5 essential tips for iPhones and iPads with iOS 4.2

5 essential tips for iPhones and iPads with iOS 4.2
Quick Mac Tip, 04 December 2010

Whether you use an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iOS4.2, these tips will help you use it better: multitasking, folders, reset and sorting out memory problems. This is a guest post by Mark Webster of Mac-NZ.

1] Multitasking

Low on memory.

Low on memory.

iOS4x lets you multitask — in other words, when you boot an app, use it, then press the Home button to exit, you haven’t actually quit the app, unlike in iOS3x and before.

It’s still running — iOS4x lets you switch between these apps with a double-click of the Home button. You get a task bar (you can see it in the picture below) along the bottom of your touch-screen, and you can swipe through and touch any of the apps displayed to instantly be in that app again. (These are still running, in a suspended state.)

2] But that can lead to low-memory warnings

Trouble is, even after a restart (and completely unlike a Mac), these apps are all still running all the time unless you quit them. This may impact on battery life, but more obviously, it’s using the RAM in your iPad, which doesn’t have as much as an iPhone 4.

Mark Webster.  Mark Webster is an experienced writer and IT commentator. He was the editor of NZ Macguide magazine for five years and has worked exclusively with Macs for 20. He is a speaker on Information Technology and Apple subjects, and works in Auckland, New Zealand, as a Mac trainer with wide experience.

You’ll eventually get low memory warnings. But it’s easy to solve and worth making part of your iDevice routine. Double-click the Home button, hold your finger on any one of these apps displayed along the bottom, and they’ll start to jiggle. This is Edit Mode. You will notice a little Minus (-) sign at top left of each. Touch that to quit the app, freeing up memory.

(Just press the Home button once to leave Edit Mode once you’re done.)

3] Better performance

Edit the iOS task bar to quit an app.

Edit the iOS task bar to quit an app.

If you plan on playing a fairly intensive game or using an app that requires lots of the iPad’s resources, close all apps before launching the game, as above, for better performance.

Closing them all is a sure way to make sure there is enough application memory available.

4] Do a Hard Reset

If you’ve crashed or frozen in a game, you may have to do a Hard Reset. This achieved by holding in the Sleep/Wake plus the Home button, which forces a restart. It seems to pay to then quit all the running apps again with the task bar (double-click the Home button to see what’s running in a ‘suspended’ state) then to shut down normally, then start up from scratch.

5] Don’t forget folders

Edit the name of a folder of apps.

Edit the name of a folder of apps.

If you’re App acquisition has given you several screens to search through every time you want a specific app, remember you can now make folders. It’s really easy — hold your finger on any app to make it jiggle. Now that you’re in Edit Mode, drag any app on top of another and iOS4.2 will generate a folder with both apps in it. Drag any other app to this to add it.

Additional: Keep like with like to make it easier to find apps — Utilities, Food etc. You can edit the name (Apple adds default names) to be as representative as you like.

Also, once you have several folders, apps can still go astray. Don’t forget a swipe into the left of the Home screen gives you a Search option that finds emails, apps, words in notes, contacts … touching a found app launches it.

This post is Copyright Mark Webster.

I learned several very useful things from Mark‘s tips. Do you have anything to add? If so, leave a Comment. If you’d like to write a guest post contact me.

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  1. omneya said:

    can i use bluetooth to share files between mac mini and iphone 4??
    can i watch TV on iphone 4??how??

  2. parminder said:

    Its almost unbelievable that the mac makes it so hard to to remove all the apps that are stored in memory.
    Its should:
    1 – give you the option to clear the memory at times intervals
    2 – When deleting the open apps from memory, this should be a 2 click process at most, not a rediculous 20+ click process individually closing all the apps.

    Apple have really got this wrong.

  3. Mary said:

    Thank you so much for this information via Mark Webster. It solved a few mysteries for me! I LOVE my iPad!!!!!!

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