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33 expert tips and tricks for iOS 6

Dan Moren and Lex Friedman | Feb. 8, 2013
How well do you really know iOS? Dan Moren and Lex Friedman have assembled a veritable smorgasbord of tips and tricks for Apple's mobile operating system.

Guided Access. While we're talking about limiting what your iOS device can do, now's a good time to mention Guided Access, which you turn on under General > Accessibility. Once you've enabled the feature, go into any other app and triple-click the Home button. That enters Guided Access.

Now, if you want, you can black out certain regions of the current app's interface. Say, for example, that the game your kid will play has an omnipresent Settings button. You can trace a circle around that button, and that section of the app will ignore any taps. The other key feature of Guided Access is that it disables the Home button, so your kid won't accidentally quit the app prematurely. To exit an app in Guided Access mode, you triple-click the Home button again, and provide your passcode.

One added benefit of Guided Access is that it can serve as a better Do Not Disturb, since it silences banner notifications and alert sounds while enabled.

Limit advertiser tracking. If you're going to restrict your children's access, you might as well restrict what marketers can do too, right? Under General, tap on About, and then tap on Advertising way down at the bottom. On the screen that appears, you'll find two options. The first one, Limit Ad Tracking, provides an indicator to Internet advertisers that you don't want them to track which ads you've viewed and engaged with, so they can show you ads that they think may be better suited to you.

The second option on this screen is a button to reset your advertising identifier--a new creation of Apple's in iOS 6; it's meant to be an anonymized tracker that advertisers can use to recognize your interest when showing their ads in apps. Apple doesn't yet require that in-app ads use the identifier, but says that one day it will. If you start seeing in-app ads that seem to know you too well, you can reset your advertising identifier here to start from scratch.

Manage storage on your device. Maybe your iPhone won't let you snap another photo. Perhaps your iPad refuses to let you download one more app. Because iOS storage space isn't expandable, it's important to monitor what's gobbling up the available gigabytes on your device. Here's how. Go to General > Usage in Settings, and wait for a moment or three as iOS calculates which apps are using the most space.

Often, Music and Photos & Camera are the two biggest offenders. If you use a service like iTunes Match, you can safely delete the Music cache on your device to free up space. If you sync your device with your Mac to back up photos and videos, you can delete those photos and videos, too.

 

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