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6 things you might not know your iPhone can do

The iPhone has been in the market of smartphone usage for quite some time but still offers secret features all may not be aware of.




Since 2008, my smartphone tent has been firmly set in iPhone’s camp. In the eight years that we’ve been together, I’m still learning new things about the iPhone all of the time.

Because of this, I love sharing this newfound knowledge with other iPhone users. For example, on two separate occasions, I informed two different users of a trick to taking photos. Both conversations happened to go like this:

Me: “Did you know you could take pictures by using the volume keys?”

Them (in a tone of mocking disbelief): “Nuh-uh…”

Me: “It’s true! Try it.”

Them (some 12 seconds later): “How did I not know this?”

“How did I not know this?”

Then, following both conversations, the next few minutes were spent taking pictures of anything and everything using the volume keys. This got me wondering what else iPhones could do that would elicit the reaction of, “How did I not know this?”

1. Thumbprint identification: On iPhones 5s and newer, there is an option to set your thumbprint as means for identification rather than typing in your passcode. In my opinion, this is just about the coolest thing in the world as it is seemingly futuristic. Oddly, one of the people I had the volume key discussion with, again did not buy into my story that I could unlock my phone by placing my thumb on the home button. Maybe one of these days, he’ll start listening.

[To implement: Go to settings, touch ID & passcode, enter your passcode, and add fingerprint. Note: it takes a few moments to set up as it has to garner every crevice of your fingerprint.]

2. Medical ID: Simply put, this is just smart. When your phone is locked, there is an option for ‘emergency’ use. Once emergency is clicked on, you are allowed to make calls to 911. You are also able to view the owner’s medical identification. This is extremely helpful in the case of an accident when information is crucial.

Information you can include: name, birthdate, medical conditions, medical notes, allergies and reactions, medications, emergency contacts, blood type, organ donor status, height, and weight.

[To implement: Go to contacts, click on ‘my card’ at the very top, click edit, scroll to Edit Medical ID.]

3. Do Not Disturb: Another personal favorite. There are a few ways to use this tool that silences messages without having to turn your phone off. Typically, I use them to silence group chats because those can go crazy and get annoying. To do this, open the group chat, go to details, then switch the Do Not Disturb tab to green (then do the opposite to turn it off). You will still receive the text messages, you just won’t be notified. Once you manually unlock your phone, you will see the little red dot on your message app that will inform you.

You can also set your whole phone to DND. This is helpful when sleeping, because it will silence text messages but give you the options to leave phone calls on in case there is an emergency.

4. Details: Inside every text thread, there is a “details” option. This allows you to see every photo and video sent throughout that thread without having to scroll back through the messages. It also gives you the option to share your location with an individual.

5. Group chats: There are a few nifty things within group chats you can do. If Do Not Disturb is not good enough, you have the option to leave the group chat altogether. This option is also found in the details section. But, if you get to the details section and decide to change your mind about leaving, you have the option to give the group chat a name. Just keep in mind that, once you name the group, it informs everyone involved. So, name wisely.

6. Siri: Everyone knows about Siri but there are many things that she (yes, I give her a pronoun) can do that not everyone knows about. If you go into Settings, select General, Accessibility, Speech, then turn on Speak Screen and Speak Selection, Siri will be enabled to read to you. If you swipe down from the top of your phone’s screen using two fingers, Siri will read to you whatever is on the screen.

When you ask Siri a question, she will call you by whatever you have your phone registered under. For example, Siri knows that my name is Taylor, so when I ask a question, she calls me that. However, if I said, “Siri, call me beauty queen from now on,” Siri will remember this and will use the term “beauty queen” until otherwise informed.

Drop in the bucket

These six features are just a small percentage of what the iPhone is capable of doing. The best way to learn new tricks is to explore the phone and see what it can do.


Staff Writer, Taylor Leddin is a publicist and freelance writer for a number of national outlets. She was featured on Thrive Global as a successful woman in journalism, and is the editor-in-chief of The Tidbit. Taylor resides in Chicago and has a Bachelor in Communication Studies from Illinois State University.

Tech News

Amazon Ring exposed wifi passwords; let’s talk ethics

(TECH NEWS) Ring has a security slip up is part of an alarming tech trend! Can industry insiders turn things around before the government forces their hand?



Ring doorbell

Knock knock!

Who’s there?


WiFi who?

Why Fi…ght external regulation, if you won’t implement higher standards on your end?

Amazon’s Ring smart doorbell/camera services left customers in the ding-dong ditch by letting hackers exploit a flaw that exposed homeowners’ WiFi passwords to neighborhood hackers up until September of this year. I thought putting a ring on things locked them down, but I guess that’s only for people…

Truth be told, I honestly didn’t think a wifi password in the wrong hands could do too much. I figured neighborhood freeloaders would drag my speed down playing some MMORPG on my network or get me slapped by pirating Disney stuff on my dime.

Apparently, what a serious hacker is MORE likely to do is use that connectivity to share a keystroke tracking program with my computer, then sell my passwords to whoever wants them.

Imagine someone in Cairo clogging up my precious Netflix queue with a bunch of romcoms. Eww.

In all seriousness, that’s a pretty big flaw in the Ring. It took Bucharest-based Bitdefender (a merry band of cybersecurity researchers) to point it out. Amazon’s tech ninjas jumped on it, and the issue’s been fixed for a couple of months as of time of writing. But all’s not quite well yet.

The burning questions on my mind are: Who was supposed to catch it first? And why weren’t people told before the fix?

If you’re in the tech industry, know this, and know it well: John Q Public is not your beta tester.

Releasing a product with something as small as a typo on the packaging is embarrassing enough, but when you leave yourself open to something like letting your customers be vulnerable to identity theft, your face gets considerably more eggy.

And, as usual, leaving doors like this opened doesn’t just make your company look bad, or let competitors get the edge on you.

Consistent lack of inner standards means you’re going to be up against outer standards you’ll like even less. Sure, you might think that govt. regulation is going the way of the dodo, but the tech industry and recently emancipated pork industry aren’t the same.

If you’ll pardon the generalization, the more someone leans towards less government oversight, it’s more likely that they’ll view technology as a necessary evil than anything. And that means tech industry slip ups will be the first to be monitored if internal quality control keeps deteriorating. People are getting wise to how much information their smart devices are tracking, and how vulnerable they can become when that information isn’t secured.

Amazon execs will be fine if things go to the courts. Your startup? Probably not as much.

Look, tech nerds have it going on. I really WANT to advocate for leaving you all alone and letting you do your thing, but the constant corner cutting on security testing makes that difficult. Leaving consumers in the dark until the fix is done, meaning no one even had the chance to take precautions like instituting password changes, is a huge no-no, and the fact that I even have to rant about it is alarming.

You know that cliche, ‘It’s not that you DID xyz, it’s that you LIED about it’? It goes for lying by omission as well. Consider this case the coal mine canary.

You are your own industry’s gatekeepers. Take the job seriously before the job gets taken. Seriously

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Tech News

Earbuds that are noise cancelling hit the market just in time for the holidays

(TECH NEWS) There are no shortage of earbuds on the market, however, Nuheara’s noise cancelling, bluetooth earbuds are sure to top everyone’s wish list.



earbuds noise cancelling

Noise cancelling earbuds are efficient for blocking out the world around you – when all you want to hear is your music and nothing else. However, for those who want a smaller, sleeker alternative, Nuheara is the perfect fit.

Nuheara are wireless audio earbuds that are customizable to your hearing needs. Even though they have the same power as noise cancelling headphones, they can be adjusted to amplify or minimize sound based on each situation.

You can choose to blend the sounds of the streets and your new favorite album in order to be aware of the world around you. The earbuds are ideal for any situation.

The noise cancelling earbuds use SINC (Superior Intelligent Noise Control) technology, which lets every user create their custom hearing experience.

There are numerous times when it’s hard to hear because of the noise around us. This may be in crowded restaurants, concerts or even when you’re at home trying to avoid the noisy neighbor in the apartment above you.

The SINC technology applies a frequency filter to sounds you choose to hear or want to avoid. Additionally, the left and right earbuds have their own settings, so that they can be customized individually. Everything is customized through the app, so it’s up to each user to decide!

Prior to founding Nuheara, Justin Miller and David Cannington worked in the oil and gas companies creating industrial strength hearing headsets.

The feedback they received during these experiences paved the way for inventing Nuheara. People wanted a sleek headset that they could wear in everyday life, not just at their job.

The earbuds will set you back a few hundred bucks, but they come with accessories like a battery charger, carrying case and 8 different silicone tips. The battery charger provides three full charges. Nuheara earbuds are also sweat and water resistant, but they are not yet waterproof.

As wireless headphones, Nuheara are also compatible with most Bluetooth connected devices. The earbuds also use tap-touch control to make hands-free phone calls, control music and adjust settings.

There is no need to connect Nuheara to external devices to use their noise cancelling capabilities.

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Tech News

Turn your FAQ page into a chatbot without knowing how to code

(TECH NEWS) An easy way to add a chatbot to your site and automate some of your work is through this new simple tool that doesn’t require any tech know-how.



faqbot chatbot

Reduce your workload and personalize customer service engagement with Faqbot, the tool that turns your online FAQ into a customized chatbot.

Co-founded by Denny Wong and CEO Mathis André, Faqbot uses machine learning to streamline frequently asked questions into a handy chatbot pal.

Based on your existing FAQ content, Faqbot builds a database that learns from every conversation to improve responses. Faqbot can also be used to automate sales and lead generation.

You get to design the conversation flow, mapping out a custom path to guide users to a desired outcome. Set predefined choices or free text, customize the bot’s responses, and determine what leading questions the bot should ask.

For example, on the Faqbot site, I was given two pre-set choices to click after each response from the bot. Clicking “Thanks for helping” gets the polite response “You are welcome! ;-)” complete with an old-school emoji featuring a nose.

If you select “not my question,” Faqbot uses its general response to any unanswerable question: “Sorry, I’m a chatbot. I am constantly learning and have answers to frequently asked questions. Thank you for leaving your email and we will get back to you shortly.”

Choose your own responses based on already defined FAQ or come up with new messaging to better engage and inform your customers as needed. The free text option is also available if customers wish to continue asking questions.

Of course, I had to try out some less than frequently asked questions. When I asked Faqbot “are we friends?” it kindly replied, “Absolutely. You don’t have to ask.” So I’m smitten.

However, when I tried to take it to the next level by asking “Do you love me?,” which seems to be the internet’s favorite way to harass a bot, I got the “Sorry, I’m a chatbot” response.

That’s okay. I’ll recover. Faqbot isn’t here to love, it’s here to answer questions.

You can easily install the chatbot by either copy/pasting the snippet of codes directly into your webpage, or connect Faqbot to your company’s Facebook page. No coding skills required.

Pricing is based on number of users per month, but all levels include the same service offerings of FAQ database management, messaging interface, a ticketing system, and DIY guided conversation flow. You can try out Faqbot free for 14 days by signing up on their site.

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