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Share your experiences on exploring iOS 7 with us..

Whether you found hidden or little-known feature of iOS 7 or can explain how a big feature makes a difference, we're looking for objective reports of how the new OS affects your workflow.

Also provide details on how to achieve that feature, and if possible, include a relevant image too (hold Home and Lock for a screenshot on your iOS device).


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Well, it's not opinion-based — it's factual whether features are documented or not. I'm not saying the question doesn't have problems, but it isn't "what are the coolest features of iOS 7"; the problem is that a question asking for "some" doesn't have a single right answer. –  Daniel Lawson Sep 19 '13 at 0:07
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@everyone Having The official Apple iOS 7 User Guide saved to you home screen help.apple.com/iphone/7 –  Simon Sep 20 '13 at 11:52
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It might be better to turn this thread into a blog post rather than try to enumerate changes in answer form? –  bmike Sep 20 '13 at 20:52
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@bmike I like it though. Last year when Apple released iOS 6 you said let's see how the community liked it (apple.stackexchange.com/questions/64468/…), and I think we can say that many people like this kind of question. –  Enrico Susatyo Sep 22 '13 at 6:16
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38 Answers

Within Messages.app, you can (finally!) check on the exact time every message was sent and received by swiping message bubbles to the left.

source: http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/18/4741412/the-best-hidden-features-in-ios-7

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Open the compass app, and swipe once to the right. It becomes a level that changes color to help when oriented vertically or horizontally.

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And when the surface is level... It changes colour! –  Enrico Susatyo Sep 19 '13 at 6:01
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Burst mode photography feature is available on older devices by holding down the shutter button. It does not have the automatic choosing of the best as per the iPhone 5S and I don't think it is as fast.

Tested on iPhone 4, 5 and iPad 3.

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Swipe up on the open apps to get rid of them. Use 3 fingers to swipe 3 at once.

This short video entitled iOS 7 video tip: How to shut down running apps highlights an example of this.

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In the Safari address bar hold down on the "." (period) button to show different TLD (.com,.net etc) shortcuts.

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Setting a timer or hitting snooze now shows the remaining time in the lock screen.

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On Touch ID-enabled devices, on the Fingerprint registration screen in Settings.app, if you place a registered finger on the fingerprint reader, the corresponding registered finger is highlighted on screen. You can also rename each finger instead of Finger 1, Finger 2, etc.

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iPhone 5s specific obviously… –  daviesgeek Sep 27 '13 at 15:58
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It's possible to block annoying contacts.

When you view a contact there is a new option at the bottom to block them.

There's more information about it here. http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2013/09/iphone-call-block-faq/

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This will come in real handy in 2016. Maybe even 2014, though I don't remember non-presidential elections being particularly bad in terms of unsolicited political calls. –  Jason Salaz Sep 23 '13 at 7:25
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App Store Wish List:

iOS 7 now offers a Wish List within the App Store, where you can keep as many apps bookmarked as you want. Just hit the sharing icon from the top bar on an app’s page, and then select the ‘Add to Wish List’ option. This wish list can then be accessed via the bullet icon in the top-right corner.

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Swipe in Safari to go back or forward.

Swiping one finger from left to right (starting off the left edge of the screen) is the same as hitting the "back" button now.

Doing the same from right to left is the same as the forward button. This one obviously only works after you've gone back at least once. (For some reason, the "forward" one is also a bit less responsive on my device.)

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Audio-Only FaceTime Calls:

iOS 7 brings with it the option to place audio-only FaceTime calls (for the times when you are in no state to make a video call). Go to a contact’s info page, and hit the receiver icon in the FaceTime section. It is possible to turn on video later in an ongoing call.

enter image description here

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@EnricoSusatyo Sadly no. –  Steve Moser Sep 21 '13 at 15:03
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I don't feel this is hidden or undocumented. It was a title feature in the iOS keynote. It's also pretty obvious that a phone receiver in a FaceTime section means audio, where a camera means video. Though it's not listed at apple.com/ios/whats-new so I'm on the fence. –  Jason Salaz Sep 27 '13 at 0:30
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iOS 7 keeps tabs on where you hang out most, allowing it to cache relevant nearby data. It’s neat, if a bit spooky. Once you’ve used iOS 7 for a while, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services to view a list of your frequent haunts. You can also turn this feature off at the same location.

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Multitasking makes it easier to flip back and forth between 2 apps easily, when you double click the home button to enter the new thumbnailed multitask screen, it always highlights the previously opened application (or the 2nd in the list, as it were) so if you are for example copying multiple items of text from one app to another, you can use the following flow to quickly and repeatedly switch between 2 apps:

  1. Double Click home, hit the center of the screen; this will always return you to the previous app.

  2. Once you have switched apps in this manner, the order that they appear in changes (basically switching the 1st and 2nd positions around). Repeating the Double Click home and center tap will flip you back to the first app

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A minor thing, but blank home screens are now possible for the 1st screen (with the exception of the dock area). Previously at least 1 app icon was required, but now you can remove them all from the first page - perfect for neatness pedants who love their wallpaper.

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Open tabs in Safari, and tilt your phone to see more content on each tab.

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Yes, only on iPhone. –  Enrico Susatyo Sep 26 '13 at 23:33
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Activation Lock:

Activation Lock adds a second layer of protection against tech savvy thieves. Just make sure that Find My iPhone is turned on in the iCloud tab, and if your device ever gets stolen, the thief will not be able to restore or wipe it without disabling Find my iPhone, and for that, he would need to know your Apple ID and password. You can also prevent the device from being reactivated simply by putting it in Lost Mode.

enter image description here

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-1: This is a very well-known and waited-for feature, isn't it? –  Blacklight Shining Oct 13 '13 at 22:40
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Disable Parallax (if desired):

Parallax is iOS 7's new moving home screen. When you tilt your phone, the wallpaper shifts with it. It's a cool parlour trick, but not really useful. It's also incredibly distracting on the larger screen of an iPad. Worse is the fact that disabling it is hidden away. To turn it off head into: Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion. Turn that "On" and Parallax is disabled.

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If you are having trouble reading text on the new backgrounds, you can choose to increase contrast which effects your home bar, lockscreen keys, and more.

Increase Contrast option on the iPhone ios7

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A new feature to solve a new problem created by iOS 7. –  Tom Brito Sep 23 '13 at 13:06
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Search is obtained by swiping down from the middle of a home screen. Swiping from the top edge brings up the notification center as in iOS6.

I am not sure how my hypothetical grandmother with her hypothetical iPhone is supposed to figure this out though.

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maybe "hypothetically figure this out"? :) –  Jason Salaz Sep 29 '13 at 20:03
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iOS7 now tracks data usage in a similar (although not quite as effective way) as Data Sense does on Windows 8 phones.

Take a peek in Settings > Mobile and scroll down to the MOBILE DATA USAGE section, where you can track how much data has been sent over the mobile data connection (as opposed to WIFI, which isn't tracked). This is shown as a total of all data, but also on a per app basis, allowing you to see which apps are using most of your bandwidth, and most usefully allowing you to simply deny mobile data access to certain apps without having to shut off your entire connection, which is very very useful for those on expensive data plans, or those of us (like me) who get an allocated amount each month occassionaly get close to going over.

Data Usage

The figures are shown since the last reset, which is shown at the bottom of the screen (along with the option to perform a statistics reset); unfortunately there is no concept of scheduling a period like with Data Sense where I can say I have 1Gb per month starting on the 15th, for example, but if you remember to manually reset on the first day of your data period, then it's still mighty useful for both keeping you within your limits, and also understanding what is actually using your data.

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Also sometimes known as Settings > Cellular instead of Settings > Mobile. Not sure why; perhaps locale- or carrier-specific? –  Ben Liblit Oct 3 '13 at 12:55
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One method of preserving battery life - Disabling Background Refresh.

iOS 7 lets certain apps refresh even when you're not using them, which is both super convenient and a big problem for users who want the most out of their batteries. Disabling Background Refresh entirely would be your best bet, but even disabling the feature on just a few apps should help your device remain lively for a bit longer.

enter image description here

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On the weather app, when tapping on the temperature it also gives the humidity, wind, wind chill etc.

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You can now pinch to change the number of album arts in the Landscape mode of the default music application.

enter image description here enter image description here enter image description here

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Playback controls appear on the lock screen just by waking the phone. This might not sound like a big deal, but I found it to be fantastic. In iOS 6 you needed to double click the home button to display the playback controls on the lock screen. I often carry my iPhone in my breast pocket with headphone cables wound around it. When I want to pause and resume a podcast for a minute, that meant to take it completely out of the pocket to reach the home button and then stuff it and the headphone cable back in. Now I can tap the top power button and reach the controls at the top of the screen right in my pocket, which is fantastic.

The controls only seem to stay there for a limited time after playback has been paused. After that they're only reachable by swiping up the control center.

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As I said, in iOS 6 you had to double press the home button for the controls to come up; unless I'm missing something. In 7 they're there always when something is playing or temporarily paused. Small difference with huge practical impact, at least for me. –  deceze Sep 24 '13 at 20:25
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(-‸ლ) I knew that. No really, I did. I'm pretty sure that's how I resolved the problem instead of unlocking my phone, going into the Music app, and then hitting next... (while driving) At least I sure hope I did. Thanks though, deceze. –  Jason Salaz Sep 29 '13 at 20:06
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Nesting app folders is presently available though this may be considered a bug that Apple will fix in a future iOS7.x.x update

  1. First, combine two apps to create a folder, and then combine the remaining two apps to create a second folder.

  2. Now, hold a finger on one of the folders so that it becomes grayed out.

  3. As soon as it does this, press the Home button twice to bring up the multitasking menu. This trick will not work if the apps begin to wiggle (when they enter the organization mode) before you hit the home button. You have about a half a second to get this right.

  4. From the multitasking menu, click on the home screen. You should see the folder icon remains enlarged and grayed out, and also that the folders are now wiggling.

  5. Now, click the destination folder (the one you want to add the first folder to). You should see the icon of the first folder hovering above.

  6. Now, click the Home button once. Ta-da! You now have a folder within a folder. The best part is that these folders work flawlessly, and you can navigate through them, launch apps from within them, and move apps just as you would otherwise.

You can use this trick to further nest additional folders, and I've been able to create five folder levels before eventually stopping, though I'm pretty sure you can just keep going until you get bored.

source: http://www.tuaw.com/2013/09/24/how-to-create-nested-folders-on-ios-7/

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Send an image link via iMessage or email and it includes link as well as a copy of image inline.

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@JasonSalaz it seems to me that this feature is not more abusable than just sending images. –  Agos Sep 27 '13 at 16:11
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I guess my point is that if someone sends you a link to an image that has an obviously disgusting filename, you can avoid opening it. If it's automatically inlined, not as much. Pick your friends wisely :). –  Jason Salaz Sep 29 '13 at 19:52
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On the "Currently playing" view in the Music app:

  • Tapping on the cover toggles lyrics (which are scrollable)
  • Tapping on Artist/Title/Album text on top of the controls displays the rating
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In my case (iPhone 5s 7.0.3) tapping on the cover toggles between rating and artist/title/album below. Maybe this is because the song I was looking at does not have lyrics. –  Bogdan Calmac Oct 7 '13 at 18:17
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Double tap date picker (in apps that use new date picker) and time toggles between 1 minute and 5 minute intervals.

via: https://twitter.com/novapax/status/389452265981235200

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Hide Apps and place folders inside folders

To remove apps:

  1. Have a full page of apps with at least one folder in it.
  2. Take all the apps you want to hide and put them in a folder. (If you just want to hide one you don't need a folder.)
  3. Place the folder or the single app that you don't want in the dock.
  4. Double tap the home button, but in the short delay it takes to open multitasking, quickly press and hold the app you don't want in the dock.
  5. Now multitasking should be open. Look at the home screen page and the app you don't want should be larger than the others and grey.
  6. Tap the home screen to go back to it.
  7. The app should still be grey and larger than the rest.
  8. Open the folder on the home screen and the apps that you don't want should come with you. Tap the screen to exit the folder and press the home button.
  9. Done! :)

Note: the apps are not permanently gone, just hidden. You can open them by searching for them in the spotlight search. If you restart your phone the apps will return.

To place folders inside other folders:

  1. Follow steps one through eight as shown above.
  2. Drag the folder that came with you into the folder you just opened.
  3. Press the home button to settle all apps.
  4. Done! :)

Here's a video link: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0qI16k8-4A4

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There are a plethora of professional writers covering this:

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I think this should be a blog post similar to this one for iOS 6 (apple.stackexchange.com/questions/64468/…) –  Alain King Sep 19 '13 at 9:13
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"Please post one tip per answer." –  daviesgeek Sep 27 '13 at 15:59
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