Some advice on getting the most out of Apple's new mobile operating system, iOS 7.
Last week not only saw the release of iOS 7, but also the release of two brand new iPhone models. Millions of people this weekend were getting acquainted with Apple's new mobile OS. iOS 7 is the first iteration of iOS that was completed without Scott Forstall. So with iOS 7, Jony Ive took the design reins, and the result is the most significant update to iOS since the original iPhone was first introduced six years ago.
As is the case with any iOS update, there are plenty of great new features in iOS 7 that should bring collective glee to the masses. Here are some of the neatest, most clever, interesting, and awesome tips and tricks found in iOS 7.
Block specific callers
You can block numbers from being able to call, initiate FaceTime conversations, and send messages to your phone. This is a great way to keep stalkers or telemarketers from being able to contact you ad nauseum.
To block a caller, go to a contact's entry, scroll to the bottom and select "Block this Caller."
Built-in inclinometer and level
Hidden within in the compass app is a great new utility that acts as a level. You can use it to make sure picture frames are straight and even to measure the angles of various slopes.
To access it, open up the compass app and swipe to the left. The inclinometer will appear and you can get to work! When a measurement is completely level, the screen will light up in green.
New gesture support in Safari
Safari in iOS 7 has a whole new look. Along with it comes a new navigation scheme. You can now use gestures to navigate forward and backwards between pages.
To move to a previously visited webpage in Safari, simply swipe to the right. To move forward, swipe to the left.
Use gestures to close tabs in Safari
Speaking of Safari, Apple's built-in mobile web browser now has a new layout when looking at all open windows. As you can tell, the windows are stacked vertically instead of horizontally, as they were in iOS 6.
In order to close a tab, you can tap the 'x' in the upper left hand corner. Or, you can swipe a tab to the left and it will be magically whisked away. Also cool is that you can now have up to 24 open tabs in Safari. The previous limit was eight.
Accessing spotlight, Apple's system-wide utility for search, has changed quite a bit in iOS 7. To access spotlight in iOS 7, simply swipe from the middle of your screen downwards. A search window should then appear, enabling you to search the contents of your iOS device.
Access more detailed weather information
Apple's Weather app in iOS 7 has been completely revamped. It now includes more detailed information, such as hour-by-hour weather data.
To access even more weather info, simply tap the numerical temperature indicator and you'll be shown such weather info as humidity, chance of precipitation, wind speed, and what the actual weather feels like.
This is arguably the best new feature in iOS 7. It's been discussed a lot, so you may already be familiar with it. If not, you're in for a treat.
To access Control Center, all you have to do is swipe up from the bottom of the display and a new window pane will emerge. From here, you have immediate access to often used toggles, such as Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. It also provides quick access to iTunes, screen brightness settings, the camera and more.
iOS 7 now has a built in flashlight
Flashlight apps are extremely popular on the App Store, and now Apple has built one in right into iOS 7. To access it, simply open up Control Center, as explained in slide 8, and tap the flashlight icon in the lower left corner of the screen. Tap it once and your previously dark room will be illuminated with the iPhone's LED light.
Siri has more power than ever
In iOS 7, you can use Siri to do a number of things that were previously not possible. For instance, you can use Siri to toggle various system-wide settings, such as Wi-Fi, screen brightness, and Bluetooth (i.e "Siri, turn on Wi-FI"). You can also use Siri to create stations in iTunes Radio and search sites like Twitter and Wikipedia. You can even use Siri to find out what's trending on Twitter.
FaceTime Audio Calls
If you live in an area with spotty reception and yet happen to have a strong Wi-Fi connection, you might want to consider making calls using FaceTime Audio. To do so, tap on a contact listing and tap the telephone icon to the right of the FaceTime option. Note that this feature will only work with other iOS 7 users.
View timestamps for every message
This is a great new feature in the Messages app that hasn't gotten a lot of attention. You can easily check the individual timestamps for each message you send and receive simply by swiping to the right while looking at any text conversation.
No folder limits in iOS 7
In iOS 6, creating folders was a great way to help organize all of your applications. Unfortunately, the app limit per each folder was just 16 deep. In iOS 7, however, Apple has upped the ante quite considerably. Now, folders created can hold an infinite number of apps (or as many as your phone can hold).
Make iOS 7 more readable
iOS 7 introduces a new system-wide font called Helvetica Neue. It looks great, but is a tad thinner than the font used in previous iterations of iOS.
If you'd like to make items on your device just a tad more readable, you can make the font Bold by going into Settings > General > Accessibility and toggling the Bold Text option into the on position.
Burst mode in the camera app
Sometimes taking the right photo at the right time can be challenging. So with iOS 7, Apple introduced Burst Mode to the rescue.
From within the Camera app, simply press the camera shutter as you normally would, but this time keep it pressed down. iOS 7 will take 10 photos in quick succession (this works super-fast on the new iPhone 5s) and will let you choose the one that looks best. iOS 7 will also determine which is best for you if you happen to be the indecisive sort.
Change the voice of Siri
Siri first hit the scene with the iPhone 4s. Since then, the feature has grown tremendously. One new Siri feature in iOS 7 is the ability to give Siri a man's voice.
To do so, go to Settings > General, and then select Siri. From there, just tap on the Voice Gender option to change Siri's voice to something that suits you.
Restrict apps from using cell data
Data plans aren't cheap, so if you're looking for ways to stay under your quota, limiting which apps can transmit data via your cellular connection is a smart move.
To access this setting, simply go to Settings > Cellular. Scroll down a bit and you'll see that you have the option to toggle on and off which apps can use your valuable data plan.
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