As a lifelong iPhone user, I figured decades of using my phone every day meant I knew every little secret my favorite tech had to offer me. But I realized recently that while I can swipe through Safari with ease, and expertly navigate the Apple app store, there were a plethora of other incredible iPhones features and tools I was missing out on.

After all, most of us don’t really have time to learn EVERYTHING our amazing little devices can do…

Which is exactly why I decided to dig up these secret iPhone capabilities and Apple easter eggs to share with you! I thought I knew my phone backwards and forwards, but this list includes hidden iPhone features that I’d never even heard of before. Check it out!

1. Swipe Texting

Many former Android owners, like myself, recall having to give up their beloved “Swipe Texting” when making the switch to Apple products. Swipe texting is a feature that allows you to compose a text, e-mail, or any document by swiping entire words, instead of tapping individual letters. Finally, after years of waiting, a similar swipe texting feature (or, as Apple calls it, “QuickPath”) is now available for the iPhone and other Apple devices through the iOS 13 update! 

To take advantage of this neat feature, there’s no need to download a special keyboard or enable a particular setting. You can just get right to swiping on your normal keyboard! Instead of picking up your finger to type every individual letter, just slide your finger from letter to letter until you’ve formed a word. 

This function allows you to easily type single-handed, and is a much faster option than tapping letters one at a time with both thumbs. If you’re an early Apple adopter and not used to swiping yet, it may take a little getting used to. But once you get the hang of it, this cool hidden iOS feature can come in handy for almost every conversation.

2. Emphasized Texting

You may think iMessaging on your iPhone is the same as texting on any other device, but it’s actually full of little surprises that many people don’t know about! There’s a reason iPhone users dread messaging someone new only to see that text bubble turn green. Part of that reason is because when iMessage users text non-iPhone users, they aren’t able to take advantage of their exclusive iPhone features.

A lot of people are already aware of the reactions feature, which allows you to select a “reaction” to give a particular text– but did you know you can add a little flair to your texts as well? There’s a hidden iMessage feature where you can emphasize or add effects to the texts you send to fellow iPhone users.

To access this feature, simply open an iMessage conversation, type what you would like to say, then press and hold the blue “Send Arrow.” This send button will open up a menu of effects you can attach to your messages. There are two categories that show up: “Bubble,” in which the effect is limited to the text bubble itself, or “Screen,” where you get full screen effects over the entire window. It’s a great way to spice up your messages!

3. iMessage Effects

In addition to emphasized texts, iMessage also has specific words or sayings that will trigger secret messaging effects. A lot of people don’t find out about these secret iMessage features and effects until they go to wish their friend “Happy Birthday” and are surprised to see balloons and streamers fly across the screen. Below is a list of iMessage’s trigger words and sayings, so you can play around with these cool effects any time. 

  • Happy New Year/Chinese New Year – Fireworks
  • Happy Birthday – Balloons
  • Congrats/Congratulations – Confetti
  •  “Pew Pew” –  Laser Show

(The Happy Birthday and Congratulations effects also work with a ton of other languages!)

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