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iOS speed tips: Launch and find apps like a pro

Kirk McElhearn | July 23, 2013
After you've downloaded loads of apps, finding the one you want can be a drag. Here's how to cut through the clutter.


It's easy to launch apps on your iPad or iPhone, but once you've downloaded dozens, finding the app you want can prove a challenge. Here are some tips to help you cut through the clutter and make your iOS device easier to use.

Put your favorite apps in the Dock
To get quick access to your favorite apps, move the ones you use most into your iOS device's Dock. To do this, tap and hold your finger on an icon until all your apps' icons wiggle. Pick an app in the Dock that you don't use routinely and drag it off. Then, drag the one you want onto the Dock in its place. Your favored app now will be easier to tap one-handed. (If you have an iPhone, your thumb can get to the bottom of the screen more easily than the top.) And, the app will be available from any home screen.

Organize apps with multiple home screens
If you have a lot of apps, you can sort them onto different home screens. To add a home screen, tap and hold your finger on an icon until all your apps' icons wiggle. Then, drag any icon to the right of the screen. Wait a second until your iOS device swipes the home screen to the side and displays a new, empty one and then drop the app there. You can now swipe back to the previous home screen and drag more apps, if you wish. You can see how many home screens you have (and which one you're on) by looking at the tiny line of dots that appears above the Dock and below the home screen's icons.

Group similar apps into folders
Another way to group apps is by creating folders. Tap and hold on an icon until all the icons wiggle, and then drag one app onto another. Then, wait a second. Your iOS device will create a folder, and will give it a name based on its contents—for example "Business" or "Arcade." If you prefer to name it yourself, tap next to the name and type in a new one. Then, tap outside the folder's contents, or press the home button, to close the folder. To launch an app in that folder, tap the folder, and then tap the app's icon.

Put a folder of apps in the Dock
You've seen how to use the Dock, and you've seen how to set up folders. Well, you can also put a folder in  the Dock. Instead of only having four apps accessible from your iPhone's home screen, you could have three apps and a folder, or up to four folders. Once you've moved a folder into the Dock, tap to open it, and then tap an app to launch it.


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