Five Neat Hidden Features in iOS 14

Five Neat Hidden Features in iOS 14

Dennis Snider

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The latest update to iOS 14 contains many hundreds of new features, most of which are quite clear to users, but some of them are less obvious but useful. Below we list five of our favorites.

Sound Recognition
With the sound recognition feature, users can program their phones to recognize a range of different sounds, for example a dog barking, a smoke alarm going off, a baby crying, a doorbell, etc. When the phone identifies one of these sounds, it will send you a notification telling you what it has heard. This could be a particularly useful feature for those with hearing difficulties.

Mirror Front Camera
Many social media users like to take selfies of themselves by taking a picture in the mirror, and so we are used to seeing mirror images. With the standard iPhone front facing camera, the image is automatically flipped from a mirror image so that your picture appears as someone standing in front of you would see it. There is now an option, by toggling “Mirror Front Camera”, for your selfies to appear as if they have been taken in a mirror.

FaceTime Eye Contact
A good feature for people who are easily distracted but don’t want to look rude, the FaceTime Eye Contact feature, accessible in the FaceTime section of Settings, subtly changes the image the person you are talking to sees so that it still looks as if you are making eye contact with them, even if you are looking elsewhere on your phone.

Volume Up/Down Camera Controls
These new controls add extra functionality to your camera, allowing you to control the shutter. When you have the camera app open, if you press and hold down the volume up button the camera will shoot in “burst” mode, taking a series of photographs in quick succession. Holding the volume down button allows a QuickTake video will be shot, i.e., one that doesn’t need you to go back to the camera settings to change from still camera to video. This feature is available by default, but the “volume up for burst” feature has to be enabled in settings.

Back Tap
The back tap feature allows users to access predefined functions by tapping on the back of their iPhone, either with a double tap or triple tap. In the accessibility settings, users can choose from a range of options, such as taking a screenshot, turning the volume down, etc., which will be activated when the phone detects the preset tap action.