Get the most out of using your iPad and iPhone with our easy tips and tricks for iOS 7. From quick ways to open apps and settings to turning off parallax, here are our top tips for mastering iOS 7.
Tip 1 Make text larger in iOS 7
If you’re struggling to read text on your iPad or iPhone screen, there’s no need for reach for your glasses. iOS 7′s new Dynamic Type mode makes text larger in supported apps. Go to Settings > General > Text Size and adjust the slider to change text to the size you want.
Tip 2 Take control with Control Center in iOS 7
You can now turn on Airplane Mode, switch off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and access other key controls and apps from any screen on your iPad or iPhone, including the lock screen. Simply swipe up from the bottom edge of the screen to open the new Control Center.
Here are you can adjust screen brightness, system volume, and control music playback. You can quickly open the Timer and Camera apps and in addition, on the iPhone only, use the Calculator and Flashlight. Five further icons let you enable and disable Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb and Lock Orientation.
Tip 3 Quickly switch between iOS 7 apps
Double click your iPhone or iPad home button to see all open apps as icons and large thumbnails in the middle of your screen. Swipe left or right to navigate through a horizontal list of all the running apps, then tap the one you want to use.
To close a running app from the horizontal list, simply swipe upwards, off the screen. If you’ve lots of apps to quit you can use two fingers to simultaneously shutdown two apps.
Tip 4 Organise iOS 7 apps with folders
As iOS 7’s folders now hold an unlimited number of apps, you can reduce the number of home screens you need. Create a folder by dragging one application icon onto another. The folder will be automatically named based on the types of app you’ve grouped together but you can rename it. Open the folder and hold your finger on an app until it starts to shake. Lift your finger and then tap in the text field above the folder. Type in the new folder name and then tap the home button.
Tip 5 Swipe to go backwards in iOS 7
Before iOS 7, moving backwards and forwards in apps involved tapping the back and forward arrows at the top of the app screen. Now, you can simply swipe from the left edge of the screen to return to the previous page. This useful timesaving tip doesn’t work in all iOS 7 apps, but it makes navigating apps such as Settings, Mail, Safari and Music much faster.
Tip 6 Automatically update iOS 7 apps
iOS 7 has the ability to keep all your iPhone and iPad apps automatically updated in the background, thus saving you the trouble of manually downloading updates from the App Store. To turn this on go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. Having all your apps updating in the background will, however, help drain your iPad or iPhone battery faster, so consider disabling this feature either completely, or for less crucial apps, when you need to save power.
Tip 7 Open Spotlight in iOS 7
There’s a new way to open Spotlight, Apple’s universal search feature. In previous versions, you swiped to open a screen to the left of the main home screen.
With iOS 7, you swipe down anywhere on the home screen to pull up the Spotlight search box. You can also change what it searches for in Settings. Go to Settings > General > Spotlight Search and tick the relevant boxes.
Tip 8 Open the camera from the iOS 7 lock screen
Now there’s a quick way to open your iPad or iPhone camera from the lock screen without having to first enter your passcode. Simply swipe your finger upward on the camera icon at the bottom right of your lock screen. You can take photos, change camera settings and view the shots you’ve just taken in this mode but to access other settings or view the full camera roll, you must unlock your device.
Tip 9 Use the new iOS 7 burst mode in Camera
iOS 7 comes with a new burst mode that lets you take multiple photos one after the other in a matter of seconds. Instead of tapping and releasing the shutter button, hold it down to activate burst mode. Alternatively, press the one of the volume buttons. Rapid fire capture will start with accompanying sound effects, and on iPhone 5s you’ll see an onscreen counter of the number of images taken.
Tip 10 New iOS 7 sounds and ringtones
Apple’s iOS 7 comes with a raft of new ringtones and alert tones. Check them out by going to Settings > Sounds. All the old sounds are still available housed in a folder called Classic.
Tip 11 Get a quick view of your day in iOS 7
The Notification Center’s new Today View lets you see at a glance what you’ve got planned for the day. Slide your finger downwards from the top of any screen to see the date, the weather where you are, upcoming appointments and any reminders you have that day. You can customise the Today View to a limited extent. Go to Settings > Notification Center and scroll down to the Today View section to choose what will be shown.
Tip 12 Correct Siri’s pronunciation in iOS 7
Siri can sometimes struggle to pronounce names correctly, but you can fix this by saying: “Siri, you didn’t pronounced that name correctly”. Siri will then ask you how to pronounce it again so it can learn it the correct way.
Tip 13 Get Siri to help even more in iOS 7
You can now use Siri to quickly toggle settings and open various apps on your iPhone or iPad. For example, tell Siri to: “Turn on Bluetooth” and it will do so. Say “Take a photo” to Siri and it will open the Camera app. Tap the ? symbol in the bottom left corner of the Siri screen to see a list of all the things that Siri can help with.
Tip 14 Block unwanted calls and messages in iOS 7
Fed up with constant calls and message from someone you don’t want to deal with? With iOS 7 you can stop unwanted phone numbers from calling you, sending text message or iMessages by adding them to your block list. Simply go to the person’s entry in the Contacts app and scroll down to the Block this Caller option.
Tip 15 Turn-off parallax and dynamic backgrounds in iOS 7
iOS 7’s 3D motion effects and animated wallpapers can make your iPad or Phone look great, but these fun effects can be annoying and waste battery power – they can even lead to motion sickness in some people. You can, however, turn these off in favour of a flat background wallpaper. Head to Settings > General > Accessibility and turn off the Reduce Motion option.