Mac Power Users 461: Little Known iOS Tips


#1

#2

Two thumbs up… Episodes like this one have takeaways that enhance my life.

I discovered iOS trackpad a few months ago. Darn, it makes editing on phone or pad easier.


#3

Good coverage on some hard to discover features.

My favorite one seems to never be mentioned by anyone - Under accessibility there is a feature called “Assistive Touch”.

This allows you to have a floating translucent button appear on the screen and when you touch it, you get a submenu of quick action buttons.

You can configure how many buttons are in the submenu and what they do.

There are many uses for this, but my favorite is to use it for triggering a screen capture.

On all iOS devices without a physical home button, it has become a real two-handed PITA juggling procedure (press and hold side button then you have to press volume up button at exactly the same time).

I always forget this procedure and it takes me several tries to get it right.

This is especially a problem if I am trying to capture a screen of an app that changes and isn’t static - such as an error message that will auto-clear after a few seconds or a similar glitch.

With Assistive touch, I can much more easily trigger the screen capture.

Added tip: You might be tempted to configure Assistive Touch for a single button - when you do that, the moment you touch the translucent button on the screen, it will perform the function.

To avoid “false triggering”, I configure Assistive touch to have at least two buttons. (I just configure the second button to do something innocuous like bring up the control panel).

Then, the first touch will pop-up the secondary layer of two buttons and then I can hit the button I want or just back out.

Makes more sense when you are using it - sorry but a bit hard to explain in written form.


#4

Haven’t listened to the episode but I see in the show notes that AnyFont ($1.99) is mentioned. I own AnyFont and like it but I thought I’d point out that an alternative is Fonteer, which is free for installing up to 3 fonts before incurring its own $1.99 IAP to unlock more font imports.


#5

Just discovered by accident: in Tweetbot swipe up with two fingers to quick-change to dark mode and back. Works on iPad… not sure on iPhone.


#6

About 3D Touch…It would be so much more usable if there was some kind of indicator when something is 3D touchable. I’m not gonna try hard pressing everything I can, just in case there’s some hidden feature somewhere in there.


#7

Great episode! To be honest, when I saw the title I didn’t expect to hear much new to me. But I was wrong! Swipe the „homebutton line“ to switch directly on the new phone! That was worth the show already!

A question I might as well ask here: why on earth do I have double tap the side button when installing an app recently? That makes no sense to me!


#8

@katiefloyd has 5 Homepods! Katie is a sensible purchaser, so her having multiples of any particular device has GOT to be a sign of something positive. I’ve got to get onboard with this home automation stuff!


#9

The horizontal line at the bottom of the display that you swipe to go home/switch apps/etc. on the newer iPhones and iPads is called the home indicator.

You can swipe down on the home indicator on the iPhone to activate reachability (same as double tapping the home button on earlier iPhone models).


#10

Just tried that, but it won’t work. There is not much space to swipe to and if I start above that line I just scrill the text.


#11

It is a setting under General > Accessiblity that you have to turn on first (sorry, I’ve had it on my phone long enough that I forgot you have to enable it first).


#12

Yes, it works! That’s great on the Xs max, reaching the top left was one of my only pain points with it. Thanks!


#13

Great episode ! I learned a lot.

My 2 cents. I have an iPhone 8 and an iPad Pro 2016 10.5.

  • Force Touch or 3D touch is very confusing, as iPhone has, and not the iPad. The common denominator is for me not to use 3D Touch, and rely only on “long” press instead.
  • long press doesn’t have the same behaviour in iPohne 8 and iPad Pro 10.5. On iPhone, icons jiggle and I can move or delete them. On iPad, I can move them when they “grow”, a longer long press make them jiggle. Very inconsistent in fact,
  • on iPad, while in an app, I have the habit to 4-finger-swipe-right to swich to the last app opened.I notice recently, that 4-finger-swipe-left works also on some occasion, but I can’t do it consistently. This make me discover the swipe from bottom, then right or left to do the same.
  • My first iPhone has been a iPhone 4. The camera on the lock screen have always been at the lower right corner… even on the dashboard, with the swipe up. I always could open the camera with one finger and one hand. Which is very handy to quickly take a photo. Now, swipe down from the top, make quite unpractical at least on my iPad. The iPhone 8 has not this (yet).

I’ve not yet finished listening to the episode… More to come later, but I’m already excited !


#14

You can think of this as having all of your previously used apps in a long row stretching of to the left. Swiping left-to-right (either 4 finger or on the home indicator) will take you to the next app to the left (your previous app). Swipe left-to-right again, you get the app you were using before that, etc.

Once you’ve swiped left-to-right, the system will briefly keep the apps in the same order, so you have the app you just switched from off to the right, the app you just switched to on the screen, and the apps you were using before that off to the left. If you immeaditely swipe right-to-left, you’ll go back to the app you just switched from. However, after a few seconds the system basically says, “the user has now really switched to this app, so I should treat the app they just switched from as the previous app and put it on the left”.

So you can openly swipe right-to-left to immeaditely switch back to an app you just switched from by swiping left-to-right.


#15

If your phone attaches to your car via Bluetooth you can ask siri “where did I park my car?” and it will show you on a map the last location where your phone saw that Bluetooth connection.


#16

Interesting. I didn’t know that’s how it works. I thought it was just random… :slight_smile:


#17

Confession.

I am one of those people who, on a daily basis, turns on the app switcher and closes a heap of apps. It’s got nothing to do with saving battery; I don’t like clutter and the fewer apps I have to switch through to find the one I’m looking for, the better.


#18

I see no need to rail against people closing apps, or apologize for doing so. In most cases it doesn’t help anything, but it is innocuous. Your phone, your choice.


#19

Force closing apps can lead to a loss of data, if you close an app before everything is closed or synced.


#20

Sure, as can rebooting your phone before syncing is complete. Different issue though. If people want to close apps they don’t use, they should feel free too.