How to master iOS 12.4: The best iPhone tips and tricks

Here's a compilation of my favorite iOS features.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Get the most out of your iPhone by leveraging the power of iOS. Here is a selection of my favorite iOS 12.4 tips and tricks. 

Note: Some of these tips use the 3D Touch feature, which is present on all iPhone models, from the iPhone 6S to the latest iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, but it is not available on the iPhone XR.

Find out what's eating your battery

Find out what's eating your battery

Is your battery draining faster than usual? Is your iPhone not making it through the day? Chances are there's an app that's gone rogue and is running in the background.

First, go to Settings > Battery and look at the Battery Usage list. Tap anywhere on the list to change it from showing percentages to also showing you a breakdown of how much screen time and background time the running apps are taking.

Remember that while some apps -- the Music app, for example -- are designed to work in the background, most apps are not and could be the cause of the problem.

iOS 12.4 draining your iPhone battery fast? Here's what you should do

If you notice an app with unexplained high background usage, then you may have solved your problem. Go into Settings > General > Background App Refresh and turn off background refresh for that specific app.

Also, look to see if you have No Cell Coverage on the list. If this is responsible for high battery usage, then you've found your problem: Being out of cell coverage or in an area with poor coverage. If this figure is high, try putting the iPhone into Airplane Mode when cell coverage is poor (you can still independently turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) to see if that helps.

Turn the iOS keyboard into a trackpad

Turn the iOS keyboard into a trackpad

Moving around a lot of text can be problematic, but once again 3D Touch comes to the rescue, this time allowing you to turn the keyboard into a trackpad to more easily move the cursor on the screen and navigate around documents.

All you do is press down firmly on the keyboard, and when the keys turn blank, you can slide your finger around the keyboard, moving the cursor at the same time.

Enhanced Do Not Disturb

Make it easier to get time away from your iPhone, by getting better control over the Do Not Disturb feature. You can now set Do Not Disturb specifically for events such as meetings or when you're at a particular location.

Press and hold down the Do Not Disturb icon in Control Center (the one that looks like a crescent moon) to bring up this menu of options.

What's more, iOS 12 will turn it off automatically as soon as your event ends or you leave that location.

Camera app: Quick access

One thing about photography is that perfect shot can come and go in moments, so having quick access to the camera features can make the difference between getting the shot, and telling people about that cool shot you missed.

3D Touch gives you a quick and easy way to access Take Selfie, Record Video, Record Slo-mo, and Take Portrait in the Camera app.

Press and hold the Camera app icon until the pop-up appears and then choose where you want to jump.

One-handed keyboard

Sometimes being able to type one-handed is a must.

Press and hold on the Emoji button of your iPhone's keyboard to bring up the options for a left or right-handed keyboard.

Timer hack from the Control Center

Timer hack

I don't know about you, but I make use of timers a lot on my iPhone and Apple Watch.

Here's another cool 3D Touch feature: If you have the Timer app added to the Control Center panel (I'll show you how to add items to the Control Center panel shortly), press and hold to bring up a nifty way to set a quick timer.

Customize Control Center

I promised earlier I'd show you how to customize the Control Center panel in iOS.

Go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls and add or remove the features you want available.

Warranty status

Warranty Status

It used to be a hassle to find the warranty status of your iPhone or iPad. No more!

If you go to Settings > General > About, you will find a new entry that's either called Limited Warranty (this is the basic Apple warranty) or AppleCare+ (Apple's extended warranty) that shows the expiry date for the warranty.

Tapping on this leads to the Coverage page, which offers up more information on the iPhone or iPad's hardware warranty. If the device does not have AppleCare+ warranty coverage and is eligible for it, an option to buy it will be available here.

Stop apps harassing you for feedback

I know that feedback is important to app developers, but sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming for users. This is probably one of the things in apps that annoys me the most.

Fortunately, Apple now offers users a way to put an end to it.  ut the setting is buried, and unless you know where to look for it, you'll probably never come across it

Here's how to access it:

Settings > iTunes & App Store, and then toggle In-App Ratings & Reviews to off.

Settings app: Quick access

One of the things that annoy me about iOS is how much tapping I have to do to get to things that I use all the time. Then I discovered several 3D Touch shortcuts!

3D Touch gives you a quick and easy way to access Battery, Cellular, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth in the Settings app.

Press and hold the Setting app icon until the pop-up appears and then choose where you want to jump.

App Store: Quick access

3D Touch gives you a quick-and-easy way to access Search, Redeem, Update All, and Purchased in the App Store app.

Press and hold the App Store app icon until the pop-up appears and then choose where you want to jump.

I find this especially useful for quickly updating apps.

Top apps for iPhone users

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