iPhone X Has a Great Secret Feature

Apple changed the smartphone game yet again with the introduction of the iPhone X. With its facial recognition, full-screen OLED screen, and no home button, iPhone X presents a learning curve of sorts for current iPhone users making the transition to the new handset. Luckily, it has secret features to help make navigation easier including a couple that involves Face ID and privacy as well as some conveniences.

Privacy on the iPhone X

Long-time iPhone users are used to the home button and the subsequent prompt to enter a passcode or use their fingerprint to unlock their phone. The latest slim iPhone does away with the home button altogether, which means accessing the phone differently. Apple’s Face ID is the primary mechanism for not only unlocking the phone but also maintaining privacy.

Push notifications are a common part of using a smartphone nowadays. From texts to app notifications, and news alerts, anything you’ve missed while away from your phone on the home screen. The home screen is accessible to anyone even without a passcode or fingerprint. This isn’t the case with iPhone X.

Although it is not presented as the main feature, Face ID actually scans your face every time the phone is picked up. If the phone is picked up by anyone who isn’t the owner, the phone will only show blank push notifications, preserving the privacy of the owner.

In terms of how easy to use Face ID is versus Touch ID, only time will tell. Admittedly, Touch ID allows for very quick access to iPhone and it’s the verification method for Apple Pay when checking out. But Face ID certainly provides an upgrade when it comes to security. The blank notification feature is available to other iOS 11 iPhone users, too. Simply go into the notifications section of the settings to turn off showing notifications until the phone is unlocked.

Other Face ID Features

In addition to providing another level of security for notifications and making iPhone X access more secure, Face ID has, even more, features designed to make navigating around and using iPhone X. One of the more annoying features of the iPhone generally is how quickly the backlight turns off while reading on the device. Setting it to go off later is an option but it drains the battery.

iPhone X’s Face ID solves this issue by sensing your face as you’re reading and not turning off the backlight until you’re done reading something. As an added bonus, when you pick the X up, it quiets any ringing or alerts because it senses your face as well. It’s worth noting that these features aren’t necessarily friendly to your battery but it adds to the convenience factor. Apple’s biggest rival Samsung has a similar volume lowering feature on its devices, having introduced it in 2012. But Apple takes this and other features further by tying the Face ID sensors to specific functions.

Once iPhone X knows your face, it doesn’t have to scan it again fully in order for the phone to unlock. Instead, season users simply tap the lock at the bottom of the screen to access the phone. This gesture is similar to the way iPhones with Touch ID behave.

Finally, just because Face ID is one of the main selling points of the iPhone X does not mean you have to use it for everything. In the settings, you can choose whether or not to use it in place of your iTunes password, for Apple Pay, and other apps.

Hidden Conveniences

The iPhone X is billed as another entirely new take on the smartphone. But with Apple’s new design, the home button became a thing of the past—or has it? While iPhone X no longer has a physical home button, it does have an onscreen one. Under the accessibility, you can turn on a virtual home button.

This feature not only allows you to go back to the home screen with one tap, you can set a single, double, or long tap to activate shortcuts for the phone like a control center launch. And unlike a physical button, the virtual button moves to any position on the screen.

Going between apps is made easier by swiping to the right which allows you to flip between different apps quicker than previous methods allowed. It’s shown during the setup process as well. That’s not the only way, however. If you want an even more convenient way to switch apps, simply swipe to the right or left on the home bar to go to the next app.

For those who like the ability to reach the top of the screen with the reachability feature, Apple didn’t show it away in the redesign for iPhone X, it’s just accessible through different means. Push the screen interface down by pressing down on the home bar.
Checking to see what’s happening is also fairly easy to do with iPhone X. Rival Samsung has had a tap to wake feature requiring two taps for a while now. But with the latest addition to the iPhone family, it takes just one tap and you’re able to check the phone.

Power Features

Battery life in smartphones is always a source of struggle. The iPhone X has a fairly impressive battery life on its own but it gets even better. It has a power-saving feature like that seen on the Apple Watch known as low power mode. Thanks to the OLED screen, however, the pixels in the screen are individually lit and when black is shown on screen, the pixel is effectively not lit. So saving power is simple as using a black wallpaper and grayscale mode. The power savings from this change is around 60 percent.

Small Conveniences

With its new OLED screen comes extra screen real estate on iPhone X. Apple takes advantage of this by putting flashlight and camera access on the home screen. Current iPhone owners are familiar with swiping to access the camera and accessing the flashlight by accessing the control center. Now, you simply force-press one button or the other to access the feature.

Emergency mode is another convenience that not only helps in an emergency, it helps keep you safe. It’s accessible by pressing the sleep/wake button five times. While it reveals things like your medical ID and allows access to dialing emergency services, it also disables Face ID. So if you’re in an unideal situation or crossing borders, consider accessing emergency mode until you’re in a better situation.

The iPhone X commemorates 10 years of the iPhone. Since Apple is known for its innovations, rethinking how people use and interact with the device is nothing new. iPhone X’s Face ID isn’t merely a cool feature to have, it takes safety and security on iPhone to another level. These and other hidden features illustrate just how closely Apple pays attention to the way people use their phones and sets up for a debut of even better phones in the future.

Ian Andrews loves to take photos and shares his knowledge and passion for technology, photography, and other subjects on Ian Andrews Reviews.

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