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Useful Features You Didn’t Know Your iPhone Even Had

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The more time goes by the more ridiculous it feels to call smart mobile devices “phones.” It’s a disservice. Phones are just for calling people. Android and iOS devices are some of the most powerful supercomputers on the planet. You carry them around with you to perform so many different vital tasks throughout your day, which sometimes includes calling people.

Devices like the iPhone X can do so many different things that it’s tough to even remember them all. We’re not complaining. When a phone costs a thousand dollars it better do a lot. But you know features are hard to keep track of when the settings app needs its own search engine. So to help jog your memory, or illuminate you about your new purchase, here are some useful features you didn’t know your iPhone even had.

Battery Throttling

Apple recently took some heat for secretly decreasing iPhone performance as the quality of its battery degraded over time. But after the outcry (and price slash for battery replacements) you can now choose whether or not to activate this battery throttling “Performance Management” feature. Just go to Settings, Battery, and the Battery Health beta.

Screen Recorder

Everyone knows you can take a quick snapshot of your phone screen by pressing the Home and Power buttons at once. But now you can record whole videos of what’s happening on your screen. Under Control Center go to Customize Controls and enable Screen Recording. The recording button will now appear under Control Center.

Squeezed Keyboard

Phones are way bigger now. Everyone but me seems to like this. But a bigger screen means a bigger keyboard, and potentially a keyboard too big for your thumbs to comfortably navigate. The simple solution would be just get a smaller phone, but you also have the option under keyboard settings to shift the keys to the left or right for easier one-handed typing.

Live Photos

For a while now Live Photos have been letting us live our Harry Potter dreams by turning snapshots into brief videos that come to life when we press on them. If you never want the illusion to stop, you can also loop a Live Photo, kind of like an Instagram Boomerang. Just swipe up on the photo to see the new potential effects.

Animojis in action (via Apple)

Face ID Alarm

Arguably the most attention-grabbing aspect of the iPhone X is its ability to deeply recognize your face using Face ID. Some folks use this for security reasons, others use it to turn themselves into animoji puppets. But the most mean muggingest use of Face ID to me is just staring at your phone in the morning to shut up the alarm.

Black Wallpaper

This is more of a hack than a feature, but because of the way the OLED screen works on newer iPhones, “black” images essentially allow that part of the screen to turn off. So if you use dark images as wallpaper and night themes in apps, you can potentially save a lot of battery power during everyday use.

Do Not Disturb in Car

Hey! Don’t text and drive! You could get somebody hurt or worse! But if you need extra motivation, go to Control and Customize Controls to enable “Do Not Disturb While Driving.” As the name implies, thanks to CarPlay your phone won’t even attempt to distract you while on the road.

Virtual Home Button

In order to accommodate its even bigger screen, the iPhone X has no physical home button. You navigate via intuitive touch gestures. But if you’re not ready to give up on a home button yet, or one of the other physical buttons is broken, you can add a virtual home button to your screen by going to Accessibility and then Accessibility Shortcut.

Files

Apple’s slavish commitment to making its computers seem like magic instead of computers meant that for years the way iOS handled files was weirdly obfuscated. No more. The new Files app easily shows you content you’ve saved to your phone across apps and even across other devices using iCloud.

Drag and Drop

The more powerful iPhones become they more they just start letting you use them like honest-to-Grodd computers. You’ve been able to drag and drop files easily on computers for years. But on iPhone it’s almost revolutionary being able to move a link, text snippet, photo, or file from one app to another like it’s nothing.

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Apple

Analyst Tips Apple’s Biggest Phone—With One of its Smallest Price Tags

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Just when you thought the iPhone rumor mill had run dry, KGI Securities’ Ming-Chi Kuo revealed a new, cheaper handset.

The trusted analyst this week hinted at a next-gen Apple device, expected to cost $550 for a massive 6.1-inch screen.

That’s the same price as 2015’s iPhone 6s Plus, but with a larger LCD display—plus a number of Apple’s latest specs, including a TrueDepth camera  and edge-to-edge screen.

The unnamed gadget (iPhone 9? iPhone 8 Plus Plus?) is Cupertino’s attempt to “increase market share in China,” where the tech titan competes with homegrown firms Huawei and ZTE, Kuo said, as reported by The Sun.

A budget handset, meanwhile, could help offset sluggish sales of the iPhone X, which, despite its high-tech specs, has become a $999 lemon (which has loads of useful features you may not have noticed).

Neither Kuo nor Apple immediately responded to Geek’s request for comment.

The anniversary iDevice may get a second wind, though. Earlier this year, whispers of three new variants began swirling. Details are, of course, scant, but the speculation is convincing.

First up is the expected upgrade to the existing iPhone X: a more powerful A12 processor, iOS 12, and maybe a new color—an iPhone Xs, if you will. The middling option would swap the OLED screen for LCD and steel parts for aluminum, reducing quality as well as price—let’s call this the iPhone Xc.

The most drastic change would come in the form of, um … the iPhone XL? Reports tipped a bigger, bezel-free body (weighing in around 6.5 inches) and 2,688-by-1,242 resolution, as well as improve face-scanning tech and a split-screen mode.

We can speculate until we’re blue in the face (and trust me, we will). But nothing will be confirmed (officially, at least) until Apple’s next unveiling—probably in September.

Until then, start saving.

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Apple

Curved Apple iPhone Screens Could Arrive by 2021

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Apple is reportedly developing curved screens and touchless gesture control for future-generation iPhones.

Considering how long the company has been rumored to be working on a curved display, consumers should take this news with a grain of salt.

Citing “people familiar with the situation,” Bloomberg described a gradual arch from top to bottom—different from the distinctly curved edges of competitor Samsung’s Galaxy lineup, which use OLED technology.

Unlike the inflexible LCD screens covering older models, Cupertino’s latest iPhone X embraced the organic light-emitting diode, which can be shaped or even folded.

The 10th-anniversary phone does actually bend ever so slightly at the base, though the contour is invisible to the naked eye. It sounds like whatever Apple has planned for its upcoming handsets, however, will be more pronounced.

Tim Cook & Co. are also allegedly designing a control feature that would let users perform certain tasks by simply hovering their finger over the screen.

Sound familiar? Samsung in 2013 launched the Galaxy S4 with “Air Gesture,” which let owners move their hand over a sensor to scroll, browse, move icons, and accept calls without actually touching anything.

Both iDevice elements are “still in the early research and development stage,” according to Bloomberg, which tipped a wait of at least two to three years. That is, if the company ultimately decides to move forward with either enhancement.

Apple did not immediately respond to Geek’s request for comment.

Cupertino last week released iOS 11.3 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, promising the usual bug fixes and performance improvements, as well as a handful of new features.

Beta battery management settings are now visible on certain handsets; and Business Chat for iMessage is being tested with Discover, Hilton, Lowe’s, and Wells Fargo. Plus, iPhone X users can chat with friends behind four additional Animoji masks: lion, skull, bear, and dragon.

Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.

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Apple

Apple celebrates the arrival of spring with the release of new leather straps for watches Watch

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Apple announced the sale of 25 new models of straps for smart watches Apple Watch. Starting this month, they will be available in a variety of color options.

The new joined line Sport Band, Woven Nylon, Sport & Loop, Classic Buckle, Nike Sport, Nike Sport Loop and Hermes. Color options vary by model.

Price Sport, Sport Loop and Woven Nylon — $49. Costs the same as a Nike Sport. Model Classic Buckle valued at $149. The cost models Hermes — $439 and $489.

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