The best ‘secret’ iPhone hacks of 2021 – from faster charging to tape measures

iPhones have revolutionised the way we communicate.

From video calling and selfie cameras to fingerprint ID scanning and Apple Pay, it's safe to the smartphones have been everyday essentials.

Since the range was launched back in 2007, they have become integral to our daily lives – with each new model packed full of handy features and tools.

But, in typical Apple fashion, there is a wealth of secret features that few people know about.

In fact, there are hundreds of hidden hacks and tricks that can make iPhones even better.

Here, we look at some of the best available in 2021.

Faster battery charging in Airplane Mode

Airplane Mode is perfectly named. How many of us even remember to switch it on unless we're prompted before a flight?

But it can also help to charge your iPhone quicker than normal.

Airplane Mode shuts down most features, meaning the battery can charge without having to deal with a variety of other jobs.

It can be switched on via 'Control Centre'. Just press the plane icon and you're all set.

Just remember to switch it off when you're done.

Flashing light notifications


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Instead of using sounds or vibrations whenever you get an incoming notification, you can now get alerts from your iPhone camera.

The camera's flash can be set blink when something of interest comes through. Useful if you can't hear or feel your phone.

To use this handy alternative setting to 'Settings' > 'Accessibility' > 'Audio/Visual' > 'Led Flash for Alerts'.

To activate it, move the 'Flash on Silent' slider to green.

Take selfies with the volume button

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Have you ever struggled to press the onscreen camera button when trying take a selfie?

Well, now there is an alternative way to capture that perfect moment.

While the camera app is open, press the volume up button and, voila, it will take a snap.

Virtual home button

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While Apple has done away with the home button in recent years, it can still be a pain if it either breaks on older models or you might just prefer to have it available.

The feature offers faster access to apps and, of course, the home screen.

To enable it, go to 'Settings' > 'General' > 'Accessibility' > 'Touch' > 'Assistive Touch'.

Move the slider to green and the home button will appear.

Tape measure

While the iPhone's built-in spirit level is widely known, you can also transform them into a tape measure.

Using the Measure app, you can now perfectly – ahem – measure distances using augmented reality.

Simply open the app and place the camera so it is facing where you want to measure from. Then press the + icon to begin measuring.

By moving the phone from the beginning to the end of your chosen space, you will see the tape measure increasing.

Once finished, tap the + button again to reveal the distance.

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