Using 3D Touch, Bedtime feature, widgets, Control Center, and more
3D Touch is useful
3D Touch has been vastly improved since iOS 10, and these features also work on the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, so even if you don’t have the latest phone, give them a try. There are many to remember, and updates will be added all the time, so the best advice is to hard press down on app icons, or notifications, to see what happens.
Here are a couple of our favorites:
- Hard-press on the Message icon and you get quick access to a new message or a shortcut to your most often used contacts.
- Hard-press on the Instagram app icon and there is quick access to a new post, search, or your activity page.
- With the phone locked, hard press on any notification to see additional controls. It’s easy to reply to iMessages without unlocking your phone, for example.
Flashlight intensity adjustment, and quick timer
Proving 3D Touch is getting more helpful, here are a couple of shortcuts that are easy to miss, but can prove handy. Swipe up to access Control Center and hard-press on the Flashlight or Timer buttons to adjust the brightness or start a preset timer respectively.
Fast unlock with Touch ID
Touch ID is Apple’s name for the fingerprint sensor, and it can be used in two different ways to unlock your phone, either a full-press or with a light touch. This was also an option on the iPhone 6S range and there is a chance the default option will be different to your previous choice. Here is how to change it.
- Go to Settings > General > Accessibility, then look for the Home Button option. In here, toggle the switch marked Rest Finger to Open.
- With the switch moved to On, there is no need to press the button to unlock the phone when the lock screen is active. With it Off, it still requires a press.
Enable or disable haptics
On the iPhone 7, nearly everything you do will be accompanied by a light buzz or vibration. If you use 3D Touch a lot, you are probably already familiar with this feeling. These are your smartphone’s system haptics, or haptic feedback, which let you know your actions are being recognized. If you don’t like the constant — albeit brief — movements, you can turn them off by going to Settings > Sounds & Haptics and toggling the System Haptics off.
How to add more shortcuts in Control Center
Do you wish you had more shortcuts in Control Center? Well, you can! All you have to do is go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls and you will be able to add or remove your most-used toggles.
Raise to wake
If Touch ID’s super-fast unlocking frustrates when you just want to check the time, you will like this trick. Like the Apple Watch, iOS 12 has a Raise to Wake mode. Pick up your phone, and the Home screen lights up, without having to press the Home button.
It should be switched on by default, but if not, head to Settings > Display and Brightness, and find the Raise to Wake toggle. Turn it on or off, depending on your preference.
Bedtime is another iOS feature that we love, and new iPhone 7 owners should definitely try it out. Rather than simply setting an alarm to wake up to in the morning, Bedtime lets you configure the number of hours you sleep instead, along with an alert to tell you it’s time to put your head down at the end of the day. It also tracks your sleep through Apple Health.
Open the Clock app and select the Bedtime mode at the bottom of the display. From here, choose the amount of sleep you like to get, and which days you want an alarm. Tap the Options button in the top-left corner of the display to change the alarm sound and the reminder time.
Quickly add new widgets
Apple tweaked the appearance of the Today screen in iOS 10 and made widgets more useful than ever. There are already a handful of widgets added to the screen by default, but you can easily edit what is there and add new ones. To do so, swipe left while on the home or lock screen to bring up the Today screen. Then, scroll to the bottom and tap Edit to see what other widgets you have at your disposal. Alternatively, you can press down on an app on your home screen and if it has widget capabilities, a widget will appear and you can tap Add Widget in the top-right corner.
Lock camera lens
This is something only iPhone 7 Plus owners will be able to take advantage of, as it requires the dual camera on the back. Head to Settings > Camera > Record Video and toggle the Lock Camera option on. This will keep you from switching between the two lenses on the back while recording video, as well as prevent any flickering that could occur when switching.
Sometimes you need to zoom in on something far away, but don’t want to open the camera app to do it. If so, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Magnifier and toggle the Magnifier setting on. You can then triple-click the Home button to activate the feature. While using the Magnifier, you can use the white circle button to capture an image and zoom in and out to get a better look at it. If the triple-click function doesn’t work or launches something else, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut to change it to the Magnifier.