9 hidden iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus tips

Here's nine hidden iPhone 6s and 6s Plus tips to make the most of your new iPhone

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  • img 0463 Set a Live Photo as your lock screen image
  • img 0466 Quick access to multitasking menu
  • img 0465 Quickly reply to messages
  • img 0467 Access Camera shortcuts
  • img 0468 Turn the keyboard into a trackpad
  • img 0470 Preview Safari links before opening them
  • img 0471 Hands-free Siri
  • img 0473 Make darker strokes in Notes
  • img 0472 Adjust 3D Touch sensitivity
  • More stories
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Hidden iPhone 6s/6s Plus tips: Set a Live Photo as your lock screen image

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are two examples of Apple’s most advanced iPhone to date, announced alongside a brand new Apple TV, an iPad mini 4 and the much-rumoured iPad Pro at Apple’s September 2015 event. Launching only weeks after the announcement, the phones are already hugely popular in the market, mainly thanks to an improved camera, faster processor and, most importantly, the introduction of 3D Touch technology. For those of you that took the plunge and bought the iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, we’ve found a number of hidden features/tips to get the most out of your smartphone.

See also: best cases for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Set a Live Photo as your lock screen image

One of the biggest features of the iPhone 6s is the camera, namely the introduction of ‘Live Photos’, still images that animate when activated via force touch. These Live Photos are meant to give you a glimpse of what was happening when the photo was taken – a fantastic feature when you want to take a trip down memory lane. However, many iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users are unaware that these live photos can be used as the lock screen image and animated at any time.

To set a live photo as your lock screen image, simply open the Photos app and browse to the image you want to use. Once opened, tap the Share button (square with an arrow pointing out of it) and scroll along until you find ‘Set as Wallpaper’, then tap it. Making sure ‘Live Photo’ is selected, set the image as your lock screen wallpaper and lock your iPhone. Now all you need to do is force touch the screen to animate the image!

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Next Prev img 0463

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus are two examples of Apple’s most advanced iPhone to date, announced alongside a brand new Apple TV, an iPad mini 4 and the much-rumoured iPad Pro at Apple’s September 2015 event. Launching only weeks after the announcement, the phones are already hugely popular in the market, mainly thanks to an improved camera, faster processor and, most importantly, the introduction of 3D Touch technology. For those of you that took the plunge and bought the iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, we’ve found a number of hidden features/tips to get the most out of your smartphone.

See also: best cases for iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Set a Live Photo as your lock screen image

One of the biggest features of the iPhone 6s is the camera, namely the introduction of ‘Live Photos’, still images that animate when activated via force touch. These Live Photos are meant to give you a glimpse of what was happening when the photo was taken – a fantastic feature when you want to take a trip down memory lane. However, many iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users are unaware that these live photos can be used as the lock screen image and animated at any time.

To set a live photo as your lock screen image, simply open the Photos app and browse to the image you want to use. Once opened, tap the Share button (square with an arrow pointing out of it) and scroll along until you find ‘Set as Wallpaper’, then tap it. Making sure ‘Live Photo’ is selected, set the image as your lock screen wallpaper and lock your iPhone. Now all you need to do is force touch the screen to animate the image!

 

Step 2 of 9: Hidden iPhone 6s/6s Plus tips: Quick access to multitasking menu

For years, iOS users have trained their brains to double tap the home button to access the multi-tasking menu, but that action has been rendered moot by the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. Why? Because you can easily access the multitasking menu from anywhere in iOS, simply by force pressing the left side of the screen and swiping towards the center of the display. If done correctly, you should be taken to the multitasking center, where you can easily switch between your recently used apps. Though some users might find it a bit awkward to use at first, it’s a very handy gesture to have once you’re used to it.

It’s also worth mentioning that a similar action can take you back to the last used app without accessing the multitasking menu. Simply force press on the left hand side of the screen, then drag your finger from the left hand side of the display to the right hand side. The app you were last using should be dragged onto screen, replacing the active app.

 

Step 3 of 9: Hidden iPhone 6s/6s Plus tips: Quickly reply to messages

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus also give you a new way to easily reply to text messages. Proactive was a big introduction to iOS 9, and lets the operating system learn your habits including the apps you use, people you speak to and even how you reply to text messages. This information can then be used to your advantage – in this case, ‘peek’ at the message thread to get a preview of the text conversation by force pressing on the message, then simply swipe up to reveal a list of pre-determined replies, and tap on the one you want to use.

As well as a list of pre-determined replies, it may feature contextual replies i.e. if a question was asked, replies would include ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘maybe’, etc.

 

Step 4 of 9: Hidden iPhone 6s/6s Plus tips: Access Camera shortcuts

3D Touch was the biggest feature of the iPhone 6s, enabling a whole new way for users to interact with their smartphones. One of the key features of 3D Touch was being able to force tap an app icon to display a menu with shortcuts to the most prominent features of the app. This means that instead of having to open the Camera app and swipe to the recording mode of choice, you can force touch the icon and easily select which you want. You have the choice of taking a selfie, recording a video, recording in slo-mo or taking a standard photo.

It’s not just the Camera app that offers 3D Touch shortcuts, as many stock iOS apps have shortcuts – experiment with what you can do! Third-party apps are slowly adding support too, with early adopters including Instagram (options to publish a new post, view your activity, search or access direct messages) and Tweetbot 4 (reply to last mention, access activity tab, tweet the last photo or write a tweet).

 

Step 5 of 9: Hidden iPhone 6s/6s Plus tips: Turn the keyboard into a trackpad

3D Touch isn’t only handy for accessing app shortcuts or previewing message threads – it can also make text editing on an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus less of a headache. We’ve all been in situations where we’ve misspelt a single letter of a word on our iPhones, and tried to insert the cursor mid-word to edit it (and failed a number of times before deleting the word and re-writing it). There’s no need to do that any more, as you’re now able to force press the keyboard to turn it into a trackpad, allowing you to place the cursor wherever you want.

It doesn’t just stop at being able to move the cursor around either – once in trackpad mode, you can tap again once to highlight a single word, twice to highlight the entire sentence or thrice to select everything you’ve written.

 

Step 6 of 9: Hidden iPhone 6s/6s Plus tips: Preview Safari links before opening them

Here’s another useful use for 3D Touch, this time allowing users to preview a link before opening it. iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users can ‘peek’ at Safari links in-app by lightly pressing on a URL, giving you a preview of the page before applying more pressure to ‘pop’ open Safari and open the link. If you’re not interested, simply let go of the display and the preview will disappear.

This feature can be found in a number of places throughout iOS, from the Messages app to the Notes app to third-party apps, including WhatsApp and Tweetbot 4. This gives users a new way to browse and preview links (and images if supported) before properly opening them. It comes in handy too, as you can now see if the link your friend tweeted is something you’re interested in reading before loading it up in full-screen mode.

 

Step 7 of 9: Hidden iPhone 6s/6s Plus tips: hands-free Siri

Another exclusive iPhone 6s and 6s Plus feature is hands-free Siri, something that up until now has only been possible when your iOS device is plugged in and charging. iPhone 6s and 6s Plus users can ‘train’ Siri to recognise only their voice, allowing them to activate Siri from anywhere simply by saying ‘Hey Siri’. Before you impress your friends with your always-listening virtual assistant, you need to set it up by heading to the Settings app > General > and toggling the ‘Allow “Hey Siri”’ option on.

Once toggled on, you have to go through the initial setup process where Siri gets to know the sound of your voice. Simply repeat the phrases that appear on screen, then you should be able to activate Siri by saying “Hey Siri” at any time.

 

Step 8 of 9: Hidden iPhone 6s/6s Plus tips: Make darker strokes in Notes

Using the new 3D Touch technology found in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, users are able to make darker strokes in Notes simply by applying more pressure on the display, much like when shading with a pencil. Though this is a slightly novel use for the pressure-sensitive display, I’m sure artistic users could find a use for it. It’s also worth mentioning that third-party app developers can also utilise the technology in the same way, so expect to start seeing pressure-sensitive drawing features added to the likes of Paper at some point soon.

 

Step 9 of 9: Hidden iPhone 6s/6s Plus tips: Adjust 3D Touch sensitivity

3D Touch is a great addition to the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, but with the excess pressure used on the display, there is an issue – it can cause the oleophobic coating of the iPhone display to wear out sooner than usual. The oleophobic coating on the display helps your display stay relatively smudge free, keeping grease at bay by providing a surface it can’t ‘stick’ to it. It also makes your display feel smooth to the touch, which also helps with scratch resistance – reduced friction will cause sharp/dangerous materials to slide off the surface, rather than damaging it.

It’s not permanent though, so excessive pressure may speed up the process of wearing it out. To help combat the issue, you can turn up the sensitivity of 3D Touch to activate it without needing as much pressure. To do this, simply head to Settings > General > Accessibility > 3D Touch then adjust the 3D Touch Sensitivity from medium to light.

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