One of the many reasons Apple’s iPhone lineup has been so popular over the years is because of how smooth and consistent the user experience tends to be. When it comes to mobile devices, however, there are always little tricks that can help smooth things out even more. Apple’s new iOS 7.1 software offers some huge performance improvements in addition to big visual changes, new feature additions and some bug fixes. Even still, there are a handful of things users can do in order to ensure that their iPhones, iPads and iPod touch handhelds are running as smoothly as possible.
The Huffington Post has compiled a list of five simple tips and tricks that Apple device owners can use in order to improve the performance and overall user experience on their devices. These tricks are especially important for people who own older iPhones and iPads – all of the new features in Apple’s recent iOS updates bring additional heft to the platform that can really slow older hardware down.
1. Get rid of crap you don’t need
The post advises users to be aware of what’s on their phone and to clear out clutter that is no longer in use. “To check your usage, go to Settings, then General, then scroll down and click Usage. It might take a minute to load, but you’ll be able to see which apps are taking up the most space on your iPhone. Then, remove what you can. That weird game you never play might actually be taking up a ton of space on your phone. Trash it!”
2. Treat it like a computer and clear your browser’s cache
Clearing your iPhone’s browser’s history, cookies and other data can actually have an impact on performance, believe it or not. “To do this, go to Settings, then Safari (or whatever browser app you use), then you’ll see ‘Clear History’ and ‘Clear Cookies and Data.’”
3. Delete old texts
iMessage history is stored in the cloud but heavy SMS users can definitely clear some space by deleting old conversations that are no longer needed. Simply open a chat, and then tap and hold on a sent message until you see the “More…” option pop up. Then choose the messages you want to delete or tap “Delete all.”
If you have a lot of old chats you don’t need, you can also swipe chats to the left in the Messages app’s conversations view to reveal a hidden “Delete” button.
4. Turn off auto app updates
Most people enjoy getting their hands on new features afforded by app updates, but if speed and performance is your top priority, disabling auto-updates might be a good idea. “To turn off auto app updates, go to Settings, then scroll down and click iTunes & App Store. There, push all of the buttons to the left to turn off automatic downloads.”
5. Turn off location services
HuffPo notes that this tip is important not just for speed, but also for battery life and privacy. “A lot of apps use location services to determine where you are, and it’s generally not necessary. Go to Settings, then Privacy, then Location Services. From there, you can choose to turn it off completely (not necessary) or just turn it off for certain apps. Some, like Maps, obviously need your location to best serve you. But many, like Facebook, don’t need to know where you are. Turn off location services for apps that don’t necessitate it. “