10 awesome things you didn’t know your phone could do

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You’ve had your smartphone for a while. But let’s face it: you’ve never read the manual. You take great pride in the fact you know how to use it. Then, it happens.

You see someone do something extraordinary with his or her phone that you did not know was even possible. Friends don’t let friends have smartphone skill envy. Here are some of my favorite secrets buried in your phone settings that you probably don’t know, but will use now.

Quick note: There are so many versions of Android out there that these instructions won’t work for every phone. Where I can I’ve included apps that do the same thing.

1. Take a screenshot

Have you ever wanted to capture something on your phone’s screen? Maybe it’s a hilarious text from a friend, an interesting Facebook post, or you want to send someone an image to show them how to do something.

iPhone

Press and hold the Home button along with the Sleep/Wake button. You should hear a shutter click. The screenshot will appear in your Camera Roll or Saved Photos section.

Android

Hold the Power and Volume Down buttons at the same time. The image is saved to the “Captured Images” folder in your Gallery app. That only works in Android 4.0 and higher, though. For Android 3.0, 2.3 or earlier, use an app like AirDroid.

2. Block calls and texts

Have you ever had someone who just won’t stop calling or texting you, even after you asked nicely? Here’s how to block them.

iPhone

To block calls on an iPhone with iOS 7 or later, open the Phone or FaceTime app. If the person is already a contact, tap their name, scroll to the bottom of the page and tap Block This Caller. Then tap Block Contact.

If the person isn’t a contact, tap the Info button, then scroll to the bottom of the page and tap Block this Caller. Then tap Block Contact.

If you want to block texts, open the Messages app and tap a message from the person you want to block. Tap Contact in the upper right and then tap the Info button. Scroll to the bottom and tap Block this Caller. Then tap Block Contact.