Here are my 10 favorite tips and tricks on doing things more quickly with your iPhone.
1. iPhone user guide: Did you know there’s a basic iPhone user guide, available anytime you’re on the internet? Go to Safari, then click the book in the lower right which takes you to bookmarks. One item on that list is the iPhone User Guide, select it to be taken to a special page on Apple’s website with tons of useful info.
2. Overview: Get the big picture of your day, including weather, phone calls, calendar, and text messages, in the Notification Center–which you can get to by clicking and swiping down from the very top center of the screen. To get rid of it, click on that funny thing at center bottom of screen, and swipe up. To change what shows up in Notification Center, go to the Settings app and then select Notifications.
3. Put apps into folders. Maybe the easiest way to organize your iPhone apps is to put similar apps together. For example, I have an NYC folder, a Games folder, and a Utilities folder. To create a folder, press and hold an app icon until it wiggles. Then drag the icon and drop it onto the top of another icon. Voila, both apps go into one folder, and the iPhone lets you name that folder. (And if you have iCloud set up on your phone, your folder organization gets backed up!)
4. Scroll to the top: If you’ve ever scrolled down a web page (or any other page) and then got annoyed at having to scroll all the way back up again, this tip is for you. To automatically get back to the top of a page, tap at the very top of the screen.
5. Quickly get to the camera: Don’t miss that photo op! Even if your iPhone is locked you can quickly take a picture. Hit the Home button, then tap and drag the camera icon all the way up to the top of the screen.
6. Search for an app: If you have too many apps on your iPhone it can be hard to find the one you want. Keep pressing the Home button until you get the search page (search box at top, black screen below). Search for the name of your app.
7. iTunes controls: Quickly get to iTunes controls by tapping the Home button twice, so you see the row of apps that are running along the bottom of the screen, and then swiping the at bottom towards the right. You’ll get controls for selecting iTunes tracks, locking screen rotation, and, if you swipe right again, you’ll get volume control.
8. Free up space on your iPhone: If you want to download something big but you don’t have room, here’s what to do. Go to the Settings app, and choose General. Then choose Usage. At the top it will tell you how much space is available and how much is used–very helpful. Below that, you can see which apps are taking up lots of space, organized with biggest at the top. So if you see apps on the list that you aren’t using, you can delete them from right there, and free up space.
9. Personal Hotspot: Did you know that you can use your cell phone to go online with your laptop computer–so you don’t need to go searching around town for a Starbucks to get a wifi network? You’ll need to call your cell phone company and have them turn on the Hotspot, which costs some money (on Verizon it’s about $20/month). Then in the Settings app, select Personal Hotspot, and turn it on. Then put that name and password into your computer’s wifi settings. Voila! Internet! Don’t forget to turn the Personal Hotspot off when you’re done, as it will run down your battery.
10. Reboot: If your iPhone is sluggish or you are experiencing weirdness, reboot it by holding down the Home and top buttons simultaneously. Keep holding until you see the Apple logo, then let go.