3 Hidden Tricks For iPhones And iPads

If you’re a new owner of an iPad or iPhone, you’ve likely been bombarded by Apple cult members who are commanding you to download this and try that with your device. Or maybe you’re the only member of your social circle who has gone Apple and are flailing around without much of an idea of how to use your new toy.

TechCrunch is here to suggest less-than-obvious tricks to get the most out of your istuff:

* Access the App Switcher. If you want to exit one app and choose another, you can speed the process by double-tapping the home button, which presents a list of your most-used apps.

* Check out notifications. Swipe down from the top of the screen to pull up unread messages and alerts from various applications.

* Get to the camera immediately. When something cool happens and you need to take a quick photo, it can be a hassle to switch your device to the camera setting. From the locked setting, double-tapping the home button makes a camera icon pop up, letting you shoot from the hip.

Follow the source link for the rest of the tips.

5 Simple (But Hidden!) Tricks All The New iPhone/iPad Owners Should Know [TechCrunch]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Cat says:

    Double-tapping the home button from the locked setting makes a camera icon pop up, or double-tapping the home button, which presents a list of your most-used apps.

    Apple owns the patent for double tapping, right?

  2. Hi_Hello says:

    hidden? I normally don’t like to read manual… the first thing I did was read the manual when you launch the browser….

    I bet it will be soo complicated when you buy a new iphone, it comes with a tutorial that you have to ‘play’ through before you can get access to the phone. Or you can click on skip which most people will end up doing.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It’s not really hidden…and I’ve never read the manual, either. These are really standard functions.

  3. Gonzfather says:


  4. Gravitational Eddy says:

    I got another one you can use. After playing with it for hours one day, I left three or four active programs in the app bar running overnight. Next day, I had a dead battery. This itself isn’t a problem, when you are dealing with battery issues, it’s a given that you wil eventually max out the battery and be forced to recharge the Ipad while it’s still open and running.
    No big deal, just plug it in.
    Here’s the tip: when shutting down, turn off -all- the programs. (Even if you were just browsing the web, killing the program won’t disturb your browsing. It’ll restart where you left off)
    To do this, just press the home button twice and bring up the app switcher.
    then select any app there and hold your finger on that app for 1-2 seconds, until the red negative sign appears over each app there. Then close each app by touching that negative sign (the selected app will disappear). As each app closes, all the others will reshuffle and bring another app up under your finger until you close all of them.

    • icruise says:

      It really isn’t necessary to manually quit programs on an iPad or iPhone unless they’ve frozen for some reason.

      • Gravitational Eddy says:

        I’m old school. If it aint in use, I’ll close it
        I remember the days when active memory was hard to stretch around, and if you were blessed with only 32Meg RAM, this is what you did. Old habits….

        • Hi_Hello says:

          I”m not that old school but I”m the same way. When I’m done with something, I want to close it, not hide it in the background.

        • GoldVRod says:

          That’s not old school. Some of us remember having several different autoexec.bat and config.sys files to himem the keyboard driver so Wolfenstein would run.

          And that’s STILL not old school. I used to code on a Tatung Einstein and had 24K of cleared RAM to write an entire program for hospital xray departments. Which I did. Every command was truncated to save space. And ooh those 3″ floppies (not to be confused with 3 1/2″).

    • GoldVRod says:

      Why do you even shut down your ipad? Just wondering.

      Plus unless one of the apps was actively running such as a noise generator or music player et al then there’s no reason to have a flat battery in the morning. I can leave my ipad for over a week without charging it with 20+ apps on the taskbar at any time.

      Sounds like you have a rogue app.

      • Gravitational Eddy says:

        I have a copy of “Trainz” (Nival) It’s a model railroad simulator that is very large and in charge, it’s the offender (always running) since it’s also a memory hog (base footprint was 650 Meg) and I see the PC version uses about 400 meg of active memory when running…
        It’s a hog but I truly love train sets. and this one is fantastic…

  5. denros says:

    Did a single mom from discover these hidden tricks?

  6. TakingItSeriously is a Technopile says:

    Double tap the home button if you want to wear it out in less than a year like i did lol.

    If you are using IOS5 you can swipe UP with 4 fingers to access the list of running apps. 4 finger swiping side to side flips between open apps. Use software … It doesnt wear out

    • GoldVRod says:

      My home button too on my ipad seemed to have stop functioning correctly. Then I read a post about it being safari’s fault (yeah seems unlikely but bear with me) – it’s on the main apps bar and the tip was to move it off onto page 2. I did so and bang! Perfectly working home button. Not only that but I restarted the iPad and moved it back and haven’t had a problem since.

      Placebo? Voodoo Magic? Only the zombie ghost of Steve Jobs knows.

      • TakingItSeriously is a Technopile says:

        I tried that, and no go. Mine was a hardware failure, covered under manufacturers warranty. Their support was awesome.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      How do you swipe up with four fingers? That’s just a bizarre motion.

    • HazyCloud says:

      That’s for iPads only. Swiping up isn’t supported on iPhones or iPods.

  7. jsodano says:

    Double-tapping the home button does in fact bring up the app switcher, but these are not your “most used” apps, these are the apps that are running in the background draining your battery.

    • unpolloloco says:

      The original article says this. Phil managed to screw up a repost of an article…..

    • awesome anna says:

      Most useful advice I’ve gotten from this site in a long time. Thanks!!!

    • icruise says:

      That’s really not true. They’re just apps that you’ve used recently — they’re not “running” in any real sense. Most apps will go into hibernation instantly when you press the home button so they’re not using any appreciable resources. Now there are some apps that do continue to work in some limited fashion while in the background, like audio streaming apps and the like, but they’re the exception rather than the rule. You really don’t have to worry about manually quitting apps, folks!

      • pdj79 says:

        Err…yes, jsodano is correct. Apps that are optimized for fast-app switching might not technically be running, but they are eating up CPU cycles and RAM, which causes slower operation and shorter battery life. I’ve had to explain this to my mother after she called me complaining that her iPhone 4 doesn’t last 5 hours of light use. I stopped by after work, took her phone, opened the App Launcher, and witnessed EVERY app she had installed in the background. There were some she had opened when she first got the phone and never touched again (Stocks for one) that was still in memory. After explaining good app maintenance, her phone has returned to lasting her entire workday without dying. While it’s not TRUE multitasking, it still drains the battery if you’re not careful.

  8. Cyniconvention says:

    I did that ‘Quick Camera’ one unintentionally a few weeks ago and was mystified as to how I did so until I figured it out on a car trip Saturday.

    • scoosdad says:

      And I had a screen shot of my lock screen keypad in my photos the other day and was mystified how it got there until I read the source article. I remember now doing what I thought would be a reset about the same time, and that’s what did it.

  9. Gravitational Eddy says:

    There are some camera tricks you should know about as well.
    Make sure the orientation lock is “off” on the general settings page. Select “mute” instead of lock rotation. The camera will rotate orientation to match the display, and with “locked” rotation your camera video or still frame will be sideways on the playback, and very difficult to view.

    There’s a thumb friendly keyboard on the same settings page. look for it. Instead of the standard display keyboard, you’ll get an onscreen mobile phone type thumb keyboard.
    You can also select other language standard keyboards as well.

    Don’t worry about passwords for different wifi networks. The Ipad will remember all sucessful wifi connections and automatically reconnect when you are in range, no questions asked, unless there are more than one connections present.

    Location services do not need to be “on” unless you like having your battery in use for nonsensical reasons. This could be why the 4s Iphone had a battery life issue. Too many “phone home” check-ins.

  10. Kyle says:

    Paging Rick Romero to Consumerist thread 10025948…

  11. OthelloAndreus says:

    Double-clicking the home button to get to the app switcher is a secret? This has been standard practice since the original iPad. Since iOS 5, you can swipe up with four fingers to access the app switcher.

    Swiping down to see your notifications isn’t much of a “secret” either if you’ve adjusted your notifications to appear that way. It is one of the major features of iO5 and is in the Notifications area of Settings.

  12. El_Red says:

    So when we will see a guide for android and blackberry? Eh, Phil? Why apple posts are always by you?

  13. El_Red says:

    So when we will see a guide for android and blackberry? Eh, Phil? Why apple posts are always by you?

  14. Gravitational Eddy says:

    And I saved the best for last:

    You can now have FOLDERS instead of individual apps show up taking up loads of screen spaces or three or four “pages” to list all of those apps.

    To create a folder, just reposition an app and drop it on top of another, similar type app.
    (readers go in one folder, browsers for another, music apps in yet a third and games in one place (all in the same folder))

    To move apps or reposition them, press down on any app until the black “x” appears and the icon starts wiggling. Yeah, I know. Antsy icons. Too cute, Apple.
    To continue, all you have to do is move the icon by touching it and dragging it to the new location. If the app is down in the task bar, it can be moved to anywhere on the screen (if there’s free space) or dropped onto a similar app icon (like music studio on top of Garageband) and it will create a folder that’s called “music”, or you can rename the folder anything you like.

    Using this method, I’ve distilled my huge number of apps down to about fifteen folders, covering everything from browsers to paint programs, utilities and toys, games and reference related apps. Now I do not have to scroll to search for any particular app. If I know it’s a game, it’ll be in the game folder, card games in the card game folders, etc, etc.

    Single apps can be moved from screen one to screen four via the app bar at the bottom, by dropping a single app there while in “wiggle mode” will leave it there while you change pages from one to four via finger swipe. (maximum number of apps in the app bar while doing this is five or six) then just move the icon past the app bar line (it’s invisible, btw) and the icon will take up the last place open position on that page. There’s also an automatic spacing and reshuffle that will/maybe take place should IOS5 not like your position choice for that app.
    Just a note, there are some apps that will not let you move them. Generally, if it doesn’t show a black “x”, you cannot move it to another page or a folder. Everything else though is fair game.

  15. momtimestwo says:

    Love the picture!

  16. Lucky225 says:

    Reject call by double tapping power button when iPhone is in lockscreen, please for the love of god if you’re an iPhone fan boy at least learn how to use your phone. :)

  17. suez says:

    How do you get rid of the Stock app on the iPhone 4s? I don’t use it and don’t want it.

  18. stevenpdx says:

    4. Kitty cat is a very good iPad stand.

  19. Bob S says:

    If you are typing an email or web address and you type a period to add a suffix (.com, .net etc) if you hold down on the period button and it will then display a list of common suffixes. You then DRAG your finger to the suffix you want to use instead of typing it manually.

  20. yankinwaoz says:

    When typing something on an iPad/iPhone, such as an TXT, or email. a double space will produce a period and space. It makes ending a sentence much quicker.

  21. wolfman2032 says:

    I noticed a couple people that are under the impression that the list of apps that appears when you double tap the home button is a list of running apps, it is not. Like the article says it is just a list of apps you have used in order. If you have been “closing” these apps hoping for better performance, you are wasting your time. There is no documentation stating that these apps are actively running and that by clicking the little “x” you are closing them. My phone has 67 apps on that list, and even though Iphones do some neat stuff I don‚Äôt think mine can run 67 applications simultaneously with out slowing down or reduced battery life.