3 New Things I Just Learned About My Apple Devices

I am always discovering new features on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac computer.  Sometimes it’s because I’ve been asked a question or there is a new option with a system update or I just don’t know how to do a particular process. This week was a banner one because I learned something new about each of my devices:

  • iPhone: Why does the screen go dark during a phone call?
  • iPad: There’s a new feature called Stage Manager.
  • Mac Computer: How to alphabetize folders on my desktop (It’s changed from what I had always done!


A friend asked me why her iPhone’s screen went black while she was talking. She found it very irritating. I didn’t have a clue so I went searching. I found my answer on Guiding Tech’s website: https://www.guidingtech.com/ways-to-fix-iphone-screen-goes-black-during-call-issue/

Evidently,  our iPhones have something called a proximity sensor. It will turn off the screen when an iPhone is held up to one’s ear. The purpose is to make sure the user does not mistakenly hit another button while talking. The screen should come back on if you take the phone away from your ear.  If it doesn’t, gently press the side button and the display should reappear.


I came across the term “Stage Manager” in reference to iPads. Once again, I had no clue as what this term meant. It turn out it is a new feature, but you must have a newer iPad:

You can use Stage Manager on these iPad models:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later)
  • iPad Air (5th generation)

Apple calls it a multi-tasking feature. It allows you to toggle back and forth among apps you have used as well as those on your dock.

Notice over on the left-hand side of the screen, there are four mini-screens.  They belong to apps I recently had used. I can toggle back and forth between those apps as well as the ones on my dock and what is on the main screen.

You can access the Stage Manager feature from your Control Center. Look for the icon with the rectangle and three squares. See the image below,

You may have to go to Settings/Display& Brightness to turn it on.

Here’s a short video that demonstrates the process.

I haven’t used it much and would love to hear about other people’s experience with Stage Manager. Please leave a comment.

Mac Computer

My desktop computer is running Big Sur. Before I updated to this OS version, I was always able to alphabetize the folders on my desktop by simply going to View in the Finder menu and choose that option. Now when I go to View, “alphabetically” is not an obvious choice. It was time for another Google search. I learned that I still go to View, but now I have to click on Show View Options down at the bottom.

Then I see a screen like the one below.

There I found the magic words “sort by.” I figured out that Tags would do the trick, and now my desktop folders are alphabetized. I am a happy camper.

If you happen to be new to the iPhone world, you might like to get a copy of our FREE guide to iPhones. Just click on the image below!

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