Adapting to iOS7: Fantastic Features and How to Use Them

by Paige Robbins

It’s been about two weeks since the iOS7 was introduced, and that means even the most stubborn anti-iOS7 iPhone and iPad users have had their devices updated automatically. The new iOS has been highly controversial since it was announced back in June because of the drastic changes in the user interface, but the truth is that we will soon get used to the new “Windows-esque” look and feel, and forget the outdated iOS6. Here are 13 tips and tricks for the iOS7 that will hopefully make the transition to your iPhone’s new operating system a little easier.

The iPhone 5C with iOS7.

Swipe anywhere to unlock. Unlike previous iOS versions, you are able to swipe anywhere on the lock screen to unlock the phone.

Automatic app updates. If you are like me and found it extremely irritating to have to manually update all of your apps through the App Store, then this new feature is for you! To turn on automatic app updates go to “Settings” > “iTunes & App Store” > “Updates.” Warning: This may use excess battery life!

“Parallax” One of the coolest, but most disorienting, aspects of the iOS7 is the new “parallax” feature to the background. This makes it look like your apps are subtly moving over your background as you tilt the phone. While this is extremely cool, it can be dizzying. To turn off the parallax go into “Settings” > “General” > “Accessibility” > “Reduce motion” > “On.”

Audio only FaceTime. It is now possible to FaceTime without having to look at someone’s face! This might seem contradictory and useless, but you can save minutes by calling your friends and family using the FaceTime app’s “Audio only” option.

Background app refresh. This feature refreshes the content of the apps you use most. Although this may seem useful, it uses a lot of battery life, so it’s probably best to turn it off and just check your apps like you used to. To turn off the App Refresh go into “Settings” > “General” > “Background app refresh.”

“Dynamic Backgrounds” Apple has included dynamic backgrounds that are essentially animated backgrounds, and if you purchased a new iPhone 5C, the new dynamic backgrounds are coordinated to match the color of the phone. To access these backgrounds go into “Settings” > “Wallpapers & Brightness” > “Choose wallpaper” > “Dynamic.”

AirDrop This new feature allows you to share photos, videos, contacts, and documents with friends nearby using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. This feature is only available on fifth generation or newer.

Annoyed with Siri’s pronunciation? Now you can fix it!

Level. This is probably the most random new addition to the iPhone. A level is now available in the compass app, which makes it an even more unnecessary application, unless you are planning on building a bunch of IKEA book shelves or hanging some new picture frames.

Text time stamp. All I can say is: FINALLY! You can see the time a text was received by swiping from right to left in a text conversation.

Give Siri an elocution lesson. Another feature that was sorely needed was the ability to teach Siri how to pronounce certain words. You can do this by simply telling Siri, “That is not how you pronounce that,” after she mispronounces something.

Block phone numbers. Now you can block phone numbers from calling or texting you without having to deal with your cell phone company! Block a phone number by going into “Settings” > “Phone” > “Blocked.”

Quit multiple apps. Quit up to three apps at once by entering the App Switcher (double clicking the home button) and touching each of the three screens with a finger in the App Switcher then swiping up.

Bold text/make text larger. Larger text for text messages was a feature in the previous iOS versions, but it is now possible to make most of the text on your iPhone bigger and/or bolder! Go into “Settings” > “General” > “Accessibility” > “Larger type/ Bold text.”

Paige Robbins is a first-year at Barnard and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing

Images courtesy of Ubergizmo and CNET.


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