Apple have done something to address the problem of having gerzillions of icons on your iPhone

ios14 logoWith Android phones, you can see a display of all of the icons for your installed apps separate from the ones you have chosen to have displayed on your home screens. Until now, iPhones have not offered anything like this. If you have an app installed on an iPhone then its icon is going to be among all the rest cluttering your home screens.

iPhone App LibraryIn the latest version of the operating system – IOS14 (available to iPhone 6S and all newer iPhones) – we now have the “App Library”. This is a new screen to the right of all the screens of apps you are used to seeing (ie you have to swipe left through all your existing screens to find it). The App Library is automatically populated with icons for all your installed apps. Moreover, they are automatically categorised into groups. This categorisation appears to be pretty good, but not perfect. You can search through all of the groups by simply scrolling up or down. If you can’t find an app, tap on the search bar at the top and then either scroll through the alphabetical listing or type in the first part of the app’s name until it appears in the list. Then just tap on it.

It gets a bit cleverer than that. If you look at the illustration here, you will see that most groups have three large icons and then a smaller set of icons. If you click on a large icon, it will launch that app. If you click on a group of small ones then it opens the group to show icons for all the apps it has placed in that group. Who knows how it decides which icons are large. Mine shows Google Maps as a large icon, but I only use it very rarely.

App Library Option

The option “Move to App Library” actually means “Remove from Home screen but leave in App Library”

So, you can now remove loads of seldom-used apps from your “home screens” by pressing on them until they jiggle and then clicking on “Remove app”. And here’s where we have examples of Apple’s appalling inability to explain things accurately. “Remove app” just removes the app from the home screen. It does not un-install it. So, be brave and click on “Remove app”. You will then be presented with another appalling choice of words. The option to “Delete app” is accurate and self-explanatory. But it then lists the option to “Move to App Library”. This is wrong: it is already in the App Library. What they actually mean is “remove from home screen (but leave in the App Library)”. OK, that’s too many words for the screen, but I’m sure I could do a lot better than their choice of words if I gave it some thought.

Apple logo in greenNotwithstanding my complaints about confusing and inaccurate labels, the App Library does look as if it could prove useful. Also, as well as removing little-used apps from home screens one by one, you can also hide entire screens. To do this, get the icons to jiggle (long press on either an icon or empty piece of screen) and then press on the row of dots near the bottom of the screen (you will see that the row of dots now has a grey background). Click on the tick beneath any screen and that screen will not then be shown. This is, of course, reversible.

My guess is that if, like me, you only have two, three, of four screens of icons then you will quite possibly forget all about the “App Library” unless you occasionally swipe into it by accident. If, on the other hand, you have hundreds of icons occupying many screens then you might just find it a useful step forward in organising your digital life.

Oh, and just one more thing – don’t go looking for the App Library in the latest version of your iPad software. For some reason, it’s only available on the iPhone (for now, at least).

This can be a very disconcerting sight on your iPhone’s screen

iPhone Is DisabledOne minute the world looks all tickety-boo, and then you pull your iPhone out of your pocket or bag and are confronted with a black and white screen that says “iPhone is disabled, please try again in 5 minutes” (or a different number of minutes).

What? Everything was fine the last time you looked. Have you been hacked? Got a virus?

So what do you do? Obviously, you click on the home button and every other button you can find to see if you can knock some sense into it. No joy. So you turn it completely off and back on again. Still no joy. Only now it says “try again in 10 minutes” or something similar.

The best procedure in this case is:

1) Follow Lance Corporal Jones’ advice – “Don’t panic”
2) Follow the Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy‘s advice – “Don’t Panic”
3) Wait the number of minutes it tells you to (yes, I know, it seems like twice as long)
4) Re-enter your password
5) Breathe a sigh of relief and carry on with your day

What happened?

The iPhone thinks you have been trying to enter your passcode and that you’ve got it wrong too many times. The first message will come up after five incorrect attempts. In this case, you will be required to wait one minute before being able to try again. Thereafter, the number of minutes you have to wait increases every time you get it wrong:

7 incorrect entries in a row – try again in 5 minutes
8 incorrect entries in a row – try again in 15 minutes
9 incorrect entries in a row – try again in 60 minutes

If you haven’t got it right after nine attempts you are in a spot of bother and you are probably going to have to restore a backup of your data via iCloud or via iTunes. If you haven’t got a backup then you will need to enter recover mode and the best you will be able to do is wipe the phone clean and start afresh.

H2G2 - Don't PanicHere’s where I would normally emphasise the importance of taking backups, but if you haven’t worked that out for yourself already then there probably isn’t anything I can say that will do the trick. The one thing that probably will do the trick is to experience first-hand the inconvenience of losing data. In the case of mobile phones, of course, this can be more than inconvenience as many people use their phones to take irreplaceable photos of their children. Nuff said.

In my own case, I’m not really sure how I got into the situation of the phone becoming disabled. Although I accept that it can get triggered accidentally when the phone’s in your pocket (or bag), it seems odd that it happened to me twice in three days and yet it had never happened before in years of iPhone ownership. Maybe it won’t happen again in the next ten years – but I updated my backup straight after the first occasion, just in case.

Lance Corporal Jones

“Don’t panic, Mr Mainwaring”

If you do need to recover your data via iTunes or iCloud, or if you need to go into recovery mode, there are many websites out there that can help – including this blog.

OK, I can’t resist saying it – if you’ve never backed up your iPhone, please consider doing it. My own preference is to use iTunes to back up my iPhone to my own computer. That way, you do not fall into Apple’s trap of using up all your meagre data storage allowance and being suckered into taking out a subscription to get enough space to achieve the backup.

A “photo burst”, on an iPhone or iPad, is a sequence of photos taken in rapid succession

Taking a burst of photos can improve your chances of getting a good picture in situations when things are moving quickly and you can’t go back and do it again if you miss it the first time.

The way that you take a burst of photos on an iPhone is simple in that all you have to do is keep your finger on the “shutter button” (the white circle in the Camera app) for a few seconds. The camera will then take a rapid sequence of pictures for as long as you press the button. Incidentally, you don’t have to press the “shutter button” to take pictures. Clicking on either the “volume up” or “volume down” button while the camera app is open will also take pictures.

If you now open the Photos app and go to the picture that is a “Burst”, you will see some text near the top left of the screen saying, for example, “Burst (22 photos)”. Note that if you tap on the image (so that all the surrounding text and icons disappear), this text also disappears and you can not tell that you are not looking at a normal, single, image. If this happens, just tap on the photo to bring the icons and options back.

When you are looking at a burst, there is a new option below the image that says “Select…” If you tap on this, you can then scroll (left to right and vice versa) through each separate image in the burst to see which one(s) you would like to keep as separate images. For some odd reason, the first image you see will be part way through the sequence so you have to scroll leftwards to get to the beginning. As you scroll through, just tap on each image to be kept and a tick will appear in the bottom righthand corner of each one. When finished selecting, click on “Done” (at top right).

The first time you select images from a particular burst, pressing “Done” will bring up the option to “Keep Everything” or “Keep Only 5 Favourites” (or however many you ticked). If you choose to “Keep Everything” then you will keep the “burst” (ie all the images in the burst presented as a single “burst image”) plus you will keep separate images of the ticked items in the burst. If you choose to keep only the favourites (ticked items) then the burst will be deleted. This is obviously good for saving space on your device, but the burst will now have gone to data heaven and can’t be accessed again.

If you want to revisit the burst and save further images from it, just display the burst in the photos app again, click on “Select” and choose further images to save separately. This time, however, when you click “Done” you will not be presented with the option to “Keep Everything”. This time the burst will be automatically saved and the images that you have just chosen will also be saved (as separate images).

Not re-presenting the option to “Keep Everything” is one thing that confused me when first looking at bursts. Another is that I expected the option “Keep Everything” to mean that each single image in the burst would be automatically saved as a separate image. That’s not what it means. Rather, it means “keep the burst plus any ticked images”. To keep each image in the burst separate from the burst, just select each image in the burst and click “Done”.

The illustration below shows every fourth image in a burst. No doubt, most people could have found a more interesting subject.



Having now got to grips with how “burst” works, all you need to do now is remember to use it in those few seconds that it would be useful!

“Intuitive” seems to be a bit of a dirty word among, shall we say, more mature computer users

IntuitionMany, many times I have listened with sympathy as an IT Support client has told me that a younger family member has insisted that the computer struggles they are suffering are “weird” because the iPhone/tablet/computer is “so intuitive”. The implication is that you should understand it without any conscious effort or specific prior knowledge.

Well, I have a number of thoughts about this, including:

1) Said younger family member probably spends hours and hours a day playing with his/her device and probably tries several things to make a function work without even realising that they are trying different things (eg swipe something left, right, up, down, press on something, hit the back button and try a different route). This is not intuition – it’s trial and error based upon hours and hours and hours of experience (often spent while walking down the street, with head down instead of looking where they are going).

2) Added to the “trial and error” approach mentioned above, we all know that younger people are less fearful in trying things out than older ones. “Will it get me stuck somewhere I can’t get out of”, “Will I get locked out?”, “Will I delete everything”, “Will I break the internet?” are questions that don’t seem to occur to youngsters as they learn to handle IT.

3) Young children teach and show each other. If someone discovers a new app/trick/website then isn’t it quite natural that they’ll show it to their mates?

So, I don’t think it’s “intuition” at all. I’ll offer just two examples to support this “theory” (alright, “contention” might be a better word):

Example 1 – Fitbit

Fitbit pull to sync

Fitbit’s “Pull to sync” hint is only revealed after you’ve started “pulling”

For the last three years or so I have been using Fitbit fitness trackers. They have some great points and some pretty bad ones. Some of the bad ones are really irritating. Here’s just one of them:

Data from the big black clunky “watch” has to be “synchronised” with the smartphone. This will happen automatically, but you can force it to synchronise. Now, instead of just tapping a “button” on the screen of the smartphone marked “Synchronise”, you have to press on the screen and drag downwards. Once you start doing the “dragging”, a helpful hint is displayed which says “Pull to sync” (ie drag downwards) When you have pulled far enough another message appears that says “Release to sync”.

In other words, the hint doesn’t even appear until you have started to perform the action that the hint will tell you to perform. In what way could this possibly be called “intuitive”? It is stupid. You need to know what you are doing before you are given a hint about how to do it! And how can “pulling” and “releasing” be easier or more “intuitive” than a simple tap? I know not.

Example 2 – iPhone Files

ios Files - 01

No sign of how to change file order until……

The latest version of Apple’s IOS operating system (for iPhones and iPads) includes a very welcome app called “Files” which lists certain types of data files stored on the device (eg pdf files, Word docs) and gives access to those files by just tapping on them. However, the files are listed in alphabetic order and there appears to be no way of changing this order (eg to Date order). So, I’ve been using this app and quietly cursing its lack of flexibility.

Then, today, it occurred to me to try to “drag down” in the same way that forces a “synch” in Fitbit. Surprise, surprise. A dropdown menu appeared that allows for sorting by different parameters (including Date order).

ios Files - 02

… you drag downwards and reveal the dropdown menu

Now, it could just be argued that my attempting to drag downwards was “intuition”. I would say that that is just nonsense. It occurred to me to try and pull downwards because I’ve spent hours and hours and hours tinkering with computers, applications, apps, devices and so forth and been irritated on a daily basis by Fitbit’s “Pull to synch” feature. Intuition has nothing whatever to do with it. It is experience. It is also experience that led me to try tapping on “date” again in the “Files” example to see if it would sort in the opposite direction. It did.

So, the next time someone under 40 tells you how intuitive it all is, just be grateful that you haven’t spent as big a proportion of your life wrestling with the technology as they (and I) obviously have.

Do you just delete spam and junk on your iPhone because you can’t see how to consign its sender to email oblivion?

IOS Mail IconFilters used by email providers are very good these days at stopping most of the world’s email rubbish from getting into your inbox. Nevertheless, the occasional rogue message will still get through and it’s a bit annoying when you see the same villains getting through to your iPhone over and over again just because it’s not obvious how you send them to a junk folder (ie delete them and, at the same time, make sure that any future emails from that sender automatically meet the same fate).

Well, you can, indeed, send email messages to a junk folder in the IOS Mail program (ie the “normal” email program on your iPhone), but the method is different depending on where you are at the moment you decide to junk the email:

If the message is open at the time you decide to junk it:

  • Tap on the flag icon (bottom left of screen)
  • Tap on the “Move to Junk” option

If you are looking at a message list at the time you decide to junk one of the messages:

  • Swipe across the message from right to left until you see the “more” button (a row of three white dots on a grey background)
  • Tap on the “more” button
  • Tap on the “Mark…” button
  • Tap on the “Move to Junk” option

If you want to junk several messages at once:


  • Go to the message list
  • Tap on “Edit” (top right of screen)
  • Tap on all the messages that you want to mark as junk
  • Tap on the “Mark” option (bottom left of screen)
  • Tap on the “Move to Junk” option

If you check your email on other devices as well as your iPhone, then you will probably receive no more messages from that sender on any of your devices, but this depends on your connections to your email server being IMAP, and on your email server understanding the iPhone’s action in moving the mail to junk.

No SpamThe least successful outcome should be that you do not receive any more messages from the sender on your iPhone but that everything else stays the same as now.

If your mobile provider offers you a “free” upgrade to your mobile phone every 18 months or 2 years you may not be getting good value for money

Mobile phone repairThere was a time when mobile phone development was very rapid and an 18 month old phone was significantly less powerful, and/or less well featured, than a new one. This isn’t really the case any more. Both iPhone and Samsung are advertising their latest offerings (the iPhone X and the Galaxy S9, respectively) in terms of how great the camera is. To my mind, minor improvements such as this don’t justify getting a new phone. And I’m not alone. According to Dixons Carphone, the lack of new features and recent price rises have meant that whereas we used to replace our phones (on average) every 20 months in 2013, it’s now every 29 months (Source: The Guardian).

So, you may not be getting as good value from a mobile phone contract that offers you a new phone every 18-24 months as you used to. The perception that your provider is giving you a “free upgrade” is no more than that – a perception. The phone may not be significantly better than the one you already have and, as for it being free – I think not. More like £30 a month for the “free upgrade” element.

iPhone logoI kept my last phone for 3 years (and it was already secondhand when I bought it – see this blog post on updating an iPhone). I finally replaced it last summer (for another secondhand iPhone from CEX) because the battery was swelling up and forcing off the screen. It used to cost an arm and a leg to replace an iPhone battery (let alone a screen), but I think things must have changed since Apple dropped their battery prices. This happened following an uproar when they had to admit that they deliberately slowed down the operation of “old” iPhones. Their argument was that a battery whose performance was deteriorating could cause a phone to unexpectedly switch off and that they were slowing down the phone to save battery life to stop that from happening. Of course, we cynical members of the public harboured suspicions that they slowed down the phone so that we’d get a new, faster, one. Anyway, to help try and defuse the situation, Apple suddenly dropped the price of replacement batteries from a zillion quid to about £30.

Lovefone logoMy pensioned-off iPhone 5 (with the swollen battery and lifting screen) still has uses for me, so I took it into a place called Lovefone at 37 Tottenham Street, W1T 4RU, a few weeks ago to see if it was worth fixing. In short, they replaced both the screen and the battery for less than the price that a battery would have been a year or so ago. The phone has been working perfectly ever since.

The total bill for the repair was the equivalent of about two months worth of “contribution” that you are making to your mobile provider if they “give” you a “free” upgrade every 18 or 24 months. And, yes, it most certainly has occurred to me that I didn’t need to buy a new (secondhand) phone last summer. The repair to my iPhone 5 will pay for itself if the phone lasts just two months longer than it would otherwise have done.

One of the things that has always put me off getting mobile phones repaired previously is that I’ve never quite fancied leaving my phone with one of those tiny little “mobile repair” places you typically see crammed into shop premises shared with someone else. It’s not so much the value of the phone I’m worried about as the privacy of my data. Well, I had no such fears about Lovefone. They have clean, roomy premises where you can see the repairs taking place. The staff I encountered were very friendly and efficient. I left my phone with them (but could have waited) and picked it up 30 minutes later. Give them a try if you’d rather give your current phone a new lease of life than spend a fortune on a new one. And, just for the record, I didn’t tell them that I work in IT or that I would give them a testimonial.

Does your iPhone randomly capitalise words?

iPhone rageSeveral of my IT clients have mentioned this problem to me recently, and there doesn’t seem to be one single cause or one single fix. To add to the annoyance, the capital letter often doesn’t pop up until you have moved on several words in what you are typing. You then have to go back to it and try – sometimes several times – to persuade it that a lower case letter is what you wanted.

To begin with, I thought that this problem cropped up with the release of IOS version 11, but a bit of googling shows that some people have been having problems with this as far back as version 9 (a couple of years or so ago).

Apple themselves are not exactly helpful on the subject. Their support page mentions just one suggestion – re-setting your personal dictionary. This is achieved by going to:

Settings > General > Reset > Reset keyboard dictionary

The problem with this option is that it deletes any personalisation that you have created in your dictionary and, moreover, isn’t guaranteed to solve the problem. So, if you have personalised your dictionary at all, I would suggest that you try the possibilities listed below first as they are much easier to reverse if they don’t work.

IOS Keyboard Settings

The first thing to try is turning off auto-capitalisation. This, of course, means that the first character after a full stop will no longer be a capital unless you hit the shift key yourself, but you could at least try this first to see if it works and to see if you really would miss auto-capitalisation. Having to intentionally create an upper case letter when you want one is probably less annoying than removing a spurious one. Turn auto-capitalisation off as follows:

Settings > General > Keyboard > Auto-Capitalisation – and then slide the switch to the left (off)

Another possible reason for random capitalisation is that you are typing a word (in a different context) that is included in your Contacts as if it were a name. So, for example, if you’ve put “Acme Cabs” as the NAME of a contact, then you may get the word “cabs” capitalised if you use it in other contexts. If this is the case then the solution is simply to move “Acme Cabs” away from the Name field in your Contacts and into the “Company” field.

Another thing you can try is to disable auto-correction as follows:

Settings > General > Keyboard > Auto-Correction – and then slide the switch to the left (off)

Steve Jobs with iPhoneIf your rogue capitalisation is completely predictable – ie the same peculiar thing happens every time you type a particular word – then you could try employing what we techies might call a “dirty fix”. You could go into the “text replacement” setting and tell it to always replace what it got wrong with what is correct. To access this feature, go to:

Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement

This is all a bit of a mess, and we mere mortals are left to wonder how this glitch can be so difficult to cure that it has been around for a long time now.

Sometimes, you can’t help getting the impression that some of the gloss has gone from Apple since Steve Jobs died. On the other hand, maybe the rot set in right at the beginning when Apple decided to spell “iPhone” with a capital “P”. If that isn’t “random capitalisation”, I don’t know what is!

Some of your iPhone call history could end up on your partner’s device and you can’t stop it if you use iCloud

iPhone Passcode

A passcode isn’t needed to access an iPhone’s call history

Without telling its users – let alone offering a way to stop it happening – it appears that Apple have been storing your iPhone’s call logs in your iCloud account (if you have iCloud turned on). Potentially, this offers security services a way of accessing a phone’s call history without having to know or hack the passcode for the device and without having to “persuade” the phone’s carrier to reveal the information (source: The Intercept).

Information stored includes:

  • list of calls made and received (over the previous four months)
  • dates and times
  • duration
  • missed and bypassed calls
  • regular calls and FaceTime calls are both included

Apple have no way of accessing the data on a recent iPhone whose passcode they don’t know. This caused a bit of a rumpus last year when the US authorities wanted Apple to help them access the phone of a suspected bomber (for a detailed description of the circumstances of this case see, for instance this “Wired” article). No such arguments exists here as Apple does have access to iCloud logs and could be forced by a court order to reveal them.

As well as the fundamental principle of privacy (yes, I do think we’re fighting a losing battle on that front – a lost cause even), this can also have unforeseen consequences in the very real world – far away from the world of spies and terrorism.

Looking at Mobiles

Are you unknowingly revealing your call history?

The point of iCloud (in case you were wondering) is that it enables data to be shared between the different devices relating to a specific Apple ID. With the latest version of IOS (iPhone’s operating system), this extends to sharing phone call histories between the different devices of a single Apple ID. This happens by syncing the call history to the iCloud account and back down to other devices using the same Apple ID. So, all of your call history can now magically appear on the iPhone of your partner! If you have any aspect of your life that you would rather your partner not know about then it is no longer enough to think that they can’t get at that information because they don’t have your iPhone’s passcode.

iCloud - Setting Up

Don’t use iCloud if you want your call history to remain private

I’m not remotely interested, here, in the morality of doing things behind your partner’s back. It’s none of my business. However, I think it’s appalling that Apple can be so cavalier with its customers’ privacy that it neither informs them of this situation, nor offers any user-defined options to deal with it. There are, of course, two simple ways of dealing with it and they are not to use iCloud at all or, even more sensibly, don’t share an Apple ID with anyone else. Whether that conjures up words like babies and bathwater depends upon your own situation but, at present, these are the only ways of dealing with this sharing of call history.

Of course, you might well say that anyone who’s playing away is unlikely to be so close to their partner as to share an Apple ID. I wouldn’t know about that, but, irrespective of individual users’ behaviour, Apple are – at the most generous interpretation – a little careless with their customers’ privacy.

You can learn more about this situation at

Yes, this is me whingeing about error messages again

See, for instance, “Oh dear – error!“.

I’m not just letting off steam again for the sake of it. This is a situation that I’m sure other people come across and fail to solve (and I challenge you to find the solution among Apple help pages).

Apple ID - password wrongBack in the mists of time (about four years ago), a new computer support client contacted me with a typical list of problems. Included in the list was problems with her Apple ID(s). Specifically, she had two different Apple IDs and some apps had been bought with one ID and some with another. She couldn’t update apps bought or downloaded under the older ID. At that time, we didn’t manage to get to the bottom of her Apple ID problems (mired, as we were, in AOL problems as well).

Anyway, last week I was visiting her for some reasonably routine stuff and she wanted a bit of help setting up a brand new iPhone SE. Not realising I’d stepped into a man trap (“fools rush in..”), I got stuck in and – you guessed – the problem of multiple Apple IDs cropped up again. Now, my client is pretty compos mentis and she has a pretty good idea of the possible passwords that she might have assigned to these Apple IDs, so why on earth were we still having problems? Why were we being told that the password was incorrect?

Apple ID - password entryThis time, it occurred to me that the first thing to do in cases like this is to establish unequivocally what the password is for a given account. So, instead of vainly shouting at her brand new iPhone (albeit viscerally satisfying for me and entertaining for her), we went to a browser (on a proper computer) and tried to log into the Apple ID. We reported that we’d forgotten the password and she demonstrated her clear-headedness by knowing the answers to the security questions it asked. So we were able to re-set the password without drama. We then logged in and out of the account a couple of times so as to be entirely confident of the password.

Now, the Apple ID whose password we had just re-set and clarified belonged to the old account that she’d used yonks ago. The ID that she uses currently causes no problems and we’d restored the software from the previous phone, updated all the apps that go with that ID and everything was fine.

Apple ID - password wrongHere’s the crunch. The phone informed us that it could not update the apps acquired under the older Apple ID without us entering the password. No problem. We now knew for certain what that password is because we’d just re-set it and logged in and out a few times. So, we entered the password and – guess what – it told us that it was wrong. “BUT IT CAN’T BE WRONG, YOU STUPID PHONE”. I don’t have perfect recall of even getting up this morning, let alone what happened four years ago, but both the client and I remember that this scenario was what had us almost in tears the last time.

This time, however, I had a brief moment of clarity – we’re still signed in to the other Apple ID. So, I signed out of the other ID, into the correct one (whose password is most assuredly what we think it is) and, hey presto, the apps updated without problem.

The point of this blog is twofold:

  • Why – especially after all the years that iPhones and IOS have been around – are we STILL presented with a totally misleading error message when entering an Apple ID password? Surely it can’t be beyond the wit of the geniuses working for Apple to trap this error properly and come up with a decent message, such as “You are signed in with a different Apple ID. Sign out of that Apple ID first and then sign into this one”.
  • If, perchance, you yourself have used several different Apple IDS in the past, now you know how to keep all your apps updated without having a hissy-fit.

iPhone 5c - blueBy the by, do you happen to be in the market for an unused, unlocked, 32gb, blue, iPhone 5C? If so, the same client has one (no, it’s not either of the phones discussed above. This one is unused). Just let me know if you are and, preferably, an idea of what you’d like to pay for it, and I’ll pass the message on. It’s still got the original box and my client would despatch it by registered mail.

Does your iPhone seem a little sluggish these days?

Snail and iPhoneIt may just be one of those psychological things, that once the thought has crossed your mind that your iPhone isn’t quite as fast as it used to be, then it seems to get slower and slower. My guess is that it’s just because you start looking out for signs of sluggishness after you’ve noticed it the first time. Whatever the reason, there are some things you can do to perk it up a bit.

iPhone polishing

You can also give its insides a bit of a clean

I’m not saying that each of these suggestions will have a noticeable effect on its own but, taken together, you might get a significant boost and feel happy with your iPhone for another year! Also, I’m not pretending that these suggestions are in any particular order of effectiveness. Indeed, some “authorities” contradict others – such as whether it is a good thing, a bad thing, or a pointless thing, to stop apps from running in the background. Nevertheless, the next time that Coronation Street isn’t quite as rivetting as you normally find it (!), you could multitask by giving your iPhone a bit of a springclean while you are watching it:

  • Restart the phone. This takes a minute or so, but you don’t have to engage brain. Just do it. It can make quite a difference. Press and hold the button on top of the phone. The “power off” slider appears. Slide it to the right or just keep your finger on the top button for a few more seconds. After everything has gone black, release the top button and then press it again until the Apple logo appears. Let go of the button and just wait for the phone to restart.
  • Remove apps you don’t use. Go to Settings > General > Storage & iCloud Usage > Manage Storage. The apps are listed in (approximate) order of the amount of space they use up. While it is obviously better to remove larger apps, even smaller apps have an overhead on the system. Tap on an individual app to get to the link to deleting it or (sometimes) the option to just delete its data while leaving the app installed.
  • Clear out Safari temporary data. Go to Settings > Safari > Clear History and Website Data.
  • Turn off Background App Refresh. Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. Either turn off all background refreshing by sliding the top slider to the left or choose apps individually.
  • Turn off Automatic Downloads. Go to Settings > iTunes & App Stores > and turn off automatic downloads as desired.
  • Turn off Motion. This is a bit of fanciness that “rocks” some aspects of the visual display if you shake the phone a bit. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduced Motion, and then slide the switch to the right (ie turn it on).
  • Reduce Display Transparency. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Increased Contrast and then slide the switch next to “Reduce Transparency” to the right.
  • Ensure that you have at the very least 1gb of free storage space on the phone. If you have cleared out unwanted apps (see above) then you’ve probably now got a minimum amount of free space for the phone to comfortable operate. If, however, you’ve only got 1gb or so of free space then it’s no surprise that your device is slow. If your phone is full of videos, music, podcasts, photos, then it should be easy enough to get rid of at least 1gb of such data. If you really can’t bear to be without any of your data then, assuming you don’t already have an iPhone 6 with 128gb storage, you can always go out and buy one – Carphone Warehouse are offering them for just £649 (or you could, of course, get a midrange laptop with 1tb or 2tb of storage space for that kind of price).

Go Faster iPhoneIt’s worth noting that some of these steps (such as reducing motion and turning off background app refresh) may make the battery last significantly longer between recharges as well as improving the phone’s responsiveness.

© 2011-2019 David Leonard
Computer Support in London
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