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Start button and open apps

iOS desde cero

The home button is not only one of the main hallmarks of the iPhone (and later the iPad), it is also a reflection of Apple’s philosophy in pursuit of ease of use. A button, that’s all, a button is the only thing that distracts us from the screen’s content and its usefulness is none other than to take us to the home screen no matter where we were before.

Start button and open apps
Start button and open apps

One touch is the escape route from any application, a shortcut to get back to the beginning; but it’s also access to some of the most common and useful features of iOS such as view the apps you have open (two quick taps) or use Siri , Apple’s voice assistant, by holding down the button for just over a second.

We leave Siri for later and focus now on the actions of exiting, closing and switching between applications. The first thing is to understand the difference between quitting and closing: the first one (one touch) takes us to the home screen so we can open another different application but it doesn’t close the application (app) we were using until that moment. iOS is quite smart and even though we have many apps open our iPhone usually “freezes” them when they are not doing anything to save battery and optimize their resources.

Even so, some apps still work in the background, playing music, downloading some information, requesting our GPS position… things we sometimes want them to do and sometimes not. Plus, sometimes they don’t work right and we have to reboot them. But to stop them completely it’s not enough to get out of them, you have to close them, and doing so is as simple as following these steps:

  • With the device unlocked, at any point (either the home screen or an app we’re using) we quickly press the home button twice to see the apps running.
  • Slide your finger across the screen to the left or right to see more by switching between apps.
  • We slide the app up to close it and make it disappear from the list.

This list of open apps is also very useful for moving between them when doing something like consulting a piece of data in the browser while writing an email, or anything else. You only have to click on one of them to open it, either the one in the middle or the ones at the ends. See how fast?

At Apple

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