This little-known iPhone trick will help you become a DIY master.


One of the best things about the modern world is that you can have a gadget in your pocket for months or years and still be amazed at the cool little things you can do. This week I’ve been using my iPhone to make me think, “Hey, you’re such a cool guy?”

Now I won’t pretend to be you all I don’t know about this feature already. However, the Measure app pre-installed on my iPhone turned out to be invaluable to me this week and as a result I will use it forever. It is not only a quick tool for measuring Doubles to a very accurate mental level.

I’ve been in my new home for about 6 months now and it’s time to do some home finishing touches. There are a few flowerpots for the balcony, smart connected decorative lights connected to the wall, and finally a frame for your prints and photos.

The previous owner of the place had already left a handy photo hanger in place, but it felt a bit off-putting. All my frames looked unstable relative to each other. And thanks to the iPhone’s Measure app, which has been improving little by little since its introduction in iOS 12, I quickly realized I was living in a crooked house. There are a few adjusted hooks later and I am a vision of vertical accuracy. Here’s how you can be too.

How to use the level in the iPhone Measure app

No need to download Measure. It comes pre-installed on all iPhones. But if you can’t find it, run it from your iPhone’s Utilities folder.

When you first open the app, you’ll be using your iPhone’s camera in its default “Measure” mode using augmented reality (AR) technology, no tape required. You can ignore it. Instead, tap the little “Level” icon on the right.

The app then turns into a level using your device’s accelerometer and gyroscope sensors to set whether you’re on a perfectly flat and balanced surface.

You can use the function in two ways. If you want to measure a wide, flat surface, place your iPhone on its back and you’ll see two white circles. Overlapping makes the surface flat. In this case, the screen will turn green.

If you’re measuring something smaller in width, turn your iPhone to the edge and place it on a surface. This will bring up a more traditional mind level interface with white lines showing the exact angles. Again, if you align the surface until it is level, your iPhone screen will be green.

(Image credit: Future)

ditch the tape measure

As mentioned above, the default mode for the app is the tape measure, which is really handy if you haven’t used it before. The camera systems and sensors in the latest iPhones are advanced enough to detect depth, a key requirement for augmented reality (AR) interfaces. So your app can determine the distance of an object on the iPhone and use it with relative accuracy to measure the length of the object on the screen.

This app is very good at determining straight edges of objects (useful when measuring lathes, etc.). Then you can use the pin system to draw a line between two points whose height you want to know. As you get closer to what you’re measuring from a distance, the on-screen measure tool becomes a complete ruler, giving you the exact distance between the points on the element you’re measuring.

It won’t be used for architectural purposes, but it’s a great way to estimate the length of an object in a pinch because you still need to accurately determine the exact edge of the object being measured. For example, walking around IKEA, you’re trying to get an idea of ​​whether something fits almost into the empty space of your home.

And finally, a cool trick, if you point at a person, it instantly recognizes you as a person and measures their height. Handy to check if your Tinder date may have been slightly exaggerated on your profile!

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