MacMost Now 926: Taming Your Apps In iOS 7

There are three ways to tracks your app usage in iOS 7. You can see how much storage space each app is using. You can see which apps are using location services, and which ones are using it at this very moment, possibly using your battery more than you would like. You can also see how much cellular data each app is using and deny apps access to data when you are away from a wifi connection.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's look at taming your apps in iOS 7.

iOS 7 includes several functions to figure out what your apps are doing. How much storage they are using. How much data they are using over your mobile connection and whether they are using location services at the moment. Some of this stuff is old and some of this stuff is new. Let's take a look.

So to get to all of this you are going to go into the Settings app. Once you are in the Settings app you can go to various different places. Let's start by going to General and then going to Usage. Under that you are going to see how much storage you have available at the top. Then the list is going to quickly expand and you are going to see all of these apps here. It is going to be sorted by the apps that use the most space.

For instance Audible, which stores audiobooks is using the most space for me. Which makes sense. I've got a lot of audiobooks in there. I can see GarageBand, Spotify, etc. I can tap on each one of these and I can see a breakdown. Usually most apps just say everything is Documents & Data. But sometimes you get a further breakdown.

Like, for instance, if I were to look in the Podcast app you can see that actually shows me video podcasts and audio podcasts. Not only can I see which ones are there but I can actually delete them. I can swipe right to left and delete the podcast right from inside of Settings. Of course I can also do that inside of the app. For most of these apps you are going to have to go in. For instance in Audible there is nothing to do here. You are going to have to go into the Audible app and that is where you can decide which books you want to remove from your iPhone. Say ones that you have already finished but forgot to remove. That will clear up some space.

Most of these apps are going to be like that. For instance in Pages it will show me using the space but I can't do anything here. I go into Pages and I can remove documents in there, delete them. So this is how to figure out what is using space on your iPhone or iPad.

So now let's take a look at Location Services. So inside of Settings you go down to Privacy and then Locations Services. Location Services means basically using the GPS on your phone. Of course a lot of times it is not using GPS, it is using WiFi or cell tower signals to figure out where your are. You can figure out which apps actually have that turned on so they can access it. You can turn some off so they can't access it anymore.

You also can see arrows next to them. For instance camera has a gray arrow next to it while Cyclemeter, an app that tracks people while they run or bike, has a purple arrow next to it. I just turned that on so it should be actively tracking my location. You can scroll through the list here and at the bottom it tells you what these arrows mean.

So basically a gray one means that it recently used the location services. So you would expect the camera yes if I took a picture in the last twenty-four hours then it accessed the currently location. This is not really going to wear down the battery if it is just occasionally accessing it when you took an action.

Purple will though wear down the battery because it is actively polling it, it is using it right now, but of course that is exactly what I want Cyclometer to do. However this can be useful if say I finished my bike ride and I've forgotten to turn it off and I'm trying to figure out why the battery is draining on my phone, I can see what is using GPS now.

I can also see what other apps are using it now. Maybe there is some app that I am not using or I didn't expect to use GPS and I can see that it is and I can maybe stop using that app if it is causing me trouble.

Also at the bottom you can see apps that use Geofence which are things like Reminders reminds you to do something when you get home or when you get to work. It is going to have a kind of outlined arrow there. So you can find out which apps you have that are using GPS and you can actually switch them off or maybe perhaps go into the app and modify the functionality so they use less battery.

So here is a new feature of iOS 7 and it is very useful. If you have ever gone through your monthly mobile band width allotment or perhaps gotten a bill showing that you used a lot of data and you want to figure out why, what app is using all this data. Well, with iOS 7 you can figure that out. All you need to do in Settings is to go into Cellular and it will show you underneath all of this, Use Cellular Data for and it shows you all of your apps. Unfortunately this isn't sorted in any order but you can see exactly how much data each app has used. You can figure out which ones may be using more than you would like to.

You can also turn off the access to cellular data for certain apps. So for instance you've got a game that uses a lot of cellular data and you want to remember not to play it while you are over cellular or for it not to update graphics or something you can turn it off here. You can also look through this list here.

The list is short and then at the bottom you get System Services which you can go into and see data used by the system and a breakup of it. For instance I can look through here and see that things like Gmail uses surprising little data and some games are using very little data but I can look and find my music app and my music app I can see is using 247 MB and the answer to that, of course, is because I am using iTunes Radio. So I can expect that one to be a little high. But others not so much and I really can get a good handle of what the worst offenders are using this.

Another thing I like is that under System Services one of the things it shows you is personal hotspots. So if you use Personal Hotspot and you are curious as to how much data you are using as opposed to using other cellular data it breaks it down for you here.

Of course at the bottom of the screen you will notice a Reset Statistics button. So these numbers are just going to keep piling up until you hit this and once you do everything zeros out there. So now I can begin tracking to see over the next few days which apps are using the most data.

So there are three different ways you can tame the apps on your iOS device.

I hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 7 Responses to “MacMost Now 926: Taming Your Apps In iOS 7”

    Mike Stark
    10/10/13 @ 8:49 am

    Always helpful and well presented. Thank you for all the effort and time required to put out a consistently reliable source of current and useful knowledge about an appendage many of us could not be as efficient as these inventive tools have allowed.

    bob weber
    10/10/13 @ 9:23 am

    Tremendously helpful.

    Barb
    10/10/13 @ 10:46 am

    I find you all you videos very helpful and easy to follow. As are all your videos : )
    Thank you Gary

    John
    10/10/13 @ 11:07 am

    In IOS6 was able to turn off individual apps by pressing home button twice then pressing app on the bottom and wiggling red dot appeared, which I pressed to turn off that app. This procedure does not work in IOS7. What is the new procedure?

    George
    10/10/13 @ 1:50 pm

    New to Mac and to your site. Absolutely fabulous Gary.
    Thanks a mil.

    solomon
    10/11/13 @ 8:39 am

    Great information as always! Please keep up the good work!

Comments Closed.