We look for hacks for just about everything – from cooking better to coping with everyday life. Essentially, hacks are the tricks or tips that help us do things efficiently and in lesser time.

With smartphones and similar devices becoming an indispensable addition to our daily lives, it is only natural we have some cool hacks for them as well.

In my search for the best gadget hacks, we came across many, but only the best made onto this list. Our 10 smartphone hacks can not only help you save time, but also simplify your user experience.

Our Top 10 Smartphone Hacks and Tricks in 2024

  1. Charge Your Phone Faster – Use Airplane Mode or turn off your phone to charge it quicker.
  2. Avoid Ads While Playing Games – Turn on Airplane mode or disable internet to skip ads.
  3. Set Call/Reply Reminders on iPhone – Utilize iOS features like ‘auto-reply’ and ‘remind me later’.
  4. Identify Objects with Your Camera – Use image recognition apps like Google Goggles to identify objects in pictures.
  5. Project Augmented Reality Maps – Use specific apps to project maps onto your car’s windshield.
  6. Get a Recycle Bin for Android – Install apps that act as a recycle bin for deleted files.
  7. Turn Your Phone into a Master Remote – Use IR blasters or apps to control various devices.
  8. Take Selfies Using Headphones – Use the volume button on headphones to snap photos.
  9. Delete the Last Digit in iPhone Calculator – Swipe right or left to delete the last digit instead of starting over.
  10. Measure Using Your Smartphone – Use measurement apps to measure objects without a physical tape measure.

Hack 1: Charge Your Phone Faster

The biggest hassle in our daily lives is getting our bricks charged. While there are some with state-of-the-art C-type charging support, what’s the rest of crowd supposed to do?

The trick is simple; turn on your phone’s Airplane Mode while charging. Better yet, turn the phone off. This way, the phone will not burn energy in a continuous effort to connect to cell phone towers and plot GPS.

Also, avoid using your phone while charging. As Li-ion batteries have a limited charge cycle, manufacturers discourage phone usage while charging to forestall battery replacement. Why else do you think they pack a short charging cable?

Hack 2: Avoid Ads While Playing Games

Any in-app ad can be avoided by turning on the Airplane mode or turning off the Internet connection. Hence, by turning off your mobile data or Wi-Fi, you can steer clear of annoying ads that keep interrupting your game.

For ads that persist even after turning off the Internet, simply clear your cache and enjoy an ad-free experience.

Manufacturers, too, understand the need for a feature that disables ads while playing games. To put an end to the users’ misery, many up and coming phones have a dedicated Game Mode that helps avoid ads. If supported, this feature can be found in Settings menu of a phone.

Hack 3: Ask Your iPhone to Set Call/Reply Reminders

Apple is known to surprise its users with features that are both perceptive and unique.

iOS comes packed with features like ‘auto-reply’ and ‘remind me later’ that can help you deal with calls when you are busy. Remind me feature sets a GPS-based or timer-based prompt for the user and can be triggered while the phone rings.

Thus, based on the chosen option, you will be reminded to call back.

Hack 4: Don’t Know Something? Upload a Picture and Get It Identified

Long gone is the time when you had to type in the search bar to get the answers. With image recognition software, identifying specific objects in a picture has become a reality.

Google Goggles, the search engine giant’s very own photo recognition tool, does all that it advertises.

Whether you are forgetting or coming across the name of something for the very first time, goggles can ID it in a jiffy. It runs the query against its massive image database to come up with near matches and provides reliable results most of the time.

Hack 5: Project an augmented reality Map

Whether meandering through dark lanes, foggy roads, or unfamiliar places, maps always come in handy.

But, what if your map could be projected onto the windshield of your car? Cool, right? Play Store has an app that does just that. What’s even better, the app works without any extra equipment.

Hack 6: Get a Recycle Bin for Android

Windows has Recycle Bin, Mac has Trash, what does Android have?

Even iPhone has a feature that stores deleted pictures and videos for 30 days before deleting them permanently. Files deleted in a hurry or without contemplating the consequences can be restored easily with such a feature.

However, Android developers, as usual, never disappoint.

There are some apps in Google Play that offer such protection to user files.

Hack 7: Turn your Phone into a Master Remote

Until a decade ago, or before Apple launched a selfie-camera iPhone, the title of ‘most-used device in the history of mankind’ would have probably gone to remote controllers. From TVs to ACs to cars, everything of utility came with a small wand that had rubber buttons on it.

Although the aforesaid world title has been usurped, the fad hasn’t yet faded.

Phones now come with IR blasters that can be paired with IR-controlled devices. This means you don’t need to search between the sofa seats to shut your TV down. Your phone’s enough.

Not only that, you can use your smartphone to check whether an infrared-based remote is working or not. Infrared rays cannot be seen by the naked eye, but they sure are visible from your camera. Infrared rays show up as a white or purple light in the camera’s viewfinder.

Hack 8: Take Selfies Using Headphones

Yep, read that right. Not only with the volume button of their phones, iPhone users, and many Android ones, can click a picture by simply hitting the volume button on their headphones.

Bet you didn’t know that.

Hack 9: Delete the Last Digit in iPhone Calculator

Imagine that you are calculating something really important. In the chain of long numbers, you end up mistyping a digit. Now what? Start over?


Just swipe right or left. Problem deleted.

Hack 10: Measure Using Your Smartphone

Turns out, in the 21st century, you don’t need a tape to measure length, height or width. Your smartphone is sophisticated enough to do that.

You just need an app to do so.

You can measure just about anything – from the height of your cup to the width of a park. There are plenty of cool tools in the Play Store as well as in the App Store lining up (pun intended) to be put to use.

10 Extra Smartphone Hacks to Become a Power User

Smartphone hacks offer creative and efficient ways to enhance your experience with these devices. Here are some additional hacks that complement the ones you’ve already discovered:

1. Using Text Shortcuts:

  • iOS: Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement. Tap the “+” icon, enter a phrase and the shortcut you want to use for it. For example, “omw” can expand to “On my way!”
  • Android: Settings may vary, but generally, go to Settings > Language & Input > Personal Dictionary. Add a word or phrase and then add the shortcut you want to use.

2. Enhanced Do Not Disturb

  • iOS: Go to Settings > Do Not Disturb. You can schedule when Do Not Disturb is active and allow calls from favorite contacts or groups.
  • Android: Open Settings > Sound > Do Not Disturb. Customize exceptions for calls, messages, and alarms.

3. Customize Vibrations

  • iOS: Go to Settings > Sounds & Haptics. Select the type of alert (like Ringtone or Text Tone), then choose Vibration and Create New Vibration.
  • Android: This feature may vary by device, but generally, you can find it under Settings > Sounds and vibration > Vibration pattern.

4. Screen Pinning for Privacy

  • Android: Go to Settings > Security & location > Screen pinning. Turn it on, then open the app to pin and tap the Overview button. Tap the app’s icon and select ‘Pin’.
  • iOS: Enable Guided Access under Settings > Accessibility > Guided Access. Triple-click the side button to start, and set which features are available.

5. Night Mode for Better Sleep

iOS and Android: Look for a setting named ‘Night Shift’ on iOS or ‘Blue Light Filter’/’Night Light’ on Android under display settings. Schedule it or turn it on/off manually.

6. Using a Smartphone as a Level Tool

iOS: Open the Measure app and choose Level. Place your phone against an object to check its level.

Android: This feature might require a third-party app, as not all Android phones have a built-in level.

7. Smartphone as a Wireless Mouse or Keyboard

Download apps like ‘Remote Mouse’ or ‘Unified Remote’ on both your phone and computer. Connect them to the same Wi-Fi network, and follow the app’s instructions to set up.

8. Secret Emergency SOS

  • iOS: Go to Settings > Emergency SOS and turn on ‘Call with Side Button’.
  • Android: Settings may vary, but generally, go to Settings > Safety & emergency > Emergency SOS.

9. Use Offline Maps for Navigation

Open Google Maps, search for the area you want to download. Tap on the place name or address and select ‘Download’. The downloaded area will be available for navigation even without internet access.

10. Battery Saver Modes

  • iOS: Go to Settings > Battery and turn on Low Power Mode.
  • Android: Go to Settings > Battery > Battery Saver and turn it on.

Final Thoughts

These were the top smartphone hacks that can simplify your daily life. Now that you know that your phone is an awesome device capable of doing amazing stuff, don’t forget to give these hacks a try.

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