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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Random Little Techy Tips

Okay, I know this is a food blog. You’re expecting food. But today I need to share two little techy tips. The first is an iPhone thing that’s still kinda blowing my mind…not because it’s all that life changing, but because I can’t believe I didn’t know it. And another little trick for your computer (Mac or PC) that’s been around forever and a bunch of you probably already know but some of you don’t and need to! Figured if we’re getting techy, may as well throw it in.

Random iPhone Tip: (The following applies to the iPad as well!)
Did you know that when you open an app on your iPhone and then click the home button you are not closing the app? It stays open and runs in the background. I know, crazy, right?

Wanna know how to close an app? You double click the home button and a bar appears at the bottom and shows every app that is open and running in the background.

Press and hold one of the apps (like when you want to move apps around your phone), and a little minus sign will appear in the top left corner of each app icon.

Just tap the minus sign and then the app closes down.

Hit the home button, the minus signs disappear and everything stops wiggling, then hit the home button again to go to your regular screen.

Every single app I have on my phone was running when a person I was sitting next to on the plane showed me this little trick.

Theoretically the apps open faster when they’re running in the background, but I honestly don’t see a difference in speed if I open them from closed or from a running-in-the-background state. I was thinking last night, though, that if you want to flip between apps without first having to go to the home screen and potentially needing to flip through multiple screens, then this actually could come in handy. Of course, I’ll have to retrain my brain to use the phone that way, but it does in fact save you a couple of clicks moving between apps. For example:

I’m in Facebook looking at how cute the pictures I took of my kids are. Suddenly I need to go play a little Words with Friends.

Just double-click. Select Words. Kick a few people’s butts. Double click again. Select Facebook and get back to admiring my own photos.

Is your mind blown? Mine is.

{Update 4/13/12: When I originally wrote this post, I included mis-information about the apps taking up battery power and  processing speed while running in the background…I have since been happily corrected, updated this post and wrote a new post with the new information…click here to see it!}

Random Computer Tip:
Alt+Tab (PC) or Command+Tab (Mac) is my MOST FAVORITE KEYBOARD SHORTCUT IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. Just do it and see what happens. Right now. You’re on a computer, right? Okay, see how it brings up all your programs that are open? And how you can continue holding down Alt/Command and then click tab to move through the programs? I’m sure some of you know this. But I’m also sure some of you don’t. And for those of you who don’t, now you do and your life has changed forever. You’re welcome.

One more random iPhone tip that I just thought of and feel it is my duty to share:
The front glass on an iPhone 4s is NOT FIXABLE. I learned the hard way and it cost me $250. You could replace the front glass on the 3G models, but not these new fandangled iPhones. You may want to go out and buy a more protective case now, especially if you didn’t buy Apple Care. Just sayin’.

That’s all my friends. Go and be techy.


  1. Mind blown! OF COURSE that is a quicker way to move between apps. Will try to remember to do that from now on. Thanks!

  2. 2

    Yep…every single one of my apps was open. No wonder my thing dies in the middle of the day. My mind is blown!
    And Alt Tab is my fav too!

  3. 3

    how many Words with Friends games do you have going on at the same time? 😉

    • Jane Maynard

      it’s RIDICULOUS. I keep getting invites from people I love, I just can’t turn them down! but I must admit that my game is not nearly as good with all these games running. 😉

  4. I love the command +Tab shortcut. I call it toggling and use it all. the. time! My husband downloaded an app for my operating system (Mac, Lions). There is so much it does and I was totally underusing it. I think it was $10.00 but it was totally worth it. I believe they have them for all the Mac operating systems.

    The iPhone tips is great. I never thought about that but it makes a lot of since, you can run other apps while Pandora is open….duh.

  5. Um, I just closed 26 (!!) apps. This was a super helpful tip. Maybe my phone battery won’t need a charge seemingly every hour now …

  6. 6


  7. 7

    I am not very techknowledgeable but… would it be the same concept on an ipad- as far as closing the apps to save battery life?

    • Jane Maynard

      I don’t know why I didn’t think about the iPad…but I just went and checked and the iPad does the same thing. thanks for thinking of that! (I only had two apps running on the iPad, so I think Nate already discovered this, what a smahty 😉 )

  8. 8

    I just showed this to my MIL, she loved it!

  9. 9
    Tanya H

    Because my techy-self grew up in the DOS age I’ve noticed that I save a decent amount of time using keyboard commands vs. always having to use a mouse. Luckily, my 10yr old has a great memory for little snips of info like this so I’m able to pass on my otherwise useless knowledge like: Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V, Ctrl-X, Ctrl-P, Alt-Tab and everything else.
    Glad you figured out the iPhone issue.

    • Jane Maynard

      I am such a keyboard command junkie. it’s just so much faster than a mouse!

      in fact, the “N” on my keyboard is completely worn out! 🙂

  10. 10

    I learned all of this for my daughter….look forward to the days when your kids will be your tech support!

  11. 11

    Ohmigosh! I love these tips!!! I don’t have an iPhone but my boyfriend does and his battery is always low! He’ll love it. And I love the Alt+Tab…my new favorite thing. Thanks for sharing!!!

  12. I also had every single app on my ipad running thanks so much for this tip!

  13. 13

    For those of you with Blackberries, there is a similar thing to find out what apps are open, and I ended up figuring it out for the exact same reason…burning through battery like there was no tomorrow. Anyway, on the Blackberry, press your Blackberry key (the one with the little dots), and click on “Switch Application”…this will bring up all the open applications you are currently running. To close, just mouse over to the application to open it, tap the Blackberry key again, and go to the bottom of the menu to close. Like Jane was saying about the iPhone, reopening the app doesn’t take any more time than usual.

  14. 14

    Double tap the home button twice, then scroll to the left. Try that! Suprise!

  15. Command+Tab is awesome. Did you know… when you have all those applications up…while still holding down command button tab to the one you want to close and hit “Q” and it will shut that application down. I often have way too many things open on the desk top. If things seem to be running a little too slow this is a quick way to shutdown things I’m not using.

    • Jane Maynard

      I didn’t know you could do that, stephanie, and I”m so glad you shared that tidbit – so handy!!!

  16. 16

    my 9 year old shared that tip with me yesterday (2/12) too funny that they know so much more than we do about technology.

  17. 17

    You can get to that hidden menu on the iPad by doing the four finger swipe up as well. If you do the four finger swipe to the side it takes you between apps that are open. However according to my computer geek hubby the smarted programers designed it so that having them open will not chew through your battery. However, if you have a Blackberry or Android it will. Fun tips!

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