There's no question the iPhone is an incredible productivity tool. That isn't news, but it is very much relevant in a world where many of us are working remotely from home. Chances are, there are things you had no idea your iPhone can do to make you more productive, so I put together a list.
1. Universal Clipboard
This is straight up magic. Okay, probably not, but it's definitely one of those features that kind of blows your mind when you realize how simple and useful it is. Essentially, all of your devices that are signed in to your iCloud account have one shared clipboard. That means you can copy text on your iPhone and then paste it on your MacBook Pro without a second thought.
This one is probably better known than the others on this list, but it's still a productivity tool worth mentioning. Along the same lines as the clipboard, your macOS and iOS devices can "Handoff" open apps, browser pages, or documents, from one to another.
That means that if you start working on an email on your iPhone but decide it would be easier on your MacBook Pro, it will show up at the bottom left of the Dock. Simply click on it and pick up where you left off.
3. Siri + Reminders
I've said it before, and still think that Siri makes Reminders the most useful app on an iPhone. Here's why it's so great--with Siri, you can simply say, "Hey Siri, remind me to send the proposal when I get to the office." Sure, we're all leaving home a lot less right now, but there's no question that the ability to create reminders based on time and location, or based on your calendar, is a productivity superpower.
4. Notes App Scanner
There are plenty of third-party apps that turn your iPhone into a scanner, and Evernote and Dropbox have this feature built in. Both of those cost money, however. On the other hand, what you may not have known is that you can actually use your iPhone to scan directly in the Notes App.
By the way, your iPhone also works as a scanner for your Mac. Simply open the Preview app, select File > Import from iPhone > Scan Documents. Your iPhone camera app will open, auto-detect your document, and send it automatically to your computer.
5. QR Scanning in the Camera App
QR codes never really caught on in a meaningful way, but they actually can be quite helpful. The problem is, unless you downloaded a special "QR reader" app, most people have no idea what to do with them. Having to download an app meant most of us just didn't bother.
While they aren't quite as popular as they once were, the good news is they are now a lot easier to use when you happen to come across one. That's because the built-in iPhone camera app can automatically detect QR codes and display a notification you can tap to access whatever website or information they link to.
6. Siri Shortcuts
Not only is Siri helpful for answering questions, playing music, and setting reminders, but she also can run automated workflows for tasks you do frequently. You can set them up using the Shortcuts app, which includes a gallery of shortcuts already made, or you can create your own that can be triggered just with your voice.
7. Password Sharing
This is one of my favorite things that you can do with your phone. If you've ever connected to a password-protected Wi-Fi hotspot from your phone, you can easily connect to that same Wi-Fi with your laptop without having to re-enter your password. Airdrop will basically bounce that password over from your iPhone and automatically connect you as long as both devices are logged into your iCloud account, or if the other device belongs to someone in your contacts list.
8. Spacebar Trackpad
The biggest drawback to the iPhone has always been typing more than a few words of text. More specifically, it's trying to edit text by tapping somewhere to place the cursor. It's kind of terrible. Fortunately, you can long press on the spacebar and the keyboard turns into a trackpad that lets you move the cursor exactly where you want it. You're welcome.
9. Smart Do Not Disturb
Finally, one of the biggest challenges working from home is that there is almost always something to distract you. Often, one of those things is your iPhone itself. With email, Slack, and message notifications, it can be hard to focus.
Fortunately, with the smart Do Not Disturb (DND) mode, you can simply long-press the DND icon in control center, and it will give you options like setting turning off those notifications until your next calendar appointment is over, or until you leave your current location.