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iOS 12.2: iPhone tips, tricks, and shortcuts you need to know

iOS 12.2 is out and it's packed with loads of useful features. The only problem is that if you don't know about them you might never know they are there! Here's a compilation of my favorite features. Some make use the 3D Touch feature, and this is present on all iPhones from the iPhone 6S to the latest iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, however it is not available on the iPhone XR.

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Topic: iOS
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1 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Revamped About screen

Apple has revamped the About screen (Settings > General > About), consolidating the important information about your iPhone at the top of the page, and also giving easier access to warranty AppleCare+ information.

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2 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Downtime gets more controls

Now the Downtime page gives you more granularity, allowing you to customize the settings for each day.

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3 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Air quality information in Maps

Apple Maps now displays Air Quality Index (AQI) for towns and cities, allowing you to keep an eye on how clean -- or not -- the air is!

Settings app: Quick access
4 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Settings app: Quick access

One of the things that annoys me about iOS is how much tapping I have to do to get to things that I use all the time. Then I discovered a number of 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 until the pop-up appears and then choose where you want to jump to.


Timer hack from Control Center
5 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Timer hack from the Control Center

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.


Camera app: Quick access
6 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Camera app: Quick access

One thing about photography is that that perfect shot can come and go in moments, so having quick access to the camera features you want 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 until the pop-up appears and then choose where you want to jump to.


App Store: Quick access
7 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

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 until the pop-up appears and then choose where you want to jump to.

I find this especially useful for quickly updating apps.


One-handed keyboard
8 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

One-handed keyboard

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

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


Stop apps harassing you for feedback
9 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

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. Unfortunately, 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.


Customize Control Center
10 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

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.


Find out what's burning your battery
11 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

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.

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 turn on Wi-Fi and Bluetooth independently) to see if that helps.


Reset your dictionary suggestions
12 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

Reset your dictionary suggestions

Are you getting odd words suggested to you when you type? Maybe you've been typing foreign words, or maybe you've allowed a mistake to creep in.

Unfortunately, Apple doesn't give you a way to edit the dictionary, so the only way to fx this is to reset the dictionary completely.

To do this go Settings > General > Reset and choose Reset Keyboard Dictionary.


Turn the iOS keyboard into a trackpad
13 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

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 allow you to more easily move the cursor on the screen to 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
14 of 14 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNet

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 while 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.

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