10+1 amazing things you didn’t know your phone could do


By Babalola Seyi

You’ve owned your smartphone for a while. But, let’s be honest, you’ve never read the handbook. You are really proud of your ability to utilize it. Then something strange happens.

You see someone do something spectacular with his or her phone that you had no clue was possible. Friends do not covet each other’s smartphone abilities. Here are some of my favorite phone settings secrets that you probably don’t know about but will start using right away.


  1. Take a screenshot

Have you ever wished to capture something on your phone’s screen? Maybe it’s a humorous email from a buddy, a fascinating Facebook post, or you want to send someone an image to show them how to do something.


Hold down the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons simultaneously. A shutter click should be heard. The screenshot will be saved to the Camera Roll or Saved Photos folder on your computer.


Hold down the Power and Volume Down keys at the same time. The photograph is saved in the “Captured Images” folder of your Gallery app. However, this is only available on Android 4.0 and above. For Android 3.0, 2.3, or earlier, use an app like AirDroid.


  1. Block calls and texts

Have you ever had someone call or text you even after you respectfully requested them to stop? Here’s how you can put a stop to it.


To restrict calls, use the Phone or FaceTime app on an iPhone running iOS 7 or later. Press their name, scroll to the bottom of the screen, and then tap Block This Caller if you already have them as a contact. Then choose Block Contact.

If the individual isn’t a contact, hit the Info button, then scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Block this Caller. Then choose Block Contact.

Launch the Messages app and choose a message from the person you wish to ban. In the top right, tap the Contact button, then the Info button. Scroll all the way down and click Block this Caller. Then choose Block Contact.

You may modify your blocked contacts later at the following locations:






On Android, go to Settings>>Call settings>>Call block. Under “Incoming calls,” tap “Call block list,” then Create. Enter a number or use the image icon to locate it in your Contacts or Address Book.


  1. 3. Use a real password

For unlocking the phone, both iPhone and Android use a 4-digit PIN. That’s fine as long as you don’t use a simple number like 0000 or 1234. However, I know some people who would prefer even greater security.



On an iPhone, go to Settings>>Passcode to create a real password. Swipe away from the option that says Simple Passcode. For improved phone security, you can set your passcode here with letters and special characters.



Navigate to Settings>>Lock screen and select Screen lock. You can choose your level of security, from a simple swipe to a password. Select Password and enter the desired password. To be truly secure, it should contain a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.


  1. See text easier

Having trouble reading on your phone’s tiny screen? Increase the text size to make it simpler to read.


Turn on Bold Text and Larger Text in Settings>>General>>Accessibility. Depending on your preferences, you can select either one or both. Bold Text will not take effect until you restart your phone.


Navigate to Settings>Accessibility. Set the Font size to Large under Vision. Some phones provide an even greater Huge size option.


  1. Customize alert vibration patterns

You’ve assigned a unique ringtone to each of your contacts, but it doesn’t help when your phone is on vibrate. Fortunately, you can also construct your own vibration patterns.


Navigate to Settings>Sounds>Ringtone>Vibration. You may record patterns by tapping them out. Alternatively, you may go into your contacts list, choose Edit, and then select the Vibration option for each contact.



Go to Contacts and touch on the name of a contact. Tap Default and then select a preset pattern under Vibration Pattern. Alternatively, hit the Create button and then tap on the screen to make your own design.


6. Scan QR Codes Without an App

Keep You Safe While Walking Home (The bSafe app, available for both iPhone and Android, allows you to send invitations to selected contacts to track your location, set a timer that will trigger a distress call to your contacts if you haven’t made it home within a specified time frame, and can even schedule fake calls to make it seem as though you’re talking to someone on your trip home.)

7. Power On Your Lights

Use the Android Quick Tap flashlight option
  • Open the Settings App, then go to System → Gestures → Quick Tap.
  • Turn on the feature by pressing the Use Quick Tap button. …
  • Scroll down, then tap the Toggle flashlight option.
  • Double-tap the back of your phone to make sure you see the Quick Tap detected notification.

8. Serve as remote control


The Apple TV Remote app on iPhone or iPad makes it easy to control and navigate your TV screen if you misplace or don’t want to use your TV’s remote control. If this is the first time you’re connecting your iPhone or iPad to Apple TV, you’ll need to confirm a four-digit code displayed on the TV.


Use your phone as the remote for your Android TV
  1. On your Android phone, open the Google TV app .
  2. Near the bottom right, tap Remote .
  3. At the top, tap Scanning for devices.
  4. Choose your device.
  5. To complete pairing, follow the instructions on your phone and TV.
  6. After pairing, you can use your phone or your remote.

9. Monitor your heart rate


You can review your heart rate and other factors for past workouts by opening the Fitness app on your iPhone (known as the Activity app pre-iOS 14). The Summary section shows you a chart for the current day.


Measure your heart rate
  1. On your phone, open the Google Fit app .
  2. At the bottom, tap Home.
  3. Scroll to “Heart rate” and tap Add .
  4. Touch and lightly hold your finger on the back camera lens. Follow the on-screen instructions and keep your hand still. This works best in a well-lit room. …
  5. Tap Save.

10. Track your kids

You can find your child’s Android device location in the Family Link app if you’re a parent.

Find where your child’s Android device is
  1. Open the Family Link app .
  2. Select your child.
  3. On the “Location” card, tap Set Up.
  4. Tap Turn on. It might take some time to find your child’s device location.