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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.

Arrange apps in iTunes
While you can do everything I've described on your iOS device, sometimes it's easier to get organized in iTunes. Connect your iOS device to your Mac. Then, in iTunes, click the Devices list to find your device, and then click the Apps tab. You'll see your main home screen, and all your apps, along with other home screens you've set up. You can drag any app to any home screen, create folders, delete apps and more. When you're finished, click Sync so iTunes sends the new setup to your iOS device.

Use Spotlight to launch apps
If you have lots of apps, tapping folders and swiping through multiple home screens might be a lot of work. There's another way you can do this: Just swipe to the right from the first home screen to bring up the Spotlight search field. Type a few letters of the app you want to launch, and, when you see it in the results list, tap it to launch it.

Dictate to Spotlight
If you don't like typing, you can save some time by dictating to Spotlight. When the Spotlight search field is visible, tap the microphone icon on the keyboard, next to the spacebar. Say the name of the app you want to use and then tap Done. (Note that you probably won't see the name you've dictated until after  you tap Done.) Tap your app in the search results list.

Have Siri launch apps
Using Siri to open apps can be faster than using the Spotlight search field. Press and hold the home button until the Siri screen displays. Say "Launch app name," or "Open app name." Siri will open the app, or, if there are more than one that contains the word you said, it will show a list of apps that match. Tap one to launch it.

Switch to another open app
To see which apps are running, double-press the home button. You'll see a row of icons at the bottom of your screen; these are apps that are currently active. Swipe to the right to see more apps, and tap the one you want to switch to when you find it.


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