iOS 7 Tips & Tricks: Utilizing Your Home Screen

Our iPhones and iPads are capable of amazing things, but most of us only use a small percentage of their abilities. In this weekly column I share tips and tricks for beginners, or anyone who wants to harness the full power of their iDevice. This week I will cover some tips to help you better utilize your home screen.

1. Navigate home screens faster

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Most of us have at least several pages of home screens filled with apps. To get from one page to another we either swipe to the right or to the left. There is a quicker way to get to that app on say, the fifth page of your home screen. At the bottom of your home screen, right above the dock, you'll see a teeny tiny magnifying glass and a sequence of circles. The circle that is completely white is the page you are currently on. To get to the fifth page, carefully tap on the fifth circle and it skips ahead automatically. Tapping the magnifying glass will take you the the search screen.


2. Rearrange app icons

If you discover you're always using a certain app on that fifth page of your home screen, there's a way to move it to the first screen to make it more convenient. First, touch and hold the app icon you want to move until it starts to do a little jiggle dance (all the other apps will jiggle as well). While holding the icon, drag it towards the left of the screen until it moves to the previous page. Keep moving it to the left until you get to the screen where you want it placed then let go and press the home button. The icons will then stop jiggling. You can also hold the icon and set the exact location you want it placed on the page, or add it to your dock at the bottom of the screen. Likewise, If you don't use one of the apps in your dock often enough, you can drag it out of your dock onto your home screen. Be aware that if you tap the X on top of a jiggling icon it will delete it from your screen.


3. Make a folder for apps

You can put up to 12 apps in one folder on the iPhone and 20 apps on the iPad. Simply drag one app icon into another icon and you'll create a folder that you can name. I've created a folder for all my photography/camera apps and another for my photo editing apps. I even have one folder titled "Zen" where I keep all the apps I use for relaxation.

4. Add favorite websites to home screen

Is there a website you visit often? There's a way to turn that website into an icon shortcut on your home screen. First, go to Safari and access the web page you want to create a shortcut for. Tap the forward arrow at the bottom of the screen then tap Add to Home Screen. You'll see the website's image on your home page as an icon and then you can label it.  

I hope these tips have helped you get the most out of your home screen. I'll have more tips for you next week.

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Paula is a freelance media broadcaster and journalist. She enjoys life at home with her husband, two kids, two dogs, two cats and a parrot. Her iPhone is never more than two feet away from her and she can't imagine life without it.