Modern technology is advancing at such a rate that sometimes it’s easy to find yourself falling behind.
And mobile phones, smart devices and other everyday tech provides users with endless features – most of which we never end up discovering or utilizing.
But technology TikTok creators have been revealing some of the hidden features our phones and laptops have, that could save time and energy, and improve security.
OnBuy Tablets and OnBuy Smart Watches have dug out some of the best smart tech tricks that are said to be ‘life changing’. And so, I put some of them to the test to see just how useful they were.
Hands free swiping
Setting up hands free commands allows you to use your voice to instruct your smart device to carry out certain tasks or complete simple actions.
OnBuy Tablets found this video where @tech kitchen has set the command ‘next’ to instruct his iPhone to scroll to the next TikTok video.
To set this up I went to settings, accessibility and then switched on voice control. From here, you can customize commands and add an action to go with them.
I set the word ‘next’ to swipe up as you would to view the next TikTok video, and I was really surprised that it really worked.
This would be really handy if you were washing the dishes and wanted to watch TikTok at the same time.
Equally, if you’re on dating apps like Tinder, you could have the word ‘pass’, connected to the swipe left action, making it even easier to scroll through potential partners.
Siri’s Harry Potter spells
Harry Potter fans will love this iPhone feature that allows Siri to understand basic spells from the books and films.
If you say ‘Hey Siri, Lumos’, the device will switch on your phone’s torch, and you can use the command ‘Nox’ to turn it back off again.
The spell ‘Accio’ usually summons an object to the spellmaker, and if you say ‘Hey Siri, Accio Instagram’ – Siri will kindly open up the app for you.
In one viral video by @edizandben, he takes it one step further having utilized the voice command feature to make their smartphone perform actions as if it were being instructed by a spell. For example, they use the command “Gringotts” to open their online banking!
Facial recognition safety feature
This one was the most disappointing ‘hack’ but it is handy to know it’s there.
In a clip by @carterpcsthey showed users that when setting up Face ID on an Apple product, there is a feature called “Require attention for Face ID” which when selected, allows you to only unlock your phone when you are looking directly at it, even if your face is in frame, adding to personal security.
However, this features is automatically enabled on iPhone devices with Face ID- – it means that no-one would be able to unlock your phone without your permission if you were, for example, sleeping.
Copy and paste text from a photo
This is one of those features that I wished had been a thing when I was at school – because it would have revolutionized my revision methods.
As demonstrated in this viral TikTok from @frankmcshanthe new IOS 15 update allows you to take photos of text, and copy and paste it from the photo itself, removing the step of having to type everything out yourself!
You can then paste this text onto your notes app, in messages to friends, or even as your Instagram caption.
Quickly minimize tabs
@tatechtips explains such a simple hack that most people would not have known about. By selecting his tab and shaking his mouse, his computer recognizes the gesture and proceeds to minimize all other tabs and reduce clutter.
I gave it a go myself and my laptop was quick to recognize I wanted the surrounding tabs minimized, and left just the window I wanted open.
Other viral tech hacks on the video sharing social media app include a ”sleep aid’ from Amazon’s Alexa. Using your Alexa app, you can enable ambient sounds, then at bedtime, you can ask Alexa to play ambience noise of rain, waterfalls and other relaxing sounds.
Owners of an Echo can also set up alerts for Alexa to notify you when a certain sound is played.
Alexa has a feature where you can set up alerts to notify you when a certain sound is being played. @cathypedrayes demonstrated its use to detect things like oven timers – but it could also be used to detect a baby crying, a dog barking, or the doorbell ringing.
Another video showed how the Apple Air Tag tracking device could be used to track your pet.
The device links to iPhones and can be placed in wallets, bags and cars – but they can also be attached to pet collars.
And if you have an Apple Watch, there are a couple of hacks you can try for yourself, including ‘hand gestures’ which allow different movements to access different features on the watch.
This viral video by @ellyawesometech shows you how to go into the settings of your smartwatch and assign certain gestures to action. An example seen in the video is clenching your fist to open Apple pay which astonishingly has been watched 8 million times.
And @hayls_world has shown Apple Watch owners a cool trick to get your Apple watch to tell you the time, not only with normal language, but in the voices of Mickey and Minnie Mouse, too.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.