10 Hidden iPhone Features That Will Make You More Productive

With the iPhone, Apple has created an operating system with different layers. On the surface, it’s pretty simple to use. But look around a bit, and you’ll find a whole new world of useful features that’ll help you boost your productivity.

But, rather than spending hours poking your nose into the nooks and crannies of iOS to find out the best settings to use, we’ll show you everything you need to know right here.


1. Set Up a Focus Mode

Your iPhone has a Focus feature, similar to Do Not Disturb. You can set it up so you aren’t bothered with notifications while you should be working or studying.

You can create different Focus modes for your entire day. You can even schedule and automate different Focus modes so your iPhone knows when you don’t want to be bothered.

Here’s how to set up a Focus mode on iPhone.

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select Focus.
  3. Tap the plus (+) button in the top right corner of your screen.
  4. Select the Focus mode you want to create.
  5. If you choose to create a custom Focus mode, enter the name you want to use, and choose the color and icon you want.
  6. Choose the people you want to receive notifications from. Then tap Allow. If you don’t want any notifications, tap Allow None.
  7. Select the allowed apps for notifications and tap Allow. If you don’t want any app notifications, tap Allow Only Time Sensitive or Allow None.
  8. Finally, tap Done.

And that’s it. You’ve successfully created your own Focus mode. If you want, you can also try the Sleep or Work Focus Modes your iPhone has by default.

To turn your Focus mode on, open the Control Center on your iPhone, tap Focus, and select the Focus mode you want.

2. Use Your iPhone’s Downtime Feature

The iPhone’s Downtime feature is perfect for blocking distractions that affect your focus and productivity. Only the apps and communications you choose will be available when you use Downtime. You can even create schedules for your iPhone to automatically enable Downtime when you know it’s time to get to work. This is how you can turn this feature on:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Screen Time.
  3. Scroll down and tap Downtime.
  4. Select Turn On Downtime Until Tomorrow.

You can also toggle Scheduled on to customize when you want Downtime to be active. You’ll need to create app and communication limits too. Don’t worry; just keep reading to find out how.

3. Set Time Limits for Your Most Used Apps

There’s no doubt that many of us spend more time on apps and games than we should. Watching videos on TikTok can be fun, but it’s also time-consuming. Fortunately, your iPhone lets you set time limits for any apps you use, so you don’t waste time when you need to get the work done.

To set time limits for any app, do the following:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Select Screen Time.
  3. Tap App Limits.
  4. Tap Add Limit.
  5. Choose the category you want.
  6. Select the app or game you want. You can also tap the category again to select all games or apps.
  7. Tap Next.
  8. Choose the time limit you want. You can also type Customize Days to choose if you want a bigger time limit for a specific day.
  9. Once you’re done, tap Add.

You can do this with all the other apps and games you want. When you set an app limit, the apps will be limited across all your Apple devices that use the same Apple ID account.

4. Set Communication Limits

Just like you can limit the time you spend using an app, you too can set communication limits so you don’t get distracted when you need to focus. This is what you need to do:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap Screen Time.
  3. Select Communication Limits.
  4. Choose During Screen Time and then select between Contacts Only, Contacts & Groups with at Least One Contact, or Everyone.
  5. Choose During Downtime and then select between Specific Contacts or Everyone. If you tap Specific Contacts, choose the contacts you want.

The Communication Limits feature will apply to Phone, FaceTime, Messages, and iCloud contacts.

5. Disable App Notifications

If using a Focus mode isn’t enough, you can tackle your apps one by one and disable notifications altogether. This will guarantee you’ll never be distracted by any unnecessary app or game. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select the app you want.
  3. Tap Notifications.
  4. Toggle Allow Notifications off.

If you think that’s a bit too harsh, you can always enable notifications again by following the same steps. You can add the notifications to a Scheduled Summary as well.

6. Create a Notification Summary

If you want to get notifications at specific times of the day, you should try setting up and using the notification summary on your iPhone.

With a Scheduled Summary, you’ll see a summary of all your notifications in the schedules you choose. Here’s how to turn this feature on:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down and select Notifications.
  3. Tap Scheduled Summary.
  4. Toggle Scheduled Summary on.
  5. Under Scheduled, tap Add Summary to create your own schedule.

If you scroll down, you can select the apps you want in your summary. Keep in mind that your iPhone will still notify time-sensitive notifications immediately.

7. Quickly Switch Between Your Apple Devices With Handoff

You can quickly switch between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac with Handoff. This feature will let you use the same app on different Apple devices without losing progress. So, for example, if you’re browsing the web on your iPhone but want to view that website on your Mac, Handoff will let you open Safari on Mac with the same web page open.

To use Handoff, you need to ensure this feature is enabled on your Apple devices.

How to enable Handoff on iPhone and iPad

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Go to General.
  3. Select AirPlay & Handoff.
  4. Turn Handoff on.

How to enable Handoff on Mac

  1. Click the Apple Menu in the top left corner.
  2. Select System Preferences.
  3. Click General.
  4. Click Allow Handoff between this Mac and your iCloud devices.

All your Apple devices will need to use the same Apple ID, and you’ll also need to turn on your Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Once you have everything covered, you can use Handoff on your iPhone by accessing the App Switcher. If you have an iPhone with Face ID, swipe up from the bottom of your screen, and if you have an iPhone with Touch ID, double press the Home button.

You should see a small message at the bottom of your screen that says the app’s name and where it’s coming from. Tap it, and you’ll be redirected to the same app.

For iPad and Mac, you should see the handoff app right in the Dock.

8. Use Universal Clipboard

Universal Clipboard lets you copy something (text or photo) from your iPhone and paste it directly on your Mac or iPad (and vice-versa). The shared clipboard lasts for two minutes, so it doesn’t disrupt your local clipboard.

To use this feature, you first need to enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your iPhone and your other Apple device. Next, make sure you’re using the same Apple ID on both devices and that you enable Handoff as we previously showed you.

Then, just copy the text from one device, and paste it onto another.

9. Use Safari Extensions

Ever since iOS 15, Apple finally brought Safari extensions to the iPhone. Just like on a Mac, you can take advantage of Safari extensions on your iPhone to maximize productivity.

You’ll first need to search for an app with an extension on the App Store. Afterward, you’ll need to go to Settings > Safari > Extensions and then toggle all the extensions you want to use.

There are many awesome Safari extensions to download on your iPhone right now, but if you want to access all extensions available, you can tap More Extensions.

10. Siri’s Hidden Productivity Prowess

While you’ve used Siri multiple times, maybe you haven’t used it to max your productivity. Siri can help you add items to your Reminders app, send emails, and even read your messages. The sky is the limit.

Siri works with third-party apps as well. You can start by trying simple Siri commands on your Mac or iPhone. It might take a while to get used to it, but Siri can boost your productivity quickly.

Let Your iPhone Take Care of the Rest

Your iPhone has some amazing built-in features that’ll help you control how you spend your time. If you’re having trouble focusing at work, these productivity tips will help you make the most out of your iPhone, build better habits and boost your productivity.

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