Friday, March 1, 2013

Switching Between Apps - iPad Getting Started

Here's a common problem iPad or iPhone newcomers often face. You're in your email, see you a link you're interested in and click it. Conveniently, up pops Safari, and takes you to the webpage of interest. 

Okay, now you're done. But – you are still in the Safari app. What happened to your email? How do you get back to it?

Knowing how to switch between apps is fundamental to smoothly navigating your iPad.

There are two options, and both involve the Home button on your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch.

Option #1: just use the Home button

This is simple and easy to remember, although not as quick as option #2.

  1. Tap the Home button (this returns you to your main Home screen)
  2. Find the app you want and tap it
  3. It will open to where you last left off
Downside: With this method, finding the app you want may involve cruising through several screens before it's located.  But it will do the job.

 Option #2: The Home button double tap

Best and consistently quickest option.

  1. Tap the Home button twice in quick succession (double tap it)
  2. A list of app icons will show up on the bottom of your screen
  3. Tap the app you want 
Here's the switching app process in action.
You're checking out your email, and you see an ad you like.  You click on it.

 Now you're on the Internet in the Safari app.  OK, you're done.  Let's get back to email.

Double tap the Home button.

A list of most recently used apps appears at screen bottom, along with a larger preview screen image above.  Notice your email app (the last used) is the leftmost icon. Tap it or its accompanying screen image.

Note: if you have an older Apple device, or have not upgraded to iOS7, your screen will look like the above image.  A list of most recently used apps appears at screen bottom.  Tap the email app icon at the left of the list.

After tapping the email app you've returned to your email, right where you left off!
When you double tap the tap home button, the apps you see are not random - these are a collection of your "last used apps", nicely ordered from left to right in the order you used them.  Swipe that list from right to left and you'll see more apps going even further back in time.

Almost always the app you want will be on the first screen that comes up, making this a 1-2-3 quick process.

By the way, for those new to the tablet world, the "double tap" may take a little getting used to.  The key is the two taps have to be in quick succession; don't die on the vine between taps!  It's "TapTap" not "Tap.....Tap".

As always, these steps for switching between apps work the same for iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch devices.

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