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10 Hidden iPhone Features That Very Few People Know About

Sometimes it's hard to believe that the iPhone has only been around since 2007. Less than a decade of existence, and it (along with other smartphones) is considered practically indispensable by its users. Just think about how you go through your day - you likely use your iPhone as an alarm clock, then to answer a few emails before work. You use it check the weather and traffic, guide your route, and play music during the morning commute. And that's all before you ever send a text or make a call! 

These phones are only becoming more and more integral to our everyday lives. There are even features now that could save your life! With each new model and iOS update, added features make the iPhone able to do more for the people that use it. So, while everyone knows about everything iMessage and FaceTime has to offer, what about the lesser-known features that Apple has secretly built into your iPhone? With a few simple codes, you can find out exactly what your iPhone can do.

1. Mask Your Phone Number

All you have to do is hit #31# before making a call and no one will see you coming!

2. Find Out Your Signal Strength

This one's a little tricky, as you have to get the right combination of actions down, but it yields results.

Simply call *3001#12345#* and hold the power button. You'll see a screen of interesting options pop up, but you can come back to those later.

When the power down screen pops up, hold the home button until you see the home screen.

Now, everything will look the same, except instead of signal bars, you'll see a precise number that measures signal strength.

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So, that's cool, but what does that number mean?

Signal is measured on a scale from -40 to -140, with -40 being the best signal and -140 meaning no signal. As long as you're above -80, you're good!

3. Find Your Phone's Identification Number

Just like a car has a unique VIN to identify it, your phone has an IMEI number. Find it by typing in *#06#.

4. See The Route All Your Texts Take

You send a text, it pops up on your friend's phone; simple, right? Wrong!

Messages don't just go straight from one phone to another. Instead, they're routed via a message center before reaching the intended recipient. Call *#5005*7672# to reveal your wireless carrier's hub number.

5. Learn To Block Calls And Use Call Waiting And Forwarding

These services, sadly, often come with a fee, but they're pretty useful.

You can easily set your phone up to bar calls, put people on hold, and send calls straight to voicemail with these short codes.

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6. Skip Calls With A Reminder To Call Back

This is great for when you mean to call someone back but are too busy to talk right now. In phones with iOS 9 or above, you can simply tap the "Remind Me" button above the call slider. In earlier versions, you need to swipe upward and select "Remind Me Later." There are three options to choose from: 1 Hour, When I Leave (where applicable), and When I Get Home. This relies on your address book being up to date and your GPS on so your phone can tell when you're home.

7. Create Custome Vibration Patterns For Contacts

If you want to know who's calling without taking your phone out of your pocket, you assign people custom ringtones. Ok, that's kid stuff, right? But what about when you're somewhere where your phone also needs to be silent, like a meeting or a performance? Easy - assign custom vibration patterns.

Open up your Contacts, select one of them, and tap Edit in the top-right corner. Scroll down to find the ringtones and you'll find a vibration menu below. Tap that and you'll have an assortment of patterns to choose from. Even further down is the ability to create your own pattern! Just hit Save when you're done. You can assign a custom vibration pattern for calls and texts.

8. Create Custom Ringtones In iTunes or GarageBand

You can use iTunes to create ringtones from your favorite songs, or GarageBand to create your own custom tones. All you need to do is create a musical clip less than 30 seconds long. Save the clip as a .m4r (here's an in-depth tutorial) and sync it to your phone as a ringtone.

9. Take Photos While Shooting Video

This is an awesome feature that nowhere near enough people know about. It's so simple to do, too: all you need to do is tap the camera button that appears on screen in addition to the record button. These photos don't use iPhone's designated photo sensors, so the quality is a bit lower than a regular iPhone photo, but it's still pretty good.

10. Allow Certain Contacts To Alert You In "Do Not Disturb" Mode

Do Not Disturb mode, which silences your phone during certain hours, is awesome for getting a good night's sleep without being interrupted by calls, emails, social media alerts, etc.

Still, there are some people, such as your spouse or kids, who you need to be accessible to 24/7. Luckily, you can set up exceptions to Do Not Disturb mode. For instance, you can switch on Repeated Calls to get alerted the second time someone calls you. Most midnight callers will get the point after the first call is unanswered, but if they call again then it's likely to be urgent.

You can also select Allow Calls From, and select Favorites to still receive calls from your favorite contacts. Be sure to add important contacts to your favorites list by selecting Add To Favorites on any contact from the Contacts app.

Don't forget to SHARE these handy tips with your friends and family!

H/T: Tech Insider | Macworld UK

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