Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Organizing your Apps on Tablets and Smart Phones running Android or iOS Software

Whether you only download new apps onto your tablets and smart phones when you absolutely need to, or you are an avid app supporter always looking for the best new app, there will come a time when your tablet or smart phone feels cluttered with apps.  The clutter happens quicker than we expect because of course the manner in which we download our apps is not necessarily a scripted progression. If our computer crashed we would rebuild a it in way that followed a set of steps.  We would install the OS, the peripherals equipment, software tools, and of course extra software programs we need and then we would be on our way back to getting things done.  

Our tablets and smart phones however, are used in so many different ways, and not always for the same things making them more versatile and dynamic.  We use these devices to read books and catch up on magazines while we are in the airport.  We use them to watch movies on planes and video chat with friends and family who live far away.  We use them to catch up on social media and email business associates when we are out of the office.  We use them to play games and develop spreadsheets while organizing our work.  The point is, we use these devices for all sorts of reasons that can cross between work, entertainment, staying connecting, educating ourselves, and catching up with the people we know.  This less predictable approach lends itself to the downloading of all kinds of apps over the life of that device.  As such, we can end up with screens and screens of apps that feel like a jumbled mess.

One way to organize our apps in a way that makes sense is to create folders for our apps.  Creating folders can organize your apps which can quickly become a mess spread across multiple pages otherwise.  Managing your apps in folders reduces the frustration of scrolling through pages and pages of apps just to find one specific app.  Another benefit to creating folders is that you can create them and organize apps in them in any way that works for you.  Some common folders that make it easy to group apps are:
  • Utilities - flashlight, compass, calculator, voice memos, reminders, notes, etc.
  • Games - pretty obvious what would go here
  • Social Media - Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Banking - mortgage bank, regular bank, credit card companies, retirement companies
  • Entertainment - video apps, cable apps, television apps, etc.
  • Reading - book apps, magazine subscription apps, etc.
  • Travel - airline apps, hotel apps, etc.
The steps below are based on the operating system of the device.  Whichever operating system your smart phone or tablet uses, either Android or iOS, the steps for each operating system work on both smart phones and tablets running that particular operating system.

Android
To Create a New App Folder
  1. Press and hold on the app you want to organize into a folder until the screen vibrates, then drag it on top of another app you want in the same folder.
  2. If the two apps are on different pages, drag to the right or left until the screen changes to the one you need.
  3. Release the app which will automatically create a new folder.
  4. The apps will appear as a stack based on the order the apps were added to the folder.  Rearrange the apps at any time to change the appearance of the stack.



  5. Add more apps to the folder until finished.  The folder is originally unnamed but you can change this at any time.

To Name the App Folder
  1. Press and hold on the new app folder until the screen vibrates.
  2. Type in a new name for the folder.
  3. Click Done or off of the folder to save the name.
  4. Use this same process to rename the folder at any time.

To Rearrange the Apps in a Folder 
  1. Open a folder to rearrange its apps.
  2. Press and hold on any of the apps inside and drag it to the desired location in the folder.
  3. Release the app to move it to its new location in the folder.
  4. Once you rearrange the apps, the app stack will appear different to represent the new order of apps.


To Move Newly Created Folders
If a folder you created is not located where you want it to be, you can change its location at any time.
  1. Click and drag the folder to the location and / or screen you want it to be located on.
  2. Release the folder to move it to its new location.

iOS
To create a New App Folder
  1. Press and hold on the app you want to organize into a folder until all the app icons begin to shake, then drag it on top of another app you want in the same folder.
  2. If the two apps are on different pages, drag to the right or left until the screen changes to the one you need.
  3. Release the app which will automatically create a new folder.  New folders automatically have names generated for them based on the type of apps you have grouped in the folder.
  4. The folder will automatically open once it has been created and you can rename it from here or rename it later.
  5. The folder holding the apps is the size of a single app and displays apps inside using a format of 3 X 3.  Each app will still appear with its original icon inside the folder, but at about 1/10 of the icon's original size.  
  6. Add more apps to the folder until finished.

To Rename the App Folder
Once you create a folder, a name will automatically be created for the folder based on the type of apps you have grouped together.  While the auto-generated folder names are usually accurate, they may not be exactly what you want.  
  1. Touch the folder to open the folder.
  2. Press and hold any of the icons in the folder until all the icons begin to shake.
  3. Click the X to the right of the folder name and the keyboard will pop up.
  4. Type the new folder name.
  5. Click the Done button when finished to save the new name.
  6. Press the home button to save the changes and exit edit mode.

To Rearrange the Apps in a Folder
  1. Open a folder to rearrange the apps.
  2. Press and hold on any of the apps until all the icons begin to shake, then drag the app to the desired location in the folder.
  3. Release the app to move it to its new location in the folder.

To Move Newly Created Folders
If a folder you created is not located where you want it to be, you can change its location at any time.
  1. Click and drag the folder to the location and / or screen you want it to be located on.
  2. Release the folder to move it to its new location.

One last way you can use folders is to replace one of your static icons with a folder.  If you find yourself wanting access to more than just a few icons every day, then it might make sense to replace one of your static icons in the tray at the bottom of each screen with a folder.  Adding a folder to your static tray gives you quick access to many more apps from any page than the standard number of apps fitting in the static tray ever could.

As you can see, organizing your apps using folders is quick and easy and they can be modified at any time.  No matter how you set up your folders, you can always change them, rearrange them, rename them, or move them to meet your current needs.  Organizing your apps will saving you endless time accessing the apps you most need, as well as those you need only sporadically.

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