Use iOS Restrictions to hide system apps

iOS Restrictions is build for the use case when you want to restrict usage of phone features when someone else is using your phone. It is very useful for example to restrict “In-App Purchases” while your kid is using your phone for some games.

You can however use Restrictions for yourself by hiding unused system apps from the home screen. For example to reduce web browsing time or you use primarily other browser, you can hide Safari. If WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger is your video chat apps, you can hide the FaceTime app. Or hide the Podcasts app and use one from third party developer. Sometimes disabling “In-App Purchases” for yourself is a good choice when self-control is not enough.

To use it, go to Settings app > General > Restrictions. Tap “Enable Restrictions” to switch it on, and iOS will prompt you for a passcode to access this settings.

Simply turn off the switch to disable the feature you want. Not all Apple apps are available for you to disable. If you like your home screen tidy, go ahead and hide some unused apps and features.

Share your live location in WhatsApp

WhatsApp has just launched a new feature to allow you to share your location in real-time. This is a simple way to let family and friends to know your whereabout and that you’re safe.

To get started, open a chat with the person or group that you want to share your location. Tap the “+” button at bottom left corner and select “Location” on the popup menu.

There is now a new “Share Live Location” option. Choose the duration (15 minutes, 1 hour or 8 hours) and tap Send to let people in the chat see your real-time location in a map. If more than one person in the chat group share their live location, all locations will appear in the same map.

Your live location will be updated to the chat even when you’re not using WhatsApp. You can choose to stop sharing at anytime.

You can not trust the Calculator app in iOS 11

If you rely on the system Calculator app for your day-to-day living, please take note that you might not always get the correct calculation especially if you have quick finger.

There is a bug in Calculator app for iOS 11. Try tapping quickly “1+2+3” and you will not get the correct result.

This sounds scary indeed as your iPhone is basically a computer and it can’t get such basic calculation right.

Triple tap Home button to trigger Smart Invert in iOS 11.1

iOS 11 comes with a brand new feature called Smart Invert where it “reverses the colours of the display, except for images, media and some apps that use dark colour styles”. When activated, Smart Invert gives you a pseudo system wide “dark theme” which might be useful in dark places or in situation where you want lesser attraction due to the bright phone screen.

To enable Smart Invert, go to Settings app > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Invert Colours. Tap the “Smart Invert” switch to turn it on.

With the point release iOS 11.1, Apple added a short cut to enable Smart Invert. Simply triple taps on the Home Button to toggle Smart Invert on or off. iOS 11.1 is currently still in Beta 4, and is expected to be released together with iPhone X.

How to use the built-in screen recorder in iOS 11

iOS 11 comes with a built-in screen recorder. There is no app for this functon, instead it is hidden in the Control Center.

In order to use the screen recording function, you need to add its button into the Control Center. Go to Settings app > Control Center > Customize Control. Scroll down to bottom section and tap the “+” button for “Screen Recording”. This will add the screen recording button to Control Center.

To start screen recording, activate Control Center and tap on the “Screen Recording” button. After a timer of 3 seconds, the recording of your screen activities will start. When iOS is actively recording what you do on your iPhone, the status bar will be red in color.

To stop the recording, tap on the red status bar and select “Stop” when prompted. Alternatively you can tap the same “Screen Recording” button in Control Center to stop the recording. The screen recording is saved as video into iOS Camera Roll.

How to use the camera app in iOS 11 to scan QR codes

QR code is a square pixelated pattern picture that when scan with a reader app, will redirect you to a website or to provide further info about a product. It is not common in the USA and Europe, but is a dominant method in China to link the offline world to the Internet.

In iOS 11, Apple build a QR scanner directly into the Camera app. To use it, simply point the camera to the QR code. Once a QR code is detected, a popup will appear on top of the camera view window.

Tap on the popup window to navigate to the link embedded in the QR code.

How to copy and paste picture directly into iCloud Drive and Google Drive in iOS 11

File management takes a notch up in iOS 11 as you can now create arbitrary files and folders in iCloud Drive and third party cloud drive using the Files app. Using Files app, you can quickly copy and paste picture directly into your cloud drive.

To save a web picture into Google Drive, the usual way is to first save the picture into iOS Camera Roll. Then you open up the Photos app, locate the picture, and use the share action to upload the picture to Google Drive.

Google has updated its Drive app to support file management from Files app. Here’s the quick way to save a picture to Google Drive:

On Safari, tap and hold on a picture or GIF until you see the action sheet at the bottom.

Tap on the “Copy” button to copy the image to system clipboard.

Open Files app. Navigate to the Google Drive folder where you want to save the picture. Tap and hold on an empty area to bring up the black color menu.

Tap on “Paste” on the menu to save the file to Google Drive. To rename the picture, tap the picture to bring up the menu and select “Rename” from the option.

In addition to Safari, you can use this method to save image from other apps as long as the apps support “copy” of image into system clipboard.

You can power off iPhone from the Settings app

The usual way to power off your iPhone is to press and hold the Side button for few seconds until you see the prompt to “slide to power off”.

In iOS 11, Apple added a new entry to the Settings app to allow you to trigger the above “slide to power off” screen. Go to Settings > General and scroll all the way to the bottom and tap the “Shut Down” item.

So now you know how to turn off your iPhone when the Side button is not functioning.