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10 handy tricks for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch

These 10 tricks will make sure you get the most out of your Apple gadgets.

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Topic: Mobility
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1 of 10 James Kendrick/ ZDNet

iPhone -- Easily use symbols in text messages

When entering a text message and you need to enter a symbol you can do so by simply long-pressing the 123 button on the screen keyboard. Holding the finger on the screen, drag it to the key with the desired symbol that will appear in a few seconds. Drag the finger to the symbol and release.

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2 of 10 James Kendrick/ ZDNet

iPhone -- Take photos with earbuds

There's an easy way to take selfies or other photos using the Apple earbuds. With the earbuds plugged into the phone, open the Camera app and get the photo ready to take. Press either the volume up or down button on the earbuds to take the picture.

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3 of 10 James Kendrick/ ZDNet

iPhone -- Swipe to delete digits in Calculator app

If you use the Calculator app often, you'll appreciate this tip. When you need to delete the last digit entered, swipe left on the current total displayed at the top of the screen and the digits will erase one at a time.

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4 of 10 James Kendrick/ ZDNet

iPad -- Watch video while running other apps

While watching a full screen video, press the Picture-in-Picture icon at the lower right to shrink the video and send it to the corner of the screen. It will continue playing while you use the iPad to run other apps. You can drag the video around to reposition it. This works in many apps but may not work in all.

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5 of 10 James Kendrick/ ZDNet

iPhone, iPad -- Flag important email messages

Don't overlook the ability to flag important email messages. This lets you see what's important by just keeping an eye on the flag category. You can also designate important people in your life as VIPs so you can always get directly to messages from this group.

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6 of 10 James Kendrick/ ZDNet

iPhone, iPad -- Use iCloud tabs in Safari

iCloud lets you keep Safari web sites available on all devices that are signed into the same iCloud account. This includes the iPad so it's an easy way to get to sites that are open on other devices. With iCloud tabs enabled in settings, open Safari on the iPad and hit the Tabs button. Scroll down to the bottom and you'll see sites open on all other iDevices. Tap the one you want and you're where you want to be.

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7 of 10 James Kendrick/ ZDNet

Apple Watch -- Hey Siri for hands free use

If you use "Hey Siri" on the iPhone you may have wished you could do the same handsfree usage of Siri on the Apple Watch. Don't fret, it turns out you can do it. It's not advertised but it seems the Apple Watch is always listening to you when the watch face display is active.

To use Hey Siri, raise your wrist and when the display turns on just state "Hey Siri" followed by your command or query for Siri. It's faster and works just like long-pressing the Crown Jewel of the watch to get Siri's attention.

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8 of 10 James Kendrick/ ZDNet

Apple Watch -- Turn on reduce motion

With such a small touch screen, it can sometimes be difficult to accurately hit controls. This is because the watch display has a tendency to jump around quickly, so little things can be hard to tap accurately. This behavior is much improved if you go to accessibility settings on the Apple Watch app on the iPhone and turn on Reduce Motion. It doesn't degrade performance and makes the display animation much smoother.

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9 of 10 James Kendrick/ ZDNet

Apple Watch -- Reply to email - using Siri dictation

The Apple Watch is a good tool for seeing email as it arrives, but most don't realize it's pretty good at replying to them. Dictation in Siri can be used to speak short replies to email without pulling out the iPhone to do so. After selecting to reply to an email, hit the microphone button which starts Siri dictation.

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10 of 10 James Kendrick/ ZDNet

Apple Watch -- Clear all notifications

If you get a lot of notifications on the Apple Watch, from time to time you might wish to clear them all out. The easy way to do this is to hard press one of the notifications on the watch until the Clear All screen appears. A tap on this screen clears all notifications sitting on the Apple Watch.

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