How to Force Reboot and Quit Apps on iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch

Like all operating systems, sometimes iOS will slow down or applications will freeze. Today, we’ll be showing you what to do in those scenarios by explaining how to force quit applications and how to force reboot the OS.
If you do have an application freeze, your best bet will be to try and force quit the application first. It that doesn’t work, or your device is completely frozen, you can force reboot your device instead.


Force Quit Apps Using Task Switcher (iOS4 Only)

There are two ways to quit apps on iOS devices: the manual method, and the software method, which only works on newer devices able to run iOS4 with multi-tasking enabled.
Since multitasking is enabled on iOS 4, all we need to do to quit an app is open the task switcher by hitting the home button twice, and then hold down on the app we want to quit until it starts jiggling. A red “-” should appear on the corner of the app icon. If we press it, it will quit the app:

Manually Force Quit Apps

If you’re using an older device that doesn’t support multi-tasking, you can quit an application manually—though this also works as a force quit on the newer devices if you prefer. You’ll need to follow the following steps:

  • Hold down the Sleep/Wake Button on the top.
  • Wait for a red slider to appear. Don’t slide it.
  • Let go of the Sleep/Wake Button.
  • Hold down the home button and the app will force quit.

Once you’re back on the home screen the application should be closed, and you can re-open it normally again. Here’s a diagram to better illustrate how it works:

Reboot Your Device Normally

If your device is completely frozen, or you’re having other problems, you’ll want to reboot your device instead of just quitting an app. You can simply hold down the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider appears, and then slide it across.

Once the device is off, you can use the Sleep/Wake button to turn it back on again—just hold the button down.

Force Your Device to Reboot Manually

If the device is just completely frozen—which shouldn’t usually happen, but every so often it does—you can hold down both the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time until the device reboots itself.

Make sure you let go of the buttons once the device starts rebooting, otherwise you might end up in Recovery Mode, which you probably don’t want.

How to Maximize Battery Life on Your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch

So you got yourself a shiny new Apple device, but you’re so addicted that the battery is running out way too soon—what you need is a couple of tips to keep your battery running for as long as possible, and we’ve got them here.
Many of these tips are going to be common sense, and won’t be a surprise to the more geeky readers, but now you’ll have an article you can send to your less geek friends and relatives when they ask you how to improve their battery life. And we’ve got a battery life article for Android too.


Keep Your iDevice Out of the Sun

Whatever you do, don’t leave your iPhone or iPod sitting in a hot car—heat kills batteries faster than any other factor, and your device that used to keep a charge for hours will eventually barely hold a charge, and you’ll have to pay Apple to get it replaced. The same thing holds true for any really hot environment: try and store your device in a cool place.

Reduce the Screen Brightness

If you keep the screen at maximum brightness all the time, you’re wasting a lot of battery life—and the screens these days are so bright anyway that you don’t really need to, especially at night. Head into Settings -> Brightness & Wallpaper to adjust the default level of brightness, which you can probably keep as low as 30% most of the time.

Make Sure the Screen Locks Quickly

Even if you’ve adjusted the screen brightness, there’s still no substitute for having it turn off quickly when you’re not using it. Head into General -> Auto-Lock to set the screen lock to happen as quickly as your device will let you. This makes a big difference if you are always picking up your phone and putting it back into your pocket without turning the display off.

Use Airplane Mode When You Don’t Need Internet (iPad/iPhone)

If you’re busy spending the next 8 hours playing Angry Birds, there might not be a good reason to have internet access, so you can consider using Airplane Mode, which turns off both Wi-Fi and the regular wireless radio. Of course, this will prevent phone calls if you’re on an iPhone—but if you’re busy with Angry Birds you probably don’t want the interruption anyway.

The more important reason to use Airplane Mode is when you’re mobile in an area with a really spotty connection—because the iPhone or iPad will try to stay connected at all times, it’s going to be constantly searching for a connection, which can drain your battery. Head into Settings and flip the Airplane Mode switch right up at the top of the screen.

Use Wi-Fi Instead of 3G if Possible

According to Apple, the iPad will get 10 hours of battery life under regular use with Wi-Fi enabled, but will only get 9 hours using 3G—the iPhone gets 6 for 3G and 10 for Wi-Fi. Of course, if you’re heavily using the Wi-Fi, you’ll still be draining the battery—the point is under similar workloads, Wi-Fi is better than 3G for battery life.
You can enable Wi-Fi under Settings -> Wi-Fi, and then pick the network you’d like to connect to.

Reduce or Eliminate Mail & Calendar Checking

If you’ve got a bunch of email, calendar, or contact accounts configured, and they are all being checked and downloading email on a regular basis, you’ll be draining the battery an awful lot faster than you need to.
Head into Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Fetch New Data and change the setting to the least frequent check possible. If you don’t use it often, you can just turn Push off entirely and then manually check when you need to.

Reduce or Eliminate Push Notifications

Do you really need notifications from Twitter or whatever other apps you’re running? You can turn these off one-by-one, or turn off Push entirely by heading into Settings -> Notifications, and save a bit of extra battery life since your device won’t be pulling in data for those applications anymore.

Reduce or Eliminate System Sounds

This one is probably a little silly, but if you really don’t care for the system sounds you can save a small amount of battery life by removing the sounds. A very, very small amount, most likely. Head into Settings -> General -> Sounds to change them.

Disable Location Services

If you don’t really need the location services, you can disable them to save some battery life. Head into Settings -> General and flip the Location Services setting to off.

Disable Bluetooth If You Don’t Need It

If you don’t use a Bluetooth headset or keyboard, you should keep the Bluetooth radio disabled to save some extra battery life. Head into Settings -> General -> Bluetooth to flip it on or off.

Disable Vibrate Feature in Games

If you’ve got a game that uses the vibrate feature, you can turn that off to save some battery life. This mostly matters if the game heavily uses it, and you’ll need to change the setting for the game. As a side note, and it should go without saying, if you’re running really intensive video games, they will kill your battery very quickly.

Charge and Discharge Your Battery Regularly

Your iDevice needs to be fully discharged and recharged at least once a month to operate at maximum efficiency and keep the battery from dying. You’ll also want to make sure that you don’t store the device with a dead battery, as that can also cause the battery to lose charge capability—when your battery dies, make sure to recharge it quickly.

That’s it for our tips—how do you save battery life for your iDevice? Share your experience in the comments.

How to Never Use iTunes With Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch

iTunes isn’t an amazing program on Windows. There was a time when Apple device users had to plug their devices into their PCs or Macs and use iTunes for device activation, updates, and syncing, but iTunes is no longer necessary.
Apple still allows you to use iTunes for these things, but you don’t have to. Your iOS device can function independently from iTunes, so you should never be forced to plug it into a PC or Mac.


Device Activation

When the iPad first came out, it was touted as a device that could replace full PCs and Macs for people who only needed to perform light computing tasks. Yet, to set up a new iPad, users had to plug it into a PC or Mac running iTunes and use iTunes to activate the device.
This is no longer necessary. With new iPads, iPhones, and iPod Touches, you can simply go through the setup process after turning on your new device without ever having to plug it into iTunes. Just connect to a Wi-Fi or cellular data network and log in with your Apple ID when prompted. You’ll still see an option that allows you to activate the device via iTunes, but this should only be necessary if you don’t have a wireless Internet connection available for your device.

Operating System Updates

You no longer have to use Apple’s iTunes software to update to a new version of Apple’s iOS operating system, either. Just open the Settings app on your device, select the General category, and tap Software Update. You’ll be able to update right from your device without ever opening iTunes.

Purchased iTunes Media

Apple allows you to easily access content you’ve purchased from the iTunes Store on any device. You don’t have to connect your device to your computer and sync via iTunes.
For example, you can purchase a movie from the iTunes Store. Then, without any syncing, you can open the iTunes Store app on any of your iOS devices, tap the Purchased section, and see stuff you’ve downloaded. You can download the content right from the store to your device.
This also works for apps — apps you purchase from the App Store can be accessed in the Purchased section on the App Store on your device later. You don’t have to sync apps from iTunes to your device, although iTunes still allows you to.
You can even set up automatic downloads from the iTunes & App Store settings screen. This would allow you to purchase content on one device and have it automatically download to your other devices without any hassle.


Apple allows you to re-download purchased music from the iTunes Store in the same way. However, there’s a good chance you have your own music you didn’t purchase from iTunes. Maybe you spent time ripping it all from your old CDs and you’ve been syncing it to your devices via iTunes ever since.
Apple’s solution for this is named iTunes Match. This feature isn’t free, but it’s not a bad deal at all. For $25 per year, Apple allows you to upload all your music to your iCloud account. You can then access all your music from any iPhone, IPad, or iPod Touch. You can stream all your music — perfect if you have a huge library and little storage on your device — and choose which songs you want to download to your device for offline use.
When you add additional music to your computer, iTunes will notice it and upload it using iTunes Match, making it available for streaming and downloading directly from your iOS devices without any syncing.
This feature is named iTunes Match because it doesn’t just upload music — if Apple already has a song you upload, it will “match” your song with Apple’s copy. This means you may get higher-quality versions of your songs if you ripped them from CD at a lower bitrate.


You don’t have to use iTunes to subscribe to podcasts and sync them to your devices. Even if you have a lowly iPod Touch, you can install Apple’s Podcasts app from the app store. Use it to subscribe to podcasts and configure them to automatically download directly to your device. You can use other podcast apps for this, too.


You can continue backing up your device’s data through iTunes, generating local backups that are stored on your computer. However, new iOS devices are configured to automatically back up their data to iCloud. This happens automatically in the background without you even having to think about it, and you can restore such backups when setting up a device simply by logging in with your Apple ID.

Personal Data

In the days of PalmPilots, people would use desktop programs like iTunes to sync their email, contacts, and calendar events with their mobile devices.
You probably shouldn’t have to sync this data form your computer. Just sign into your email account — for example, a Gmail account — on your device and iOS will automatically pull your email, contacts, and calendar events from your associated account.


Rather than connecting your iOS device to your computer and syncing photos from it, you can use an app that automatically uploads your photos to a web service. Dropbox, Google+, and even Flickr all have this feature in their apps. You’ll be able to access your photos from any computer and have a backup copy without any syncing required.

You may still need to use iTunes if you want to sync local music without paying for iTunes Match or copy local video files to your device. Copying large local files over is the only real scenario where you’d need iTunes.
If you don’t need to copy such files over, you can go ahead and uninstall iTunes from your Windows PC if you like. You shouldn’t need it.

How to Print From an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch

If the paperless office isn’t here for you yet, you can print from your iPad or iPhone. Sure, you can’t directly connect a printer to your iPad, but there are plenty of ways to print wirelessly.
This doesn’t mean old wired USB printers are left out — if you have a wired printer, you can still print to it from your iPad or iPhone after connecting it to a Windows PC or Mac.



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AirPrint is the Apple-approved wireless printing standard. It’s integrated into Apple’s iOS, so it’s easy to print to AirPrint-enabled printers from an iPad or iPhone.
To use AirPrint, you’ll have to buy a wireless printer that’s advertised as supporting AirPrint. If you’re interested in turning an old printer into an AirPrint-enabled printer, you can try turning any printer into an AirPrint-enabled printer. Bear in mind that this isn’t officially supported by Apple, so it may not work perfectly.
A quick search on Amazon shows that AirPrint-enabled printers can be had for as little as $60. Buy one of these printers and go through its setup process to connect to your Wi-Fi network. When your iPad and an AirPrint printer are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, your iPad will automatically detect the printer. When you select the Print option in an app — like the Safari web browser, for example — you’ll be able to choose from a list of automatically detected AirPrint printers and print to them. There’s no tedious setup process, accounts, or printer drivers required.
AirPrint-enabled printers don’t just work with Apple devices. They also function as Wi-Fi printers so you can print to them from a Windows or Linux PC. Some AirPrint-enabled printers may include Google Cloud Print support, too.

Google Cloud Print

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Google Cloud Print is Google’s wireless printing solution. It takes a little bit more work to set up because it requires a Google account, but it has other advantages. With Google Cloud Print, you could print to your printer over the Internet — so you could print to a printer at home when you’re out and about. Google Cloud Print isn’t integrated as nicely into Apple’s iOS, but you can print to Google Cloud Print-enabled printers from the Chrome browser app.
To use Google Cloud Print, you’ll first need to set it up on your printer. If you have a Google Cloud Print-enabled printer, you can set this up directly on your printer — your printer connects to Wi-Fi, talks to Google’s servers, and becomes associated with your Google account. If you have an older printer, you’ll have to set it up through a Windows PC or Mac. Once you’ve got everything set up, you can tap Chrome menu button, tap Print, and select Google Cloud Print.
To set up Google Cloud Print on an older computer, connect it to the older computer and install the Chrome browser. Go through the Google Cloud Print setup process in Chrome to associate the printer with your Google account. You’ll now be able to print to the printer from Chrome on your iPad when the computer is running and Chrome is open. The Chrome app sends your request to Google’s servers, which send it to the Chrome browser on the PC, which sends it to the printer.
If you want to other types of documents to a Google Cloud Print-enabled printer, you may want to try PrintCentral Pro. Google advertises this paid app on their official list of apps that work with Google Cloud Print.

Manufacturer-Specific Printing Apps

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Printer manufacturers generally provide their own apps so people who buy their wireless printers can easily print from iPads, iPhones, and even Android devices. If you have a wireless printer that doesn’t support AirPrint or Google Cloud Print, you may want to give your printer manufacture’s app a try.
Open the App Store and do a search for the name of your printer manufacturer to find the appropriate app. You’ll find official apps like HP ePrint, Samsung Mobile Print, Canon Mobile Printing, Epson iPrint and Lexmark Mobile Printing. There are even some unofficial apps you can choose from. These apps generally let you open a variety of different files — web pages, photos, documents, and other things — and print them from within the app. Different apps have different features, and some manufacturers’ apps will work better than others.

That’s it; you can now print web pages, photos, emails, and other documents from your iPad. But try not to print too much — that printer ink is expensive.
Image Credit: Danny Sullivan on Flickr