iPhone Spring Cleaning

Posted by Brett Barner with 3 Comments

iphone-clean

It’s that time of year again. Time to finally pull the weeds, wash the windows, sweep out those Fall leaves from the garage, and start ticking items off that Spring Cleaning to-do list.

After you’ve done a full day’s worth of productivity, and you plop yourself on the couch, why not take 15 minutes and do some Spring cleaning on your iPhone or iPad?

Here are some tips:

1. Get rid of apps you don’t use

If I can’t recall the last time I used a particular app (especially the free ones), I delete it (yes, I’m looking at you, Draw Something). Winter is over. Those apps you downloaded to make yourself feel better about being stuck inside and the sun setting at 5pm are done and over. It’s time to freshen things up again. Press and hold the icons until they wiggle and hit that nice, big “X”. If only dead leaves were this easy to get rid of.

2. Organize apps based on usage

I have three pages on my iPhone. Of course the bottom bar gets my top 4 apps, but the 1st page or homescreen is for most used (Calendar, Weather, Flipboard, Tweetbot, etc.) or quick access apps (Like Soundhound or my Ukulele chord app; which I may not use all the time, but when I do use it, I need it ASAP). The 2nd page gets secondary apps like games, fitness, finance, Starbucks, etc. And finally, my 3rd page gets entertainment and heavy productivity apps. Ones I don’t mind scrolling to get to.

I have also categorized my apps into folders. For me, here’s how my apps were best categorized:

  • Photography (eg. Istagram, Camera+, iMovie, iPhoto, etc.)
  • Utilities ( eg. YouVersion Bible, Soundhound, Clock, Calculator, etc.)
  • Games – Long playing games(eg. NBA Jam, Sword & Sworcery, Tetris, etc.)
  • Casual Games (Doodle Jump, Angry Birds, Words with Friends, etc.)
  • Shopping and Finance (eg. Mint, Localscope, Chipotle, GasBuddy, etc.)
  • Misc Other Apps – Apps I hardly use or can’t delete (eg. AirPort Utility, Voice Memos, Game Center, Cards, etc.)

3. Clear Safari Internet History

Sometimes it helps Safari performance to clear out all that history, cookies and data. You’ll have to reenter your login credentials on some sites, but the break you’ll give Safari will be worth it. Just go under Settings > Safari > Clear History & Clear Cookies and Data.

4. Make sure iOS is up to date

This used to be more difficult to check, but since iOS 5, you can now check and install updates directly from your phone. On Tuesday, Apple released an update to iOS (5.1.1) for some bug fixes and to address security vulnerabilities in Safari. You can still install from iTunes, but to check for updates on your iPhone simple go to Settings > General > Software Update.

What about you?

How do you Spring clean your iPhone and keep things fresh?

Brett Barner

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Brett Barner likes Apple in both technology and fruit forms. The former he uses as fancy calculators from the future to connect to the internets; where he then writes about his experiences here. The later he uses for pies. Additional writings can be found on his personal blog, bybrettbarner.com, and Twitter @brettbarner.

3 responses to iPhone Spring Cleaning

  1. I just did this the other night during downtime at work. I had to pull an overnight “security” shift during our annual tent sale so I had a LOT of time on my hands. I went from twelve screens (I’m a app hoarder) down to three and consolidated a lot into folders. I actually ended up freeing about 8 GB worth of space.

    I tend to check AppShopper (using the app) every night before my eyes close and I collect all the “now free” apps so I need to clean up my phone about every 2 months. I should stop hoarding them but can’t.

    I wish there were an easier way to deal with the apps and screens on my iDevices. iTunes does an okay job but just isn’t easy enough for me, I usually end up doing all of it directly on the iPhone and iPad.

  2. I really need to do this on my iPhone, my iPad and LaunchPad on my Mac. I’ve noticed quite a few apps I’m not using anymore and need to get the ones on my LaunchPad organized, cause it’s HORRENDOUS.

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