iOS Tips

In this dept4 x 4, tips relating to Apple’s mobile operating system, which in all likelihood you already know, though I find occasionally the simple things can be overlooked. I’ve found the following very useful, or at least a more elegant and efficient way of doing certain tasks in iOS.

1. Close all tabs in mobile Safari

When clicking through links from various sources of information I am reading on my iPhone, I invariably end up with numerous tabs open in mobile Safari. Whilst they can simply be brought up in card view through the Tab icon (two overlapping squares in the bottom right corner of the screen) and swiped left to close individually, a more efficient technique is as follows:

  1. Tap on the ‘Tab’ icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen
  2. Tap on ‘Private’
  3. Tap ‘Close All’ when asked in the pop up
  4. Tap on the ‘Tab’ icon and tap ‘Private’ again (to exit Private browsing mode)
  5. Tap on ‘Done’

The above works for any number of open tabs, though I tend to use it most when there at least three or four open. More about Private browsing from Apple Support can be found here.

2. Turn off Flashlight from lock screen

The most common use I have for the flashlight on my phone is when I am delving deeply into an entanglement of cords, for example when switching peripherals on our home computer or television. The flashlight comes in handy in preventing me trying to ram a HDMI cable into a USB port.

After switching on the Flashlight function through Control Center, I lock my screen to avoid accidental taps. One tip I have found quite handy is tapping on the camera icon in the bottom right corner of the lock screen will turn off the flashlight. And yes, whilst I have Control Center access enabled for my lock screen, the above saves me having to swipe up to access Control Center, turn off the Flashlight and swipe down to close Control Center again. One tap is all it takes.

3. Power button phone shortcuts

With a call active on the iPhone, a quick press of the power button at the top of the device will end the call (note this will not work if you are in another App during the call or if an external ear piece/microphone is attached).

Although handy if your screen is unresponsive (ie severely cracked), I like this feature simply because of its ease of use. The power button also comes in handy for incoming calls, with a single press silencing the ringer (also stops vibration if in silent mode), or double press to send a call straight to voice mail.

4. iCloud Photo Sharing

Though probably a little more extensive than the quick use tips above, iCloud photo sharing (not to be confused with My Photostream) is a great way to give family and friends access to an album of photos without needing to message or email them to multiple people, or endlessly post to social media (aside from the fact they may not be photos you wish to share publicly).

Shared iCloud photo streams will support video (My Photostream will not), and the streams you create will be permanently stored (up to 100 streams with a 5000 photo limit per stream), rather than your last 1000 photos only, as is the case with My Photostream. More on this can be found on the Apple support page.

Shared iCloud streams are simple to set up:

  1. Access the “Shared” Tab at the bottom of the Photos app on your iOS device
  2. Tap the ‘+’ button to create a stream
  3. Name the stream
  4. Invite those you wish to share it with (sharing is optional, bypass by going straight to step 5)
  5. Tap on ‘Create’.
  6. Manually select photos to add photos to the stream.

Captions and comments can be added to photos by you or those who share the stream, and other members will be able to upload their own photos for all to see.

Overall, a great way to permanently store (and share) your photos by the power of iCloud.

Hopefully some or all of the four tips above will enhance your iOS experience, and finally, when next in the app switching view (after double clicking the home button), swipe on the row of icons along the bottom rather than the application panes for much faster scrolling.

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