Don't Do That: Five Big Mistakes iPhone Users Make

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I mentioned in an item a couple weeks back that my aunt recently got an iPhone and has hit me up a few times for advice. Being the wise woman she is, she also took a class on how to use her new toy highly advanced technological device and it has made her life easier. But the truth is there are so many things an iPhone can do that it is tough to figure out all of it. I've had mine for a couple years now and I'm still making discoveries.

But, there are a few common mistakes often repeated on the Apple smart phone that can be avoided if you know what they are. Here are five of them.

5. Forgetting to back up or sync. This is something I cannot stress enough. There is nothing more frustrating than losing your data. I've had it happen on my computer and it was a disaster. Too often, people just ignore this critical element of computing and then find out the hard way when they lose a bunch of important information. With contacts, photos and e-mails all a part of your phone, backing up is critical. Fortunately, there are sync services that you don't even have to connect to your computer to use and, of course, you can always just connect a cable. Believe me, it's worth it.

4. Not organizing apps. Some of you may not realize that if you press down on an app icon and hold, it will, along with its fellow apps, start vibrating, at which point you can delete them by tapping the black box or reorganize them either by simply rearranging them in the window or dropping one on top of another to create a folder. Even if you only have a dozen or so apps, having them in the same place makes them easier to find and more useful. Deleting apps you don't use saves memory space and your phone's battery.

3. Not rebooting regularly. Most computer experts know you don't need to turn off your computer when you aren't using it. Servers, which are just specialized computers, stay on 24/7. But, eventually, all machines need a reboot. In the case of the iPhone, it probably needs it about once a week depending on how much you use it. Rebooting clears the temporary memory and helps the phone to work more efficiently, so make it a habit.

2. Don't preserve the battery by turning apps off and disabling 3G. Did you know that clicking the big button at the bottom of your phone doesn't actually turn an app off, it just hides it in the background? I didn't realize this either until about a month ago when a friend pointed it out. Since I learned how to turn apps off, my phone battery lasts substantially longer. All you have to do is tap the big button twice in a row. You'll see a row of apps that are running. Hold down one of them and then click the red circle at the top of every app until they are all off. Also, if you are using wi-fi or on a plane, go into your network settings and disable the 3G network. It uses a huge amount of your battery power.

1. Use crappy apps because they are free. It's amazing that we will spend hundreds on a phone and monthly service, but still forgo the 99-cent price of an app and opt for the free one instead. Paid apps not only help support developers, but they don't have annoying ads. Sure, if you want to try it, use the free one first, but don't stay with it just because it's free. You probably spend more on coffee in a day than you will on apps in a week and I bet you can guess which is the better investment.

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