Have you just shed blood, sweat, tears and swear words building a Billy bookcase from Ikea? Before you dive into the depths of your toolbox, there’s an even easier way to make sure your collection of Lilliput Lane ornaments don’t fall off and become Lilliput Rubble. Here’s how to turn your iPhone into a spirit level.
One small caveat before we begin: the in-built spirit level tool in iOS is great, but I suggest you rely on a traditional, physical spirit level for crucial installations. I’m not sure Tim Cook would appreciate angry letters about wonky smart TVs or skew-whiff conservatories…
How to turn your iPhone into a spirit level
First, open the in-built Compass app. You may be asked to calibrate it by rolling a small digital ball around a circle.
When you’ve reached the compass screen, swipe to the right to access the minimalist level tool. Hold your iPhone in landscape and you will be shown an angle on top of a moving black line.
Lay your phone down on a surface, and if it’s flat, the angle will drop to 0˚ on a bright green background.
This your cue to celebrate a job well done. However, if you lay the phone down and the line stays black, you still have some tweaking to do.
But that’s not the end of the iPhone’s tricks. Alongside the level tool, there’s also a way of measuring if a vertical object is straight or, to use the proper lingo, “plumb”.
To access it, simply hold your iPhone as usual and lay its long edge against a vertical surface. Again, you will be given a black line if it isn’t straight…
…and a green screen if it’s plumb.
Congratulations, you’re officially a DIY master! Unfortunately, there isn’t a screwdriver or hammer app to do the hard work.