How to Use the iPhone's Hidden Magnifying Glass Feature

Not many people have a magnifying glass lying around the house nowadays, but your iPhone can serve the same purpose if you know how to use it. As CNBC discovered, the smartphone has a built-in magnifier that can help you read small print or tell the time when you’ve misplaced your glasses.

The feature, which also works for the iPad, has been around since iOS 10 was rolled out in 2016. It's disabled by default, though, so it's easy to overlook. It only takes a few steps to switch it on, and once it’s enabled, you won’t have to tamper with the settings again. After opening the Settings app, choose General, then Accessibility, then Magnifier. Toggle the Magnifier switch on, and you can now use it at the triple-tap of a button.

If you have an iPhone X or newer model (XS, XS Plus, or XR), simply triple-tap the button on the right side of the phone to call up the magnifier. For those with older iPhones, triple-tap the home button instead. Once it’s open, you can zoom in and out by using the sliding bar. Add light by tapping the lightning bolt icon, or press the three circles in the bottom right corner to apply different filters that may make it easier for you to read. You can also tap the screen to focus on a particular spot and use the lock button to freeze the focus.

The circle at the bottom even lets you snap a freeze frame. It functions much in the same way the zoom function on your camera does, except the images don’t automatically save to your phone, so you won’t have to clog up your memory to inspect objects more closely. It you do want to save it, though, just tap and hold the image and select save image.) The camera can serve many of these same functions, but the magnifier streamlines the process.

Looking for more iPhone tips and tricks? If you’re not already using your spacebar to move your cursor around, this simple iPhone hack will change the way you text.

[h/t CNBC]

10 Simple Tricks for Charging Your Smartphone Faster

Makidotvn, iStock via Getty Images
Makidotvn, iStock via Getty Images

Smartphones always seem to reach low power at the least convenient moments possible. If you've ever urged your device to charge faster in the minutes before a phone interview or when you're about to board a plane, you can relate. While the easiest way to avoid this scenario is to plug in your device before the battery dips into the danger zone, if you've already reached this point, there are simple ways to speed up the charging process.

Some hacks for charging a phone faster involve steps you can take in anticipation of the next time you're surviving on minimum energy. Certain gadgets, like special chargers and battery packs, will power-up your device more efficiently than others. For moments when your phone is dying and all you have is your regular charging cable, adjusting your phone's settings to minimize the power it consumes also works in a pinch.

You can find some specific ways to charge your phone quickly below: 

  1. Plug it into a wall outlet instead of a USB port.
  1. Use a portable battery pack.
  1. Buy a special "fast" phone charger.
  1. Switch to low power mode.
  1. Switch to airplane mode.
  1. Let your phone drain completely on its own once a month to the extend the battery life.
  1. Close any background apps.
  1. Stop automatic app updates.
  1. Don't check your phone while it's charging
  1. Keep your phone out of the heat.

For more tricks for making your phone usage more efficient, check out these tips for typing faster.

The 20 Best States for Singles

monkeybusinessimages, iStock via Getty Images
monkeybusinessimages, iStock via Getty Images

Being single on Valentine's Day means you don't have to worry about cards, gifts, or date ideas. But if you'd like to do something romantic on February 14, your chances of snagging a date in time may depend on where you live. WalletHub crunched the numbers to create a definitive list of the best states to be single and looking for love in America.

To come up with its rankings, the personal finance site analyzed numerous data points for each state, including the proportion of single adults, nightlife and entertainment opportunities, and economic factors like cost of living. Combined, these qualities paint of picture of where you're most likely to find, afford, and enjoy a date.

Florida secured the number one position with a total score of 69.21 out of 100. Though it comes in 33rd out of the 50 states for economics, it places third for dating opportunities and fourth for romance and fun, earning it the top slot. It's followed by California with a score of 67.41 and Texas with 66.77. You can check out the top 20 states below, and see how all 50 states ranked at WalletHub.

  1. Florida // 69.21
  1. California // 67.41
  1. Texas // 66.77
  1. New York // 65.29
  1. Pennsylvania // 64.61
  1. Ohio // 63.10
  1. Illinois // 62.61
  1. Wisconsin // 61.13
  1. Massachusetts // 59.11
  1. Michigan // 58.56
  1. Arizona // 57.22
  1. New Jersey // 56.71
  1. Georgia // 56.11
  1. Colorado // 56.01
  1. North Carolina // 55.58
  1. Minnesota // 55.42
  1. Virginia // 54.98
  1. Washington // 54.76
  1. Missouri // 54.29
  1. Nevada // 53.64

The world uses Valentine's Day to celebrate romance, but you can take it as an opportunity to embrace singledom in 2020. If that's your plan, here are some vintage tips for living alone to keep in mind.