Top 25 iOS 11 Tips and Tricks for iPhone and iPad


iOS 11 Tips and Tricks

iOS 11 is a revolutionary update for the iPad. But on the iPhone, it’s filled with smaller features. If you’ve upgraded to iOS 11 and are looking for all the ways you can use the new iOS 11 features to get most out of your device, just follow the list of our iOS 11 tips and tricks.

1. Customize Control Center

iOS 11 Control Center customized

The newly redesigned one-page Control Center is hiding a trick up its sleeve. You can remove the last four toggles, and add a dozen or so extra controls down there. You can add a fully featured Apple TV remote, screen recording functionality, accessibility shortcuts, Magnifier, and more.

iOS 11 New Settings Customize Control Center

Go to Settings -> Control Center -> Customize Controls to see a list of all available controls. Tap on the Plus button next to a control to add it to the bottom of Control Center.

Read moreHow to Customize iOS 11 Control Center

2. Record Your iPhone or iPad Screen without The Mac

From the Customize Controls section, enable the Screen Recording control. Now, go back to the Control Center, tap on it and you’ll see a three-second countdown.

iOS 11 Screen Recording 3

And then the status bar will turn red and the screen recording will begin. This is native screen recording, without using a Mac or a hack from the App Store. Oh, and it will record your microphone as well.

iOS 11 Screen Recording 2

When you’re done, tap on the status bar at the top, and select Stop from the alert box. Your video will be saved int he Photos app. Tap on the notification and the video will open. Use the editing feature in Photos app to get rid of the last couple of seconds where the Stop alert box is visible (see our guide here to learn how to do that).

iOS 11 Screen Recording 1

Read moreHow to Record iPhone or iPad’s Screen without a Mac in iOS 11

3. Type to Siri

iOS 11 type to Siri 4

You might not be a fan of talking to Siri when you’re out in the public, or when you’re at work, sharing a table with your coworkers. Now, you can choose to switch to a text-only Siri mode.

Go to General -> Accessibility -> Siri and turn on the Type to Siri feature. If you want to go back to using your voice, you’ll need to turn this feature off first.

Read moreHow to Type to Siri on iPhone and iPad in iOS 11

4. Automatically Offload Apps When Low on Storage

iOS 11 has intelligent features that help you save storage space. One of them is Automatically Offload Apps.

In Settings -> General, go to iPhone Storage (or iPad Storage), and tap on the Enable button next to Automatically Offload Apps.

ios 11 offload unused apps 7

When your iOS device is running out of space, the feature will automatically delete apps that you haven’t used in a long time. It won’t touch the app’s data or documents.

Read more: How to Automatically Remove Unused Apps to Free Up Storage Space on iPhone or iPad in iOS 11

5. Scan QR Codes from Camera App

iOS 11 QR code scanning featured

There’s no UI for it but the Camera app in iOS 11 can now scan QR codes. It supports just under a dozen different types of codes. You can use QR codes to open websites, add contacts, setup HomeKit devices and more.

Read moreHow to Scan QR Codes on iPhone and iPad in iOS 11

6. Scan Documents in Notes App

Say goodbye to that document scanning app. In iOS 11, you can scan multiple documents using Notes’ new automatically scanning mode. Open a new note, tap on the Plus button and select Scan Documents.

ios 11 document scanning notes app 5

Point the camera to the document in question. The app will analyze it and scan it automatically. You can change the scan mode to grayscale or photo mode. Scan multiple documents, save them in the Notes app. Use the Share button to save the scan to another app.

Read moreHow to Scan Documents Using Notes App in iOS 11

7. Edit Live Photos

Finally, it’s possible to trim the video part of a Live Photo. Tap on the Edit button when viewing a Live Photo and use the preview bar at the bottom to jump between snapshots.

iOS 11 Edit Live Photos 3

Use the yellow arrows to mark the new start and end point. Save it when you’re done.

Read moreHow to Edit Live Photos on iPhone in iOS 11

8. Add Boomerang and GIF Effect To You Live Photos

When you’re in the Photos app, swipe up from the bottom on a Live Photo and you’ll see a new Effects section. Switch to the Loop effect for convert your Live Photo into a never-ending GIF like format.

iOS 11 Live Photos Effects 2

Choose Bounce to add a Boomerang effect or select Long Exposure to turn your Live Photo into a long exposure shot. Here, iOS 11 will blur parts of photos that are in motion to give you a cool effect.

While we’re talking about GIFs, you’ll also be happy to know that Photos app now lets you save, play and share GIFs.

Read moreHow to Add Awesome Effects to Your Live Photos in iOS 11

9. Zoom One-Handed in Maps App

When you’re in the Maps app, you can now zoom with just one finger. Double tap on the map area and before lifting the finger on that second tap, swipe up or down to zoom in or out of the map. While you’re at it, also try the awesome new AR Flyover view in Maps app.

10. Use One Handed Keyboard

ios 11 one handed keyboard 2

Tap on the Globe key on the keyboard and right below the list of available keyboards, you’ll see three new icons. Tap on the keyboard icon on the left to dock your keyboard to the left (same goes for the icon on the right side).

ios 11 one handed keyboard 3

You’ll see that your keyboard is now narrower, and docked to a side. This should make it much easier to type with one hand. If you want to go back, just tap on the empty block next to the keyboard.

Read moreHow to Use iPhone’s New One-Handed Keyboard in iOS 11

11. Quickly Share Screenshots

iOS 11 screenshot share sheet

When you take a screenshot, you’ll see a little preview in the bottom-left corner. Tap and hold on it and the iOS Share sheet will come up. From here you can select an app or conversation where you want to send the screenshot to. Or you can just AirDrop it to your Mac.

Read more10 Tips on How to Use The New Screenshot Features in iOS 11

12. Markup Your Screenshots

Tap on the screenshot preview and it will open up in Markup mode. You can doodle over the image, annotate it, whatever you like. Then tap the Share button to send the marked-up image to an app. When you’re done you can choose to either save the image to Photos or to just delete it.

13. Move Multiple Apps at The Same Time

iOS 11 Move multiple apps home screen

This works on both the iPhone and iPad. Tap and hold on the apps on the Home screen till they start to jiggle. Then move one icon under your finger. Use another finger to select other icons.

They’ll all be docked under your first finger. Now use your other hand to navigate to another screen or folder. Release your finger and all apps will move to the new place.

14. iPad: Use The Dock as an App Switcher

iOS 11 Dock Switch Apps

The new iPad Dock shows up when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen, no matter which app you’re in. And you can add a dozen or so apps to the Dock now. So add your most used apps in there and the next time you want to switch to another app, just swipe up for the Dock and tap on an app icon.

Read moreHow to Use the Awesome New iPad Dock in iOS 11 (in GIFs)

15. iPad: Use The New Multitasking System

iOS 11 Dock Slide Over

The new multitasking system in iOS 11 is really cool. When you’re in an app, bring up the Dock and tap and hold on an app icon. Then drag it to the middle of the screen. If you lift your finger here, the app will show up as a floating window.

iOS 11 Engaging Split View

Drag your finger to the edge of the screen and now the app will be docked to the left/right. Voila, you’re running two apps side by side.

16. iPad: Use Drag and Drop Between Apps

iOS 11 Drag and Drop iPad 1

When you have two apps open side by side, try dragging things like text, videos, and links between them. Just tap and hold in one app, drag and drop it in another. Couldn’t be simpler!

17. Hide All Notification Message Previews When Device is Locked

iOS 11 Notification Preview Example

If you’re the kind who cares about privacy, or if you work in an open environment, it’s best to hide notification messages, especially for chat apps. In iOS 11, you can hide all notification previews when your phone is locked.

iOS 11 Disable Notification Previews 2

Go to Settings -> Notifications -> Show Previews and then select When Unlocked.

iOS 11 Disable Notification Previews 3

18. Block SMS Spam

iOS 11 Messages Features 6

iOS 11 has an API that lets third-party apps scan and block SMS spam for you. It’s like the Spam folder in your Email app but for SMS. Install an app like VeroSMS, then enable it by going to Settings -> Messages -> Unknown and Spam.

iOS 11 Messages Features 4

Now, you’ll see a separate section in Messages app called Unknown & Junk. When a spam SMS shows up, you won’t be notified about it and it will end up here.

19. Automatically Enable Do Not Disturb While Driving Mode

iOS 11 New Settings Do Not Disturb While Driving

iOS 11’s Do Not Disturb While Driving mode locks you out of your device when you’re driving and doesn’t show you notifications (unless they’re urgent). It’s best if you activate this feature and set it to turn on when your phone is connected to your car Bluetooth.

Do Not Disturb While Driving Urgent Message

Go to Settings -> Do not Disturb and tap on the Activate section below Do Not Disturb While Driving. Here, select When Connected to Car Bluetooth.

20. Use The Makeshift Dark Mode

iOS 11 Secret Dark Mode Smart Invert Feature 9

There’s no official dark mode in iOS 11 but you can use a smarter version of the color invert feature which doesn’t touch media like images, videos, and other assets.

iOS 11 Secret Dark Mode Smart Invert 5

Turn it on from Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Display Accommodations -> Invert Colors -> Smart Invert.

Read moreHow to Enable the Secret Dark Mode on iPhone in iOS 11

21. Take Apple Pencil Notes from iPad Lock screen

iOS 11 Notes App Features 1

If you’ve got an iPad, just tap your Apple Pencil on the Lock screen to quickly open a note that you can scribble in. By default, iOS will open a new secret, secure note over time.

iOS 11 New Settings Access from Lock screen iPad

But you can go to Settings -> Notes -> Access Notes from Lock screen to switch it to the last note you views notes app or the last note you created from the Lock screen.

22. Change Background Paper Style in Notes

iOS 11 Notes Paper Styles Lines and Grids

You can change the background of a Note to a ruled page or a grid. This will help out when you’re taking handwritten notes in Notes app.

iOS 11 Notes Change Paper Style 7

Open a new Note, tap on the Share button, select Lines & Grids and choose the paper style that you want.

Read moreHow to Change Background Paper Style in Notes App on iPad in iOS 11

23. Pin Notes

iOS 11 notes pin notes

Getting to your favorite notes just go a whole lot faster. Swipe left on a note from the list and tap on Pin. Now that note will always be on the top.

24. Disable Background App Refresh when on Cellular

When you disable Background App Refresh then on cellular, apps won’t refresh in the background when you’re traveling.

iOS 11 background app refresh

Go to Settings -> General -> Background App Refresh -> Background App Refresh and select Wi-Fi.

25. Swipe Up on Lock screen To View Past Notifications

iOS 11 has merged the Lock screen with Notification Center. A side effect is that when you swipe down from the top of the Lock screen to view past notifications, nothing happens.

iOS 11 Lock screen Past Notifications

Now, you’ll need to swipe up from the middle of the display to do that. Rest remains the same. You can tap on a notification to open it, 3D Touch for options and you can swipe left on it to get to the Clear option.

 Your Favorite Tips and Tricks?

There’s a lot more in iOS 11 that didn’t make our top 25 cut. For instance, we didn’t even touch on the whole new Files app which lets you collaborate on iCloud Drive documents.

Check out the articles below.

What are your favorite new things about iOS 11? Will this update make you use your iPad work productive work?

Like this post? Share it!