The iPhone can do many things. So many, in fact, that it’s easy to overlook some of the more basic features. But it’s the basic features, the ones that become so engrained in our daily usage that we forget we’re even using them, that really take the device from a cool tech toy to a real productivity tool. I find myself using two very basic features more than I could have expected: taking screenshots and using the LED flash as a flashlight.
Before I had a smartphone or a Mac, I had no idea what a screenshot was. I saved pictures I wanted to save and if I couldn’t right click and “Save Image,” then the picture was out of my reach. When I got a MacBook I really started taking advantage of the screenshot feature. As you can imagine, I was very pleased when I picked up my first iPhone and discovered the feature had carried over to iOS as well.
Screenshots are great not only for capturing copies of pictures on screen, but also keeping an image of a map handy, saving and sending out an entertaining iMessage conversation, taking a quick snapshot of a funny tweet or Facebook status, or even saving a short article on Safari. I never really realized just how much I used this feature until my lock button stopped working and I couldn’t take screenshots, but scrolling through my camera roll now, there are quite a few saved screenshots among the camera pictures.
And then of course there’s the flashlight. I keep the icon for my flashlight application on my main home and am always using to to get a better view of something.
Whether it’s trying to find my way in a dark garage, looking for a lost item behind a bed or checking my tonsils in the mirror, always have a flashlight on me is incredibly useful. In the old days, I would have had to rock a maglight in my belt loop or clip a mini light onto my keys to have, but to have a light built right into my phone – an item I already take with me everywhere – is a great and definitely underrated feature.
What features of the iPhone do you think warrant a bit more recognition? Sound off down below in the comments or let me know on twitter!