Every year, Apple releases a new version of iOS with tons of new features, apps, and settings. The launch of iOS 12 last year saw the release of some cool new features that you may not know about. Along with all of the new content, things from the old versions end up in different menus and other locations. Because of this, it can be hard to know all of the little tips and tricks that make iOS unique.

Extremely Low Light

Everybody knows the pain of using their phone at night and having the screen blind them. There are the standard brightness options that are available when you swipe down from the top-right corner, but sometimes this doesn’t darken the screen enough. For those moments, when you need an extremely dark screen, you can visit Settings, Accessibility, Zoom, Zoom Filter, and then Low Light. By enabling this, you can easily swap between normal brightness and low light by quickly pressing the Side/Power button three times.

brightness low light AJ_Watt / Getty Images


Memoji and Animoji

With the release of their True Depth camera system, Apple has released its new Animojis and Memojis. Animojis are three-dimensional models of animal faces that will mimic your facial expressions. Memojis are similar but are completely customizable human faces. Simply tap the Animoji icon with the monkey on it from the app bar in the Messages app. You can then select the Animoji that you’d like to use. If you’d like to use a Memoji, slide all the way to the right to create one by tapping the “+” button. You can then have the Animoji or Memoji perform almost any facial expression you can think of. They even have tongues!

faces facial expression eli_asenova / Getty Images


Search Shortcuts

For many people, navigating iOS can be difficult. Whether this is because you’re new to iOS devices or because there are too many features, there are easy shortcuts. For example, you don’t have to go to your Contacts app to search for people. You don’t need to open Safari just to use an internet search. This is because iOS has an internal Search feature that will recognize what you’re trying to find and suggest the right app for that search. To use Search, swipe down from the middle of the Home screen. Tap the Search field and enter whatever it is you’re looking for.

confused phone search asiseeit / Getty Images


Getting Some Sleep

One of the few bad parts of owning a phone occurs while sleeping. There’s nothing worse than sleeping deeply only to wake up because your night owl friend thought of something funny in the middle of the night. Thankfully, iOS 12 has a new feature that allows you to minimize disturbances that might occur while you sleep. This feature, Do Not Disturb at Bedtime, will silence calls, messages, and other notifications and instead place them in your notification history. This feature is available from the Do Not Disturb option in the Settings. Simply schedule Do Not Disturb and turn on the Bedtime toggle.

sleeping deeply disturb Milan_Jovic / Getty Images


Hiding Photos

Regardless of whether it’s a personal photo or a joke that you don’t want to explain, many people have photos that they don’t want others to see. Normally, when a person is swiping through your photos, they can see every photo that’s available. However, you can hide individual photos by opening the Photos app, tapping on the image, and tapping on Share. In the Share menu, swipe to find the Hide option. This will place the photo in a separate Hidden album. These photos won’t upload to your iCloud, and won’t appear in the Moments, Years, and Collections views.

photo hide embarrassed PamelaJoeMcFarlane / Getty Images


Siri Secrets

Apple’s personal assistant software Siri has come a long way since her first iteration. Aside from the standard voice commands, iOS 12 allows Siri to respond to and perform a number of additional options. You can now ask Siri to turn the flashlight on and off. Siri can also show you the passwords that you keep in the Passwords and Accounts area of the Settings. You can ask Siri, “Show me my passwords,” for a general search. Alternatively, you can ask for specific passwords, such as, “Show me my email password.”

siri voice recognition features kupicoo / Getty Images


Searching for Photos

One of the coolest features of iOS 12 remains relatively unknown. The Photos app takes advantage of a number of technologies, including machine learning, location tagging, and much more to fully recognize certain things about your photos. As the app recognizes things like people, locations, and apparel, it tags the photos with those terms. This allows you to search in the Photos app for things like “Sunglasses” or “Dad.” But, you can also combine search terms to find photos that contain each term. Simply type in the word you’re searching for, tap the suggestion in the drop-down menu, then add in another term and repeat.

photos tags technologies FilippoBacci / Getty Images



A new app that Apple introduced alongside iOS 12 is the Measure app. This, like the Photo search features, uses many different technologies to allow you to measure almost any object simply by pointing your camera at it. All it takes is launching the Measure app, following the calibration instructions, then lining up the object with the guidelines. The app also includes a level. Though it isn’t perfect, it’s still great for approximate measurements.

measure level measurements skynesher / Getty Images


Force Close

As iOS devices progressed, Apple abandoned features that it felt were unnecessary or bulky. One of these features, the home button, found its options into other menus and features. However, before iOS 12, if you wanted to force close an app, you had to access the App Switch by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. Then you had to press and hold on a specific app until a minus sign popped up on the app. This was an unnecessarily long process that iOS 12 has improved. Now all you have to do to force close apps is swipe up from the bottom of the screen and swiping up on each app that you want to close.

force close app features filadendron / Getty Images


Checking the Air

One of the more specific features that iOS 12 added was the ability to view the AQI for your area. That’s the Air Quality Index, and it provides a rating of the local air in terms of how it may impact your health. Ratings of zero to five are good, while 51 to 100 are moderate. Ratings above 100 occur when the air becomes unhealthy. This is great for people who are visiting a new area or for individuals who are sensitive to pollutants and allergens. To view your AQI, open the Maps app, and look in the bottom-right corner. There is a box with the temperature and the AQI.

air quality index breathing adamkaz / Getty Images


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