Whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced user, you'll find something worthwhile in our Ultimate iPhone User Guide. In this instalment: iPhone buttons.
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The only buttons you’ll have to master on the iPhone can be counted on one hand. There’s the home button on the front below the screen, and this can do different things depending on how you press it. Press it once from any screen to return to the first page of the iPhone home screen, where all of the iPhone’s apps are displayed; if you’re already on that screen, pressing the home button will cause the Search screen to appear (you can also get to this screen by swiping right from the first home screen).
Press the home button twice in quick succession to bring up the app switcher; this displays the last few apps that you’ve opened, making it quicker for you to re-open them by tapping on the relevant icon. The app switcher is scrollable, so if you swipe left along the switcher, you’ll see more apps, and you can continue swiping until there are no more apps to scroll through. From the first page of the app switcher, you can also swipe right to get to music playback controls, a shortcut to the music app, and a button that lets you lock the iPhone’s display orientation to the one it’s currently in (either portrait or landscape - see below).
If you have an iPhone 4S, pressing and holding the home button brings up the Siri voice recognition feature.
The iPhone’s default display orientation is portrait, and some things, such as the home screens, contacts, and phone dialler, won’t display in landscape. But there are lots of other apps that will switch to landscape view automatically when you hold the iPhone on its side, such as Messaging, Mail, Safari, Notes and Calendar (not to mention most third party apps), and you may find this view easier to use as you get more horizontal room to fit text and graphics in, as well as getting a wider on-screen keyboard to type on.
The buttons on the left of the iPhone are straightforward. The first two from the bottom are volume controls, and the top switch is for putting the iPhone’s ringer on mute. Adjusting the volume buttons changes how loud the ringer and other system sounds (such as text messages, email and third party app sounds) are - unless you’ve got the Music app or another multimedia app active (such as Videos, YouTube, or an Internet radio app), in which case using these buttons will adjust how loud the audio is.
The final button is on the top right hand side of the iPhone. Pressing it while the iPhone’s screen is active turns the screen off (or puts it to sleep), and conversely, pressing it while the screen is off wakes the iPhone up, and this is where you’ll see the lockscreen. If you’ve ever done the whole ‘calling people while your phone is in your pocket’ trick, then you’ll appreciate the presence of the lockscreen, which is specifically designed to prevent such shenanigans. Putting the iPhone to sleep simply turns the screen off, and you’ll continue to get incoming calls, text messages and email in the background, as well as be able to play music.
If you want to turn the iPhone off altogether, you’ll need to press and hold down on the sleep button until a ‘Slide to power off’ screen appears. You then slide your finger across the panel (or press cancel if you brought this screen up accidentally), and the iPhone switches off. Press and hold down on that button again until you see an Apple icon to turn the iPhone back on.NEED TO KNOW MORE?
Check out the rest of our Ultimate iPhone User Guide