable notification badges per app; however, this is a global option that affects all apps on the Home Screen.
14. Invoke a Quick Note on iPad
Apple introduced a new productivity feature called Quick Notes in iPadOS 15 to provide a faster way to jot things down on your iPad without having to go in and out of the Notes app. Whether you’re on the Home Screen or within an app, you can bring up a floating Quick Note window at any time by swiping diagonally up from the bottom right-hand corner of the screen with your finger or an Apple Pencil.
If you have a connected keyboard with a Globe key, press the Globe key + Q to open a Quick Note. In Control Center, you can also add a Quick Note button: Go to Settings -> Control Center, and then check the “Included Controls” box to add the Quick Note option.
On an iPhone running iOS 15, Quick Notes cannot be created. However, because Quick Notes are stored in the Notes app, you can access any that you’ve created elsewhere on your iPhone just like any other note.
15. Generate a Two-Factor Authentication Code
iOS 15 features a built authenticator that can generate verification codes for added sign-in security on supported websites, eliminating the need for third-party authenticator apps.
Verification codes for web accounts can be configured under Settings > Passwords. Once configured, verification codes will autofill when you sign in to a website, making two-factor authentication on an iPhone or iPad much easier.
16. Reinstate Safari’s Top Address Bar
Apple made the location of Safari’s address bar at the bottom of the screen optional as a result of feedback received during the beta release stage of iOS 15.
If you can’t stand having the address bar at the bottom of the screen and would rather have it at the top, as it was in iOS 14, tap the “aA” icon on the left side of the address bar, then select Show Top Address Bar from the popup menu. This design change is also controllable in Settings > Safari, under the “Tabs” section. Select Single Tab to move the URL bar to the top of the Safari interface.
17. Give Your Memoji an Outfit
Apple has updated Memoji with new customization options that can be used in Messages, FaceTime, and other apps. There are over 40 new outfit options to choose from, as well as three new outfit colors. For those with heterochromia, Apple has included the option to choose a different color for the right and left eyes, as well as three new glasses options.
There are also new multicolored headwear options, allowing people to represent their favorite sports teams or universities, as well as new accessibility options, such as cochlear implants, oxygen tubes, or a soft helmet.
18. Use AR Walking Directions in Maps
Inside a nod to Google Maps, Apple has added a new AR mode to its Maps app that allows you to map walking directions onto the real world using your iPhone’s rear camera, making it easier to see where you need to go in densely populated areas and reducing the need to look down at your smartphone while moving.
Simply start a walking route, then when prompted, raise your iPhone and scan the buildings around you. The step-by-step directions will appear automatically in the AR mode, which should make it easier to get where you need to go, especially in difficult-to-follow situations.
The AR feature will be available in major supported cities such as London, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington DC beginning in late 2021. The AR feature is only available on iPhones released after 2018.
19. How to Block Background Noise in FaceTime With Voice Isolation
If you’re on a call, your device’s microphone typically picks up a wide range of sounds in the environment; however, with Voice Isolation in iOS 15, machine learning distinguishes these sounds, blocks out any ambient noise, and prioritizes your voice so that it comes through clearly.
To use it while on a FaceTime call or when taking a call on a third-party app like WhatsApp or Teams, open the Control Center on your device, tap the Mic Mode button in the top-right corner, and then tap Voice Isolation to enable it.
20. Turn on Spatialized Stereo
In iOS 15, Apple has included a new audio feature called “Spatialize Stereo,” which takes any stereo mix and turns it into a virtual spatial audio environment. Spatialize Stereo differs from Spatial Audio, which creates a three-dimensional experience by moving sound all around you using Dolby Atmos.
Spatialize Stereo only imitates the effect of sound coming towards you from different directions in a virtual environment. It does not use Dolby Atmos, but it does work with virtually any content, though you will need AirPods Pro or AirPods Max headphones to access it. Connect your headphones and play some non-Dolby audio on your device, then open the Control Center, long press on the volume slider, and select Spatialize Stereo.
21. @Mention Peoples in Notes
In shared notes or folders, you can add a @ sign and the name of the person with whom the note is shared to draw their attention to it and notify them if there has been an important update.
The person receiving a @mention receives a notification about the note, similar to how @mentions work in other apps.
22. Use Tags in Notes
When trying to write a note, you can use hashtags to organize it by labeling it with a word or phrase. You can use any hashtag you want, such as #cooking, #plants, #work, #reminders, and so on.
When you make a tag, it appears in the “Tags” section of the Notes app overview. You can view all notes that contain a specific tag by tapping on any of the tag names.
23. Use a Disposable Email Address
You can keep your personal email address private by creating unique, random email addresses that forward to your personal inbox with iOS 15 and Hide My Email.
Swipe the Apple ID banner at the top of Settings, then select iCloud > Hide My Email > Create a new address. Continue, then give your address a unique label. You can also make a note of it if you want. You can now use the random email address when sending emails in Mail or entering your email address on a website in Safari.
24. Turn on iCloud+ Private Relay
Along with iOS 15, Apple debuted the iCloud + service, which adds new features to its paid iCloud plans (upgraded iCloud storage tiers begin at $0.99). One of these features is iCloud Private Relay, which encrypts all traffic leaving your device so that no one can intercept or read it.
To enable this in Settings, tap the Apple ID banner at the top, then go to iCloud > Private Relay and toggle the switch next to iCloud Private Relay. When Private Relay is enabled, you can use the default Maintain General Location option to retain local content in browsing, or switch to the less geographically specific and more private Use Country and Time Zone option by tapping IP Address Location.
25. Share Your Health Data
Apple has added the ability to share your health data with family members or caregivers in iOS 15, allowing them to keep track of meaningful changes in your selected health metrics. They can also be notified if you receive a critical Health alert.
By tapping on the Sharing tab, you can choose to share health data with someone. Choose Share With Someone, then simply follow the onscreen instructions.
26. Quickly Refresh a Webpage
Apple includes a reload icon in the address bar of its Safari browser for iOS. If you’ve just navigated to a webpage and something hasn’t loaded correctly, it may be easier to just pull down on the page with a swipe gesture to reload it, depending on where your address bar is located.
This alternative to tapping the reload icon is particularly useful if you prefer to keep the address bar at the top of the screen, where tapping the reload icon can be inconvenient.
27. Find Safari Extensions
Safari now supports third-party web extensions in iOS 15, which can be downloaded and installed from the App Store. Extensions can alter the behavior of Apple’s browser in useful ways, or even add new functionality to it.
To find extensions on the App Store, open the Settings app, tap Safari, and then under “General,” select Extensions, followed by More extensions. When you install an extension, it will appear in the “Extensions” screen in Settings, where you can control any extension-related options.
28. Turn Off Website Tinting
Website tinting occurs in Safari on iOS 15 when the color of the Safari interface changes around the tabs, bookmarks, and navigation button areas to match the color of the website you’re viewing.
The effect is intended to blend the browser interface into the background, creating a more immersive experience. It is, however, not universally admired. Fortunately, Apple included a toggle switch to disable it. Launch the Settings app, scroll down to Safari, and disable the switch next to Allow Website Tinting under the “Tabs” section. (On iPadOS 15, this setting is known as Show Color in Tab Bar.)
29. Turn Off Camera’s Automatic Night Mode
While using the Camera app on an iPhone, the Night Mode feature activates automatically when the camera sensor detects a dark enough indoor or outdoor scene to warrant brightening. If you want to shoot an authentic evening scene in which all sources of light are subdued, for example, turn off Night Mode to avoid overexposure and a blown-out image.
You can disable it by tapping the yellow Night Mode button at the top of the viewfinder, but if you open the Camera app again and the sensor detects low light, Night Mode will be automatically enabled. In iOS 15, you can disable Night Mode and ensure that it remains disabled. Toggle the Night Mode switch to the green ON position in the Settings app, then select Camera > Preserve Settings.
30. Get Siri to Announce Notifications
Siri has already been able to announce messages for a while now, but in iOS 15, the feature has been expanded to include all notifications. When Time-Sensitive notifications from apps are enabled, Siri will automatically announce them when AirPods/Beats are connected.
Tap Notifications in the Settings app, then under ” Siri,” select Announce Notifications, then toggle on the switch next to Announce Notifications. To have Siri announce all notifications from a specific app, simply select it from the list under “Announce Notifications From” and toggle on its Announce Notifications switch.
31. Share What’s On Your Screen Using Siri
One result of Siri’s increased contextual awareness in iOS 15 is its ability to help you share whatever’s on your iPhone screen with someone else via Message, whether it’s a website in Safari, a song in Apple Music, a photo, or simply the local weather forecast.
Say “Hey Siri,” then “Share this with [person]” at any time to share something. Siri will take action and confirm your request by asking, “Are you ready to send it?” At that point, you can either say yes/no or add a comment to the message using the input field before clicking Send. If the information cannot be shared directly, such as the weather forecast, Siri will take a screenshot and send it instead.
32. FaceTime Android Users
In iOS 15, you can allow anyone to join a FaceTime call with you, even if they don’t have an Apple device, by creating a link to a FaceTime conversation that can be shared anywhere.
Simply tap Create Link in the FaceTime app, give the link a name, and then share it from the Actions menu. When you send the link and the recipient clicks on it, they will be taken to a page where they can enter their name to join the conversation. They’ll have the usual FaceTime options to mute their microphone, disable video, switch the camera view, and leave the call once they’ve joined the call.
33. Use Camera to Scan Text
Apple has introduced a new feature called Live Text, which can recognize text in your camera’s viewfinder or in a photo you’ve taken and allow you to perform a variety of actions on it.
Point your iPhone camera at something with text, such as a restaurant menu or product tag, and then tap the Live Text icon in the viewfinder’s corner. Drag the selection tool’s ends to highlight all the text you want to copy, then choose Copy from the popup menu. You can now copy and paste it wherever you want.
34. Use Background Sounds
Background Sounds are intended to help you focus, stay calm, and minimize distractions while using your iPhone or iPad. Background Sounds are available in balanced, bright, and dark noises, as well as natural sounds such as ocean, rain, and stream. All of the sounds can be set to play in the background to mask unwanted environmental or external noise, and the sounds can be mixed in with or buried beneath other audio and system sounds.
Startup Settings and navigate to Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Background Sounds. Turn on Background Sounds by tapping the switch, then tap Sound to select a sound effect. After you’ve downloaded the background sounds, you can add the Hearing item to Control Center for easier access (Settings > Control Center).
35. Adjust Video Playback Speed
36. Translate Text Anywhere
Apple’s translation feature is now systemwide in iOS 15, and it even works in tandem with Live Text in images. Simply highlight some text with the Selection tool, tap it, and then tap the rightmost arrow in the popup menu to reveal the Translate option.
A card will appear from the bottom of the screen, displaying the translation beneath the selected text. You can also choose to copy the translation for pasting elsewhere, change the translation to another language, or hear the translation spoken aloud in the Actions menu that appears below that.
37. Access Spotlight From Lock Screen
Without having to unlock your iPhone, you can access the Spotlight search interface by swiping downward on the Lock Screen. A Spotlight search performed while the iPhone is locked does not return personal information such as your own photos, text messages, and contacts, instead of focusing on general web content, Siri Knowledge, News, Stocks, dictionary, and more.
All personalized results appear only when the iPhone is unlocked, so if someone steals your iPhone, they can use it for searching but will not be able to see your information.
38. Mute Notifications for Individual Apps
Individual app notifications can now be muted. Swipe on a notification, tap Options and then choose Mute for 1 Hour or Mute for Today. You can also unmute notifications by going to the same menu and selecting the appropriate option.
39. View Photo Metadata
Apple has updated the Photos app in iOS 15 to include an expanded Info pane where you can view information about a photo in your library, including EXIF metadata such as the camera used, lens type, and shutter speed. In the Info pane, you can also see the image’s file size and where it came from if it was saved from another app.
Tap the info button (the encircled I icon) below an image in the Photos app, and look for the EXIF data in the box below the date and time. It’s also worth noting that you can change the date and time a photo was taken by tapping Adjust (in blue) next to the date and time.
40. Skip Silence in Voice Memos and Adjust Playback Speed
At last, Apple has improved the Voice Memos app with a couple of new features. You can now choose to skip silences in recordings during playback and change the playback speed.
Just choose an audio recording, tap the controls icon on the left, and both settings will be found under “Playback Speed”.
41. Reduce Bass on a HomePod
If you don’t want to disturb your neighbors, you can now reduce the bass on a connected HomePod. Open the Home app, select a HomePod, tap the cog icon at the bottom of the device card, then scroll to the bottom and toggle the switch next to Reduce Bass.
42. Blur Your Background on a FaceTime Call
With FaceTime’s new Portrait mode, you can blur your background so that the focus is on you instead of what is behind you. Swipe down from the top-right corner of the screen to open Control Center on your next FaceTime call. Then, to enable Portrait, tap the Video Effects button and select Portrait.
43. Search Photos in Spotlight
Apple has enhanced Spotlight Search by integrating it with more apps, including the Photos app. Swipe down on the Home Screen to bring up Spotlight Search, then type “Photos” to begin searching your photos by specifying locations, people, scenes, or even objects in your photos such as plants or pets, thanks to Visual Lookup.
Photos can also appear as Suggestions in search results. When you search for “cats,” for example, your photos will appear alongside results from the Files app, the web, Siri Knowledge, and other sources. By going to Settings > Siri & Search > Photos, you can control what appears in the search.
44. Add Apple Music Songs to Photo Memories
In iOS 15, you can add songs from Apple Music to your Memories by following the steps below. Select a memory from the For You tab that you want to edit in Photos, then tap the playing memory to bring up the controls overlay.
Tap the sparkling musical note, then swipe left or right to see recommended music mixes, or tap the Add Music icon (the musical note with the + sign) to add your own. You can now browse Apple Music’s Top Suggested Songs and other categories, or you can use the Search icon at the top to locate a particular song in your music library to add to your memory.
45. Locate Your Turned Off iPhone
Apple has added the ability to track a lost iPhone even when it is turned off or in power reserve mode to iOS 15. Because this feature makes use of the Ultra-Wideband chip found in newer iPhones, it is only available on iPhone 11 and later models (excluding iPhone SE 2).
Tap your Apple ID banner at the top of the Settings app, then select Find My. Make sure the Find My iPhone and Find My Network switches are turned on. That way, even if your iPhone has run out of battery or is turned off, you’ll be able to locate it in the Find My app’s Devices tab.
46. Hide Content From Shared With You
Shared it with In a new section in Photos, Safari, Apple News, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts, and the Apple TV app, you can view content sent to you by friends in Messages conversations.
If you don’t want content from a specific person to appear in Shared With You, you can easily hide it. Go to the Conversations section in Messages and long press on a conversation thread. Hide in Shared With You will appear in the popup menu that appears. Tap it, and anything shared by that person will be removed.
47. View Your Shazam History
Apple introduced a new Shazam Music Recognition toggle for the Control Center with the release of iOS 14.2, providing iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users with a quick and easy way to identify what music is playing.
The option to view your Shazam history was also added in iOS 15. To use it, simply hold down the Shazam button in Control Center for a few seconds.
48. Zoom in With Quick Take
To capture a quick video, simply press and hold the shutter button, then release the button to stop recording, thanks to the Quick Take feature in the Camera app.
Apple has also added a zoom function to Quick Take in iOS 15. Simply swipe upwards while keeping your finger pressed against the screen to zoom in.
49. Turn On Weather Precipitation Alerts
To receive weather notifications in your current location, you must first grant the Weather app permission to always access your location (Settings > Privacy -> Location Services -> Weather). Then, in the Weather app, tap the bullet list icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen.
At the top of the location list, tap Turn on Notifications. Tap the circular ellipsis icon in the top-right corner of the screen, then tap Notifications > Continue > Allow if you don’t see the “Stay Dry” card. Finally, turn on the switches next to the locations for which you want to receive notifications.
50. Use Auto Translate in the Translate App
You can use the Translate app to say a phrase aloud and have it translated into another language. Because the iPhone listens for both languages and can translate right between them, you can chat back and forth with someone who speaks another language in Conversation Mode.
Earlier, you had to tap the microphone icon before speaking a phrase that needed to be translated, and then the other person had to tap the same icon before they could speak in the other language. However, in iOS 15, Apple added an Auto Translate option, which eliminates the need for either party to interact with the screen in order to have their part of the conversation translated. Tap the Conversation tab, then the ellipsis (three dots) icon, and finally Auto Translate to enable it.
If you have a favorite tip that isn’t listed here, please share it in the comments section below.