Here are some simple, quick hints and tips to make your iDevices more effective and useful for you. These are for iOS 7; if you’re not running that version, you should definitely upgrade. If your device doesn’t support iOS7, you need a newer device! Let’s get to it.
Spotlight Search – you can search your entire device with one flick of your finger. From any screen showing the icons, swipe down from the middle of the screen. You’ll see a search field at the top. Your device is searched for any word you type there: a name, an app, a song…. and you can control what is searched under Settings/General/Spotlight Search. I use this to find a contact and most often to find the app I want to open; it’s much quicker to type “open” to get to OpenTable than finding the app on one of my 5 screens of icons.
Folders – this is a hint many know about but it’s important enough for those who don’t know about it that I’m sure you’ll indulge me. If you’ve had your iDevice for any period of time, you have a bunch of apps on it and those apps span multiple screens. iOS lets us group apps into folders so they are easier to find. To create a folder, hold your finger on an app until all the apps start to wiggle. Then grab the icon you’re interested in and drag it on top of another icon. A folder will be created with those two icons in it. Drag an icon onto an existing folder to add the app to the folder. And move the icons around inside a folder to reorder them the way you want them. When you’re in a folder with the icons wiggling, you can edit the folder name. Press the Home button to stop them from wiggling.
Multi-Tasking – you tap on icons to open apps on your iDevice. You can see your previously opened apps by double-clicking the Home button and swiping to the left to scroll through them. Tap an app to open it on your iDevice.
Closing Apps – Your iDevice is a computer so open apps consume memory, just like a desktop and laptop. Opening apps doesn’t close the ones you’ve opened previously; they are still open in the background and you have to close them manually. Closing open apps is simple: double-click the Home button to see the open apps, then swipe the apps up and away to close them. Bonus hint: you can use two fingers and swipe the apps up two at a time to speed the process. How often should you close your apps? I do it every day and especially when my device seems a bit sluggish.
Restarting your iDevice – Ok, one more important housekeeping hint. Turning your iPad and iPhone off is easy and a good idea. You hold the power button until the red bar appears at the top to ‘Slide to Power Off’. Slide your finger to the right and your iDevice shuts off. To start up again, hold the power button until the Apple appears. Even better than powering your phone down is doing a soft reset. This flushes your device’s memory and is the best thing you can do, short of reinstalling your software and apps, to improve your iDevice’s performance. I restart my iPhone and iPad like this every day. Here’s how to do it: press the Home button and power button at the same time and don’t let go until the Apple logo appears on the screen. It can take a while (it feels like forever, even though it’s only about 30 seconds). Once the logo appears, you can let go and your phone will restart, all fresh and ready to serve you.
Siri – If you have Siri, she can help you do some amazing things. Many people I know don’t use Siri at all;. if you don’t use Siri, be sure to go to Settings/General/Siri and turn it off to conserve battery power. I want to tell you about a few simple Siri hints that can make your life easier. You can say
- Wake me at 745am tomorrow morning. Siri sets an alarm.
- Remind me to take the garbage out at 930p Tuesday night. Siri reminds you.
- Open Safari. Siri can open just about any app installed on your iDevice. It’s the quickest way to open an app that’s not on your home screen.
- Play ‘songname’ (that song needs to be in your iTunes on your device).
- What’s the score of theYankee game? Siri gives you the score.
Control Center – Swipe up from the bottom edge of your screen to open the Control Center. The Control Center is arguably the coolest new feature in iOS 7! From one place you can access connectivity options, screen brightness, rotation lock, and music control. Along the bottom row is one-tap access to the flashlight, alarm/timer/stopwatch, calculator and camera. I have this turned on everywhere. Go to Settings/Control Center to set yours up. And be sure to get used to swiping up to open it.
Notification Center – Swipe down from the top edge of your screen to access the Notification Center. You have an incredible amount of control over what appears in your Notification Center so go to Settings/Notification Center and check it out. At the very bottom of the settings screen, you can choose to receive Amber and Government Alerts in your Notifications.
Get used to using these quick tips. They really can help make using your iDevice quicker and easier.