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iOS Tips and Tricks

by Lori Gracey
iOS tips

Having had the iPhone/iPad operating system since June of 2007, you would think that all of us would have completely mastered it by now. But I am constantly surprised by features and uses that I find in it that are new to me. So I thought I would share some of the tips and tricks I’ve learned that you may not already know.

The Settings App

  • If you have a ton of apps on your device, you may run out of space. iOS devices work best when they have at least 2GB of space available. If they don’t have at least that much, then your iPad may freeze up or drop off the wireless network or do other annoying things. To check how much space you have left, go to the Settings app — General — About and look next to Available.
  • Is it just me or is it getting harder to read the text on these devices? To make the text larger across almost all apps, go to the Settings app — Display & Brightness — Text Size and slide the bar to adjust the size to be more comfortable for you and your eyes.


  • Some of us who are addicted to apps may have a ton of folders that attempt to organize those. But if you’re like me, you can never remember what folder you put what app in. To open an app quickly, simply ask Siri “Open the {app name}” and she will.
  • You can have Siri set a context-aware reminder while reading a website or in an app. If, for example, you’re reading a blog at home that you want to share with your colleagues the next day at work, Siri can remind you. While in the app or on the website, press and hold the Home button and tell Siri to “Remind me about this at 9 am tomorrow.” Siri will create a timed reminder that links you directly back to the app you were using or to the web page you were viewing.iOS tips
  • Be more productive and save time by having Siri take dictation for you. Any time you see the small microphone icon next to the spacebar on the keyboard, dictation is available. Tap anyplace you can type text, and then tap the microphone to start dictating. When you’re finished, tap Done and then wait for your words to be processed.

Odds and Ends

  • I see people all of the time making huge swiping gestures to move between screens as they try to get to a particular app. Instead of all of that hand waving, simply tap to the left or right of the little white dots at the bottom of the screen, which show the “pages” you have. Pressing the Home button will take you back to the first screen.
  • If you need your device to charge quickly (and who doesn’t?), then put it in Airplane Mode in the Settings app. This will recharge it twice as fast.
  • Regardless of the app you use to take photos with your device, the process of snapping a shot can be simpler. Use the Volume Control button on the side of  your iPhone or iPad to take the picture instead of reaching around with your fingers to tap the button. If you have headphones, plug those in and then take the photo with the volume control button on the headphones. Easy peasy!
  • Want to learn more about the use of iOS devices in education? Check out one of the following Twitter hashtags (even if you don’t have a Twitter account) to stay informed: #iPadEd, #iOSedApp, #iPadChat, or #1to1iPadChat. Just go to Twitter and enter the full hashtag in the search box.

What great tips and tricks do you have to share with the readers of this blog?


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