Friday, May 13, 2011

iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch - Tips & Tricks

Over the past several months, as my friends have been getting iPads, I've sat and taught them some nifty tips and tricks to make using this amazing device easier and the process more efficient. Unfortunately, I can't sit with each and every one of you, so this blog will just have to do. 

Most of these same tips and tricks work on the iPhone (3Gs and 4) as well as the iPod Touch (3rd and 4th generations only).

In no particular order of preference, here are some of my favorites.

1. Screen orientation lock, screen brightness and iPod volume controls on the iPad.
Once upon a time, there was a button on the side of the iPad that allowed you to lock in the screen’s orientation. Apple changed this button’s functionality to make it a “mute” button, so how do you lock the orientation now?

A quick way to access it is double click the "home" button. This will show you apps that are open. Slide your finger on this area so they move right. At the very end are the iPod music function, the brightness and volume adjustment bars, and the orientation lock.

The left-most icon is where you can lock the orientation. This is also where you can quickly access the screen’s  brightness and iPod volume sliders.

2. Closing unused apps
Most things mechanical (and human), function best when their brains aren’t jammed up with lots of extraneous information. The same is true for these devices, so after you’ve been cruising around, using this app and that, it’s best to shut some of them down if you’re not going to use them again for a while.

Double click the “home” key. This will reveal all the apps that are open and running in the background. You might have to touch this area and slide your finger to the left to reveal more of them. Press and hold any one of them until the icons jiggle.

You’ll see a red minus sign on the top left of each one. Press it and that app will close. When you’ve closed the ones that you’re not currently using, press the “home” button again to finish. 

3. Making folders for similar apps
After you’ve downloaded lots of apps, you’ll notice that many have similar functionality to each other; i.e., news, writing, movies, etc. Why not put them in a folder for easier access?  It makes for a neater desktop and lets you find each one more quickly.

The way you do this is to press and hold one of the apps until all of them start jiggling and have an “X” on the top left side of each. Then touch and hold the one you want to move and drag it over to where the other one is. Now place it on top of that one, and voilá, you’ve just created a folder.

You can change the name of this folder: I would call it "To-Do's"
The folder will automatically have a name, so if you want to rename it, touch the “X” in the label bar until the label disappears and type in the new name.

Each folder can hold up to 16 different apps in the iPad and 12 in the iPhone and Touch, so if you have more than one folder with news apps, for example, label them “news 1” and “news 2,” putting the most frequently used apps in the first folder.

4. How to quickly find something or someone
Let’s say you have a really long list of names in your address book. Or you want to find the date that you had or will have lunch with someone. Or you can’t remember which folder you put an app into. How do you find it without scrolling through each app or folder?

Easy. Flip your finger left to right on the screen until you go past your home page. You should see a page with nothing on it except a blank bar on top and a keyboard on the bottom. Type in the item you want to find, let’s say a person’s name. This will search and find every time that name appears in your device, and list it by where; address book, calendar, notes, emails, etc. Touch on the one you want, and presto! It opens in that place.

I've used "Houzz" just as an example. Note that Houzz is in my address book, there's a Houzz app, something is in my email box, and of course, it will search the Web for it in the Safari app.

These four tips should make using your device that much easier. If you want more tips, let me know and I’ll do this again.

UPDATE - June 2, 2011
If you want to learn more Tips & Tricks, read Part 2 by clicking HERE.

UPDATE - August 9, 2011
Learn how to manipulate apps and folders on Tips & Trick, part 3. Click HERE to read it.

If you'd like to leave a comment, feel free to do so. Where? See the tiny, little word " COMMENT" next to my name below this blog? Click on it and there's a place to type in your comments. That's it. I welcome your feedback and input; go for it! 

This information is for guideline purposes only and is no guarantee of the results.

Image courtesy of

Copyright © The B. Hammil Company, 2011


  1. Oh Beryn, thank you sooooo much. I am one of the lucky one's who sat down with you one on one! Your information is always invaluable. Much appreciated!

  2. It was my pleasure, Irene. You're a good student and I know you'll share what you learned with others. It's the "Each one teach one" principe. It's how we make our community stronger and smarter.


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