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17 Things You Didn't Know Your iPhone Home Button Could Do «iOS & iPhone :: Gadget Hacks



The Home button on an iPhone does a lot . That's not necessarily news for anyone who has ever owned an iPhone with a Home button, but what you may not know is that it can go so much beyond the standard everyday features. So if you have an iPhone 7, 8 or the new SE model running iOS 13 or later, read on to learn more about 17 secret Home button tricks you are missing out on.

Common tasks that help the Home button wake up the device, open the app switcher, return to the home screen, use reachability, and activate Siri. To perform these functions, click the Home button once, click it twice, click it once, lightly tap it twice, and long press it. But everyone knows it.

What you're going to see below are tips that go beyond the basics, such as how your Home button can help you control your iPhone with just your keyboard, lower screen brightness than the minimum, and even wipe your device randomly accessible memory for a performance boost. Again, the tips below assume you're using iOS 1

3 or later, but many will work on older iOS versions as well.

1. Clearing Your iPhone's RAM

It may be surprising to learn that you can actually clear the RAM on an iOS device. Apple does not advertise the feature, even developers, making it relatively unknown. Still, it is real and can be done with the Home button on your iPhone, among other things.

When would you like to clear your iPhone's RAM? Well, you probably wouldn't want to do it often. Apple makes sure that iOS comes with excellent RAM management, so most of the time the system can manage just fine on its own. However, if you come across an app that is starting to eat up too much RAM, iOS may not work properly. It is at such a time that you would like to try clearing the RAM to see if the RAM management was bad, giving your iPhone a loop.

2. Type in to Siri instead of talking

When you press and hold the Home button, you are calling Siri. While there are other ways to ask Siri, the long-press gesture has been around since Siri was a thing. However, did you know that you don't really need to talk to Siri to use the virtual assistant? Instead, you can use the Home button to ask "Type to Siri", which allows you to silently ask Siri whatever you want.

If you didn't know your Home button – or iPhone, by the way – it had that function, it's not your fault. Typing to Siri is a bit hidden, and while it's a great option, Apple actually only promotes the standard "Hey Siri" and Home long-press as the main Siri activators.

Tip: You Can Just Disconnect Siri From The Home button

With the iPhone 7 and the arrival of the capacitive Home button, making accidental activation of Siri much more difficult. However, that doesn't mean it's not possible, and if you have an older iPhone with a mechanical Home button, the problem still exists.

To avoid accidental Siri activation on the lock screen, go to Touch ID & Passcode (or passcode only) in the Settings menu and then enter your passcode to continue. Once inside, scroll down and disable "Siri" under Allow access when locked . You can also achieve the same achievement by going to Settings -> Siri & Search and then unchecking the "Allow Siri When Locked" option.

To completely remove Siri from the Home button, go to Settings -> Siri & Search and enable & # 39; Press Home for Siri & # 39; from. If you really want Siri gone, it's also possible to turn off "Listen for 'Hey Siri'.

3. Go Back to the First Home Screen Page

If your home screen has multiple pages of apps, it might seem like a daunting task swipe all of them to go back to the first page, but you don't have to, because with your iPhone's Home button you can go right back to the first page without swiping, and it's the same as what you would do if you wanted to go back to your home screen pretty much anywhere.

4. Access to Apple Pay & Passes

Nowadays you will be more and find more suppliers who accept payments from just your iPhone. Groceries? JEP. Coffee? Yes. That hip sandwich shop asking $ 15 for a sub? Sure. But if you unlock your iPhone, go to Wallet and then use Apple Pay or a card to buy your goods, you're wasting time.

There is actually a shortcut that allows you to access Apple Pay and save cards without having to dig through your Wallet first. The problem is that the function only works if you have a certain type of card (debit or credit) stored in Wallet. If you're working with passes only, you'll still need to open Wallet to pay for your stuff, so a card is still required.

5. Reduce Home Button Click Speed ​​

For double and triple click functions, there is a certain speed at which these gestures must be performed. Otherwise, the multitasking interface, Apple Pay, or your accessibility shortcut will not start. For some people, the default speed between clicks may be too fast. If you are, you can change that click speed quite easily.

Know that there are not many options to choose from. You won't find a range of speeds like you do when selecting mouse cursor sensitivity. Instead, iOS presents you "Standard", "Slow" or "Slowest". If you choose one of the last two options, you can take a bit more time between pressing the Home button when starting double- and triple-click gestures.

6. Activate the Hidden Magnifying Glass Camera Tool

Having trouble reading something for you? Want to take a closer look at something in the distance? Of course, you can use the zoom on your iPhone's camera, but that will only take you that far. Instead, your Home button can activate the hidden magnifying glass in iOS, an accessibility feature that allows you to zoom much further than your camera normally allows.

While you can use this magnifying glass as a simple visual aid, you can also use it to take pictures of your macro subjects. The feature is packed with tools like flash, filters and auto exposure lock, so while not as versatile as the typical Camera app, it can get the job done for subjects that are very, very far away.

Pictures from Justin Meyers / Gadget Hacks

7. Reduce screen white point

We are all hopelessly addicted to our smartphones, I'm sure. And for better or worse, that addiction is likely to last well into the night. That said, you may find the lowest brightness setting on your iPhone to still be too bright during those nighttime benders, making Instagram, YouTube or TikTok a little awkward to use.

Enter "Reduce White Point." The function reduces the intensity of the white areas of your screen, significantly reducing the overall brightness on your iPhone . Serious. If you push the setting to the limit, your iPhone may be too too weak, even in complete darkness. Of course, you can configure your Home button to activate the feature with just a triple click.

8. Lower brightness even more with & # 39; Zoom & # 39;

If you feel that Reducing White Point is still not weak enough for your taste, you should know that this is not the only setting that can help reduce the brightness of your iPhone. Your Home button can also activate a "Zoom" filter, which can further dim your screen if you need it.

So what do zoom and dimming have to do with each other? It's all about accessibility. The main zoom function, of course, is to zoom in on your screen if you can't read it properly. In addition, Apple has several filter options as visual aids, including "Low Light".

The point is that you don't really have to zoom in on your screen to take advantage of the Low Light filter. Your Home button can easily activate the overlay so you can browse your iPhone more comfortably. You just need to set it up. Combined with the Reduce White Point trick, we found the screen too too weak, but it all depends on what you use them on.

9. Applying a color filter to your screen

Speaking of filters, did you know that you can apply a color filter to your iPhone screen? Your Home button can be used to activate these filters, which, in addition to adding a unique look to your device, can help you see your screen better in certain situations.

The most likely use case? Use a red filter in low-light environments. Red light is more difficult for our eyes to distinguish than other light frequencies, making it easier to see up close in dark places. From far away, that red screen keeps other people from noticing you at night. If you want something other than just lowering the overall brightness of your screen, you can try out color filters.

11. Enable Smart or Classic Invert

With iOS 13, Apple finally introduced system-wide dark mode for the first time. Before that addition, however, there was a way to get a pseudo-dark mode on almost every app you could think of, courtesy of Smart Invert and Classic Invert.

These two functions change the color scheme of your iPhone, especially that white colors become black colors. Classic Invert mirrors all colors while Smart Invert only tries to change colors that make sense. The latter isn't always perfect, but can be an excellent solution for apps that haven't yet switched.

Smart Invert (left) vs. Classic Invert (right).

While more and more apps are using the dark mode of iOS 13, many still don't, which means there are still plenty of reasons to use it if you want a direct night mode. Your Home button can flip the switch at any time, so if you're going to browse a bright app like Facebook in the dark, you can do that.

12. Get on-screen controls with AssistiveTouch

If you're still not happy with your iPhone home button, or if it's currently broken or buggy, you might want to try a whole new way of interacting with your device . Instead of using a button to do everything, a feature called AssistiveTouch lets you control your iPhone with on-screen tappable buttons.

AssistiveTouch is not only used to replace the Home button functionality. While you can do anything with AssistiveTouch, you can do it with the Home button, but it can also take over many other gestures or functions that you would normally perform yourself, such as activating the Control Center, opening the Notification Center , falling asleep your iPhone, taking a screenshot, etc.

13. Enable Guided Access

Don't you just hate it when you show someone a photo on your iPhone, but insist they swipe through more than they should? It may be enough to stop you from ever letting your device go. It doesn't have to be that way, though, thanks to a little feature called "Guided Access."

Guided Access allows you to lock your iPhone in the window that is currently displayed. You can even specify which parts of that window are even interactive, leaving the rest of the screen "dead" when touched. The setting pretty much ensures that the person taking your iPhone can only communicate or see exactly what you want. Guided Access allows you to give your iPhone to a complete stranger without worry.

Guided Access is of course only temporary and requires your access code to be disabled. But all it takes is a shortcut of your Home button to activate which means you can quickly enable the setting when you need to.

Images by Justin Meyers / Gadget Hacks

14. Control your iPhone with an external keyboard

New to iOS 13.4 is "Full Keyboard Access", an impressive feature that allows you to control your iPhone with only an external keyboard. No seriously. While it initially seemed like Full Keyboard Access was exclusive to iPadOS, you'll find the accessibility shortcut on iOS too.

How does it work? Virtually any command or feature that you would normally use a tap or gesture for on your iPhone is assigned a keyboard shortcut. You can find a complete list of these shortcuts under Accessibility -> Keyboards -> Full keyboard access -> Commands so you know exactly how to run them. If you don't like an assignment, change a new one.

Since it is an accessibility shortcut, a simple triple click of the home button is enough to enable it. To set it up just go to Settings -> Accessibility -> Accessibility shortcuts and then tap on "Full keyboard access".

15. Activate VoiceOver

VoiceOver may sound like voice control, but it is a completely different function. Instead of controlling your iPhone with your voice, VoiceOver lets you control your device with taps and gestures. How is that different from normal? Because iOS reads out what's on your screen in case you can't see the screen. Those taps and gestures can then be done based on what you hear, not necessarily where you tap the screen.

VoiceOver highlights a piece of text or an option at a time, then reads it out loud. It's up to you whether you select the item, skip to the next item, or even have VoiceOver split the text letter by letter. And don't be afraid to change the way VoiceOver works. You can control how fast or slow iOS speaks, adjust statements, control how haptics work, adjust commands and much more. There may not be a part of iOS that is more customizable.

Be warned: once enabled, VoiceOver can be a difficult maneuver feature. We're so used to the standard ways of operating an iPhone that new taps and gestures – plus iOS that says everything VoiceOver highlights say – can be shocking. Fortunately, it's easy to turn off when you set VoiceOver as a shortcut for accessibility because you need to turn on or off the Home button with three clicks.

16. Activate Switch Control

Your Home button can also be used to activate Switch Control. This feature allows you to interact with your iPhone using an adaptive accessory, usually to highlight items on your screen. If that sounds the same as VoiceOver, it's different in just a few key ways. It's actually the opposite of VoiceOver.

Switch Control does not say what is on your screen. Although it highlights items in a familiar way, that "cursor" actually moves independently across the screen, at least by default. The idea here is to wait for the cursor to reach an area of ​​the screen you want to interact with, then select that area with no gesture or accessory.

Like VoiceOver, Switch Control is highly customizable, allowing you to change the highlight speed, the way highlighting works, the cursor display, gestures, and more. As an accessibility shortcut, a triple click on the Home button is enough to get Switch Control working.

17. Disable Reachability to Unintentionally prevent activation

Accessibility was first introduced on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, to use the larger screens more comfortably with just one hand. Many of you may find the feature helpful, but some of you may not, as it only takes two unintended touches to accidentally disable the feature in frustration.

To disable this feature, go to Settings -> Accessibility -> Touch and then toggle the switch next to & # 39; Reachability & # 39 ;. From now on, double tapping on your Home button will not cause anything . Of course it is the opposite of something your Home button can do, but hey, you might not know that the button could not activate Reachability.

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Cover photo by Dallas Thomas / Gadget Hacks; Screenshots and GIFs of Jake Peterson / Gadget Hacks (unless otherwise noted)

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