10 Best iOS 10 Tips Every iPhone User Should Know

* This article is from our Tip of the Day newsletter. . *

iOS 10 is, arguably, the biggest update to come to iPhone. Not since the total redesign of iOS 7 have we seen changes this big to the iPhone’s operating system. From voicemail transcription (aka visual voicemail) to Siri with third-party integration, there’s a lot of new features to learn how to use. We’re still writing tips to cover all of the iOS 10 updates, but this roundup will feature my favorite top ten iOS 10 tips that we’ve published so far. We’ll include how to search for a destination that’s on your way in Maps, how to find your parked car with iOS 10, how to register as an organ donor in the Health app, and much more. Here’s the ten best iOS 10 tips every iPhone user should know.

1. How to Use Voicemail Transcription with iOS 10

Also called Visual Voicemail, it allows you to simply read a transcription of the voicemail sent to you. Voicemail transcription is pretty easy to use, but Apple only made it available for iPhone 6s or 6s Plus, iPhone SE, and iPhone 7 or 7 Plus. If you have one of those iPhone models, here’s how to use voicemail transcription with iOS 10:

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  • Open the Phone app.

  • Tap Voicemail at the bottom of the screen.

  • Tap the voicemail you want to read just like you would to listen to it.

  • You’ll see a paragraph of text above the voicemail play button. That’s the voicemail transcription.

  • To listen to the voicemail after reading the transcription, tap the play button. Or Raise to Listen if you have that setting turned on.

2. How to Disable Raise to Wake in iOS 10

Raise to wake was introduced with iOS 10 on iPhone. When you update to iOS 10, raise to wake is automatically turned on by default. The raise to wake function is activated when you pick up your phone. It simply illuminates the screen so you can see your notifications without tapping the Home button. To disable the feature:

  • To disable raise to wake on iPhone:

  • Open Settings.

  • Tap Display & Brightness.

  • Toggle off Raise to Wake.

3. How to Collaborate in Notes with iOS 10

With iOS 10 on iPhone, you can collaborate in Notes with your friends. This is helpful, especially, for shared grocery or to-do lists. You can create a list of needed household items and everyone else can add the things they need to the same list. To do this, you’ll need to start a Note in the iCloud folder. This won’t work if you start a Note in the On Your iPhone folder.

  • Once you start typing in the note, you’ll see the contact icon with a plus at the top of the screen. Tap that to add people.

  • Choose how you’d like to send an invitation. I’m going to send one via Messages. You can also send them through email, Facebook, Slack, and more.

  • Enter the recipient and tap Send.

  • They’ll receive a link that allows them to open the Note on their iPhone and edit or add to it.

4. How to Easily Unsubscribe from Email Lists in iOS 10

One of my personal favorite iOS 10 features is the ability to unsubscribe from email lists with one-click in the Mail app. To do this:

  • Open the Mail app on iPhone or iPad.

  • Open the email from the website or company you no longer want to receive emails from.

  • At the top of the email, you’ll see blue text that says unsubscribe. Tap unsubscribe.

  • Confirm Unsubscribe, and you’re free!

5. How to Get Directions for a Location That's on Your Way in Apple Maps

In a lot of ways, Apple Maps caught up to Google Maps with the iOS 10 update, and in some ways, Apple Maps even managed to surpass its competition. You can now get directions for a location that’s on your way in Apple Maps. For example, if you’re on a road trip, you can use Maps to find a gas station along the highway on your route without stopping the road trip directions. Here’s how to get directions for a locations that’s on your way in Apple Maps.

  • Tap the bottom column of the Maps screen where your arrival time, hours, and miles are located. This brings up the menu of quick near-me locations you can choose.

  • Depending on the time of day, you’ll see different options here. Right now, you can see Gas Stations, Breakfast, and Coffee.

  • Let’s say you need to stop for gas before hitting the road. Tap Gas Stations.

  • Pull up on the list to see all your options on screen. You’ll notice each option shows you how far away it is and how much time stopping there will add to your overall trip.

  • You can also see where your options are located on the map. This is a good way to make sure the destination is right off the highway or route you’re taking and not out of your way.

  • Tap GO on the destination you want to stop at on your way. Apple Maps will give you directions to the location that’s on your way.

  • Once you’re done at that location, tap Resume Route to Kansas City at the top. Apple Maps will then continue your directions to the original destination.

6. How to Add Emojis to a Text without Opening Emoji Keyboard

With iOS 10, you can add emojis to a text message without scrolling through pages looking. To do so, you simply type a description of the emoji and select it from the Predictive text bar. This tip assumes you’ve added the Emoji keyboards to your list of keyboards. It also assumes you already have Predictive text turned on. If not, click the title of this tip for the full version with how to do both those things. Otherwise, here’s how to add emojis to a text without opening the emoji keyboard.

  • Open the Messages app and start a new message or continue an existing thread.

  • Instead of tapping the globe icon to open the emoji keyboard, simply type the word for the emoji you want to use.

  • For example, when I type in dancing, the dancing woman emoji pops up in predictive text.

  • If I tap the dancing emoji before tapping the spacebar, the word dancing will be replaced with the emoji.

  • If I tap the dancing emoji after tapping the spacebar, the dancing emoji will be added next to the word dancing.

  • You can usually find the emoji you’re looking for by typing in what it is or looks like.

  • When you type in a country, you have the option to use its flag emoji.

  • There are a lot of different words that prompt various emoji options. It’ll take a bit of trial and error to figure out but could easily save you time in the long run.

7. How to Register as an Organ Donor in the Health App

how to register as an organ donor on iPhone with iOS 10

For iOS 10, Apple partnered with Donate Life America to offer organ donor registration within the Health app. You can sign up when you set up your Medical ID or scroll down to the bottom of your Medical ID to do so after the fact. If you’re signing up when creating your Medical ID:

  • Tap Sign Up.

  • Enter the registration information, then tap Continue.

  • Make sure all your information is correct then tap Complete Registration with Donate Life.

When you open the Health app and tap Medical ID from here on out, you will see the heart and title Organ Donor. Scroll to the bottom of your Medical ID in the Health app if you need to edit your organ donation registry or if you would rather sign up after setting up your Medical ID in the Health app.

8. How to Access Your Smart Home from Control Center with iOS 10

how to use homekit with iOS 10

When you open Control Center, simply swipe left twice and you'll be able to change the temperature in your home, turn the lights on, unlock a door, and whatever else the HomeKit devices you own can do. Here's how to access your Smart Home from Control Center with iOS 10.

  • To access HomeKit devices in Control Center, swipe up from the bottom of your screen to open Control Center, then swipe left twice. The screen will only be available if you have HomeKit devices paired with your iPhone that are managed with the Home app.

  • From here, you can make quick changes depending on the devices you have paired. For example, with a tap you can turn lights on or off, unlock your door, etc. It's only limited by the devices you have.

  • From here, you can also tap Scenes (if set up) in the top right corner of Control Center to view and change the overall ambiance of your house with options such as Dark, Twilight, Wake Up, or whatever else you’ve created. For example, say you're reading a book on the couch as the sun goes down, you could tap one of the Scenes to change the lighting in your home so that it's perfect for transitioning to watching TV or going to sleep.

9. How to Use Effects in Messages

Apple added all the different bells and whistles it could think of to Messages with iOS 10 on iPhone. One of the features is the ability to add effects to messages you send. These effects can be applied to an individual text or the entire screen. We’ll go over how to use both.

To use effects on an individual text message you’re sending:

  • Open the Messages app and type the text message you want to send.

  • 3D Touch (or tap & hold) the Send button, which is the upward arrow.

  • Under Send with effect, you’ll see Bubble and Screen.

  • Bubble should already be selected, but if not, tap Bubble.

  • Choose an effect you want to add from the list: Slam, Loud, Gentle, Invisible Ink. When you tap each option, it will show you a preview of what it looks like.

  • Tap the Send button once you’ve selected the Bubble Effect you want to use. 

To send a Screen Effect in Messages:

  • In the Messages app, type the text message you want to send.

  • 3D Touch (or tap & hold) the Send button.

  • Under Send with effect, tap Screen.

  • Swipe left and right to choose the effect you want to send.

  • Tap the Send button once you’ve chosen the effect you want to send with your text message.

If Effects isn’t working for you, check out this tip on how to fix Message Effects problems.

10. How to Optimize Your iPhone Music Storage

how optimize music storage iOS 10how to make space on iphone without deleting anything

Optimizing storage on iPhone means selecting a minimum amount of storage your music can take up and allowing your iPhone to remove the downloads of all that extra music you rarely listen to. Plus, it seems that the feature won't activate until your iPhone needs the storage. I love this feature because it helps me create more storage on my iPhone automatically, yet all my music will still be available in the iCloud Music Library. To turn on automatic music storage optimization:

  • Open the Settings app.

  • Tap Music.

  • Select Optimize Storage.

  • Toggle on Optimize Storage.

  • Under Minimum Storage you’ll see five options: None, 4 GB, 8 GB, 16 GB, and 32 GB.

  • Select the amount of music you want your iPhone to keep downloaded on your iPhone.

There you go! The top iOS 10 tips every iPhone user should know from the collection of tips we’ve published so far. Want to get tips like these delivered straight to your mailbox? Sign up for our Tip of the Day newsletter. 

Top Image Credit: GokGak / Shutterstock.com
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Author Details

Conner Carey's picture

Author Details

Conner Carey

Conner Carey's writing can be found at conpoet.com. She is currently writing a book, creating lots of content, and writing poetry via @conpoet on Instagram. She lives in an RV full-time with her mom, Jan and dog, Jodi as they slow-travel around the country.