There’s about a 60% chance you’ve already installed iOS 7 on your iPhone or iPad, according to several mobile app analytics and advertising firms. That means there is a really good chance that you are among the many who are still learning all the new and different features of iOS 7. Or maybe you’re thinking about upgrading, but you’re not sure what to expect. In either case, you’re going to love this post! Read on to learn 15 of the new and different features found in iOS 7.
1. Block Numbers
Finally, now you can block your ex from ever calling or messaging you again. Just go to Settings > Phone > Blocked to see your list of blocked numbers and add new ones. Breakups just got a whole lot easier, along with avoiding your creditors, spammers, and other pesky people.
Now you can swipe up from the bottom of the page on any screen to open the new Control Center. This page of controls has buttons for Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, Orientation Lock, and it has sliders for Brightness and Volume. It also has controls for your music player and buttons for quick access to the built-in Flashlight, Alarm/Timer, Calculator, and Camera apps. And if you have a newer device, you also have AirDrop controls here, too.
Now you can find Spotlight and search by simply swiping down on any screen. Note that if you swipe down from the very top of the screen, you’ll get the Notification Center instead (which has also changed with iOS 7 – now you can control what types of things you get notified about!).
4. Closing Apps
To close an app, just double tap the iPhone or iPad’s home button, and then swipe up on the screenshot of the app. Fun fact: you can close more than one app at a time.
Folders can now hold many more apps than they used to, thanks to the addition of pages within folders. Yay! Now you don’t have to have five different “Games” folders.
Bonus: With iOS 7, you can finally put the Newsstand app into a folder.
Shoot in burst mode by clicking and holding the volume-up button. You never know when you’ll need multiple photos taken in quick succession, but now you know how to make it happen.
7. Location Services
You might think this one is creepy, but iOS 7 keeps a record of your most frequent hangout spots. You can see what your iPhone has tracked about you by checking Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Frequent Locations. You’ll see a map with blue circles to represent where you’ve been. Go back to the System Services page if you want to clear your history or turn the feature off altogether.
8. Teach Siri Better Pronunciation
You know how Siri tends to mispronounce words that aren’t in the dictionary? Well, now all you have to do is correct her by saying “That’s not how you pronounce that” and then you can teach her how to say it right.
Bonus: You can also choose a male voice for Siri now.
9. Message Timestamps
iOS 7 allows us to view the timestamps for every message, not just some of them (what was up with that, anyway?). Just open a conversation in your messages app and swipe left to view all of the timestamps.
Bonus: Deleting individual messages works a little differently now. Hold down on a message bubble, click “More…” (right next to “Copy”). Then checkmark the circles for the messages you want to delete and click the trash can button in the bottom left of the screen.
10. App Updates
Want to make sure your apps are always up to date with the latest version? Just go to your Settings > iTunes & App Store and toggle Automatic Downloads for apps. You can also set this feature to only be applied when wi-fi is available.
11. Background App Refresh
Want to make sure the content of your apps is always up to date, too? Go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and you can set your device to apply this feature to all of your apps or just certain ones. You might want to limit this to your favorite apps in order to conserve battery and data usage.
12. Customized Vibrations
Along with new ringtones and alert sounds that came with iOS 7, we also get the new ability to create new vibrations! Go to Settings > Sounds > Ringtone > Vibration and start tapping to create a new vibration.
13. App Store Changes
There are a few changes in the App Store app. Genius has been replaced with a Near Me section, which shows apps that are especially popular near you. There’s also a new Wish List feature, so you can bookmark paid apps to purchase later. And parents will love this one: there’s a new Kids apps category! Now it’ll be easy to discover great apps the kids will love.
Users with an iPhone 5 or later, fourth generation iPad or later, iPad Mini, or the fifth generation iPod Touch have a new feature called AirDrop. AirDrop allows iOS users to find each other wirelessly and instantly transfer content, such as a photo, video, or hyperlink. A note of caution: you might want to consider setting this feature to Contacts Only if you want to prevent nearby strangers from trying to AirDrop you.
Is it just me, or is there something different about the design? If you want to change some of the new design features, such as the neat 3D background effect, go to Settings > General > Accessibility and play around with the settings for Larger Type, Bold Text, Increase Contrast, and Reduce Motion.
iOS 6 Home Screen iOS 7 Home Screen
There are hundreds of changes from iOS 6 to iOS 7, so of course, this is just a start on all of the great new stuff your iPhone and iPad can do now. What other features have you found? Tell us in the comments!