How to change app Preferences on an iPhone
Mac Tip #437, 19 May 2010
Tired of your iPod touch or iPhone ‘flipping’ the screen if you tilt it too much? Sick of ‘Location’ requests? Do you want to change how long slides display in a slideshow? All those things and more can be changed in the Preferences.
Unfortunately I don’t yet have an iPad — they aren’t due in New Zealand until July 2010. I imagine the following applies equally well to the iPad, but can’t verify that.
The auto-rotate annoyance
For a while there I was finding auto-rotate simultaneously wonderful and extremely annoying. The problem was being able to control it.
You’ll have noticed that in many, or even most, apps flipping the iPhone from vertical to horizontal also flips the screen. That means you can easily read wider web pages, for example, or watch movies.
That’s great when you mean to flip the screen, but I’d often be lying in bed trying to read tweets or a book, and the screen would flip if I shifted my hand slightly.
The answer lay in the settings.
Preferences under General Settings
The first place to check for settings for any of the apps on your iPod is under general Settings. You may have moved the Settings icon to any page on your device, but on mine it’s on the first page.
Tap Settings and then scroll down. Below
General in the list of settings are preferences for specific apps.
For example, tap
Safari and you can select a search engine, whether to allow warnings for potentially fraudulent sites, how to handle cookies and so on.
You can also clear the History, Cookies and Cache from here. You might do that if Safari on your iPod has become unusually slow.
Or you may look into the settings for Photos. In here you can set the duration of each slide in a slideshow, what kind of transition to use and how to handle shuffle and repeat.
Listed below the settings for built-in apps are preferences for some apps you’ve chosen to install. For example, my list contains settings for the Daily Puppy, Facebook, NASA images, Skype and others.
Preferences within an app
Not all apps store their preferences in the Settings app though. Some give you access to the settings from within the app, and not always in a consistent place.
One place to look is for a button on an
Accounts screen. For example, Tweetie allows me to choose how to display names, the font size, and other preferences.
Also check under
More on the Menu Bar at the bottom of the screen. If you tap
More you may see a screen that allows you access to additional categories of information. You amy also see an
Edit link that allows you to add and remove items from the Menu Bar.
For example, in the WeatherNZ app the
More button, followed by
Edit allows you to add, remove, and change the sequence of buttons on the Menu Bar.
I like easy access to the Forecast, Tides and Charts, so I have them always available. I don’t care about Snow or Surf, so I leave them ‘hidden’ behind the
Each app is different
The thing is, each app is different, and the iPhone operating system is still so new that things haven’t yet settled down into established patterns.
If you find an app’s behaviour annoying be sure to look under
Settings, and be sure to check within the app itself for buttons such as
Tell us in the Comments at the website the Preferences you’ve most wanted to change. And if you’ve used an iPad, was it just the same? What differences are there?