8 iPhone Power User Secrets you Should Know

iPhone zoom
Posted at 7:40 AM, Mar 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-06 06:30:15-05

Unless you poke around the settings of your iPhone, you may not know about the accessibility features that help people with disabilities use an iPhone easily. These features are helpful, not just for the hearing and vision impaired but people, like me, who's finding they have to hold the phone with an outstretched hand just to make out what's on the screen.

Here are some of the hidden features of the iPhone you may find helpful whether you have a disability or not. They're all found in settings under the accessibility option.

  1. ZOOM: This is the setting to use if you're having trouble with the tiny type on Facebook or any other app on the phone. The zoom feature will enlarge anything on the screen up to five times its normal size. Once enabled, all you need to do is tap on the screen with three fingers. It zooms in on the text to whatever size you need. You can control how large you want the text, if you'd like the colors inverted (white type on a black background) and if you choose the 'follow' feature it will keep the magnification on what you're typing in a message or email.
  2. MAGNIFYING GLASS: I can't tell you how many times I've used this one. It doesn't magnify text or images on the screen but on whatever you're pointing the camera toward. Need help reading the serial number on a product or tiny type on directions? Use the camera like you're taking a photo then tap on the home button three times. The image on the screen will zoom in close enough to read the tiniest type possible. I was even able to read the serial number on a hand-held drone. I don't know anyone who could have seen those numbers without the help of something. You can also take a photo of whatever it is you're magnifying.
  3. TEXT TO SPEECH: Whatever is on the screen this feature will read it to you. As long as it's visible, a Siri type voice will read it. I've used it for books, articles, even Facebook posts. You can control the pitch and speed of the voice as well.
  4. CLOSED CAPTIONING: This may come in handy if you're somewhere you cannot turn up the volume when you watch a video. You can set the size of the type and the font. Granted, it doesn't work with every video you find online but when it's available this feature is very helpful. I might also note that if you watch YouTube videos that app has closed captioning as well at the lower right hand corner of the screen.
  5. COLORS INVERTED: This feature is for people who are colorblind or impaired to be able to see only certain colors. It changes or eliminates colors on the homescreen as well as in apps such as Facebook.
  6. SHAKE TO DELETE: Ever typed a text message you wish you hadn't? Rather than using the backspace button over and over again, just shake the iPhone to remove the last word you typed.
  7. CHANGE PRONUNCIATION: If Siri doesn't pronounce the name of a friend or street, just tell her "that's not how you say it". She'll ask for the correct pronunciation and then saves it so you don't have to do it again.
  8. FLASH RING: This is designed for the hearing impaired so that they see someone is calling. The camera's flash blinks whenever someone calls. This works even if the phone's ringer is turned off or the sound is turned down.

These accessibility options are found in settings under the general tab. Take a peek, there are others that might come in handy whether you have a disability or not.