Hidden Features in iOS 15 We Bet You Didn’t Know

Your iPhone is full of hidden features, and iOS 15 has some.

James Martin / CNET

When Apple releases a new version of iOS, you’re bound to find some useful features hidden from view. (And the iOS 15.4, which was just dropped on Monday, is no exception.) Whether you’re browsing the web, browsing your photos, or translating text, iOS 15’s less-advertised features will enhance the usefulness of your iPhone. It’s just a matter of finding them.

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Read more: Hidden iPhone trackpad makes text editing easier. Learn how it works

No matter whether you’ve had the same phone for years or just bought the latest one iPhone SE 2022In this article, we’ll walk you through nine lesser-known features and settings in iOS 15, including how to use the camera to scan text live, track your iPhone after it’s already dead, and drag and drop photos and other files between apps.

Use your iPhone camera to scan text

Have you ever wanted to point your iPhone camera at a marker or piece of paper and have it automatically identify the text and then copy it into an email or document? With iOS 15, it’s both possible and incredibly cool.

To use the new iPhone “Scan Text” tool, press and hold inside the text field as if you were going to use the copy-and-paste prompt. Only, you will now see a file clear text button. You may also see a button that uses only the scan code, which looks like a piece of paper with brackets around it.

Press the button, which will replace your keyboard with the camera lens on the iPhone. Point the camera at what you want to scan, then follow the onscreen instructions. For example, if you are moving the camera too fast, you will see a “Slow Down” message flash on the screen.

As you line up the camera and text correctly, you’ll see a live preview of the text your iPhone selects and is ready to be placed in your document. Click on Insert Click when you are ready.

This is a neat and easy way to quickly scan an email address on a business card, phone number on a banner or, as you can see in the screenshots above, scan the back of a book and insert it as one giant block of text.

Move the Safari address bar to the top of the screen

Apple has made a lot of changes to Safari for iPhone and iPad. One of the main changes that you will notice after installing the update on your iPhone is that the address bar with all the functionality built into it has been moved to the bottom of the screen.

The idea is that by moving the address bar all the way down, it’s easier to get around in Safari and browse the web because all the buttons are closer to your thumb, but the change won’t be ideal for everyone. And Apple gives you a choice in the matter by letting you move the address bar back to the top of the screen.

When using Safari on your iPhone, tap aa A button on the address bar (don’t press too long, a click is fine). At the top of the menu that appears, you’ll see a new option called Show the top address bar. Click on it to move the address bar up.


You don’t have to live with the address bar at the bottom of the screen in Safari.

Screenshots from Jason Cipriani/CNET

Track your iPhone even if it is turned off

Usually if the iPhone is lost or stolen and then shuts down, there is no way to track its whereabouts via Find My. Thanks to iOS 15, you can now locate your iPhone even if it’s dead, turned off, factory reset, or offline. This new feature, which turns your iPhone into a kind of AirTag, is available for up to 5 hours after the iPhone battery runs out.

You can find the new setting, which is turned on by default, at Settings > apple id > find > Find my iPhone. as long Find my network Enabled, you will be able to locate your iPhone via Find My app when the phone is not turned on. And if you want to check if the power reserve feature is working, press the side button and the volume button and you will see iPhone can be found after a power outage under Slide to power off button.


You can drag photos from the Photos app into a text thread in Messages.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Translate text from anywhere on your iPhone

Apple introduced Translate back with iOS 14, and while it can only translate to and from 11 languages ​​(very limited, in my opinion), the feature has improved with the introduction of iOS 15.

If you don’t want to use the standalone translation app, you can instead highlight and translate any text on your iPhone this way. If you press down on the text to highlight it, you’ll see the editing tools you’re used to seeing. However, if you click on the arrow on the right, you will see a file translate Selection.

A window will appear at the bottom of the screen, you can swipe up, showing the word or words you selected with the translation. You can choose the language you want to translate to including Chinese, French, German, Korean and Spanish. You can also listen to the translation, replace the highlighted word with the translation, and copy the translation to your clipboard.


Translate text within any application.

Screenshots from Nelson Aguilar / CNET

Send your iCloud data to someone else if you die

Your photos, messages, notes, passwords, and other important information don’t need to be locked forever if they die and no one can access your iPhone. New feature in iOS 15 – old contact Allows you to choose any contact saved on your phone and give them access to your iCloud data when you die.

To set up the old contact, go to Settings > Tap on your name > Select Password and security > old contact. Next, tap Add an old contact (twice), enter your credentials and choose someone from your contacts. Apple will generate an access key, which your contact will need to access your data.


You can easily set up an access key for anyone to use so that they can access your information if you die.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

Get real-time precipitation alerts from the weather app

when Apple bought popular weather app Dark SkyI immediately hoped that the official iPhone weather app would get the real-time rain and snow alerts I’ve come to rely on to keep me dry. These alerts first appear in iOS 15, and often arrive a few minutes before Dark Sky’s app — which is fine for me.

Once you launch iOS 15, you can turn on the new precipitation alerts by opening the Weather app, then tapping the three-line icon in the lower right corner of the screen. Next, tap the circle icon with the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen followed by Notices.

Move the switch next to My Site to File On position and then click accomplishment. If more cities are added to the weather app, you can turn on alerts for each of them.

The next time rain or snow approaches you, your iPhone will alert you a few minutes before it starts up. You will also receive another alert when the rain is almost over.

ios-15 weather alerts

Weather alerts the minute it will start raining or snowing? Come on, I’m listening.

Screenshots from Jason Cipriani/CNET

Drag and drop between apps on iPhone

The iPad has long allowed you to drag and drop documents, text, or photos between apps. Now it’s the iPhone’s turn. If you’ve been swiping between Messages and Photos to share photos from a last night with friends, for example, you can now drag them from the Photos app to the Messages app.

To test the new feature, open the Photos app and view your recent photos. Don’t click on an image to open it full screen; Instead, place your finger on the image and start dragging your finger across the screen. Without lifting your finger when the thumbnail begins to float over the rest of the photos, go back to the Messages app.

You will see a green circle with a plus sign appear on the thumbnail indicating that you can lift your finger and the image will be placed in the text field, ready to be sent.

Pretty easy, isn’t it? You can use the same method to attach a document from the Files app to an email message.


You can drag photos from the Photos app into a text thread in Messages.

Nelson Aguilar/CNET

More information is available about your photos

I always had to use a third party app if I wanted to view any of the minute details stored in the EXIF ​​data about a photo that was sent or taken by myself. Now when you see a photo in the Photos app, you can swipe up on it to open the information view that will detail where you saved the photo, as well as all the EXIF ​​information like shutter speed, location, and which camera is being used.

The added information is a welcome addition even if you don’t care about all the nitty-gritty details. At the very least, it is enough to be able to see where you saved the photo (including who sent it to you).


You can view all kinds of information about your photos in iOS 15.

Screenshots from Jason Cipriani/CNET

Change the text size used in certain apps

Currently, you can change the font size system-wide to suit your preference. But with iOS 15, there’s a new tool that lets you change the font size for each app individually. This means for example that you can have the Mail and Twitter app with different font sizes.

To use the new feature, open a file Settings application, then go to Control Center And scroll down until you find the option called font size By clicking on the green plus sign.

The next time you’re in an app and want to adjust the text size, open Control Center (swipe down from the top right corner of the screen on an iPhone with Face ID, or up from the bottom of the screen on an iPhone with Touch ID) and tap font size button. Slide the button at the bottom of the screen to the left side of the switch to indicate that you only want to apply your changes to the app you’re currently using, then adjust the font size up or down.


You can now adjust the text size on a per application basis.

Screenshots from Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you haven’t got iOS 15 yet, here is a simple guide that you can follow Download the latest mobile operating system to your iPhone. You can also check out our website Review on iOS 15, which covers several major new features. And if you are looking to upgrade to iOS 15 but have a much older phone, read our review about iPhone 13And the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Max.