iOS features that keep getting more useful [Video] – 9to5Mac

The iPhone and iOS have continuously evolved over the past 17 years. When the original iPhone was released, the feature sets and tools included in PhoneOS 1 were very limited. Apple wanted users to focus on basic interactions, such as using the new touchscreen and making phone calls. However, with iOS 17, the software has grown exponentially and has become your go-to tool for almost any task. In this post, I’ll highlight 12 progressively useful features built into iOS. Share your favorite iOS feature in the comments, something others may not know about so we can all learn!

Be sure to watch our hands-on video of these features for a detailed look at how to use them!

1. Quick Timer Control Center

I use the timer several times a day, whether it’s for working hours, cooking, or training. I prefer the built-in timer because of its integration with live activities and the Dynamic Island feature. You can quickly create a timer with Siri, but in quiet situations, I find it useful to use Control Center. Here’s how:

  • Go to the control center
  • Long press the clock icon
  • Drag your finger across the dial
  • Create a timer and press start

2. Visual search laundry care

Visual search lets you look at an image and lets your iPhone use machine learning to decipher information about it. So if you take a photo of a dog, it will let you know it’s a dog and even tell you the breed. You can use this with landmarks, plants and other subjects. It really shines when it comes to translations and also converting units of measurement. However, one very underrated feature is being able to decipher the care instructions on a laundry label. I used to ruin so many clothes by ignoring etiquette and shrinking a shirt or towels with bleach. But visual search makes sure that doesn’t happen again. Here’s how it works.

  • Take a photo of your laundry tag
  • Tap the visual search button at the bottom right
  • Tap “Find Laundry Care”
  • And let the phone do its magic

It breaks down all the icons on the label and lets you know exactly what each one means, it’s been a huge tool for me.

3. Remove the background theme in the Photos app

This is one of my favorite features. I used to spend hours trying to remove background themes in third-party apps and services. But now that this is built right into the photos app, it’s saved me a lot of time. Now, depending on your background, it might not be a perfect cut, but it does the job for 95% of people. Here’s how to remove a theme from your background.

  • Choose a photo that has a subject in the foreground (can be any image, either taken on an iPhone or imported from another device)
  • Long press the topic until it is highlighted (you will see a highlight animation)
  • Drop the subject
  • A menu appears that allows you to copy, add a sticker or share
  • Normally press copy
  • Then paste it into my notes app

You can share it as a new image and import it into any editing application to fix any imperfections. It really saves a lot of time!

4. Copy and paste a photo edit

Another great feature of the native Photos app is the ability to copy and paste an edit to another image. Be sure to watch our Photos app video to learn the ins and outs of the Photos app (it’s more robust than you might think).

Let’s say you’ve taken a few images that have the same lighting and background and you plan to edit them individually by changing the filter, brightness, saturation, etc. Instead of spending time editing each image, you can edit one image and then copy those changes to the others. This is another great time saver. The only aspect it won’t copy is a trim. But all other edits will be copied immediately.

  • Edit an image
  • When you’re done, tap the ellipsis button at the top right of the edited image
  • Tap Copy edits (not the Copy button)
  • Then go to another image and tap the ellipses and tap Paste Edits
  • Voila, now this new image has the exact same edits as the first image

Other iOS features

If you want to see the rest of the 12 features, watch our video here. It will tell you how to achieve the features mentioned and eight more features that will be worth your time! iOS has evolved to have all these built-in tools that continue to amaze us. From being a leveler to measuring distance to telling us how to do our laundry properly, it continues to improve our lives.

What are some of your favorite iOS features that may fly under the radar? Is there an iOS feature you wish the iPhone had that is still missing? Let’s discuss this in the comments below!

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