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Try these useful tips and tricks on your iPhone or Android smartphone

From teaching Google Assistant how to pronounce names to using back tap shortcuts on the iPhone, here are some tips and tricks that you will find useful.

Many applications on Android allow you to create shortcuts to particular actions on your home screen. (Image credit: Pixabay)(Illustrative)

We have put together some tips and tricks for Android and iPhone users that can help make your day a lot easier.

Create shortcuts to actions on your favourite app

If there is an action that you often do on one of your favourite Android apps, it is possible that the app makes that action available as a shortcut that you can save on your home screen. Here is how you can create such a shortcut on your home screen:

  1. Long-press on the app
  2. If the app has available shortcuts, they will be displayed now.
  3. Long-press on one of the shortcuts till the OS takes you to a screen where you can place the shortcut on your home screen.

In this example, we placed a shortcut to a single chat on the home screen. You can do the same with the Messages app if you use an iPhone.

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Use your iPhone as a magnifying glass

iPhones come with an accessibility feature called “Magnifier” which allows you to use the phone as a magnifying glass. This is a very useful feature for the times when you struggle to read really small text. For example, the nutritional information on the back of a really small candy bar. Here is how you can enable the feature and access it easily when you need it:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to Accessibility
  3. Turn on the Magnifier
  4. Now, the Magnifier feature will be an accessibility shortcut for you.

Teach Google Assistant names

Despite the advances in natural language processing technologies, AI-powered virtual assistants still make some mistakes. If your Google Assistant is constantly getting the names of certain people wrong, there is a way to do that easily: you can teach it how the name is pronounced. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Say “Ok Google, open assistant settings”
  2. Choose “You”
  3. Click on “Your People”
  4. Hit the “Add person” button
  5. Select a person from your contacts
  6. Under the “Name Pronunciation” section, choose the “Record your own” option
  7. Hit “Play” to see if the voice assistant got it right.


Get live captions on media with some Android Phones

Some Pixel phones (Pixel 2 and older) and other select Android devices have a feature that will give you live captions for any audio playing on the phone including videos, podcasts and even phone calls. If your phone has this feature, here is how to activate it:

  1. Press the volume button on the phone
  2. Tap the Live Caption icon
  3. This will enable live captions for all the media that is played on the device
  4. You can reverse this by following the same process to tap the Live Caption icon again.

Start using back tap shortcuts on iPhone

iPhones (iPhone 8 and newer) have an option that allows you to assign shortcuts to taps on the back of your phone. You can assign different actions to a double-tap and a single tap on the back of the phone. Here is how you can enable these shortcuts:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to accessibility
  3. Go to “Touch”
  4. Select double-tap or triple tap
  5. Choose the action you want to assign to this shortcut.

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First published on: 10-04-2022 at 05:35:55 pm
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