There may be plenty your iPhone can already do, even if you've not yet upgraded to the shiny new iPhone 7. It can help you find your way home, settle debates, capture special memories and even make the odd phone call or two. But, take note - it isn't just a pretty vessel into the world of internet joy and messaging madness.

There are dozens of great iPhone features hidden beneath the surface that you probably weren't even aware of - and not just the knowledge that a bowl of rice can bring your phone back from a watery death. Our guide outlines some of the best iPhone tips and tricks you didn't know about, and exactly how you can find them.


Charge your phone faster with a single button press

Charge faster

Credit: Digital Spy

Tired of waiting for your phone to recharge? There is a way to speed up the process, and it's surprisingly simple: just switch on Airplane Mode. By cancelling all your phone's Wi-Fi and data-draining communication skills, this feature takes the strain off your battery while it's being powered up. Admittedly it's not huge, but if you're pressed for time, an extra five per cent every 30 minutes could make all the difference.


Replace a toolbox essential


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Let's face it: you probably took the Compass app (along with Stocks and Find Friends) and dumped it into a folder named "Things I can't delete". But what you may not know is that the Compass has a secret second function that'll help you with your DIY duties. A simple left swipe brings up a very useful spirit level: a digital-bubble gauge that can check if that shelf or picture frame is really straight.


Create custom vibrations

Custom vibrations

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Ever wished you could tell who's calling just by how your phone feels buzzing against your leg? Well, now you can: in Contacts, select your person of choice and hit Edit. Under Ringtone you'll see a Vibration option. Selecting this will give you plenty of options, including the Create New Vibration tool. Making your bespoke buzz is as simple as tapping the screen to the beat of your choice. Who knew?


Take a photo without touching your phone

Take a photo

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An oldie but a goodie - you can use the volume-control buttons on your iPhone to capture a snap (particularly useful for expert selfie-taking). If you prefer to be even further removed from your photo-capturing shutter controls, did you know you can press the volume button on a pair of compatible, connected headphones? Try it whilst using a selfie-stick or monopod to stabilise your photo!


Boost your signal by knowing where to look for it

Boost your signal

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No need to hang out of a first-floor window trying to discover where your iPhone's connection is best. Type *3001#12345#* into your iPhone's dialler and click Call to launch the hidden Field Mode tool. This sub-surface menu turns your bar chart-based signal indicator into a far more straightforward numerical signal signifier. Got a score of -50? Then you'll be enjoying HD video streams on the move. Down around -120, though, and you'll struggle to send a text. Just follow the numbers to better signals. Game-changer...


Create custom replies for missed calls

Custom replies

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It happens all the time: someone calls and you can't answer. iOS comes with a few stock text responses, which can be sent with a single tap, but it is possible to create your own. Go to Settings > Phone > Respond With Text to write your own message.


Customise the feel of your home button

Home button

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Just go to Settings > General > Home button and you can select the level of feedback that feels right to you.


Swipe right to retreat

Swipe right

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For iPhone-owning Android converts, living without a dedicated back button can be a difficult adjustment to make. While the iPhone might not have an ever-present command to put things in reverse, there is a simple way to head in the wrong direction. Within a number of apps - from Safari to Mail, via Messages - swiping from left to right on the screen will send you back to the previous page or menu. Who needs a dedicated button when you've got a more elegant solution?


Use your phone like an etch-a-sketch to erase


Credit: Digital Spy

You might have already stumbled across this one in a fit of rage, but like your childhood etch-a-sketch, your recent iPhone activities can be erased simply by giving the handset a good shake. What if you're shivering rather than shaking? Don't worry: a pop-up will ensure you want to delete before erasing your typing. For extra precautional purposes, why not invest in a USB cable to upload you photos to your laptop or download all your data to the cloud?


Improve battery life

Improve battery life

Credit: Digital Spy

Spotlight, Apple's connected quick-access for key data and services, is great for offering the latest breaking news, sports scores and social updates. But having that much going on in the background can eat your battery whole, unless you turn off Spotlight features for certain apps to gain more life per charge, that is. "How?" we hear you cry? Just go Settings > General > Spotlight Search and limit what is pulling in data behind your back.

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