10 Best iOS 18 Hidden Features You Should Try Right Now

From a much easier way to select widgets, to new way of shutting down your iPhone, iOS 18 brings plenty of hidden features to the iPhone.

By Dave Johnson - Executive Editor
5 Min Read

Apple announced a slew of new features coming to your iPhone with iOS 18. A key theme for iOS this year seems to be customization. On the Home Screen, you can now place your icons anywhere and tint them into any color you want. There’s also a toggle to switch them into a darker theme.

Personally, my favorite part of any major OS update, like iOS 18, isn’t the features Apple shows off on stage. Instead, it’s the features you discover after installing the update. Hidden features, if you will. Below I’ve rounded up 10 hidden features in iOS 18 and will walk you through where to find them and how to use them.

10 hidden iOS 18 features

Here are 10 hidden iOS 18 features that you must know about.

1. New way to select widgets on the Home Screen

Imagine the scene: You’ve grown tired of having the Carrot Weather app icon on your Home Screen — you just want it as a widget. Before iOS 18, you would have had to remove the app and then manually add a widget to your Home Screen. Now, it’s much easier.

In iOS 18, simply press and hold down on the app’s icon. A new menu option will appear, showing three widget choices. Pressing one of these will instantly transform the app’s icon into a widget.

2. Replace flashlight and camera buttons

ios 18 lock screen buttons

On the Lock Screen, you can replace the iPhone’s flashlight and camera controls with something else, such as taking a note or quickly capturing a moment for your social media.

To set your own custom Lock screen controls in iOS 18:

  1. Long-press the Lock screen to edit it
  2. Swipe to the wallpaper that you want to edit and select ‘Customize’
  3. Tap in the lower-left or lower-right corner on the existing buttons
  4. Choose which controls you want to replace the flashlight and/or camera
  5. Select the new control button(s)

3. Hide App Labels on Your iPhone Home Screen

Hide app labels iOS 18

Another hidden iOS 18 feature is the ability to hide the labels on app icons for a cleaner look.

Turning off the labels causes the icons to expand and take up the space where the text usually appears underneath. Here’s how to remove app labels from your Home Screen:

  1. On the Home Screen, press and hold on an empty area.
  2. Tap Edit then Customize
  3. In the customization menu that appears, tap the Large button. Your iPhone will now have larger icons without any app labels and it looks awesome.

4. Schedule Your Messages

iMessage Send Later iOS 18

Imagine you want to send a message, but it’s too late at night, and you don’t want to disturb anyone, or you want to ensure you don’t forget a birthday or important event—this hidden iOS 18 feature is perfect for that.

  1. Open the Messages app on your iPhone and select an existing text or create a new one
  2. Write your text, but before hitting the send button, tap the icon on the left side of the text field
  3. Tap More (or swipe down), now choose Send Later
  4. Pick a date and time to schedule the message
  5. Tap the send button (up arrow) to set the scheduled message

After you set a scheduled message, it will show up on your screen in the thread with a dotted-line bubble.

Tap Edit if you’d like to change the scheduled date/time, want to send it now, or delete the scheduled message.

5. Hide an app from the Home Screen

If you don’t want people to know which apps you’re using, you can hide them from your iPhone entirely.
When you select to hide an app, it will completely disappear from your Home Screen or App Library. That way, no one will be able to see it no matter what they do. Even if they search the app with your iPhone’s Search feature, or try to access your Notification Center, they’ll find nothing.

To hide an app, long press the app’s icon and choose Hide and Require Face ID. The app will also instantly disappear from your Home Screen and your App Library.

Then, how can you find these hidden apps? If you scroll over to yoru App Library, you’ll see a new Hidden folder at the bottom. This won’t show anything until you tap on it, at which point you’ll need to authenticate with either the Face ID or Touch ID to open it and see all your hidden apps.

To stop hiding an app, press and hold on the app icon and choose Don’t Require Face ID.

6. Lock apps With Face ID or Touch ID

Lock app iOS 18

If hiding apps a bit much, you can just lock them with the Face ID or Touch ID instead, which will keep them on your Home Screen and in search, but stop others from opening them.

To lock an app, long press an app icon and choose Require Face ID. From the new popup, choose Require Face ID again, and the app will be locked.

To stop locking an app, press and hold on the app icon and choose Don’t Require Face ID.

7. Use The Eye Tracking Feature To Control Your iPhone

iOS 18 eye tracking feature

Imagine controlling your iPhone or iPad just by looking at it! With iOS 18, Apple has introduced a new eye-tracking feature that makes this possible. It’s designed to help people with difficulty using their hands, but it’s so easy and fun to use that anyone can try it.

With the Eye Tracking feature in iOS 18 enabled, you can navigate your iPhone simply by moving your eyes. To open an app, look at the icon and hold your gaze for a few seconds.

Here’s how to use the iOS 18 eye tracking feature:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on Accessibility.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Eye Tracking.
  4. Toggle on **"Eye Tracking," **ensuring the slider turns green.
  5. You will then get a prompt that says, "Follow the dot with your eyes as it moves around the screen."
  6. Follow the dots on the screen with your eyes until you get a white checkmark.

Now, you can use your eyes to navigate your iPhone via iOS 18.

8. Require Siri For Interruptions

By enabling this you will have a pretty cool feature on Siri where you can actually just say the word “Siri” or the “Hey Siri” word and then it will actually interrupt Siri. Here’s how to enable it:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on Accessibility.
  3. Scroll down and tap Siri.
  4. Turn on the toggle next to Require “Siri” For Interruptions.

9. Convert option in Calculator

The new Calculator app in iOS 18 adds a powerful conversion tool to the iPhone. This can instantly change one value into another. This includes:

  • Angle
  • Area
  • Currency
  • Data
  • Energy
  • Force
  • Fuel
  • Length
  • Power
  • Pressure
  • Speed
  • Temperature
  • Time
  • Volume
  • Weight

The conversion tool is super easy to use. You can tap on the unit in the Calculator Display area to select your conversion type.

10. Power Off Your iPhone From the Control Center

Apple in iOS 18 has added a new Power button in the Control Center. Instead of holding down the side and volume buttons, you can power off an iPhone by tapping the button in the top-right corner of the Control Center. Press that button, and the standard power slider will appear on screen so you can turn off your iPhone.

Control Center is invoked in the same way as always in iOS 18, with a swipe from the top-right corner, then in that same corner you’ll find a new power button.

More on iOS 18:

By Dave Johnson Executive Editor
Dave Johnson is the editor-in-chief at GeeksChalk where he oversees all of site’s evergreen content to ensure it’s up to date with the latest information. Hailing from New Jersey in the US, he has over seven years of experience in the tech journalism space and holds a degree in English Literature. In his spare time, Dave can found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, and petting every dog he comes across in the outside world.
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