iPad Tips

Background Apps Menu – The Extras

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips.

So there are a couple of extra things that are useful in the Background Apps menu, i.e. the row of apps that appear across the bottom of the screen when you double-click the home button on your iDevice.  Swipe almost all the way to the left of these icons and you will find the iPod controls.

This hidden extra gives you quick access to a few different things.  Firstly, you have the Rotation Lock which is covered in a separate blog post, but very briefly this allows you to lock the screen rotation so that it does not rotate automatically when you rotate your iDevice.  This is the first icon that you see.

The next three icons are the "quick access" buttons to rewind, play/pause and fast-forward your iPod.  The last icon is a quick link to get to your Music.  These icons are all permanent and can not be removed or "closed" as this is a special utility menu added for your convenience.

If you are looking at the iPod Controls and you swipe one more time to the left, you will get to the Volume control for your iDevice.  Again, this is a quick access function so that you don't have to use the Settings app to access the volume.  This feature may not be available on all devices, it will depend on which version of iOS you are using.

Closing Apps Running in the Background

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips.

Following on from the post on Background Apps the other day, I wanted to share with you all how to actually close the apps that you don't want running in the background.  But first, let's ask the question - Why would I want to close them anyway?

When apps continue to run in the background, they are taking up RAM and processor time (albeit a small amount of each in some cases).  This can cause your device to slow down while you're using it, especially if you have every app you own all open at the same time!  Also, some apps, like Skype for example, actually stay connected in the background when the app is running and this might not be what you want.  If you thought you had closed Skype, but it's still running the background, people will see you are "Online" when actually you thought you were "Offline".  These are a few examples of why you would want to close apps that are running in the background.

So - how to close them?  Well, it's pretty simple really.  Double-click the home button to show the row of icons across the bottom of the screen - these are the apps that are currently open and running.  Hold your finger on one of these icons, it doesn't matter which one, and all of them will start to "wiggle".  You will notice that a red "minus sign" appears in the top left corner of each icon.  Just press it and that app will be closed immediately.  You can close as many as you want, even all of them.  It's a good idea to check this regularly and close most of the apps that you're not using.  It's good housekeeping 🙂

The Hard Reset

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips.

Occasionally, I have found that my iPhone or iTouch will not "wake up".  It's in sleep mode but doesn't respond to any of the buttons or touching the screen.  It does also happen, on rare occasions, that the device will just freeze completely while in use.  So what to do in this situation?  If it was an iMac, we'd just pull the plug.  If it was some other device we might remove the batteries and replace them.  In this case, we have no access to the battery and there is no "plug" to pull.

What you need to do is perform a hard reset of the device.  What this does is effectively disconnect the electrical supply internally for a few seconds, causing the device to switch off completely.

To perform a hard reset, you simply hold down the Power button and the Home button at the same time for 10 seconds.  Then wait a few seconds and press the Power button to start the device up again.  You should see the familiar Apple logo appear.  If you don't, try another hard reset.  If you still get nothing on the screen, either you battery is completely flat or you have a more serious problem with your device.

If you need help diagnosing or resolving iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Mac problems, why not click on over to our main site MacHelpline.net and see what we can do to help!

Apps Running In The Background?

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips, iPod Tips.

Now here's something that everyone should know but far too many people don't.

Every time you open an App on your iPhone, iPad or iTouch, the App launches and it keeps on running until you tell it close.  Telling it close is not the same thing as pressing the Home button and this is where people get confused, or more commonly they are blissfully unaware.

When you press the Home button, your iDevice does what you asked it to do.  It goes home.  In other words, it shows you the home screen where you can choose other apps to open etc.  Most people assume that this automatically infers that the app that you were using is now closed.  That is not the case at all.  It is, in fact, still running in the background taking up valuable memory and processor time.  Enter the hidden menu which gives you access to these apps and much more besides!

To see which apps are actually open and running at any given time, you double-click the Home button.  You will notice that the screen slides upwards and a new row of icons appears at the bottom.  These icons represent the apps that are currently open and running on your iDevice.  Try swiping left and right on them - you'll probably be horrified to find that every single app you own is actually open and running!  One huge advantage of this feature is that you can easily switch from one open app to another by double-clicking the Home button, swiping through the row of apps until you find the one you want, then clicking on it once to switch directly to that app.

Try it when you have an app open. Without going back to the Home screen, you can quickly switch from one app to another (provided they are already open).  This can be really handy if you need to flip to another app to grab a piece of text (using Copy & Paste - which I'll cover in another post) for example.  You can then flip back to the original app and paste it in.

So in my next post, I'll cover the other features of this new menu, including how to close apps that you don't want open, why you would want to close them anyway and also the other options available in this cool new feature......

The Secret Camera – Part II

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips.

Continuing on from that lovely screenshot feature that we've seen on the Mac OS X operating system, we have the same feature available on the iPhone and iPad.

To take a screenshot of the current display on your screen, position your hands so that you can press both the Power button and the Home button at the same time.  Now hold down the Power button and press the Home button once.  You should hear the old familiar camera click sound and you'll now find a screenshot located in Photos.  You'll find it in your camera roll, as if you'd just taken a photo with the camera.

Why is this useful?  Well, for one thing, my 6 year old son uses it to take snapshots of things that he likes in various apps that he's got.  Pictures of trains for example.  So he uses this feature to "extract" the image from the app, then happily uses the HP ePrint app to print himself off a copy.  Now that's what I call using your head!

Locking the Screen Rotation

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips.

Well, I think we are all familiar with the fabulous new feature on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch which allows you to rotate the device and have the screen rotate with it!  This is a wonderful feature in most cases, particularly when viewing photos, movies etc.

But what about the times when you really don't want the screen to rotate with you.  For example, you are trying to read your iBook and you prefer to read in portrait orientation.  However every time you turn on your side and you accidentally rotate the device slightly, the screen rotates with it and now you are reading in facing-pages landscape mode.  It takes a few seconds for it to switch back to portrait mode once you've righted your device.  When this happens a lot, it's very frustrating.

The answer is to use the Rotation Lock on your device.  That's all very well, but most people don't know it exists and if they did, they wouldn't know where to find it!  As it turns out, it's very simple - when you know how! (Like most things!!)

To access the rotation lock, simply double-click (press twice quickly) the Home button - the circular button below the screen.  This will open a new row of icons along the bottom of your screen.  This displays the applications that are currently running in the background (but that's for another day!)  Simply swipe your finger to the right on those icons and you will be taken to the iPod Controls.  At the very left of the iPod Controls, you will see the Rotation Lock indicator.  It is what's called a toggle, so you press it once to switch it on and press it again to switch it off.

Now that you know what it is, where it is and what it does, you can use it anytime and save yourself some frustration!  Needless to say, rotation lock has other purposes but I'll leave you to discover those for yourselves...  🙂

UNDO on the iPhone & iPad

Posted by on in iPad Tips, iPhone Tips.

Did you know that the Undo command is also available on the iPhone and iPad?  When you are typing an email, or a text message, or practically anywhere you are entering text, simply give the iPhone or iPad one good sharp shake forwards and backwards. Suddenly, in the middle of your screen, the Undo option will appear, along with a Cancel button if you do it by mistake 🙂  Just hit the Undo button and whatever you last typed will be un-done, including any text that you might have deleted by mistake! Remember, if you hit something by mistake and text disappears, or something happens that you weren't expecting, all is not lost!  Try using Undo,  it could save your day to play the game!