In December 2017 the iPhone share of the UK mobile phone market hit an all time high of 50.92%. It’s fairly rare these days to see people without a smart phone in hand. Nobody among us can deny how useful it is to have all that information at your fingertips, no matter where you are. Because of this I thought a little post on five basic functions of the iPhone might be of interest.

I have to admit that my iPhone probably isn’t used to its full potential. It has, however proved a godsend given my horrendous sense of direction, problems remembering what time train I said I wanted to catch home and love of taking photos…of everything!

If you’re anything like me and a keen (albeit not particularly proficient) technology user I thought you may find some of these lesser known iPhone functions useful.

Guided access

I’m always surprised how many people haven’t ever heard of Guided Access. Follow the screenshots below through Settings > General > Accessibility. This is where you can turn Guided Access on and off and set up a passcode to control Guided Access settings. This little known feature can help you stay on task by disabling areas of the screen or temporarily restricting you to a single app. More useful than this though is if you have young children! I know that most of us have resorted to playing a video clip when you need two minutes to get something done. If your child is anything like mine, the home button is almost as interesting as whatever is playing. By turning on Guided Access I have set it so that the home button, screen and volume buttons are all rendered inactive until I disable it. You can turn off Guided Access by using TouchID (the fingerprint recognition function) or triple clicking and entering your password. Within each app you can triple click and edit your settings so even more handily you can have a different setup between Safari and YouTube, for example.

LED alerts

There was chatter a little while ago about the iPhone not accommodating the hard of hearing that well with no notification light. However, this is actually a pretty easy fix, whether you need the lights or simply want them turned on. This can be altered under the Accessibility menu also. Simply toggle the LED Flash for Alerts to the ON position and then your iPhone light will flash to alert you to incoming messages. Don’t forget there is also the handy vibration function too!


Most people have found the joys of Siri by now! You can customize your Siri to be male or female. You can find endless strange questions to ask. If you’ve somehow missed all the daft questions that Siri will answer for you, try asking him/her ‘who stole the cookies from the cookie jar?’ or ‘what is zero divided by zero?’ (could be that I have a slight cookie obsession!) But while Siri is both a good source of entertainment and super helpful for hands free texting, did you know that he/she can also help you help a stranger? If you happen to find an iPhone you can ask ‘Hey Siri, whose phone is this?’ and, if they have Siri enabled, you’ll get the owner’s contact details so you can return their phone to them. What an easy way to help someone else out!

Desktop webpages

While I love having the power and information of the internet at my fingertips (anyone remember the days of pub quiz frustration from a decade ago?!), sometimes the iPhone and smart phone optimized webpages that some companies have created don’t allow you full range of their sites. If you’d rather look at a desktop style webpage, simply hold down the reload button in the address bar and it’ll give you the option to use the desktop version – how handy!

Customisable widgets

If you didn’t know that you had widgets (the helpful little tools on your iPhone, iPad or computer) then quick, swipe up or right on your iPhone screen now! Turning on the flashlight, a bit of help with mental arithmetic or quickly enabling flight mode is right at the touch of a button. By swiping right you can see, among other things, your calendar for the day and frequently used apps. Did you know that in newer versions of the iOS, you are able to customize what widgets you see here? On your lock screen swipe to the right and then scroll to the bottom of the screen. You’ll see an edit button, which will enable you to remove and add items to the information screen. For example, you can add your phone favourites making phone calls faster. To customize your control centre (where your flashlight lives) go to Settings > Control Centre and then press Customize. You can then add or remove items to make sure everything you want is at the touch of a button!

I hope that at least one of these functions has been helpful and enabled you to get a little more out of your iPhone. If you’re struggling with any of your iOS devices and need a bit of training, simply get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help you out!




Tori is the genius behind the scenes that keeps everyone in line…or so she likes to think. She loves all things photography and was an (unwilling) Mac convert over a decade ago but would now never go back!