50+ essential iOS 10 tips you’ll use every day

Get more done -- and have more fun -- with these great tips

iphone 7 launch

From quick and dirty ways to silence your iPhone during a meeting to little-known tips for Safari on iPad, you’ll find a few things you didn’t know you could do within this extensive collection of tips for iOS 10 -- which is now up to version 10.3.2.

Some tips for Maps

Take the Weather with you

How many of us have noticed the Weather icon when staring at a location in Maps? You’ll find it just above the Search bar at the bottom right of the display, denoted by a weather icon (sun, clouds, whatever) and temperature. Touch and hold that icon and you’ll see the weather for the next few hours at that location. Touch and hold the icon more firmly to open the Weather app.

map view shows weather detail Jonny Evans/IDG

Touch and hold the Weather icon (23℃ and sunny) and you’ll see the weather for the next few hours in Lisbon.

Touch the Search info

Tap the Search field in Maps to get more information about where on the map you are, and see your recent searches. 3D Touch a search and a popup will let you place a pin, remove a marker, get directions or share that location.

Home Screen tips

3D Touch the Maps icon on your Home screen for shortcuts to directions and tools to Mark My Location, Send My Location and Search Nearby.

Understand Apple Watch Maps taps

This is what those haptic taps you feel when you are using Maps directions mean:

  • Steady series of 12 taps: Turn right
  • Three pairs of two taps: Turn left
  • Long vibration 1: Nearing destination
  • Long vibration 2: Arrived

Travel time

Traveling to an event? When adding the trip to your schedule, toggle “Travel Time” to on and Calendar will figure out your journey time based on where you are on the day.

Call management

Get back to them

When someone calls, you can find out which number they used by opening their page in Contacts and looking for the word “Recent.

Call wrangling

Call coming in and you can’t deal with it? Don’t ignore it, just tap the Remind Me or Message icons that appear on the dialing screen to get back to people with an automatic response or to set a reminder to call them back.

Assign ringtones

You can assign unique ringtones to specific contacts so you know when it’s them calling. Open their contact details, tap Edit and look for the Ringtone option. Tap it and you can assign any of your available tones to them.

assign ringtone to contact Jonny Evans/IDG

Identify frequent callers by their unique ringtones.

Writing tips

Quick currency

The numeric keyboard shows the dollar ($) symbol by default, but when you need to type another currency symbol just press and hold that key to find alternative currency symbols.

Write right

Hard press the keyboard when writing and the keyboard becomes a touch-sensitive cursor you can use like a mouse. You can use this cursor to select text by word (press deeply once), sentence (twice), or paragraph (three times).

Keyboard wizard

When typing, force touch any character to see alternate characters mapped to that keyboard item, do this to the period key to find a trove of .com options, for example. Don’t forget that you activate caps lock when you double-tap shift.

Mail tips


Mail lets you unsubscribe from newsletters in a couple of taps — no need to visit websites and remember your details. Just tap the small “unsubscribe” instruction at the top of an unwanted email.


You can ask Mail in iOS to tell you when a new message comes through in a key conversation. Just tap the flag icon and choose “Notify Me...” in the options that appear.

Use Mail’s mailboxes

There are numerous Mailbox views you can set up in Mail that make it easier to find what you need. Review those available in Mailbox>Edit. Enable those you want to use by ticking the circle beside their name; tap Done and they will appear.

add new mailbox views Jonny Evans/IDG

You can customize your Mailbox views.

Draft control

To save an email you are working on as a draft to finish later, just tap the message subject line at the top of the window and swipe your finger down until the subject appears at the bottom of the screen. Tap on it again to open it and finish the mail. You can have multiple messages in draft status. To access them all tap and hold the Compose icon to see them in list view.

How to use iOS better

Airplane Mode

Your iPhone recharges much faster in Airplane Mode.


Make your iPhone’s torch flash when a call or notification comes through in Settings>General>Accessibility, toggle LED Flash for Alerts to on.

Clickety-click — shut up!!

You type, the keyboard clicks. You may not mind, but someone else might. Sort it out: Settings>Sounds>Keyboard Clicks, toggle to off.

disable keyboard clicks Jonny Evans/IDG

You can silence keyboard clicks without shutting off sound entirely.


Stop Siri and Notifications from distracting you while you are in a meeting by turning your iOS device display-side down on the table.

Low Power Mode

Maximize battery life by manually switching to Low Power Mode. You lose some background features but gain much better battery life. Enable this in Settings>Battery>Low Power Mode.

Fickle fingers

Improve Touch ID finger recognition by registering the same fingerprint two or more times in Settings>Touch ID & Passcode. (Add cold and damp versions for even better accuracy.)

Alphanumeric passcode

The strongest protection you can apply to your device, an alphanumeric passcode is essential. To set this, open Settings>Touch ID & Passcode select Change Passcode, choose Passcode Options and create a custom alphanumeric code.

Safari secrets

Word search

As noted here, you can search for a specific word on the web page you are on — just type it in the search bar and scroll down the results to the On This Page section, and tap the word there to find each instance of it on the page.

Recently Closed

Spent hours researching something only to find you’ve forgotten the web page you were looking at that held all the answers? Just tap the icon at the bottom right of the browser window to get to tab view and then press and hold the plus button to reach the Recently Closed Tabs window. You can also see everything you’ve looked at in the current tab window by pressing and holding the back arrow.

recently closed tabs detail Jonny Evans/IDG

The Recently Closed Tabs window. 


Press and hold any URL in any app to see a preview. Swipe up for four useful tools: Open in Background (without leaving your current app), Add to Reading List, Copy and the Share pane.

Triple Tabs tips

Lots of open tabs, but can’t find the one you need?Turn your iPhone to landscape view and tap the Tabs button at the lower right. At top left in the next view there’s a search bar to explore the pages and their contents.

safari tabs horizontal Jonny Evans/IDG

You can do a Search to find a particular Tab in Safari when you have more open than you can keep track of.

Closure: Tap and hold Safari’s Tab button to Close the tabs.

Reopen: Or tap the Tab button, then tap and hold the + icon to see Recently Closed Tabs.

On the paste

Want to open a URL? If you copy a URL from anywhere just press and hold Safari’s address bar, tap “Paste and Go,” and you’ll be there.

Control Center

Fast Camera

Tap and hold the Camera icon in Control Center to launch your app in your choice of photo, video, record slo-mo or take-a-selfie mode.

Torch tips

You can set torch brightness (bright, medium, low) by hard-pressing the icon in Control Center.

Quick Actions

3D Touch any app icon and you’ll often find useful Quick Actions tools.

Tips for Siri

Hear better

Improve Siri by correcting its mistakes. When you issue a command, look at the speech bubble that shows what you said. Siri underlines words it’s unsure of in blue. Tap one and a dialog box offers you alternatives or lets you speak the word again. You can also edit what it thinks you said manually when you tap the Edit button. It’s worth correcting Siri, because it remembers and becomes more accurate.

Open Siri

Siri will launch any app you have installed on your iPhone; just ask it to “Open [app name].”


If you have a contact file for a person, you can teach Siri things about them. For example, if your manager is Jane Doe, you can say “Remember Jane Doe is my manager” and it will add this to the contact file. Then you can ask Siri to “call my manager.

Identified songs

Every song you ask Siri to identify for you is listed inside iTunes. To see this list, launch the app, tap the three-line icon at top right and select the Siri pane.

6 Apple Music Siri tips

  • “Play the first/latest album by [name of artist].”
  • “After this play [name of track].”
  • “Don’t play this song again.”
  • “Add this track to my library.”
  • “Like this song.”
  • “Who sings this?”

Helpful tips

How to delete a mistyped character in calculator

Mistyped a number? You don’t need to start the sum again; just swipe your finger left or right in the input field to delete the last typed number.

Apple Pay

You don’t even need to wake up your iPhone to use Apple Pay at checkout; just put your finger on the Touch ID sensor and place your phone near the reader. It will wake up, authorize and pay.

Make a PDF almost anywhere

To make a PDF from many iOS apps, tap Share and choose Print. In the subsequent Printer Options screen, you will see an image of what you want to print. Use two fingers to expand the image and you’ll enter a preview mode with its own Share button. Now you have a usable PDF.

For your iPads only

Split & Slide

iOS on iPad lets you look at two apps at once using Slide Over. Activate this by placing one finger on the edge of the right bezel and swiping left, navigating available apps using the arrow at the top of the right sector. You can slide the divide line to the left to claim more space.

ipad split view Jonny Evans/IDG

iOS on iPad lets you look at two apps at once using Slide Over

iPad Safari

Open two Safari windows side by side: Tap the + to open a second tab, then tap, hold and drag that tab to the right of the X. Your Safari browser window should shrink slightly and display a gray area. Drop the second tab there and the second window should open.

iPad: Quick Split

On an iPad, use two fingers to tap a URL in Safari: You will immediately enter Split View mode, with the tapped link in the opposite window, or in a new tab in the opposite window if you’re already in that mode.

Last, but not least: Troubleshooting 101

iPhones and iPads are reliable, but when you have problems you need these tips.

  • Update the iOS: The first step is to update the iOS in Settings>General>Software Update. If an update is available, you install it from here.
  • Soft Reset: If the iOS is up to date, try a soft reset. Press and hold the Sleep and Home buttons until the device reboots. (Press the Sleep and Volume keys on an iPhone 7 device).
  • Harder Reset: Open Settings>General, select “Reset” and then choose “Reset All Settings.”
  • Reset: If none of these seem to work, you may need to reset the iPhone. It is essential to back your device up before you do this. Once you do, go to Settings>General>Reset and choose Erase all Content and Settings. You’ll be asked for your Apple ID, and the device will be returned to its factory-fresh settings. Now, you’ll need to reinstall all your data from your backup.

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