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What are Folders for the iPhone?
With the introduction of the new iOS 4 for the iPhone and iPod Touch a new feature called Folders was introduced. Folders are a great way to organize your apps on your device. Not only do they allow you to organize your apps, but they also allow you to squeeze a lot more apps onto your iPhone.
A folder on the iPhone is like a folder on your desktop computer. You can name it and store apps in it (up to 12 per folder). Once you make a folder, the icon acts like any other app icon. It can be moved and deleted, but it can also be renamed. It can even rest in the dock of your device.
Previously you could only fit 144 apps onto your iPhone, or 9 screens of apps. Now, with Folders, you can fit 144 folders with 12 apps each! That is a lot of apps! Of course, the storage on your iPhone and the size of apps will also play a part in how many apps you can have on your iPhone.
Folders also let you be more organized and have fewer screens to scroll through looking for a specific app. I have narrowed my screens down to two on my iPod Touch. One screen has apps I regularly use and these apps are not in folders. The second page has all of my folders, with space to spare on the screen and in the folders.
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How To Make a Folder on the iPhone
Folders are extremely easy to make on your iPhone. You start by tapping and holding an icon to make the app icons jiggle- as if you wanted to deleted them or move them around. Once they are jiggling, you tap and drag one icon you want in a folder on top of another icon. When you are in the right space the lower icon will expand and the two icons will appear to be swallowed into a new icon which is the folder.
You will then be presented with the folder and a default name. The name is based on the categories that the two apps are from. If you don't like the name just tap it and you will be able to edit and change the name. You can also change the name at any time in the future.
When you are finished naming the folder it will drop back to the main screen where you can add more apps. You add apps to a folder by dragging and dropping them right on top of the folder icon.
If you open a folder you can interact with those apps just like you would with apps on a regular screen. You can move them around a folder, delete them, and even remove them from a folder by dragging them out of the folder.
You can even work with folders in iTunes, just like you can work with and arrange apps in iTunes.
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Using an iPhone Folder
Once a folder is made you can access the apps in the folder by tapping the folder. The iPhone screen will be split and drop down to open the folder and reveal the apps inside. Tapping an app will run it, just like any app outside a folder. If you want to exit a folder, tap outside the folder and it will slide back up and close.
If you ever decide to delete a folder just empty the apps from the folder and it will vanish.
Folders are a great way to organize your iPhone apps. If you install iOS 4 on your iPhone, or even iPod Touch, folders are definitely worth trying. This feature will work on the iPhone 3G and later, or the second generation iPod Touch or later. The iPad will get folders when it gets iOS4 in the Fall.