The more advanced a device is, the more complicated the usage would be. Computers and smart phones are no exception. That’s why people invented many kinds of shortcuts to optimize the usage. If you own an iPhone – one of today’s smartest phones, or have interest to it, you might wonder whether there are shortcuts that you can try to optimize your iPhone usage.
Here are few of them. Some are oldies but goodies, others are relatively new.
1. Taking Screenshot
Let’s start with the easiest one: taking screenshots. You can capture anything on your iPhone screen by simply press the “Home” and “Sleep/Wake” buttons at the same time.
The result will be stored in the “Photos – Camera Roll” album along with other pictures that you take with the built in camera.
2. Tap and Hold icons
If you tap and hold any icon on iPhone screen, the icons will jiggle and you can do several things within this jiggling environment:
- You can re-arrange the icon by dragging and dropping them to the position that you want
- You can delete apps by tapping on the black “X” button which will appear at the top right corner of the app’s icon.
- If you do this on the multitasking bar, you can close the app by tapping on the red “minus (-)” button on the top left of the app’s icon.
3. Functions of Home button – One Click
Being a device with minimal number of available button, iPhone has to optimize the functions of its buttons. Let’s look at the “Home” button. We will start with the obvious: one click.
Clicking it once within an open application will close the application (if you use iOS below 4) or minimize it to tray (under iOS 4 – part of the new multi-tasking feature). But if you click it once without any open application, you will be brought to the Home screen.
And one click from the Home screen will open the search function. Another click will close it.
One click of Home button will also turn the jiggling icons back to normal.
4. Functions of Home button – Two Clicks and Three Clicks
Many of iPhone users are still unfamiliar with the changes of two clicks function under iOS 4. Previously, users can customize two clicks to access iPod/Camera/Favorites/Search under “Settings -> General -> Home“. Now, clicking the Home button twice will open the multitasking bar. You can use the tap and hold trick above to close several – or all – of the opened apps to conserve battery power.
Three clicks of Home button is dedicated to “Accessibility Options” and is customizable under “General -> Accessibility -> Triple-click Home” Settings. The options are: Voice Over, White on Black display, and Zoom (if you choose “Ask“)
5. Quickly jump back to top
Due to the screen size limitation, sometimes you have to scroll far down within an app – like when you browse a long page in mobile Safari. You can quickly jump back to the top of the page just by tapping the status bar (the place where you can see time, signal, battery, etc.)
Please note that this trick might not work on some non-Apple apps.
6. Insert Period, Comma, Numbers and Others, and quickly back to Letters
You might notice that iPhone keyboard layout requires users to tap “Number” button before the “Period” button appear. That’s not very practical, isn’t it?
Turns out that you can quickly insert period (followed by a space) by tapping the “Space” button twice. The keyboard will also capitalize every first letter in a sentence automatically.
While there’s no shortcut available to insert Comma, Numbers, and other common symbols like question mark, colon, quote, etc.; you can save few clicks in inserting those symbols by tapping and holding the number button on the lower left of the keyboard layout and quickly sliding your finger to the symbol that you want to insert.
When you release your finger, the symbol will be inserted to your text and the keyboard layout will go back to letter layout automatically.
7. Select, Copy, Paste and Correct
For these basic editing functions, all you have to do is to tap and hold on the text. A magnifying glass will appear to help you see the part of the text better. Without releasing your finger from the screen, slide to the position where you want the cursor be.
After that you have the option to Select part or all of the text, Copy, Paste or just simply Delete by tapping the backspace button.
These seven shortcuts are just few of the many more available. I hope they could be useful. If you know others, please share using the comment below. And don’t forget to check out our other articles about iPhone/iPod Touch.