The iPhone 5s is Apple’s latest iPhone with plenty of great features that set it apart from the competition, including other iPhones. We’ve spent the last six months picking apart the best hidden iPhone 5s features and iPhone 5s tips & tricks to help users get the most out of their iPhone 5s without spending any more cash.
The iPhone 5s is still a very new device, so there are plenty of hidden features that the average user or first time iPhone owner won’t know about.
With this list of iPhone 5s hidden features you can do more on the iPhone 5s while you wait for an IOS 7 jailbreak and for Apple to add any new features.
While you don’t need to buy anything to use these features, we do have a list of the best iPhone 5s accessories and the best iPhone 5s cases to help you do even more and protect the iPhone 5s from drops and dings.
The good news about these hidden iPhone 5s features is that you won’t have to enter a hidden code or pay for special access to use them (except one). Apple includes all of these iPhone 5s features out of the box and even mentions some on the iPhone 5s website, but many users don’t know about everything their new iPhone 5s is capable of.
We’ll cover a few iOS 7 features in here that no one should be without, but if you want more, check out 25 hidden iOS 7 features. Several of these features will only work on the iPhone 5s, specifically the camera and some of the fitness items, but others will work on the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5 as well as older devices in some capacity. We’ll do our best to call out which ones will work on other iPhones.
Here are 15 hidden iPhone 5s features that will help you get the most out of your iPhone.
Take Slow Motion Video
The iPhone 5s can take slow motion videos, which means you’ll be seeing a lot of slo-mo videos on Facebook and YouTube.
Apple adds this feature as one more swipe to the left while shooting video. Slow motion video is recorded at 720P instead of 1080P, but that’s more than enough for sharing.
With this new iPhone 5s feature users can also pick when to slow the video down. While there is no way to slow down multiple parts of the same video, users can move sliders to time the slow motion to the perfect moment.
Verizon iPhone 5s Also Works on AT&T
The Verizon iPhone 5s can also work on AT&T right out of the box, even through the Verizon contract says it is not guaranteed to work on other wireless networks.
If you have multiple phones, or if you need to switch from Verizon to a pre-paid service that runs on AT&T’s network such as Straight Talk, this handy secret could help you avoid buying a new phone or paying roaming fees.
We look forward to using this when we absolutely need to make calls and surf the internet at the same time. Not everyone will use this hidden feature, but it’s a great one for many.
Use Touch ID with more than 5 Fingers
By default Apple only allows users to register five fingers with the iPhone 5s’ Touch ID fingerprint sensor, but users can get around this with a little trickery.
By simply using each finger on your hand, you can train the iPhone 5s to accept more than five fingers for unlocking the iPhone. Using this method may reduce accuracy, so if you only need five fingers stick to the basic Touch ID setup.
Users can also use a nose or a nipple to unlock the iPhone with proper training and some cats and dogs can also unlock it if the sensor is trained to their paw pads.
Shoot 10 Photos Per Second in Burst Mode
The iPhone 5s includes a burst mode on the iOS 7 camera app that is capable of shooting 10 photos per second.
To do this, just hold down the shutter on the screen or the volume button and it will take photos until you stop pressing. It’s incredibly easy to shoot 30 or 40 photos with a fast push which means you’ll likely take the perfect snapshot of someone in action, a pet’s cut look or a kid’s toothless grin.
The iPhone 5s processor helps identify the best, and while it doesn’t set them to motion, users can easily pick more favorites and then share them. The camera roll groups them together as well.
The iPhone 5 takes 3 photos per second, and cannot pick favorites.
Avoid Data Overages
The iPhone 5s and iOS 7 includes a great new feature that tracks the data used by your iPhone and individually by each app.
With this new tracking, users can see what apps are pushing them close to data limits and turn a troublesome app off. This is not as nice as on Android, which will pop up an alert when you near a data limit, but when combined with carrier text notifications it’s a great way to manage your data.
Go to Settings -> Cellular -> Use Cellular Data to control which apps can use your data plan to connect.
Use the Flash While Shooting Video
If you hate taking a video only to find out the subject is too dark to see, the iPhone 5s can now brighten up the view by automatically turning the flash on while shooting video.
When on the video or Slow motion video frame, tap on the flash icon just like you would for a photo and pick auto / on / off to set it up. With auto, you’ll only get light when the phone thanks you need it, and on will always fire the flash.
The flash is a solid beam of light so it won’t be strobing to the music or anything like that. We’re still trying to determine if it flashes with one of the 1,000 color tones it is capable of in photo mode, but either way it’s a nice touch.
Enjoy Your Free Office Apps
Apple won’t give you a free version of Microsoft Office for the iPhone 5s, but it does include a suite of tools that will open most office documents and that will help you create some cool content.
When you are setting up the iPhone 5s (or 5c) you should see a notification that you have free apps to download. This year the apps are not just iBooks and others that aren’t often used, but instead users get,
These open up Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint files as well as create similar formatted documents on the iPhone. These files sync to iCloud for access online and on other iOS 7 devices or Mac computers.
Apple also includes iPhoto for iPhone and iMovie for iPhone to kickstart your creative side.
Use a Keyboard for Better Productivity
The iPad is the focus of most keyboards, but users who want to be ready for any moment where productivity might call can carry a Bluetooth keyboard to connect to the iPhone 5s.
Almost any Bluetooth keyboard will work including those you might be using with your computer. Once connected you’ll be able to type faster and many of these keyboards include media shortcuts to control music and more.
Read: ZAGGKeys Flex Review
We recommend the ZAGGKeys Flex as it is small and doesn’t come with a case designed for a tablet.
Zoom While Taking Video
Another new feature that comes to the iPhone 5s by way of iOS 7 is the ability to zoom while taking videos. IOS 7 now lets users digitally zoom up to 3X while taking a video on the iPhone 5s and some older iPhones.
To do this, pinch to zoom, just like you would while taking a photo or while viewing a photo in your gallery. This is a digital zoom so you give up some quality, but it is handy for keeping a subject visible while they move away.
Make App Store Purchases With Your Finger
After you train Touch ID to recognize your fingers you can use them to make app store purchases and iTunes purchases instead of your long Apple ID password.
This is especially handy when it comes to buying an app or iTunes item before handing a phone over to a kid. If they need an in app purchase, the parent doesn’t need to chance revealing a password, just tap a finger on the home button.
Use the M7 Processor for Smarter Apps
The iPhone 5s uses an Apple A7 processor and a M7 co-processor to deliver a better user experience. The M7 processor allows the iPhone 5s to deliver more motion data to apps, which can lead to better fitness apps and accessories as well as other advancements.
For now it looks like fitness apps are where it’s at and users can grab Strava Run, or other M7 enabled apps to take advantage of the added motion data that the M7 processor collects and passes to apps.
Add an Emoji Keyboard
The iPhone 5s includes support for multiple on-screen keyboards including an Emoji keyboard. The Emoji keyboard offers access to dozens of small icons from faces and animals to plants and much more that can spice up messages.
Go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> Add new Keyboard -> Emoji to add this option.
When using the keyboard, tap on the world icon to switch between the keyboards. If you need to fast switch between multiple keyboards, hold the globe icon.
Make the Text Easier to Read
The iPhone 5s runs iOS 7 which uses a thinner font that some find harder to read in apps and on the home screen. Users who have trouble can switch to a plain dark background for easier home screen reading, as well as adjust settings.
Go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Bold Text to make text thicker throughout iOS 7 and to Settings -> General -> Text Size to make text in Apple apps and others larger.
Apply Filters to Photos While Taking Pictures
The iPhone 5s can add a live filter to a photo while you are taking it. This means you can see if the new shade looks good or if you should adjust to a new position for better lighting or pick a new filter altogether.
To use this, open the camera app and when on Photo or Square, tap on the filter in the lower right and then tap on the one you want to use. Tap on the center to remove all filters. Take the photos like you normally would.
Use the Flash or Notifications
This isn’t new for the iPhone 5s, but it is a handy feature that is brighter on the iPhone 5s. Users can set the flash to go off when there is a call or text, for a makeshift LED notification.
This won’t deliver anything subtle, like on some Android phones, but if you work in a noisy environment and miss calls frequently using the flash as an alert is a must have.