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I Didn’t Know My iPhone Could Do That! – The Geek Girl Report

 

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Since I am the “Geek Girl,” I get more than my fair share of tech questions. And the most common thing I get asked about is the iPhone. Usually, it’s questions along the lines of  “How do I move apps around?” or “This app isn’t working. How do I fix it?” You know, the stuff Apple’s minimalistic instruction manual doesn’t tell you? I’ve had to hunt down the answers to these question myself, and along the way, I found out some pretty cool stuff about my iPhone that I didn’t even know about. Here’s just a few of the neat “hidden” features I’ve found on my iPhone.

Note: I found all these features on the iPhone 3GS, but they should work on the iPhone 4 and 4S as well.

Notification Center

iOS 5 introduced a brand new feature to the iPhone that a lot of people still don’t know about: the Notification Center. To bring up this little feature, just slide your finger all the way down the screen. This handy little feature will display the most recent information from a number of apps like weather, stocks and calendar, without having to open the associated apps. You can also control what shows up on your Notification Center by going to Settings>Notifications, and selecting the apps you want to receive notifications from.

Moving and Rearranging Apps

By default, the iPhone displays your apps in the order you purchased them. But what if you want to reorganize your apps a little bit? All you have to do is hold your finger down over any app for a few seconds, and then, your apps will start “wiggling” around on the screen. Now you can simply drag and drop your apps anywhere on the screen you please. If you want to move an app to another screen altogether, just hold the app as far over to the left or right of the screen as you can possibly go. The screen should change automatically. You can also do a few other cool things from here:

  • If you drag an app on top of another app, you’ll create a folder to place both apps in. The iPhone will automatically name your folder based on what apps you put in, (like “Utilities” or “Puzzle Games”) but you can name the folder whatever you want.
  • You can also delete an app from your phone by hitting the “X” button in the top left corner of the app. However, you cannot delete the apps that came with the iPhone.

To return things to normal, just hit the “Home” button.

The “App Switcher”

Here’s a nifty way to switch from one app to another without having to go back to the home screen. If you tap on the Home button twice, you’ll bring up the “App Switcher” function at the bottom of your screen. This feature displays your most recently opened apps, and can be accessed from any app. Also, if you scroll all the way to the left, you can bring up controls for the music player, as well as a function that will let you lock your screen in portrait mode. (meaning that if you activate this function, your phone will no longer switch to landscape mode if you hold it on its side.)

One more cool thing about App Swticher is that you can use it to close apps that are giving you trouble without having to restart your phone. To do this, bring up the App Switcher, scroll over to the app that’s giving you grief, and hold your finger on it for a few seconds. Once it starts wiggling around, hit the “-” next to the app to close it out.

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