Apple's iOS 7 brings hundreds of new features to iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. All these new features plus the new user interface design means there's lots to learn about iOS 7. Here, we share 48 iOS 7 tips to help you master the new mobile operating system, including how to turn off nausea inducing parallax effect and how to repeat an album in iOS 7.
Find out more about iOS 7 in our iOS 7 review
1. Close running apps in multitasking - how to close apps in iOS 7
One of the disadvantages of multitasking – the iPhone's ability to run apps in the background so that when you return to them they don't need to reload – is that apps can continue to use battery power and cellular data in the background. Due to this we frequently close running apps when we are finished with them.
In iOS 6 this was accomplished by double pressing the home button and revealing a dock of all of the running app at the bottom of the screen. We would then press and hold an icon until a small cross appeared in the corner of the running apps, allowing us to close each one individually.
In iOS 7 double tapping the home button brings up a completely different view that shows the screen of each running app, along with the icon for that app.
It's very useful to see the screen as that may tell you all you need to know about the app, but many have been baffled by how to close the app. We watched someone on a train as they tried to press and hold the icon expecting to see the cross appear.
To close open apps in iOS 7 you need to double tap the home button, and then drag the page previews upwards. We thought this would take longer than with iOS 6, but you can actually close two or three pages at a time this way.
Airdrop is a new feature that will make it easy to send photos and the like to friends with iPhones or iPads.
Turn on Airdrop in Control Panel (accessed by swiping up from the bottom of your phone). You and your friend need to tap the word AirDrop and choose whether to be discoverable by just your Contacts or Everyone.
If the iCloud details of the friend you are trying to AirDrop to aren't in your contacts list you will need to add those details. Now that AirDrop is running you need to go to the photo you wanted to share, tap the Share icon (a box with an arrow pointing out of it), and select AirDrop. The friend you want to share with, and other people nearby who have AirDrop set up will show up.
Select the image, tap the icon for that friend. Then your friend should receive an alert saying you would like to share a photo. They can tap Accept (or Decline) and the photo will be added to their Photos. When you finish using AirDrop we advise you to turn it off from Control Panel as it uses Bluetooth and leaving it on will be sure to drain your battery – you'll also need to turn off Bluetooth (which can also be done via Control Panel).
Find our more about AirDrop in our AirDrop for iOS 7 review
3. Access the spirit level
Next time you are building Ikea furniture your iPhone or iPad running iOS 7 will come in handy. There is now a spirit level hidden away on a second screen in Apple's Compass app.
Open Compass and after calibrating (now a case of turning the phone around in your hand) swipe from left to right. There are two spirit levels to choose from, place your phone flat on your MDF shelving and when the inclination is spot on the screen will turn green. Place the phone upright and you can measure the incline or make sure that wall you just plastered is completely perpendicular.
4. View List view in Calendar
We love how the Calendar looks in iOS 7 but we were missing the old List view from iOS 6 that listed all the appointments you had over a number of days. Then we discovered that it's still there, but it's hidden.
Open Calendar and tap the magnifying glass icon. There's your list. Now you can scroll down and get the details of the appointments you have next week and beyond. You may also be wondering about the Week view – this is accessed by turning the iPhone on its side and viewing in Portrait mode, the same way as it worked in iOS
5. Check cellular data use - restrict data hogs to WiFi
Earlier this year we started getting alerts from our mobile network around the end of the month telling us that we were nearing the end of our data allowance. We listed a number of ways to stop running out of data here.
In iOS 7 managing the greedy data hogging apps is easy. Go to Settings > Cellular and scroll down to see the Cellular Date Usage (we make a habit of resetting this each month when our contract renews) and, new in iOS 7, a break down of which apps have been using cellular data. If any of those numbers raise alarm bells you can toggle the switch and stop them using cellular data. You can also assess the System Services and their data use on the next page (tap System Services).
6. See time stamps in iMessage
Another thing people are missing from iOS 7 is the ability to see what time a text message or iMessage was received. In iOS 6 you would have seen some time stamps (although not for every message), but these time stamps disappeared completely in iOS 7. Actually, you can find out when a message was sent. To do so, drag your finger from right to left and you will see the time that each message was sent. Handy if you want to know if someone is inviting you to lunch today or tomorrow, for example.
7. Delete an iMessage
Another thing that doesn't seem so straightforward in iOS 7 when compared to iOS 6 is deleting individual text or iMessages. In iOS 6 you could tap the Share icon (or was it Edit) Edit button at the top of an iMessage chain, and that would give you the option to select a message to delete or clear all the messages. Now in its place you see the word Contact, which lets you call or Facetime your friend, or press the i to add to their Info.
So how do you delete those embarrassing texts now? Press and hold the offending text message and select More… Now you can choose to delete that message, or choose Delete All, which now appears as an option at the top of the screen. This won't delete the message from your friends phone. Once a message is sent, it's sent; you can't hold Apple responsible for drunken texting.
8. Delete emails
Just as with Messages, people have been wondering how to delete emails, and particularly how to delete emails. As with iOS 6 you can delete multiple emails by tapping Edit at the top of the screen and then tapping on the circles beside the emails you wish to delete and then tapping Trash. However, if it's just one email that you want to delete the gesture is slightly different to in iOS 6.
You now swipe from right to left where you now get the option to Trash or More. Tap More and you can Reply, Forward, Flag, Mark as Unread, Move to Junk, or Move Message. If you select a message that is part of a Thread you won't get the option to Reply or Forward. You need to tap on the message to access the thread to view the individual messages first.
9. Adjust text sizes and properties
When iOS 7 was first previewed back in June people were split over the fonts with some people complaining that the thinner font that was being used throughout the beta of iOS 7 at that time was too difficult to read. Apple not only responded by changing the weight of the font, so it's a little thicker, it's also made it possible for iOS 7 users to make changes to the fonts themselves.
Access the text size properties under Settings > General > Text Size. Here you can adjust the reading size of fonts by dragging the slider. This won't make every word on your screen bigger, just the fonts within apps, but it does mean that you can change it so that the text in Messages and Mail are bigger. Not all apps support this right now, but many may in future.
Here's the first of our series of iOS 7 tips videos...
10. Block someone from calling you
Back in the days of iOS 6 we wrote an article on how to block nuisance callers. It was based on a workaround because it was not possible to actually block a caller. Now in iOS 7 you can actually block a caller.
Inside the Phone app, select Recents and if you see your nuisance caller's name or number, tap the i beside the last time they called and on the Info screen scroll to the bottom and select Block this Caller. This is brilliant if an Estate Agent or a double-glazing sales person is hassling you. You can review who is in you Blocked list at Settings > Phone > Blocked. You can also add people here, tap Add New and then select the annoying person from your Contacts list. If you have a change of heart later you can unblock them by tapping Edit and tapping on the red circle in the blocked list and selecting Unblock.
11. Place FaceTime audio calls
We love the idea of saving our mobile phone contract minutes by using FaceTime, but sometimes you don't want to feel like you need to give that person all your attention by appearing on camera while you are speaking to them. Now in iOS 7 it is possible to place an audio call in FaceTime (which we find also has the benefit of providing better audio quality than a mobile call does).
To place an audio FaceTIme call, tap on a contact listing and tap the telephone icon to the right of the FaceTime option. While this will save you cash if you are on WiFi, note that if you make a call this way over 3G or 4G it will come out of your data allowance. You'll also notice that everyone in your Contacts list will have a FaceTime and handset icon, even if they don't have an iPhone, iPad, or iCloud account. If you tap the handset icon you will get a notification saying "This person is not available for FaceTime Audio".
12. Use Burst Mode
Compact and SLR cameras usually offer a continuous shooting mode so that you can take a series of shots in quick succession. This is perfect at a sport event, or when you are want to get the perfect snap of a baby or a cat that keeps moving. In iOS 7 you can shoot in Burst Mode. The phone will take photos in quick succession and you can pick the one you like the best. Open the Camera, and just tap and hold the shutter button.
There's also a more advanced burst mode that's only available on the iPhone 5s. Here the iPhone will take up to 10 pictures a second and save the non-blurry pictures to your camera roll. We're not so sure why anyone would want to do this, however.
Find out more about the Camera app in our iOS 7 Camera review
13. Take a still while videoing
Another new feature in the Camera in iOS 7 is the ability to take still photos while shooting. As soon as you start shooting video a white button will appear on the screen, tap that to take still photographs. These photographs are taken using the full screen, so they have the same 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio as the video you are taking, unlike the standard 4:3 aspect ratio of the photographs you take in the standard photo shooting mode. We wonder why Apple hasn't added a widescreen shot option to the Video, Photo, Square, Pano options offered by the camera.
14. Repeat an album in iOS 7
The Music app has been given a complete makeover in iOS 7, but a quick search on Google reveals many people asking what happened to the repeat album option. It’s still there, though, it is a bit of a faff to get to.
Open the Music app and tap the More tab in the bottom-right corner. Next, tap the Albums option at the top to access a list of the albums on your device. Scroll through this until you reach the one you want to listen to. Open it and you’ll be taken to a track list. Click a song and you’ll be taken to the screen below. Tap Repeat in the bottom-left corner and you’ll be shown a list of options, including Repeat Album. Tap this and you’re done.
15. Access control panel
You can quickly and easily access the control panel, or Control Centre as it's officially know, by sliding up from the bottom of your iPad or iPhone's display. From here, whether your iPhone is locked or unlocked, you can turn on/off Airplane more, WiFi, Bluetooth or Do Not Disturb.
Additionally, the Control Centre gives you access to brightness controls, music controls, the new torch feature, the timer, calculator and camera. You can also turn on or off screen rotation.
16. Turn the torch on, and turn the torch off
Speaking of that torch, you may know that you can trigger the flashlight by swiping up on the Control Centre and tapping the torch icon, but did you know that you can turn it off quickly without having to swipe at all?
When the torch is on you can quickly turn it off just by tapping the camera icon in the bottom right of the lock screen.
17. Turn off parallax effect so iOS 7 doesn't make you feel sick
iOS 7's parallax effect turns the screen of your iPhone into something more: a pane of glass behind which users can see a three-dimensional world that shifts and tilts alongside the device itself. Apple's design guru, British born Jonathan Ive said that he built these three dimentional transitions into iOS 7 to give it depth, but it appears that the movement is causing problems for some people.
There is a whole thread on Apple's support forums about this very matter, some people have even been physically sick due to the transitions.
Apparently some people are affected by the transitions that can induce dizziness, vomiting and vertigo-like effects.
For most iOS 7 users the parallax effect is a fun feature that makes your choice of wallpaper in the background of your iPhone's home screens move about in the background as you move your iPhone. You can change the wallpaper on your device by going to settings, Wallpapers & Brightness, and tapping choose wallpaper. You can choose from your camera roll or the default set of wallpapers provided by Apple.
Another feature of this parallex effect is the way that you return to the home screen after unlocking your phone - you will see the app icons appear to fly into place.
If you don’t like the parallax effect, you can turn it off by going to Settings > General > Accessibility and tapping "Reduce Motion". You can now slide the toggle so it appears green, which means that parallax is turned off.
This won't just turn off the moving wall paper, but will stop all the animations on your iPhone that people have been complaining are making them feel sick by inducing motion sickness.
Another reason to turn off the parallex effect is that it can uses up battery - so by turning it off you should be able to extend the battery life of your iPhone.
Click through to the next page for our next 14 iOS 7 tips to help you master Apple's latest OS including iOS calendar tips, using Photo Stream, taking a panorama, photo editing, turning off location services, and more...
Click through to page 3 for more iOS 7 tips to help you master Apple's latest OS including how to update apps, using Siri, changing your default browser, and more...
Click through to page 4 for more iOS 7 tips to help you master Apple's latest OS including closing all the Safari tabs, sharing pages in Safari, using gestures, stopping your iPhone recognising frequent locations, seeing Safari shared links, and more...