11 February, 2014

Advanced iPhone Tricks/Tips/Hacks

You know, I think of myself (and readers of this blog) as advanced users. So I don't bother much with lists of iPhone "tricks" that tell you you can take a screenshot by pressing the Home and Power buttons. Here's a list of advanced iPhone tricks:

Display cell signal strength in dBm

Jailbreak: Not required
Reversibility: Reversible
Instead of showing 5 bars/dots, this displays your signal strength as a (negative) number, with higher numbers (i.e. lower in magnitude) being better e.g. -80 is better than -100. I notice that -100 seems average, and the highest I've got is about -80.
  1. In the Phone app, call *3001#12345#*
  2. This will take you to Field Test mode. In this mode, when you tap the signal strength indicators, they change between dots and numbers.
  3. If you press Home now, it'll exit and revert to the dots.
  4. To make it permanent (in iOS 7), hold Home and Power until the iPhone restarts and you see the Apple logo.
  5. Now, when you tap that area, it'll swap between dots and numbers (doesn't always work).

Hide apps

Jailbreak: Not required
Reversibility: Resets on restart (for better or for worse)
You know how you can't get rid of the default apps like Stocks and Newsstand? In iOS 7, you can hide them. The great thing is, you can still find them by searching your iPhone (swipe down from any home screen), so you can still use them.
Instructions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xz71Thc8_MA
This actually makes use of a bug in iOS.
  1. You need: app/folder you want to hide on the Dock (row of 4 permanent icons at the bottom), a home screen full of apps/folders and containing at least 1 folder.
  2. Tap and hold on the app/folder you want to hide, and double-click the Home button. Multitasking will come up.
  3. Tap on the left screen (the home screen) to return to the home screen. The icons will be shaky, and the app/folder you want to hide will be enlarged.
  4. Tap on the folder on the home screen (not the one you want to hide), then tap outside to minimise it.
  5. Press the Home button, and your app/folder is gone!
Sadly, this resets when you restart your phone, so it's not very permanent.


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