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5 little-known iPhone customization tricks — make your favorite TikTok your lock screen

iOS
(Image credit: Apple)

Are you one of those folks that, like myself, haven’t changed a single darn thing about your iPhone since you’ve gotten it? There’s nothing about it that screams, “This is my phone!” It’s zestless, indistinct, insipid — and dare I say it — boring. 

Perhaps you like your iPhone the way it is (y’know, basic and bland), but methinks that underneath that hardened, anti-expressive shell is a soft side that wants your device to have a splash of personality. If you’re ready to transform your iPhone into your mini me, we’ve got four little-known iPhone tricks that will help you personalize your device and ditch that flavorless, just-came-out-of-the-factory look.

1. Get striking, neon-colored icons

Once you activate this feature, you’ll attract double takes from curious bystanders — guaranteed. This slick iPhone trick inverts the colors of your iOS icons, giving them an eye-catching, neon-themed palette (special thanks to TikToker san.shapes for this tip).

1. Go to Settings.

2. Tap on Accessibility. 

Accessibility in iOS

(Image credit: Future)

3. Tap on Zoom. Next, ensure the toggle for “Zoom” is turned on.

Zoom in iOS

Zoom in iOS (Image credit: Future)

4. Zoom out by tapping on the display twice with three fingers.

5. Tap on Zoom filter followed by Inverted. 

Inverted on iOS

(Image credit: Future)

6. Navigate back to the Home Screen, and voila, there are your neon-colored icons.

Inverted icons on iOS

Inverted on iOS (Image credit: Future)

Tip: If you prefer a more moody, black-and-white look, tap on Grayscale Inverted instead. 

2. Add a picture background to your keyboard 

There’s not much you can do to personalize the iOS keyboard natively. As such, you’ll need to enlist the help of a third-party app to tack on a customizable keyboard that will gladly adorn any theme you throw at it. In this case, we’ll “cheat” a little bit by using an app called GBoard.

1. Download Gboard from the Apple App Store.

2. Follow the steps to set up GBoard (step one requires you to grant it permissions and step two prompts you to tap and hold the globe icon to switch keyboards).

GBoard

(Image credit: Future)

3. Launch the Gboard app and tap Themes.

Gboard Themes

(Image credit: Future)

4. Tap the plus under Custom. Your gallery will pop up; choose your desired background.

GBoard Custom

GBoard Custom (Image credit: Future)

5. Your new background will appear on your keyboard.

iOS lock screen

iOS lock screen (Image credit: Future)

Make sure Gboard is toggled on by long-pressing the globe icon. You can switch back to the bland iOS keyboard via the globe icon, too.

3. Set a TikTok "video" as your lock screen 

Static wallpapers are so passe. Get with the times and add a moving, dynamic wallpaper to your lock screen. You’ll need the TikTok app for this one, which has a cornucopia of live wallpapers you can use for your lock screen. 

1. Launch TikTok, tap on the search button (the magnifying glass) and type in “live wallpaper.”

TikTok

TikTok (Image credit: Future)

2. Find one you like? Tap on the share button (the arrow) and tap Live Photo.

Live Photo on TikTok

Live Photo on TikTok (Image credit: Future)

3. Find it in the Photos app, tap on the share button (square and arrow icon), and tap Use as Wallpaper.

4. Tap the bottom-right icon and tap on Set Lock Screen.

5. When the lock screen appears, the wallpaper should be alive!

Live Wallpaper iOS

Live Wallpaper iOS (Image credit: Future)

Unfortunately, if you have the iOS 16 public beta installed on your iPhone, you’ll have to sit this one out; I’ve tried to activate live wallpaper with iOS 16, but crucial options are missing. 

4. Program your iPhone to say your favorite quote whenever you charge it 

This is an iPhone hack I spotted from TikToker kaansanity. With a quirky sense of humor, he programmed his iPhone to say “Thank you, daddy!” every time he plugs a Lightning cable into his iPhone’s charging port. In this example, however, I’ll program Siri to say one of my favorite quotes from Don’t Look Up. 

1. Open the Shortcuts app.

Shortcuts app iOS

Shortcuts app iOS (Image credit: Future)

2. Tap on Automation followed by the plus icon.

3. Tap on Create Personal Automation. 

Create Personal Automation

Create Personal Automation (Image credit: Future)

4. Select Charger followed by Next.

Charger on iOS

(Image credit: Future)

5. Tap on Add Action.

6. Type “Speak text” into the search bar and select it. Type in whatever you want (I’ll be putting in “Why would he charge us for free snacks?!”)

Speak Text

Speak Text (Image credit: Future)

7. Tap Next. 

8. Toggle off “Ask Before Running” and tap Done.

9. Now, every time you charge your iPhone, it will vocalize whatever you programmed it to say.

5. Get your phone emit consistent nature sounds

This iOS trick is for my nature lovers and white-noise aficionados. Believe it or not, you can program your iPhone to emit sounds of the ocean, rain, and more.

1. Launch Settings.

2. Tap on Accessibility

Accessibility in iOS

(Image credit: Future)

3. Tap on Audio/Visual. 

Audio/Visual on iOS

Audio/Visual on iOS (Image credit: Future)

4. Select Background Sounds and tap on Sound.

5. Choose your favorite sound: Stream, Ocean, Rain, Dark Noise, Bright Noise or Balanced Noise.

Background noise

Background noise (Image credit: Future)

You should hear your desired sound playing in the background. You can also adjust the volume under Background Sounds.

Be sure to check out our other iPhone hacks, including the surreptitious tricks sneaky people use, the best time-saving features and iOS perks that seem borderline magical

Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!