Home / Technology / iOS 15 hidden features on iPhone: This is what Apple did not tell you

iOS 15 hidden features on iPhone: This is what Apple did not tell you


Your iPhone is full of hidden features and it has not changed with iOS 15.

James Martin / CNET

Later this year, yours iPhone and iPad will receive a major update in accordance with iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, respectively. The updates include countless new features and changes such as improved privacy tools, a different Do Not Disturb approach, and FaceTime now works on Android and PCs.

For now, all with one compatible iPhone or iPad can sign up for the public beta if you want to start using the new features early. Just remember, it’s called a beta for a reason – it certainly is bugs and problems that Apple trains.

That said, I’ve been testing the new operating system since the beginning of June, and moreover really poor battery life (that MagSafe battery pack will be invaluable when it comes), I have really enjoyed the changes.

However, some of the new features are things Apple did not talk about when iOS 15 was announced. For example, there is a text scanning tool built into the entire operating system that makes it easy to scan something and import it directly into a text field or document.

Below is the start of my running list of my favorite hidden features in iOS 15 and iPadOS 15. I will continue to update this list as we get closer to the official release, probably in September.

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Use iPhone’s camera to scan signs, business cards

Have you ever wished you could point the iPhone’s camera at a sign or paper and have it automatically identify and then copy the text to an email or document? With iOS 15, it’s possible and incredibly cool.

To use iPhone’s new scan text tool, long press inside a text field as if you were using copies and paste the query. Only you now see one Scan text button. You may also see a button that only uses the scan icon, which looks like a piece of paper with brackets around it.

Press the button, which then replaces the keypad with the viewfinder of the iPhone camera. Aim the camera at what you want to scan, and then follow the on-screen instructions. For example, if you move the camera too fast, you will see a “Slow Down” message flash on the screen.

When you set up the camera and text exactly, you see a live preview of the text your iPhone identifies and is ready to be placed in the document. Press Insert when you are ready.

This is a nice and easy way to quickly scan an email address from a business card, a phone number on a sign or as you can see in the screenshots above, scan the back of a book and paste it like a giant block of text.


Apple added a text scanner to your iPhone, no matter what app you use.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Get real-time rain or snow forecasts from the iPhone Weather app

When Apple bought the popular weather app Dark Sky, I immediately hoped that the official iPhone weather app would get real-time alerts about rain and snow I had come to trust to keep me dry. These alerts debut in iOS 15, and often arrive a few minutes before Dark Sky’s alerts – which is A-OK for me.

After running iOS 15, you can turn on the new rainfall forecasts by opening the Weather app and then tapping the three-line icon at the bottom right of the screen. Then tap the circle icon with the three dots at the top right of the screen followed by Alerts.

Slide the switch next to My position to On position and then press Finished. If you have added multiple cities to the Weather app, you can also turn on alerts for each one.

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


iOS 15 is going to change the way you use your iPhone in many ways.

James Martin / CNET

Drag and drop over apps coming to iPhone

The iPad has long had the ability to drag and drop documents, text or photos between apps. And now it’s the iPhone’s turn. For example, if you go back and forth between Messaging and Photos to share photos from a recent night with friends, you can drag and drop from the Photos app to the Messages app.

To test out the new feature, open the Photos app and see your latest photos. Do not tap an image to open it in full screen, but instead place a finger on the image and start swiping across the screen. Do not lift your finger when the thumbnail starts floating over the rest of the pictures, and then switch back to the messaging app.

You will see a green circle with a + sign in, appears on the thumbnail indicating that you can lift your finger, and the image will be placed in the text field, ready for transmission.

Quite simply, right? You can use the same technique to attach a document from the Files app to an email as well.


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

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

See more information about all the photos on iPhone

I have always had to use a third party app if I wanted to see some of the finer details stored in the EXIF ​​data about a photo I was sent or took myself. Now when viewing an image in the Images app, you can swipe up to open an information view that will detail where you saved the image from, as well as all EXIF ​​information such as shutter speed, location, camera used and so on.

The additional information is a welcome addition, even if you do not care about all the finer details. At the very least, it’s enough to be able to see where you saved the image from (including who sent it to you).


You can adjust the text size per app basis now.

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani / CNET

Resize text for specific apps

Currently, you can change the font size of the entire system if you wish. But with iOS 15, there’s a new tool that lets you change the font size on an app-by-app basis. This means that you can have a different font size when using the Mail app, and then a different size assigned to the Twitter app.

To use the new feature, open Settings app and then go to Control center and scroll down until you find the option highlighted Text size by pressing the green + sign.

The next time you are in an app and you want to adjust the size of the text, open the Control Center (swipe down from the top right corner of the screen on an iPhone that has Face ID, or up from the bottom of the screen on an iPhone with Touch ID) and press on Text size button. Slide the button at the bottom of the screen to the left of the toggle to indicate that you only want the changes to be applied to the app you are currently using, and adjust the font size up or down.

There’s probably a lot more to discover in iOS 15, so I keep tapping, swiping and noticing anything I find. In the meantime, here it is what you need to do to install iOS 15. Or if you want to check out more of the prominent features, we also have an ongoing list of them.

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