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Apple user's dictionary of tech jargon

David Price | May 10, 2016
From Arrangement Mode to Xcode: we explain all the jargon in our plain-English dictionary of tech terms, focusing on concepts that affect Apple fans

(Pre-Touch ID Home buttons are known to stop working, unfortunately. If your iPhone's Home button isn't responding, try this fix.)

What is a home screen?

The main screen that displays available apps and folders in iOS. You can flick left and right to show more apps and folders.

What is HomeKit?

HomeKit is a developer framework by Apple - a software platform around which other companies will create a variety of home-automation products that can be controlled via iOS devices.

What's a hotspot?

A Wi-Fi hotspot is a point where you can access the internet wirelessly; you might find hotspots in various public locations, such as cafés and libraries. You can alsocreate your own Wi-Fi hotspot using your iPhone.

Also worth mentioning what a hotspot is not.

What is HTTPS?

HTTPS, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure, is a secure version of the standard HTTP technology used to deliver page information across the web. An encrypted protocol called SSL/TLS ensures that transmissions cannot be intercepted or altered by third parties.

In other words, look out for 'HTTPS' in the URL of a site you're visiting: it indicates a broadly higher level of security, and offers some reassurance that you're on a legitimate website rather than a data-harvesting imposter.

What is iBooks?

App created by Apple to display e-books. 

What is the iBookStore?

Apple store used to access free and purchased iBooks. Part of the iBooks app in iOS, or can be accessed through iTunes on Mac OS X.

What is an ICCID, and what does ICCID stand for?

ICCID is the technical name for what's commonly called a SIM number. It stands for Integrated Circuit Card Identifier. You can read it straight off the SIM card, or access it via your iPhone's Settings app.

What is iCloud?

A range of cloud services offered by Apple. Notable features include push email, contact sync, calendar sync, Find My iPhone/iPad and iTunes Match.

What is an IMEI, and what does IMEI stand for?

IMEI stands for International Mobile [Station] Equipment Identity. Each mobile phone has a unique IMEI identifier, used for the purposes of listing stolen phones and various other things.

What is iMessage?

Service offered by Apple that enables users to send SMS-style text messages between Mac OS X and iOS devices. Free to send but requires both users to have an Apple ID. If iMessage is not available message is sent from iPhone using SMS instead (which is charged for).

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (or IoT) is the currently fashionable term for web- or app-connected devices and appliances outside the traditional realm of tech: cooking appliances, central heating and so on.


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