Five Non-obvious Tips for iPhone Novices


1. Capturing a Photo Before the Moment has Passed

If you find that you’re repeatedly missing photo opportunities because it takes you too long to tap in your passcode and find the camera app, you’ll be happy to learn that you can by-pass that hassle.   Simply slide the camera icon, next to the unlock slider, up the screen and it will automatically invoke the camera.   The really nice thing about this is that it’s secure and locks out access to any other content on your phone including access to your photo library.

 2. Conserving Battery Life by Closing out Apps Not in Use

It may surprise you to learn that some apps, when not in use, suck the life out of your battery.   Closing out unused apps is one way to conserve battery life.  To do this, double click on the Home button (it’s the one with a square on it on the front of your phone) and you’ll be presented with a series of icons across the bottom of the screen.  These are the apps currently running on your phone.  To close them out, click and pause for a second or two on one of the icons and you’ll see they start to quake and a little red circle with a line through it will appear next to the icon.  Click on that red circle to close out the app.  When I showed this to a friend recently she was afraid that it would delete the app, it won’t – it just closes it.

3. Avoid Clutter by Creating Folders

You can avoid clutter on your iPhone home screen by creating folders that group together the apps that you use most frequently.   To do this, click on an App for a second or two until it starts to quake.  Then simply move it on top of an App that you’d like to group it with and your iPhone will “automagically” create a folder for you.   You can have separate folders for your social apps, productivity apps, games etc.

4.Avoid Fat-fingering by Dictating your Texts and Emails


If, like me, you’ve been endowed with fat fingers and are in a constant battle with the auto-correct wizard you’ll be delighted to learn that there’s an easier way of sending texts and emails from your phone.   When composing text, emails, etc you’ll notice a button with an old fashioned microphone on it next to the space bar.  Clicking on this button invokes a smart voice recognition system that even recognizes terms like “smiley”, as well as punctuation marks.

5. Quick Access to Your Music Controls


When out running, I love to listen to music on my iPhone and usually set it to play songs at random. I find that if a slow song comes on, my pace drops so I like to fast forward to the next track.  To quickly access your iTunes controls, simply double click on the Home button (it’s the one with a square on it on the front of your phone) when the phone is locked.

Those are my top five tips for novice users.  Do you have any to add?  If you do, please use the comments section below…


About Emma McGrattan

As SVP of Engineering at Actian, Emma leads development for the Actian Vector team, including the Ingres and X100 components, and the Actian Matrix Planner team. A leading authority in DBMS technologies, Emma is celebrating 20 years in Ingres and Actian Engineering.

View all posts by Emma McGrattan →

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