At long last iOS7 and the iPhone 5S/5C are here, and what’s cool about the new OS is that Apple improved upon a great many things we already know and love about iOS. As a result there’s a minor learning curve in adapting your old behaviors to the new operating system. Here are the first few differences I’ve noticed that are worth sharing with all of you to make your transition from iOS6 to iOS7 as smooth as possible.
Used to be if you were reading emails in list view you could swipe to the right to delete them. Not anymore. Now you have to swipe to the left to see the above menu. Tap on the red “Trash” box to delete the email, or tap on “More” to be presented with a menu of additional options for the email including Reply All, Forward, Flag, Mark as Unread, Move to Junk and Move Message…
If you use your phone as your primary email device, it’s worth looking at that Move Message… functionality to keep your emails organized. Not that you can’t simply search for them if that’s your preference.
The search functionality still works the same, but accessing it is entirely different. You likely saw a message alerting you to this change during the upgrade process, and promptly dismissed it without fully realizing how significant this change is. Now if you want to access Search, instead of swiping to the right until you see the leftmost screen, you now swipe down from the center of any home screen. Home screens, in case you don’t know, are the screens that have all your apps on them. Also, if you don’t use Search you really should as it’s a huge timesaver. Never worry about where an app is, or filing emails, or digging through songs in iTunes to hear a specific track – do it all from search in a few easy steps.
Automatic App Upgrades
Fact is most people rarely update their apps, and the should, as new features, improved usability and increased stability are regularly added to apps you already have on your phone. Apple being Apple realized how few people update their apps regularly, so they now allow users to automate the process. To access the automatic Update setting, tap on the Settings app on the home screen and scroll down to the iTunes & App Store settings. Tap that, scroll down a bit and you’ll see the above setting to automatically download app updates. Very handy. Note that if you have a limited data plan, you might want to turn off the Use Cellular Data setting to restrict automatic downloads to when you’re on a wifi network.
App Switcher Restyled
The App Switcher has an entirely new look. You still access it the same way, by double-clicking the Home button (the physical button at the bottom of the screen)but now you see active screenshots of the applications, not simply the icons. Here you can scroll to the left and right to switch between applications, as well as flick applications up to quit them. You no longer need to click on that tiny X to quit an app, now it’s a simple flick.
The New Control Center
Surely one of the most user-friendly updates to the OS. The Control Center now gives you easy access to many of the most frequently used settings – without having to dig through the submenus in the Settings app to find them. To access the Control Center flick up from the bottom of any home screen (or any app screen at all if you have that enabled in Settings).
Once in Control Center you can turn on Airplane Mode, turn WiFi or Bluetooth on and off, turn Do Not Disturb on and off, lock the screen rotation, control screen brightness, the volume and track currently playing in iTunes, turn on a Flashlight, set a timer, access the Calculator or access the Camera. Also, here’s where you can control your AirDrop setting for over-the-air file sharing with other iOS users.
Notification Center has also received a substantial graphical and functional upgrade in iOS7. You still access it the same way, by flicking down from the top of any screen, but now it’s more informative with three different tabs of data. The Today tab presents you with the weather, today and tomorrow’s calendar items and Reminders. The All tab lists all the Notifications sent out by your apps including Instagram likes, news alerts, Reminders, Facebook alerts, etc. Last up, the Missed tab alerts you to any Notifications you missed like phone calls, iMessages, etc.
Explore to Find More
iOS 7 is a HUGE overhaul of the entire iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch operating system. Surely there are far more gems you’ll discover during your daily use to add both amusement to your life and simplify your daily activities. Go have fun exploring the new OS. Enjoy!