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  1. Computer Skills
  2. iOS 11
Computers

How to Solve App Related Problems in iOS 11: Part 1

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:

An iOS device is an impressive piece of industrial design, both defined and constrained by its apps. App problems run the gamut from not being able to find an app or its data to an app behaving strangely or crashing repeatedly.

In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to solve app related problems on iOS 11. The aim of this tutorial is to help you understand and solve app related problems on your own. 

Note: For this tutorial, I’ve used 9.7 inch iPad (2017) with iOS 11.2.1. If you’re using older version of iOS, then some options might be available elsewhere or not available.

1. Prevent Spotlight Searches in Specific Apps

Spotlight enables you to swiftly search the device for apps, contacts, songs, and more.

Developers integrate their apps with Spotlight to give it nearly omniscient search powers. When you install an app that supports Spotlight, it's automatically added to the Spotlight index.

That means that when you search, you might see results from different apps. You may or may not want this. This is inefficient, slow and unnecessarily clutter’s the search results.

To turn off searches on an app-by-app basis, open Settings and tap Siri & Search

From the list of installed apps, tap the chosen app and turn off Search & Siri Suggestions. This removes the app from Spotlight index and results view. You can also either allow or prevent an app from appearing in Search and Siri app suggestions.

If you’d prefer, you can search the device without having Siri suggesting to you what apps to use or websites by turning off Siri Suggestions in the menu. Open the Settings app and tap Siri & Search. Turn off Suggestions in Search.

configure spotlight search in iOS11
Configure Spotlight Search in iOS 11

2. Difficulty in Locating an App

The App Store comprises a million apps or more. It’s easy to get carried away and end up with hundred of apps scattered over a dozen or more pages. 

 Since the apps were most likely installed in no particular order, finding a particular app can be time consuming. 

There's four ways to solve this problem.

1. Use Spotlight to Search Apps

Touch a finger on the screen and drag down to reveal Spotlight search. Type the app name and press Search

If you’re on the lock screen or first page of the Home screen, swipe right to enter the Widgets screen. you’ll see Spotlight search box at the top.

2. Organise Apps into Folders

Touch and hold any icon for a few seconds, until all the icons starts to shake. Move the icon around a little bit. Then with the finger of other hand, tap all the icons you wish to move.

This bundles them together and a blue badge will appear in the upper-right corner of the stack. Drag and drop the icons to other page or hover over other icon to tuck them in a folder.

arrange apps on the home screen in iOS11
Arrange apps on the home screen in iOS 11

3. Reset the Home Screen

If you implement the above two solutions in the right way, you don’t have to reset the Home screen. 

When you reset, iOS will restore the app icon arrangement including third-party app icons to the default state. Note—resetting the Home screen layout also deletes any custom app folders you've created.

Open the Settings app and tap General > Reset. Tap Reset Home Screen Layout and when iOS asks for confirmation, tap Reset.

reset home screen layout in iOS 11
Reset home screen layout in iOS 11

4. Organise Apps

When you start organising apps, assess the organisational structure that works best for your needs. 

Put the most important apps in the dock or first page of the Home screen. The apps on the dock stay the same irrespective of the Home page screen. Dock is the perfect place for most used apps.

Put a folder in the dock with the apps you always use. It’s a great way to access a whole slew of apps from any Home screen. 

On the Home screen, organise apps based on the way that works for you, for example:

  • Verb—such as Read, Listen or Watch
  • Alphabetical order
  • Frequency
  • Colour

Browse websites, such as HomeScreen, MacSparky, and Macstories, for inspiration or ideas.

3. Apps Displaying Too Many Notifications

Notifications on iOS appear on the Lock screen and Home screen in the form of banners and badges. When you launch an app for the first time, it’ll prompt you to enable notifications. You have a choice to approve or decline.

Notifications give snippets of key status message from apps. They keep you up-to-date even if you don’t open the app. But you might want to deny notifications from apps you use rarely or from games.

To specify how, or whether, an app will notify you, tap Settings > Notifications and then tap the app’s entry to view its Notification screen. It offers a number of options as to how the app notifies.

  • Badges are the small rounded images on the app icons to show the number of unread items in an app. Enable these for only the apps that truly need them, so the only badges seen are the ones that are important to you
  • Banners are alerts that appear at the top of the screen. Temporary banners go away automatically. Persistent banners do not disappear automatically—you must act on them before they’ll go away
  • Disable Notifications for an app or turn off options selectively—switch off sounds, badges, show them on lock screen, banners, or prevent them from showing up in history
app noification screen in iOS 11
App notification screen in iOS 11

4. Block Sensitive App Notifications

By default, the Lock screen display preview of notifications such as text messages and email messages. This could be embarrassing or even a security risk. 

To prevent such previews, open the Settings app and tap Notifications. Set Show Previews to When Unlocked or Never.

Repeat the steps for individual apps. Tap the Messages icon and set Show Previews when unlocked or never. 

Turn off Show in History to prevent that app’s past notifications from sticking around on the Lock screen.

block sensitive app notifications
Block sensitive app notifications

5. Apps Unresponsive to Touch

If the device's screen freezes, the cause could be that an app has crashed. Usually you’ve to force the app to quit. There are two ways to solve this problem.

Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until you see the Slide to Power Off screen. Press and hold the Home button for few seconds. iOS shuts down the app and return you to the Home screen.

If an app doesn’t respond, but the device still works, double-press the Home button to display the multitasking screen. Bring the app’s thumbnail screen into view and drag it to the top, the app will quit.

6. Screen Won’t Respond to Taps

If you use screen protector and the touchscreen responds inconsistently then follow these steps.

  • Clean your hands and ensure they’re are dry
  • Remove the screen protector and clean the screen with soft, lint-free cloth
  • Check if touchscreen responds, put back screen protector to see if that was causing the problem

Press the Sleep/Wake button to put the device to sleep, press the button again to wake the device. If the screen still doesn’t respond to touch, then force restart the device.

If you use iPhone 6s or later that isn’t responding to 3D touch, then go to Settings > General and tap Accessibility > 3D Touch. Adjust the sensitivity and check if the screen responds.

Conclusion

iOS is an increasingly complicated operating system. Every problem poses a unique set of challenges. Some problems are really simple to solve while some require multiple steps. 

I'll be giving more tips and tricks, to help you, in part two of the tutorial.


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