Here are 10 iPhone secrets, shortcuts and hidden features to make your life easier.

Visual voicemail

Apart from a few messages from your elderly relatives and spam calls, it's not likely that you receive many voice mails, let alone go to the effort of calling your mailbox to listen to them. The iPhone has a handy hidden feature to transcribe your messages so you don't have to listen to them.

Effects in iMessage

Apple introduced iMessage effects with the launch of iOS 10, which lets you add an animation in your texts such as a slam that makes the screen ripple or a gentle message that appears on the screen. Alternatively you can add full-screen effects like balloons.

To add effects to your iMessages, making them louder or more meek, press down on the arrow to the right of the text using 3D Touch and select an effect. Available animations include Slam, Loud, Gentle and Invisible Ink. Select screen at top for full-screen effects.

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Turn off red bubble notifications

Those little red bubbles on your iPhone can cause no end of anxiety when it comes to staying on top of all of the different apps and games.

You can disable the nagging icons by going to Settings -> Notifications. The red bubbles are called Badge Icons and you need to toggle them to off for each app. You can also opt to receive notifications as alerts on the lock screen or banners at the top of your phone.

Emoji shortcuts

Emojis are a vital part of our lives now, but you still have to switch keyboards to use even those you type every day. The fast-fingered can use the iPhone's auto correct feature to create shortcuts to your favourite emoji.

Go to Settings, General and Keyboard and select Text Replacement. Create a new replacement by pressing the Plus in the top right corner. In phrase, put your emoji, and in shortcut, put a rare letter combination, QQ for example. Auto correct will replace QQ with the shortcut every time you type it.

Get your iPhone to announce calls

Your iPhone can announce who's calling without you having to check the screen. The handy feature is great for when your phone is on the other side of the room, in your pocket while you listen to music, or while driving.

Go to Settings and then Phone, and select Announce Calls. When your phone rings, it will read out who is calling.

Bedtime mode

One of the most underrated features of iOS 10 is Bedtime, a smarter alarm system that also tracks your sleep. Select the middle tab in the Clock app and adjust the times you want to go to bed and wake up.

It will tell you half an hour before you need to sleep. It can also monitor when you've nodded off by the fact it's not being used, shut off notifications, and track your sleep.

Photos while videoing

Ever missed the perfect photo opp while recording? You don't have to.

When shooting a video you can capture individual photos by pressing the white circle in the bottom corner of the screen. It won't be the same quality as using the full camera, however, because it uses the iPhone's video resolution.

Finding words in Safari

On a desktop computer, you simply press Ctrl+f to find a particular word on a page.

You can do the same thing in Safari by typing the word you want into the address bar at the top of the page, scrolling down and selecting the "Find" button on "On This Page".

Schedule Do Not Disturb

If you're sick of receiving texts at odd hours of the night, but forget to turn on the iPhone's Do Not Disturb mode (or forget to turn it off in the morning), you can schedule it for your regular sleeping hours.

Go to Settings and Do Not Disturb, and toggle on "Scheduled" to adjust your times.

Hide message previews

If you get annoyed by prying eyes snooping on your messages as they come through, you can hide the contents from popping up in the notification.

To hide message previews go to Settings -> Notifications -> Messages and switch off Show Preview. You can do this for WhatsApp, Facebook and other messages as well as iMessage.