10 incredibly useful iPhone and Android tricks that make your life easier

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Remember back when we used phones for only calls? Today, our smartphones hold our entire digital life. 

That includes, of course, your precious photos and videos. Tap or click for nine photos you should always have handy, like your medical and dental insurance cards. 

Speaking of photos, how often do you spend way too much time hunting for a photo you know is hidden somewhere in your gallery? Stop scrolling and use this smart trick to find a photo quickly

Your iPhone or Android has a ton of hidden goodies. Here are 10 tricks you’ll come back to time and time again. 

1. Start using back tap 

Instead of fumbling through pages of apps, you can instantly do a specific task with your phone. I take a lot of screenshots with my phone, and I do it by tapping the back of my phone twice. Three taps, and my driveway entry gate opens. A friend of mine turns on his back patio lights the same way. 

In this photo illustration an Android logo seen displayed on a smartphone. 
(Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

On an iPhone 8 or newer, you can use your finger to tap on the back of your phone two or three times to trigger a custom action. Go to Settings > Accessibility > Touch > Back Tap. Select Double Tap or Triple Tap.  

From there, choose a specific action. While this is handy, I warn you that you might accidentally trigger an action from time to time. 

More Apple smarts: 10 iPhone tricks I use every day, and you will, too 

2. Set up shortcuts for your most-used apps 

Want to add a shortcut to a specific app to your home screen? Not all apps have shortcuts, but you can find out by holding down on the app. 

Here’s how to do it on Android: 

  • Press down on an app, then lift your finger. If the app has shortcuts, they will appear.
  • Touch and hold the shortcut.
  • Move the shortcut to where you want it and lift your finger.

On your iPhone, this is a super handy shortcut. Press down on the Messages app icon, and you’ll see a few of your conversations. Select and hold one of your most messaged contacts. Drag it to your home screen. Now you tap that button to have a chat.  

Trick in a Trick: When you’re trying to find…

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