iPads and iPhones

Apps and Widgets

Getting Organized

Optimize your home screen to get more from your device. In this lesson, we'll learn:

  1. How to organize the apps and widgets on your home screen.

  2. Quickly locate apps on your device.

  3. Using the App Store to get new apps.

What's an App?

An App is a short form for an application or a software program. If you were to imagine your phone as a swiss army knife, an app would be like the blades. Each has a different purpose and function, but all the apps are contained in the same device.

Like a swiss army knife, some blades are more useful to you than others. Some make you wonder what their purpose is. In the same way, there are apps on your iPad or iPhone that you likely use often and others that you never use.

Thankfully, your device is very configurable, so you can conveniently put the most used apps at your fingertips!

Two Kinds of Buttons

On your home screen, there can be two types of buttons. Apps are the small square buttons that open the associated program when pressed. You may also have larger items on your screen that show detailed information. These widgets are also buttons and similarly will open their associated program when pressed.

You can completely organize your home screens with whatever apps and widgets you like. The main goal is to make it quick and easy to access the things you use most often.

Customizing Your Home Screen

One of the best things you can do is organize your Home Screens so that they are focussed on the Apps and features you want to use. Take some time to make your device productive by:

  1. Long press any App on the Home Screen until they start shaking.

  2. Drag Apps to move them around on the screen.

  3. Press the "x" at the top an App to remove or uninstall it from the screen.

  4. Drag Apps on to other Apps create a group.

  5. Drag to the side of a screen to flip the next screen.

  6. Drag your favourite Apps to the Dock.

  7. Press Home button to finish customization.

Adding Some Widgets

Widgets let you see helpful information at-a-glance on your home screen. You can use widgets to show you a summary of the current weather or preview your messages and appointments.

Here's how to add a widget to your home screen:

  1. Long press any App on the home screen until they start shaking.

  2. Press the "plus" button at the top left of the screen.

  3. Choose the application and the style of any available widgets.

  4. Press Add Widget.

Search, Don't Hunt

It can be a challenge to find those apps you use less often. So rather than poking around on your screens, try searching instead!

Here's how:

  1. Swipe down from the middle of the Home Screen or the Lock Screen to access the Search Screen.

  2. Tap the search area and type what you're looking for.

  3. Select the item when it appears.

Adding New Apps

Looking for a new app that isn't currently on your phone? Just open up the App Store and choose from the nearly 2 million apps available. Some apps require a direct purchase; others are free with in-app purchases or advertising.

Before getting a new app, it's always best to ask yourself a few questions:

  • Utility: Why do I want this app, and do I really need it?

  • Reputation: Who makes this app, how many other people use it, and what are they saying about it?

Staying Up To Date

Your device is constantly keeping its apps up to date with the latest security and performance changes. These updates should happen automatically, but sometimes there may be problems. For example, if you have not been connected to a Wifi network for some time, you may not get apps updated automatically.

You can check the status of app updates when you are in the App Store. Here's how:

  1. Access the App Store.

  2. Press your profile icon at the top of the screen.

  3. Check the screen for outstanding updates. Choose Update All to force the updates to complete.

Getting an App

Since there are so many apps on the App Store, it's best to search for what you want. For example, suppose you wanted to load the Google Maps app onto your iPhone instead of using the built-in Maps.

Here are the steps:

  1. Access the App Store

  2. Press on the Search icon at the bottom right of the screen.

  3. Choose an entry from the search results to view the app details

  4. Check the previews, ratings and reviews, seller, and compatibility information.

  5. Once you're confident this is the app you want, choose the Get or Buy icon to download it to your device.

  6. After the download is complete, choose Install. Wait for the install to finish.

  7. Allow the app to have permissions to function properly.

It's always a good idea to agree to app permissions. If you don't trust an app, don't install it! Otherwise, it's not reasonable for you to understand how denying permissions will impact the functionality of the app.