This function can stand in for your noise machine when you travel or help you stay concentrated at work.

Long gone are the days when all phones did was make calls. With everything from music to GPS apps at our disposal, our smartphones give us access to just about anything we need. There might even be a few helpful features you aren't yet aware of. Did you know, for instance, that your iPhone can double as a sound machine? That's right—the device's secret white noise function can be turned on a flash when you need some help sleeping at night or focusing at work.

This genius discovery was first shared by PregnantChicken, per Travel and Leisure. The feature produces several soothing sounds that so many of us turn to when we need to feel calm, from standard white noise (which is particularly helpful for sleep, reports Sleep Foundation) to ocean waves and rainfall.

woman sleeping with phone
Credit: Getty / Adam Kuylenstierna / EyeEm

This secret function, called background sounds, comes in handy when you don't have access to your noise machine (so, when you travel!) or if you don't want to buy a standalone device for sleep or stress relief. So long as you have an iPhone 6S and run iOS15 or higher, this feature is available to you. Here's how to turn on background sounds when you need them:

  1. Go to settings
  2. Click accessibility
  3. Click audio/visual
  4. Toggle on background sounds
  5. Choose your preferred sound and volume

Think you're going to be using this feature a lot? Follow these steps to create a shortcut, so you can access the iPhone white noise function stat:

  1. Click accessibility
  2. Click accessibility shortcut
  3. Click background sounds. Depending on your iPhone's model, hitting your side or home button three times should activate and deactivate the feature.


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