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The World of iPad Apps

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This chapter is from the book

Monitoring and Managing Your Apps

For most users, you don’t need to do anything extra to keep your apps running smoothly. However, you do have a variety of tools that let you see how much storage space and battery power your apps are using, and whether they are accessing your location and other information.

Viewing App Storage Information

To see how much storage space each app is using on your iPad, go to the Settings app.

  • circle-1.jpg Tap the Settings app icon.

  • circle-2.jpg Tap General settings.
  • circle-3.jpg Tap Usage.

  • circle-4.jpg Tap Manage Storage under the Storage heading, not the iCloud heading.

  • circle-5.jpg You see a list of all your apps sorted by how much storage they are using. Tap any app for more details.

  • circle-6.jpg For the majority of apps, you will simply see another screen with the app size, version number, and total storage being used.
  • circle-7.jpg You always have the option to delete the app from your iPad, too, without needing to go back to the Home screen to do it.

  • circle-8.jpg For some apps, you get a list of content and a breakdown of how much space each item is using.
  • circle-9.jpg You can often swipe right-to-left to reveal a delete button for each item.
  • circle-10.jpg Another way to delete content is to use the Edit button, and then select items to be deleted.

Viewing Battery Usage

If you notice your iPad’s battery life isn’t as long as you think it should be, it could be because an app is using more than its share. You can check the battery usage for each app in the Settings app.

  • circle-1.jpg Repeat steps 1 through 3 of the previous task, but this time tap on Battery Usage.

  • circle-2.jpg Tap either Last 24 Hours or Last 7 Days to get an idea of how much battery each app has been using. If you haven’t been using your iPad unplugged from power for a while, you might not see any apps listed at all.
  • circle-3.jpg The list gives you an idea of which app may be an energy hog. Keep in mind that it is relative. In this example, I only had the iPad unplugged from power for a short while, and I used Keynote most of that time. So naturally, Keynote shows up as the top consumer of power. If I had used Keynote for 2 hours, and then a game for 5 minutes, and that game used nearly as much power during those 5 minutes as Keynote did in 2 hours, I would know that the game consumed a lot of power.

Viewing Location Usage

Another thing apps use is information. Of particular use is your location. This helps mapping and information apps to give you relevant results, for instance. You can see which apps use your location and how often they access it in the Settings app.

Remember that your iPad can get your location even if you do not have a mobile wireless data plan. It will look at which Wi-Fi hotspots are near, and figure out your location from a database that knows where these hotspots are located.

  • circle-1.jpg In the Settings app, go to the Privacy settings.
  • circle-2.jpg Tap Location Services.

  • circle-3.jpg Here you see a list of apps that access your location. Some apps access your location only while they are the app you are currently using. Other apps access that information even while they are running in the background. Keep in mind that this is about permissions, not usage. Just because an app has been given permission to access your location in the background doesn’t mean it is always doing so.
  • circle-4.jpg The little compass needle icons are color-coded to let you know how often your location is used by the apps. For instance, three apps show a gray icon, which means that they have used your location in the last 24 hours, but not recently.
  • circle-5.jpg You can tap any item to revoke location access, or in some cases change it from Always to While Using the App.

Viewing Information Sharing Permissions

Some apps communicate with each other. For instance, Keynote might have access to your photo library, or Skype may have access to your Contacts database. You are usually asked for permission when this first happens. For instance, the first time you insert an image into a Keynote presentation, a dialog pops up asking for you to grant permission for Keynote to access your photos.

You can view these connections between apps in the Settings app. You can also revoke these permissions.

  • circle-1.jpg In the Settings app, tap Privacy.
  • circle-2.jpg You see a list of apps that share information. Tap any one to see the other apps that have asked for permission to get information from them.

  • circle-3.jpg In this case, four apps have asked for permission to access the photo library. Some built-in apps that are part of iOS, like Contacts or Camera, won’t be listed.
  • circle-4.jpg You can switch off access to any app. Keep in mind that this could have consequences and the app might no longer be able to get the information it needs to operate.

Modifying Notifications Settings

When you start using an app, it might ask you if it is okay for it to send you notifications. These are little alert boxes in the middle of your screen, or messages at the top of your screen, that appear when something happens that the app wants you to know about. Apps need your permission to show you these notifications, which is why they ask. You can change your decision later by using the Settings app.

  • circle-1.jpg Open the Settings app and tap Notifications.
  • circle-2.jpg The first setting applies to the Notifications Center. See “Using Notifications Center” in Chapter 1. You can have all the items in the Notifications Center sorted by time, or sorted manually in an order you specify, by tapping one of these options.
  • circle-3.jpg If you choose the manual option in step 2, tap Edit at the top right of the screen to arrange the apps listed on this screen. Set them in the order you want them to appear in Notifications Center.
  • circle-4.jpg Tap an app to edit its settings.

  • circle-5.jpg Choosing the None alert style means that neither a banner nor alert will appear.
  • circle-6.jpg Choosing Banners means that a drop-down banner appears when the app has a message, and it will go away on its own after a few seconds. These do not interrupt your work when they appear.
  • circle-7.jpg Choosing Alerts means that a box pops up in the middle of the screen when the app has a message, and you must dismiss it to continue.
  • circle-8.jpg Turning on Badge App Icon means that the app’s icon shows a number over it when there is a message.
  • circle-9.jpg Many apps let you set the specific sound used. Tap Alert Sound to specify the sound the app uses.
  • circle-10.jpg Tap Show in Notifications Center to choose how many alerts appear in the list in Notifications Center. You can also choose No Recent Items to indicate that you don’t want to see them in the Notifications Center at all.
  • circle-11.jpg Show on Lock Screen means that alerts from this app appear, even when the iPad is locked.
  • circle-12.jpg Turn off Show Preview if you prefer that the small preview of the message does not appear with the alert.

  • circle-13.jpg Tap Repeat Alerts to configure whether the alert repeats after a few minutes, and how many times. It is useful to have an alert repeat in case you missed it the first time.
  • circle-14.jpg Tap Show Alerts from My Contacts to remove the blue checkmark beside Show Alerts from Everyone. For the Messages app, this turns off alerts for those not in your contacts list.
  • circle-15.jpg If you want to completely disable an app’s ability to send you notifications, you can do this quickly by just switching off Allow Notifications.

    Each app has its own set of settings, so take a few minutes to go through them all and see what options are offered. As you add new apps to your iPad, any that use the Notifications Center are added to this list, so it is a good idea to occasionally review your settings.

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