Pranking your friends is lots of fun, and there some great ways to do it if you get a few minutes alone with their iPhone. You can make them think their phone has crashed, or leave them stuck with Siri speaking French.
Here are seven hysterical pranks to play on your iPhone-using friends.
1. Hi Angus, Lord of Unicorns
For a lot of pranks, you need to have access to your friend’s unlocked iPhone. Since iPhones are pretty secure, this can be tricky prospect. If all you’ve got is a few moments while they run off to the bathroom leaving you with their locked iPhone, you need to get creative. Fortunately, you can do a lot with Siri.
When you chat to Siri, she calls you by your name. It’s part of what makes her personable as well as useful. What a lot of people don’t realise, is that changing what Siri calls you is easy; all you have to do is ask her.
Just hold down on your friend’s iPhone Home button and say something like, “Siri, call me Angus, Lord of Unicorns.” Now, every time your victim uses Siri that’s what she’ll call them.
2. Awkward Alarms
This is another Siri prank you can do with a locked iPhone, but it’s a little meaner. Be warned, your friends will definitely try and get their own back if you do it.
Hold down the Home button and say, “Siri, wake me at 4am.” Siri will set an alarm that goes off at four the next morning.
If you’re feeling especially cruel, spend however long you have with their phone setting dozens of alarms, reminders, and calendar events for random days in the future. When their iPhone is still randomly going off six months later, you’ve done it properly.
3. Autocorrect Autofail
Autocorrect can be great (even if most of the funny fails are fake) but in this prank, we’re going to exploit it. You need full access to your victim’s iPhone for this one. How you get it, I’ll leave up to you.
1/2: My son, a VERY EVIL TEENAGER, just populated my wife's iPhone with grammar error-inducing shortcuts. My wife is a copy editor.
— David Hobby (@strobist) June 8, 2016
This time, we’re going to teach autocorrect to change common words to something else.
Head to Settings > General > Keyboards > Text Replacement. Click the + and enter a word they commonly type for the Shortcut. Put the word you want it to change into for the Phrase.
2/2 Examples (type->get):
Equally appalled and proud.
— David Hobby (@strobist) June 8, 2016
With this prank, you can have as much fun as you like. Perhaps “you’re” gets autocorrected to “your” or their partner’s name gets changed to someone else’s. Maybe when they type, “I love you” their iPhone autocorrects it to, “we need to talk.” The only limit is your imagination (and your moral compass).
The best thing about this prank is, if you’re subtle, you can keep it going for months.
4. Parlez-Vous Français?
This prank is as old as mobile phone pranks get; I used to pull this on my friends’ Nokia 3210s in school! Once again, you’ll need full access to their phone.
Go to Settings > General > Language and Region > iPhone Language and change it to something they don’t speak. Exit the settings app and watch as they try to navigate their (now foreign) iPhone.
If you’re feeling benevolent, set their phone to something like French or Spanish. It might take them a while, but they’ll probably be able to puzzle out how to change it back to English.
If you’re feeling mean, change it to something like Chinese or Japanese. Everything will be completely unreadable. Even Google Translate won’t be able to help them.
5. Home Screen of Death
This prank won’t fool your victim for very long but fixing it is really annoying.
When you get their iPhone, take a screenshot of the Home Screen by pressing the Home button and Lock button at the same time. Then, move all the apps on their Home Screen to another page. If they like to keep things nicely organised, this will really annoy them.
To finish setting things up, change their wallpaper to the screenshot you took at the start. Now when they unlock their iPhone and try to open an app, nothing will happen.
6. I <3 Nickelback
If you’ve got access to their iPhone, you can also post things from their Facebook and Twitter accounts. With this prank you need to be careful. You can seriously damage someone’s reputation, or worse, get them in real trouble if you post something grossly offensive or illegal. If you’re going to impersonate your victim online, it’s best to keep it really light hearted.
Open their social network of choice and act fast. The longer the post is online, the more chance their friends and followers will have to see it.
What you post is up to you — you’re the one who knows the victim — but I’d recommend something to do with music. People get incredibly wound up about what artists other people like; it’s the perfect opportunity for some mischief.
If you’re stuck for ideas, have them declare that, “Nickelback is underrated” or “Justin Bieber is a way better singer than Freddie Mercury.” It’s guaranteed to cause chaos.
7. Stuck in the App Store
Guided Access is one of the great iOS accessibility features. It’s designed to lock your iPhone into one app, which makes it easier for people with limited mobility to use. You can also safely hand your device off to children without fearing what they’ll discover online. It also means you can lock your victim in the App Store.
Head to Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access and turn it on. Go into Passcode Settings and set a password (but seriously, remember this password or choose something obvious like 1234). Make sure Touch ID is turned off.
Exit the settings and open the App Store. Press the Home Button three times to start Guided Access. Now they won’t be able to leave the App Store without entering the password only you know.
Playing pranks on your friends is great fun and, with technology, it’s easier to do than ever. Just a few moments alone with your target’s iPhone is enough to have them randomly waking up early in the morning for months and declaring their undying love for 80s prog rock legends Asia.
Be careful with your pranks. It’s easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment. You don’t want to ruin any friendships over a joke that went too far.
What are your favorite iPhone pranks? Share them in the comments below. I’m always looking for new ways to annoy my friends!