Sep 25, 2013 (06:09 AM EDT)
10 Epic iOS 7 Tips
Read the Original Article at InformationWeek
Opening weekend sales figures for the iPhone 5c and 5s were good news for Apple: 9 million new iPhones sold between Sept. 20 and Sept. 22. The numbers easily surpassed analyst estimates of around 6 million, and might have silenced, albeit temporarily, critics who fear that consumers are getting bored with Apple's flagship product.
The number of downloads for iOS 7, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, was impressive too: More than 200 million iOS devices were upgraded to iOS 7 within the first few days of its Sept. 18 release, the company reported. Unveiled at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 10, iOS 7 features a redesigned user interface and is the first major overhaul of iOS since it debuted with the original iPhone back in 2007. (Fun fact: Apple initially didn't call its mobile operating system "iOS," but rather referred to it as a scaled-down version of the OS X desktop operating system. Apple rebranded it "iPhone OS" in 2008, and later changed the name to "iOS" with the arrival of the iPad in 2010.)
By now you're aware that the physical makeover of iOS 7 -- translucency, new icons, softer colors, and so on -- is the operating system's most striking change. Understandably, it received most of the public scrutiny prior to last week's launch, with at least one critic deriding the new pastel palette as perhaps a bit too girly.
Overall, however, the response to iOS 7's dozens of enhancements has been positive. Upgrades include AirDrop, which makes it easier to share files wirelessly between iOS apps. Popular shooting formats such as still, video and panorama are easier to find in the updated Camera app, which also has new Instagram-style filters. And the new iTunes Radio challenges streaming audio services such as Pandora and Spotify.
A few features announced prior to last week's release weren't available at launch. Apple says its iOS in the Car feature, which allows users to connect iPhone 5 devices to a compatible car's built-in display, is coming soon. And iCloud Keychain, which lets iOS 7 and OS X 10.9 Mavericks users securely store passwords, account names and credit card information in iCloud and sync the data among their Apple devices, is missing as well. (Several popular third-party apps, including Dashlane and LastPass, store and sync this information as well, so iOS users have other options besides iCloud Keychain.)
Ready to get more productive with iOS 7? Click through our slideshow to take advantage of some great tips and tricks. Let us know any additional advice you have to share with other iOS 7 users via the comments section.
Recently we told you how to conserve tablet battery life by modifying the background behavior of mobile apps. Well, the new Background App Refresh in iOS 7 is useful, but it also might drain your battery a little faster. The feature allows apps to refresh their content in the background via a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. Although most iPhone and iPad users will welcome this upgrade, battery misers might prefer to disable it by going to Settings/General/Background App Refresh and flipping the main switch to Off. Alternatively, you can turn off Background App Refresh for apps you use infrequently.
It's a lot easier to close an app in iOS 7: Double-tap the Home button to view large thumbnails of open apps, and swipe side to side to select one. To close the app, simply flip it up and off the screen. This nifty feature dates back to the late, (somewhat) lamented webOS. Windows 8 has a similar tool, except that you close an app by dragging it to the bottom of the screen.
The handy Control Center in iOS 7 makes popular settings accessible via the Home screen: Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to turn on (or off) Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb and Wi-Fi. You can adjust other settings too, including volume and brightness. There's a potential security risk here, however, as Control Center is accessible from the lock screen by default. If you travel a lot or use your iOS device in public places, a thief could swipe your device and use Control Center to enable Airplane Mode, which renders the Find My iPhone recovery tool useless. If you value safety over convenience, go to Settings/Control Center and turn off "Access on Lock Screen."
The oft-ridiculed Siri voice assistant is improved in iOS 7, with a more natural-sounding voice and speedier responses to your questions. It also returns calls, plays voicemail, posts to Facebook and performs other menial tasks. Siri is now easier to train as well, a potential boon to business travelers with numerous international contacts. Say, for instance, Siri mispronounces the name "Suphatra." You can correct it by saying, "That's not how you pronounce 'Suphatra.'" Siri will immediately ask for a better pronunciation and use your spoken suggestion to create three pronunciation alternatives. You choose the best one.
Here's good news for iPhone and iPod Touch users, but bad news for makers of third-party flashlight apps: iOS 7 comes with its own flashlight that's accessible via the Control Center. This handy feature should free up a little storage space occupied by your current flashlight app, if you have one. Note: iOS 7 on the iPad doesn't include the flashlight app.
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Those text messages you received hours ago -- when were they sent, exactly? Prior versions of iOS often displayed a single timestamp for multiple messages, making it hard to know. Good news: iOS 7 shows an individual time stamp for each message. This feature is hidden from view, however, so here's how to find it: In Messages, go to a conversation and swipe to the left to view the timestamps, which will appear on the right side of the screen.
FaceTime video chat has been around for years, but iOS 7 adds an audio-only option that's a prudent choice when you're not fit for public viewing. Sure, FaceTime's Apple-centric nature limits its usefulness in a multi-platform world -- you'll need another VoIP service such as Skype for audio calls to your Android- and Windows-lovin' friends and colleagues. (Of course, you could try a cellular call as well.) FaceTime Audio currently works only via Wi-Fi on the iPhone and iPad.
The dramatic makeover of iOS 7 appears in every nook and cranny of the interface, including background designs. The new Dynamic Wallpaper, for instance, is a tasty piece of eye candy with flowing bubbles that sway gently as you tilt or move the device. Impact on battery life? That remains to be seen.
iOS 7 can automatically download and install app updates on your iPhone or iPad. Automation isn't necessarily a good thing, however, and some iOS 7 users might prefer to maintain control over app downloads. To do so, go to Settings/iTunes & App Store. In the Automatic Downloads section, flip the Updates switch to Off.
By default, automatic updates work via Wi-Fi only. To have them work over your cellular connection, too, go to Settings/iTunes & App Store and turn on "Use Cellular Data."
Here's yet another example of iOS 7's gesture-happy ways. In many of its built-in apps, you can flip back to the previous page by swiping left to right. Supporting apps include Safari (pictured), Notes, Messages, iTunes, Music and Mail. In Safari, you can swipe right to left to move forward in your browsing history, too. As it evolves, Swipe Back could very well become a preferred means of in-app navigation for many users.