Knowledge Base

iPhone X - 10 hidden features


I’ve had the iPhone X for well over a month now and I’m still very pleased with it. If you fancy checking out my review of it then you can do so here. In this blog, however, I’m going to talk you guys through 10 of the coolest hidden features that I’ve come across during my time with it so far. So, in no particular order…


1. Super-fast app-switching


On previous iPhones, you have to double-tap the home button to access the app-switcher. With the home button non-existent on the iPhone X, you have to swipe up and right from the home bar. Neither of these are super-efficient really. But, fortunately, the iPhone X has a hidden trick that lets you switch from one app to the next really quickly. All you have to do is swipe left or right on the home bar. Intuitive, huh?


IMG_1921.PNGMulti-tasking 2. Tap to wake


With the home button gone, you don’t have to rely on another button to wake the screen. You can simply tap the screen on the iPhone X and it’ll wake, displaying the time and date and that beautiful wallpaper you’ve set. It’s a very minor feature but until you use it you probably will not appreciate it. I use it mostly when I need to quickly check the time; it’s handy. Of course, you can still use the sleep/wake button but tapping is just effortless and you can do it without holding the phone too.


3. Apple Pay – easy access


Apple Pay is supported at a lot of places now, so I use it wherever it’s accepted. With no home button, it’s now accessed by double pressing the sleep/wake button and of course it’ll want to detect your face before it’ll complete the transaction. Nice and easy.


4. Reachability for one-handed use


Writing this blog, I realised just how much the home button was used. Reachability is another example but is something much more useful in the Plus models because they are more difficult to use one-handed. Nevertheless, if you swipe down from the home bar on the X, it’ll pull the contents on-screen down so you can access the top very easily, making single-handed use easier.


IMG_1922.PNGReachability enabled for one-handed use


5. Screen Recording


Explaining things to people is one thing but showing them is another and it’s a better way too I reckon. Instead of pointing them to an article, you can now just demonstrate whatever it is you need to show by recording your screen. This isn’t an iPhone X exclusive feature though and can be found in any device using iOS 11. For me, personally, this is really handy since I produce tech and app reviews so it makes it super quick to record my screen and import the footage, as opposed to connecting the iPhone to my Mac and using QuickTime to record etc.


To enable screen recording, you’ll have to add it to the control centre. You can do so by going to Settings > Control Centre, tapping Customise controls and then include Screen Recording. To start recording, simply swipe down from the top right (to view the control centre) and tap the screen recorder icon.




6. Mind your own business


That wasn’t me being rude by the way. It’s basically a feature the iPhone X has but of course that’s not it’s official name Smiley Tongue With any iPhone, if you choose to have notifications on the lock screen then anyone looking at your display will see who the missed call was from, who Whatsapp messaged you and so on. You might consider this a privacy issue, which is why the X is super awesome; it hides sensitive information in the previews of notifications and only displays them when it knows you’re looking at the iPhone i.e. when Face ID detects your face. I love this feature.  


7. Avoid being forced to unlock your phone with Face ID


Whilst no-one can flash your phone in your face and expect it to unlock, there may be situations when you’re forced to. Let’s say you’re at a location around people that you don’t feel comfortable around then you can press the sleep/wake button continuously, 5 times, to disable Face ID. This will enable the emergency mode, where you can easily call the emergency services, access your Medical ID or unlock your iPhone with just your passcode. It’s probably not a situation you’ll find yourself in often or at all but it’s good to know that it can quickly be done.


8. Save battery with a black background


The iPhone X has an impressive battery life with it lasting a day and a half some days. But you can enforce that long-lasting battery life by using a Black background as your wallpaper. It may sound crazy but it’s really not. Due to the nature of OLED technology, using a black background can help reduce power consumption. Appleinsider put this to the test. The results are highlighted below:


  • Black background + maximum screen brightness + 3 hours = 100% down to 77%
  • Coloured background + maximum screen brightness + 3 hours = 100% down to 61%


It doesn’t seem like a significant difference but over the course of the day you’ll find it makes quite a difference.


9. Dear alarm, please be quiet


Don’t you just hate when your alarm clock goess off in the morning? Yeah, me too. It’s stupidly loud but I guess it’s doing its job, huh? Still, with the iPhone X, you only have to pick up your iPhone and look at it and the volume will decrease.


10. Built-in QR Code Reader


QR codes are widely used now and are a way for us to access links and such quicker. It also looks more appealing compared to a long, ugly URL. Before, it was a case of having to download a third-party app just to be able to scan the QR code to access the info it contained. Now, you can simply use the camera on any iOS 11 device. It will automatically detect that you’re scanning a QR code and will take you to the relevant place. Convenient or what? I find it really handy because QR codes are everywhere these days.




There we have it. 10 hidden features of the iPhone X. Did you know about them all or did you learn something new? Also, what’s your favourite one out of them all?


I hope you found this blog useful and interesting and, as always, thank you for reading Smiley Happy




Sadia produces tech reviews, tech tips & tutorials at XALIRATE and posts here on Wednesdays and Saturdays




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Waaay overpriced phone for me. Android is so good now, that I see no need to spend grand on a device which can easily be replaced by much cheaper competitor. Nevertheless, good post.


Sounds like Apple is finally catching up with two old versions of Android. Most of those features were in Lolipop... Android is now two versions better! Then if you get a OnePlus you get some other neat features their OS does underneath Android... But don't get a OnePlus as I like them pretty much and don't want demand pushing them out of my market range... like half the price of Samsung and Apple...

Can someone help me please I lost my phone with my giff gaff sim card in iv ordered a new giff gaff sim card but the one I lost still has me goody bag on could someone please help.

Some excellent features for those lucky enough to own the latest apple iPhone X.


Some useful features and some maybe not so much. so. Really depends how you use your phone. Think I'd be lucky to use about 20% of the features available and don't even realise half the things the phone is capable of. That said, I don't need or want most of them!

Reading an Apple review is like taking a trip down memory lane. 


@eluminea There are certainly a lot of alternatives; cheaper ones too


@jbsthundera haha I will not be buying a OnePlus, don't worry. They are good phones though and priced very well too. As for iOS being behind, maybe so but it's a completely different platform so it's all new for iPhone users at least Smiley Happy


@kenziedodd16 You need to report the SIM lost / stolen. You will then get a replacement SIM with your goodybag transferred over. Contact a giffgaff agent should you need further help.


@cloughey Indeed


@seanalert Oh yeah. I mean none of these are crucial but nice to have really, as with about 90% of phone features. After all, we only need to be able to send texts and make phone calls right? Smiley Tongue


@inspiron42 Good memories?


I find features like Apple Pay to be incovenient on London Underground, anytime someone goes to enter / exit the tube with their smartphone, it takes far longer for their phone to be read vs a bank card or Oyster card.