Tips and Help

Why You Shouldn’t (Usually) Quit Apps on Your iPhone

Tip - Quit apps

When you’re done with an app on the Mac, you quit it. Many people do the same on the iPhone, where you can double-press the Home button to access the App Switcher and then swipe up on an app to quit it. But just because you can do it on your iPhone (or iPad), doesn’t mean you should. Worse, contrary to what some people believe, quitting iPhone apps will likely hurt battery life.

iOS on the iPhone (and the iPad) thinks differently about how apps run compared to the Mac. When you’re using an app, let’s say Safari, it’s accessing the iPhone’s CPU and radios and thus using battery power. However, a few seconds after you press the Home button to return to the Home screen or lock the screen by pressing the Sleep/Wake button, the iPhone puts the app into a state of suspended animation. It’s almost like it puts the app to sleep. In that state, it’s not using CPU or battery power, but it does remain resident in memory, which turns out to be important.

Imagine that you next open Notes, which becomes the active app and starts consuming CPU, memory, and battery resources. Tap a Web link in a note, and your iPhone suspends Notes and takes you back to Safari. Because Safari was suspended earlier and thus is still in memory, it’s faster and easier for your iPhone to activate it than to launch it from scratch. If Safari was not in memory, it would use more resources, including more battery, to open back up. It would also be slower, as it has to load into the iPhone’s memory.

Now as you continue switching among apps, there may not be enough memory for each app to remain suspended, so your iPhone will quit apps to free up enough memory. There’s no way to know when your iPhone has done this; it’s invisible to you. If you try to help your iPhone by quitting apps manually, you’ll force it to waste more resources later when those apps have to be launched again.

Are you curious on how many apps your iPhone has suspended? Swipe far to the right in the App Switcher (double-tap on the Home button); it probably lists many more apps than you’d expect. Again, this is not a list of running apps; it’s a list of previously used apps. These apps are suspended, or as I like to say, sleeping. They are still in your iPhone’s memory, but they are not running or using resources. When you need to open them again, they will use less resources when opening than if they were quit out of.

So, 98% of the time, there’s nothing to gain and some speed and battery life to lose by quitting apps. But there are two legitimate reasons to quit apps: to restart a frozen or confused app, and to prevent certain background apps from using power unnecessarily.

Although it’s unusual for iOS apps to freeze or misbehave, it can happen, so if an app isn’t responding, or if it’s acting weirdly, quit it. That usually solves the problem; if it doesn’t, you might need to download an update or delete the app and reinstall it from the App Store.

iOS on the iPhone allows some apps to run in the background instead of being suspended. For instance, if you use Maps, you want it to keep tracking your location and providing turn-by-turn navigation even if you’re using Podcasts. Similarly, iOS allows some apps, like Skype, to listen for incoming calls in the background. There are a few other categories of allowed background apps—audio apps like Podcasts, for instance—but in all cases, if you’re trying to preserve as much battery life as possible, consider quitting background apps whose services you don’t need. For example, if you park before arriving at your destination, you might quit Maps to ensure that it doesn’t continue to track your location. And if missing an incoming call is less important than saving some battery power, quit Skype.

But these are infrequent exceptions to the rule. Most of the time, quitting apps is a waste of both your time and your iPhone’s battery. I hope the tip helps!

Tips and Help

Erase and Reset your iPad or iPhone before Passing Them On

Tip Erase Data

Do you have an old iPad or iPad that you want to sell or give away? I’m sure you don’t want to leave any of your apps, data, or personal information on the device. The good news is Apple makes it easy to erase all the data on your iPad or iPhone. This is done by reseting your device to factory defaults. To do this, just go to the Settings app. From there select General. If you scroll all the way to the bottom, you’ll see Reset. Tap on Reset and then tap Erase All Content and Settings. Enter your passcode, confirm the erasure (twice!), and then type your Apple ID password. After all that, the device restarts just as though you’re taking it out of the box for the first time. Hope the tip helps!

Tip Erase Data

Tutor for iCloud for the Mac
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New Tutorial: Tutor for iCloud for the Mac

Tutor for iCloud for the Mac

I’m happy to announce I now have Tutor for iCloud for the Mac available! In this tutorial we look at Apple’s service iCloud. With iCloud we can share information across all our devices and even access them from any browser! These shared services include photos, calendar, contacts, reminders, movies, Safari bookmarks and reading lists, and even user names and passwords we use in Safari. We can also use iCloud to locate our Mac if we lost it. If you want to learn more about iCloud on your Mac, we can help with Tutor for iCloud for the Mac.

Take me to the tutorial.

Tips and Help

Speed Up Mac and iOS Typing with Text Expansion or Text Replacement

Tip-Text-Expansion

The keyboard we’ve been using on our Macs, iPad, and iPhone have been around for 150 years! This is the same keyboard layout from the world’s first practical typewriter. But for most, we haven’t improved as typists, nor do we enjoy typing more – I certainly don’t. So what do we do now? We increasingly abbreviate to avoid typing, hence “CUL8R.” Text messaging aside, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to type less without compromising meaning or making your text look like it was composed by a teenager? Thanks to text expansion features built into the Mac and iOS, and extended with third-party utilities, you can.

For basic text expansion capabilities on the Mac, look in System Preferences > Keyboard > Text, and in iOS, go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Text Replacement. For both, you can enter a phrase and a shortcut that expands into that phrase when typed and followed by a space or punctuation character. (Tip: If text expansion doesn’t work in a Mac app like Mail or Safari, make sure Edit > Substitutions > Text Replacement is selected.)

If you’re signed into the same iCloud account on both your Mac and your iPhone, for instance, the text expansions sync between them automatically. So, you can type omw and tap the Space bar to get “On my way!” typed out for you, regardless of what device you’re using. (Another tip: don’t create abbreviations that you’ll also want to type normally. It might seem like a good idea to use mm for “Martin Marietta,” but that will get in the way of talking about 35mm film.)

Tip Text Expansion

Here are some ideas for the kinds of things you might want to turn over to your computer for typing:

  • Long or complex words or phrases, such as scientific names or signatures.
  • Your address, phone number, and email address.
  • Boilerplate text for common email replies.
  • Special characters, so blb could expand to the British pound symbol £.

So think about what bit of text you might want to expand automatically and give text expansion a try today!

I do have a few video lessons showing how this works on the Mac, iPad, and iPhone. You must be a Premium Member to watch the videos.

Keyboard Settings on the Mac
Text Replacement on the iPad
Text Replacement on the iPhone

Pay What You Want PricingWe hope you find the tip helpful. If you’d like to learn more and help support the site – please consider joining the site. When you join, you decide what you want to pay. You can join for as low as $19.99 a year. You’ll get instant access to all our tips and tutorials – over 1,500 videos. We’ll also keep track of which tips and lessons you’ve watched. Thanks for your consideration!
Tutor for iPad: Beyond the Basics

New Tutorial – Tutor for iPad: Beyond the Basics

Tutor for iPad: Beyond the Basics

I have a new tutorial available online and for download – Tutor for iPad: Beyond the Basics. In this tutorial we go beyond the basics of the iPad and cover multitasking on the iPad, sharing files using Airdrop, using the keyboard, text replacement options, cut and copy, adding restrictions or parental controls, zooming in on your iPad, using Slideover, getting around with gestures, and more. If you want to learn a little more about you iPad and how to customize it, we can help with Tutor for iPad: Beyond the Basics.

This tutorial is available for Premium Members only. Curious on how much it is to become a Premium Member? You decide what you want to pay!

Tips and Help

Text Navigation Shortcuts for the Mac You Must Know

Tip Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

You may know that you can move the cursor or insertion point when working with text using your Mac’s arrow keys. But did you know that the Mac offers several shortcuts that let you move around even faster?

In most apps, hold down the Option key when using the left/right arrow keys to move left or right by a word. Use Command and the left/right arrow keys to jump to the beginning or end of the current line. Using Option and the up/down arrow keys moves the insertion point to the beginning or end of the current paragraph. And modifying the up/down arrow keys with Command takes you to the top or bottom of the entire document. Even better, add Shift to any of the above to select text from the current point to where you navigate to, so Shift-Option-Up arrow selects all the text from the insertion point to the beginning of the paragraph.

You may have to force yourself to remember some of thes, but it pays off. I use most of these on a daily basis. Start with learning just a couple shortcuts, then add more down the road. You will not regret it and you’ll wonder how you worked without them!

Tip Mac Keyboard Shortcuts

Tips and Help

What Are QR Codes and How Do You Use Them in on the iPhone or iPad?

QR Codes

You’ve probably seen one of those odd-looking white squares that include a bunch of smaller square dots thus making up a random pattern inside…that’s a QR code. QR stands for “Quick Response,” and a QR code is a type of barcode, just like what you see on the packaging of nearly everything in grocery stores.

For the most part, QR codes are used to store Web links, or URLs. This way an ad can display just the QR code instead of an unwieldy and hard-to-type URL. When you scan the code, you are sent to the webpage. But QR codes aren’t just for ads. They’ve appeared on business cards, in magazines and books, on coins and bills, and even on tombstones, any place it would be nice to help someone load a Web link into a smartphone but where there isn’t enough room for a URL or in situations where viewers won’t remember the URL later. And the links? They can display anything that can appear on the Web: text, photos, videos, games, and more. My wife is a runner and in order for her to check her time at the end of a run, she scans a QR code on her running bib.

QR Codes

So how do you scan a QR code? Only one built-in iPhone app can scan QR codes – the Wallet app – but it understands only QR codes associated with Wallet passes, things like airline boarding passes, concert tickets, and iTunes gift cards. For QR codes that encode any other sort of data, Wallet shows an error. It would be nice if Apple would add general QR scanning capabilities to Wallet or the Camera app, but until that happens, you’ll need another app.

There are numerous QR code scanning apps in the App Store, but if you need a recommendation, give TapMedia’s QR Reader for iPhone a try. It’s free with ads (remove them with a $1.99 in-app purchase), scans both QR codes and traditional barcodes on most commercial products, and displays the associated information within the app. It can even help you create your own QR codes. Also, the iOS version of the Google Chrome Web browser just added the capability to scan QR codes.

To use a QR code scanner, launch the app you downloaded, allow it to access the camera when it asks, and then point it at the QR code. Good apps will scan nearly instantly, but if not, move the camera so the QR code is centered between the guides. If even that doesn’t work, move forward or back so the camera can focus on the centered code.

After scanning the QR code, the app will usually bring up an in-app Web browser to display whatever was encoded. For certain kinds of data, like books or grocery items, the app may go right to Amazon or a price comparison site. Good apps will also keep a record of sites you’ve scanned, so you can go back to them later, even if you can no longer scan the QR code.

So download a QR code scanning app and keep an eye out for QR codes. Once you start looking, you’ll find them everywhere—it’s a modern-day treasure hunt!

Tips and Help

Extend iPhone Battery Life with Low Power Mode

Quick Tip-Low-Power-Mode

There is nothing worse than your iPhone running out of battery when you need it most. Beginning in iOs 9, Apple added a Low Power Mode. This is offered to you when your battery charge drops below 20%, and it’s automatically disabled or turned back off when once your iPhone is charged back up to 80%. You can also enable it manually in Settings > Battery if you anticipate a day when you might run out of power. When you’re in Low Power Mode, certain iPhone features are disabled or turned off, including automatic app downloads, background app refreshing, email fetching, iCloud syncing, and some visual effects. It also reduces display brightness and optimizes device performance to conserve as much power as possible. You can easily see when Low Power Mode is on, the battery icon at the top of the screen turns yellow.

Quick Tip-Low-Power-Mode

Tutor For iPhone - Beyond the Basics

New Tutorial – Tutor for iPhone: Beyond the Basics

Tutor For iPhone - Beyond the Basics

I have a new tutorial available online and for download – Tutor for iPhone: Beyond the Basics. In this tutorial we go beyond the basics of the iPhone and cover multitasking on the iPhone, sharing files using Airdrop, using the keyboard, text replacement options, cut and copy, adding restrictions or parental controls, customizing sounds and vibrations, zooming in on your iPhone, setting up a hotspot with your iPhone, using 3D Touch, and more. If you want to learn a little more about you iPhone and how to customize it, we can help with Tutor for iPhone: Beyond the Basics.

This tutorial is available for Premium Members only. Curious on how much it is to become a Premium Member? You decide what you want to pay!

Tutor for iPad: The Basics
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All New Tutorial for the iPad now Available

Tutor for iPad: The Basics
Tutor for iPad: The BasicsI’m happy to announce I have a new tutorial for the iPad available. Tutor for iPad with iOS 10. This is an all new tutorial showing the basics of how to use the iPad with iOS 10. In the past, this tutorial demonstrated the basics with iOS 8. Even though most of the lessons in that tutorial are still relevant, I thought it was time to update the tutorial using the latest iOS. This tutorial is great for new users to the iPad, although I believe even seasoned users will find something in the lessons that will help them.

This tutorial is free for you to help you learn more about your iPhone! If you like what you see, I ask that you consider becoming a Premium Member to learn more about your Apple devices and help support the site.

For a limited time I have a special offer – you Pay What You Want for Premium Membership. Read more about why I am trying this new pricing model and Pay What You Want to become a Premium Member!

– Dan

Dan Wassink
Noteboom Tutorials

Noteboom News

Pay What You Want Pricing

Pay What You Want PricingI am trying something new – Pay What You Want for Premium Membership. Yes, you decide what you want to pay for membership. This is something I’ve been wanting to try for a while, so I thought ‘why not now?’ You decide what you want to pay for an annual membership or a monthly membership. This is the same Premium Membership as I’ve always had – just with a different pricing structure. When you join, all the tutorials, lessons, and tips are unlocked. This also comes with a 14-day free trial. Sound interesting? Read more about why I am trying this and, if you’d like to become a member, Pay What You Want for Premium Membership.

As always, I hope the tutorials help!

– Dan

Dan Wassink
Noteboom Tutorials

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All New Tutorial for the iPhone with iOS 10

Tutor for iPhone with iOS 10

Tutor for iPhone: The BasicsI’m happy to announce I have a new tutorial for the iPhone available. Tutor for iPhone with iOS 10. This is an all new tutorial showing the basics of how to use the iPhone with iOS 10. In the past this tutorial demonstrated the basics with iOS 8. Even though most of the lessons in that tutorial are still relevant, I thought it was time to update the tutorial using the latest iOS. This tutorial is great for new users to the iPhone, although I believe even seasoned users will find something in the lessons that will help them.

This tutorial is free for you to help you learn more about your iPhone! If you like what you see, I ask that you consider becoming a Premium Member to learn more about your Apple devices and help support the site.

For a limited time I have a special offer – you Pay What You Want for Premium Membership. Read more about why I am trying this new pricing model and Pay What You Want to become a Premium Member!

– Dan

Dan Wassink
Noteboom Tutorials

Tutor for Mac with Sierra
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Tutor for Mac with macOS Sierra added to the site

Tutor for Mac with macOS Sierra

Are you new to the Mac and you are looking for a tutorial to help you get around and understand your Mac with macOS Sierra? We can help with Tutor for Mac. Lessons include getting around the Mac, using the Finder, setting up the default behaviors of your Mac with the System Preferences, and working with applications and documents. We then move to macOS Sierra specific features including new iCloud features, opening documents in tabs, optimizing storage, and more.

This tutorial is split up into two different parts.

The first part, Tutor for Mac: The Basics, is designed to get a new user of the Mac up and running. Even though it is designed for the new user, even the experienced user may find something in it.

The second part, Tutor for Mac: Beyond the Basics, includes tutorials to help the user go further with their Mac including customizing it with System Preferences and more advanced features such as grouping documents and folders and using split-view. You must be a Premium Member to view Tutor for Mac: Beyond the Basics. Join today

Tutor for Tap Forms 5
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Tutor for Tap Forms 5 for the Mac is now available on the site

Tutor for Tap Forms 5

I have an all new tutorial on Tap Forms 5 available on the site. If you aren’t familiar with Tap Forms 5, this is a nice app that makes creating simple databases easy. It reminds me of the now discontinued Bento from Filemaker Pro, which I loved. What can you do with a database manager like Tap Forms 5? Create and manage lists, lots of them. In Tap Forms 5 these lists are called forms and it comes with a number of form templates such as Home Inventory, Frequent Flyer Numbers, Software Licenses, Health Insurance, Home Insurance, and many more. You can even create your own. I personally have a number of old albums and I created a form to help me manage which albums I have. You can also download a free trial of Tap Forms 5 from the developer. Check it out along with our tutorial. It may help in keeping you organized.

Take me to the tutorial.

Tips and Help
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New Tutor Tip: Show Hidden Events in the Calendar app

Tutor Tip: Show Hidden Events in the Calendar App
Have you ever entered an event in your calendar on your iPad or iPhone and once you tap on Add it disappears? In these Tutor Tips we look at how this can happen after adding an event. In most cases this is because the event was added to a hidden calendar. We have it for both the iPad and the iPhone. We hope it helps!

Tutor Tips for iPad: Showing hidden events in the Calendar app

Tutor Tips for iPhone: Showing hidden events in the Calendar app