Slide to unlock: 28 iPhone tips and tricks to make your life easier

The iPhone has tonnes of functions hidden up its sleeve that you've yet to discover (Updated for iOS 8.3)

Most of us spend more time tapping away on our iPhones than we we do breathing and blinking. But there's a good chance you might have missed a few tricks still hidden up its iSleeves.

Hidden within the recesses of the iOS 7 are skills that you might not have known your iPhone was capable of, and we've rounded up some of the best time-saving moves to enhance your iPhone experience even further.

Activate parental controls

Situation: You’ve got a kid who wants to play with your new iPhone, but you don’t really want him accidentally deleting all your photos. You make him promise to only play Candy Crush and not touch the rest of your stuff. Of course, he doesn’t listen and you lose half of your contacts while gaining an enormous App Store bill for all the randomly downloaded games.

Kindness doesn’t have to end so badly: thankfully, you can turn on restricted access before giving a kid free reign over your phone.

Solution: Under Accessibility is where you'll find Guided Access. Turn it on and you can even tweak it so that a sound plays and the remaining time is voiced out. While running the app you want to allow Guided Access to, just triple-click the Home button to bring up the option.

You’ll be prompted to draw circles around the options you want off limits to the kid (like the danger zone that is the option to buy add-ons for a game) . When you tap on options, you can further disable functions like the volume button and the keyboard, as well as set a time limit for Guided Access if need be.

Zoom, zoom, zoom

Situation: The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus are both a step up in size, but you might still find yourself squinting at the screen from time to time. Why not pinch out to zoom, you ask? Because while you can do that on photos and certain apps like Safari, it won't work with third-party apps. It’s also great when you want to show your grandparents something on your phone.

Solution: Go to Settings, Accessibility, then Zoom to turn the feature on. You can pre-set your Zoom feature functions like the Zoom Region (full screen or an adjustable window) and the Maximum Zoom Level (how big you want things to appear).

Just double tap on the screen with three fingers to call the magnifier up. Shift it around, resize it, or tap on it for more options. You can use it in third-party apps, the locked screen, wherever fine print shows up and whenever your eyesight fails you. Pretty handy, huh? It’s also really good for noticing details on app icons you might have never realised existed before.

Surf the web on the downlow

Situation: If you don’t want anyone to find out what you’re looking at on the internet, you can browse in private mode. Yeah... we know what you’re thinking, but it could be that you’re over at your girlfriend’s and using her iPhone to look for a gift for her, or you simply never want the fact that you read celebrity gossip to get out.

Solution: Tap on Safari, then the Tabs icon at the bottom right and it’ll bring up a new toolbar at the bottom. Tap on Private, and all the sites you visit using this incognito version of Safari (shown by the stealthy grey colouring of the window) will not show up in your search history, or the Autofill bar for that matter. After all, no one needs to know you thrive on the latest news of Hollywood pairings.

Revive a closed tab

Situation: Had one of those derpy finger spasm moments and accidentally closed a tab? Can’t quite remember what the URL was? You could go the long way and look at your Safari history, or you could just do this instead.

Solution: Tap on the Tabs icon at the bottom right of your Safari window. See the “+” sign in the middle? Tap and hold that to bring up a list of your Recently Closed Tabs for quick easy access.