Will Your Favorite iPhone Apps Work on iPad?

A person holding an Apple iPad
ALife / Shutterstock

Everyone has their favorite apps. Although many of them will work on iPhones and iPads, they don’t all take advantage of the iPad’s larger screen. We’re going to explain how to tell which apps should work well before you download them.

The Different Types of Apps

The App Store is home to millions of apps, but they aren’t all created equal. To determine whether an iPhone app will work on your iPad, you need to know a little about how apps and the App Store work.

There are four types of apps a developer can build:

  • iPhone-only: These apps are built for the iPhone and cannot work on an iPad at all. The number of apps that fall into this category is small, and they are usually those which require hardware that isn’t present in an iPad.
  • iPhone-specific: These apps are designed to work on an iPhone. They’re built with the iPhone’s screen in mind with interfaces scaled accordingly. They will, however, work in iPhone compatibility mode when installed on an iPad. When running in iPhone compatibility mode, apps appear on an iPad’s screen just as they would on an iPhone. Users can choose to have them appear the same size as the smartphone’s display or scaled up and stretched to fill the tablet’s larger screen.
  • iPad-only: These apps work only on an iPad. Few and far between, these are usually games or drawing apps not suitable for a smaller screen.
  • Universal: These apps are designed to work equally well on iPhone and iPad. When installed on iPhones, the app displays a smartphone-specific interface. When installed on an iPad, the app’s interface changes to one more suited to the larger display and potentially works with accessories like the Apple Pencil. These are the kinds of apps that Apple pushes developers to create.

The Best Apps for iPad Owners

So, will your favorite iPhone app work on your iPad? If it’s universal or iPhone-specific, the answer is yes. Ideally, you’ll want a universal app, especially if you also use an iPhone. You’ll get two apps in one, and both will make the best of the devices they’re installed on. An iPad-only app will definitely suffice if you don’t use an iPhone, though.

The last resort is to use an iPhone-specific app. It’ll run on your iPad in iPhone compatibility mode; it won’t be easy on the eyes, but that’s better than nothing if you’re in a pinch. We’d suggest reaching out to the developer and asking if a universal app is in the works.

iPhone-only apps cannot be installed on iPads at all, so you don’t need to worry about downloading one by accident. They simply don’t appear in the App Store on an iPad.

How to Identify Universal Apps on an iPad

The easiest way to identify a universal app from your iPad is to look at the screenshots in the App Store. If you see iPad screenshots, you’re good—the app is either universal or iPad-only. You won’t be left with a blown-up iPhone interface either way.

Overcast iPad App Store Screenshot

You will also see a list of the officially-supported devices below the screenshots. Universal apps will display iPhone compatibility when the listing is viewed on an iPad.

How to Identify Universal Apps on an iPhone

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The Best Podcast Apps for iPhone and iPad

Overcast playback screen.

Choosing the right podcast app has a big impact on your listening enjoyment. They all play audio, but how they do it and the features they offer are different. Here are some of the best podcast apps for iPhone and iPad.

Why Your Podcast App Matters

As podcasts continue to grow in popularity, what users want from podcast streaming apps (or “podcatchers”) has also grown. Some apps do the bare minimum—they play podcasts. You might be able to speed up playback, but for more advanced controls, you need a more feature-rich podcatcher.

That’s where the more complex apps come in. They bring more interesting interfaces and fuller feature lists, as well as the ability to side-load audio files, share audio clips, skip silence, and more.

The best podcast app for you might be different from what’s best for someone else. And thankfully, there’s enough competition in the podcast-playing space to cater to everyone.

Best of the Best: Overcast

Overcast podcast menu, play screen, and Search menu on a phone.

There are some features all podcast apps have to offer to become popular, like chapter support, and options to change the playback speed. Overcast is a great example of what’s possible when a developer goes the extra mile. It has two standout playback-related features: Voice Boost and Smart Speed.

Voice Boost increases the volume of speech and makes hosts sound clearer and louder without distortion. The volume doesn’t increase for music or jingles, which makes listening to podcasts more pleasant.

As great as Voice Boost is, Smart Speed offers the biggest change. Most apps allow users to listen at 2x, or other speed increments. But Smart Speed removes the silence in podcasts and makes them shorter. So, it reduces your listening time without making anyone sound like a chipmunk. There’s more science to it than that, but once you listen to a podcast with Smart Speed active, it’s difficult to go back.

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How to Create Contact Groups on Your Mac

Apple macOS Contacts App

With contact groups, you’ll never have to manually add the same people to an email over and over. By grouping regularly used contacts, you can save tons of time in the future. Here’s how to do it on a Mac.

Creating a New Contact Group

Open the Contacts app on your Mac. You can find it in your “Applications” folder or search for it with Spotlight.

Make sure to select the account (in the left sidebar) where you want to create the group and then click the “+” button. Next, click the “New Group” button.

click the "+" button. Click the "New Group" button

Type a name for the new group and press the Return key.

Type a name for the new group

Now you can add contacts to your new group.

Adding Contacts to a Group

Find the contact you want to add to a group: Scroll down the list of contacts or use the search bar. Drag the contact to the group where you want to add it.

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How to Measure Elevation on Your iPhone

Apple iPhone Measure Elevation
Dave Nelson / Shutterstock

Your elevation is usually measured as your height above sea level. This is useful information, especially if you enjoy climbing mountains. You can find your current elevation by looking at your iPhone, and you already have the app to do it.

All iPhones from the iPhone 6 onwards include a barometer that calculates a device’s current elevation. The iPhone uses that data for multiple things, not least to help it know when you take a flight of stairs—gotta close those activity rings.

The Difference Between Altitude and Elevation

People often interchange the two words, but they do have separate definitions. Altitude is the height of an object or place “above a given planetary reference plane, especially above sea level on earth” as explained by dictionary.com.

Elevation relates to a position that is “above sea level or ground level” according to the same source.

Measuring Your Elevation

Finding your elevation is easy, and you don’t have to download anything new to do it. The Compass app is installed on all iPhones, which is all you need to get started.

First, open the “Compass” app. Next, locate the listed elevation, which appears at the bottom of the screen.

Open the Compass app

Elevation data is pretty basic information but super useful at times. If you need more information about your current position, you can download more detailed apps like My Altitude. That one is free with in-app purchases to unlock additional data.

Another Use for the Compass App

In addition to displaying your coordinates and elevation, the Compass app has one more trick up its sleeve: You can use it as a level. It’s surprisingly accurate thanks to the array of sensors built into the iPhone and handy for when a new shelf absolutely must be perfectly level.

How to Force Restart iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR

Apple logo on the back of a black iPhone.
Primakov / Shutterstock

Just like computers, iPhones sometimes stop responding during use. Rarely, they become so unresponsive they can’t be powered off. However, it’s possible to force an iPhone to restart in these situations and bring it back to life.

Forcing an older iPhone to restart was easy—all you had to do was press and hold the Volume and Home buttons. But the iPhone X and later don’t have a Home button, so the process had to change.

Apple does provide a method to force restart all modern iPhones, but you need to know the particular combination for it to work.

How to Force Restart a Modern iPhone

In quick succession, press, and then release the Volume Up button, and then press and release the Volume Down button.

Next, press and hold the power button (Apple calls it the Side button). You can release it when the Apple logo appears on the iPhone screen.

Press Volume Up. Press Volume Down. Hold the Side button

When your iPhone restarts, it should work as usual. The next time you want to power off your iPhone, you can turn it off using the conventional method.

The removal of the Home button means other standard functions have been remapped to new combinations of key presses, too. Taking screenshots is one example, and the whole Apple Pay experience is entirely different, as well.

If you’re new to Home buttonless iPhones, we have a full rundown of how to get around iOS, use your apps, and more, that will have you up and running in no time.