Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 7.0 | iLounge Article

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Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 7.0

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By Jesse Hollington

Social Media & Software Editor, iLounge
Published: Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Articles Categories: Features

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Settings

The Settings app itself has not changed dramatically from prior versions other than receiving the expected iOS 7 treatment. Options remain generally presented in the smae order as before, although a splash of colour has been added with a column of icons beside the main options.

Wireless Communications

The first group of items remains much the same, focused on the wireless features of the device. A significant—and very useful—change in this area can be found in the Cellular section, which now provides detailed data usage counters on a per-app basis, as well as for system services and even for apps that have been uninstalled.

In addition, users can now switch cellular data access of entirely on an app-by-app basis, forcing those apps to use Wi-Fi only—a feature that will be an extremely welcome addition for users on limited data plans.

Notification Center, Control Center + Do Not Disturb

The second grouping now includes a new option for Control Center alongside the Notification Center and Do Not Disturb sections. Apple has replaced the ON/OFF toggle for Do Not Disturb with a settings menu that was previously found one level deeper, within the Notification Center settings.

As discussed earlier, Notification Center and Control Center provide options for disabling these features from the lock screen or third-party apps, customizing the Today View for Notification Center, and configuring notifications for third-party apps.

Do Not Disturb now includes a “Manual” switch at the top of its settings, since the option is no longer directly available on the main Settings screen, although of course the new Control Center provides direct access to this option as well. A new setting at the bottom of the Do Not Disturb section allows notifications and incoming calls to be silenced whether the device is in use or not, or to simply remain with the default behaviour of only suppressing notifications when the device is locked.

Sounds

iOS 7 adds an entirely new collection of ring and alert sounds, presumably to go along with the significant changes to the visual interface. The venerable “Marimba” default ringtone has been replaced by a new sound called “Opening” and similar changes have been made to default alert tones.

The pre-iOS 7 sounds are still present for users who prefer these, and have been relegated to a “Classic” folder in each section.

General Settings

The General settings subsection adds new options for Text Size and Background App Refresh, and moves iTunes Wi-Fi Sync and VPN options down to the bottom of the list while moving Accessibility settings up to the second group of options.

Text Size allows apps that support “Dynamic Type” to adjust to a user-specific reading size that can be adjusted using a slider found on this screen, which is also now duplicated in the “Larger Text” option under the Accessibility settings.

Background App Refresh relates to a new API in iOS 7 that will allow third-party apps to actually update data in the background without requiring the user to open them first—a feature that up until now has only been the purview of Apple’s built-in apps and apps designed for the Newsstand section. The option here allows users to choose which apps will have access to the background refresh feature.

Restrictions

An additional Restrictions setting has been added for disabling AirDrop, while Siri-related restrictions have been moved to the “Allowed Content” section.

New Restrictions have also been added for locking down Privacy controls further, and access to Cellular Data Use and Background App Refresh can also now be locked down from here as well.

A new Websites section under “Allowed Content” allows browser access to be controlled, either by limiting adult content or limiting access to specific websites only. Selecting “Specific Websites Only” provides a pre-populated list of a handful of kid-friendly sites with the ability to add additional entries; selecting “Limit Adult Content” allows specific sites to be allowed or blocked.

Privacy

iOS 7 now requires applications to specifically request access to the microphone, and a new “Microphone” section under the Privacy controls allow users to view a list of those apps that have requested access and toggle the access on and off for each app, similar to how other the other privacy options work.

The Advertising section introduced in iOS 6 has been moved from its odd location on the “About” screen to the Privacy settings, a much more logical place in our opinion.

Mail, Contacts, Calendars

iOS 7 can now automatically abbreviate names in apps such as Messages and Mail in order to fit more information on the screen, a feature particularly useful for multi-party messages. A new option in the Contacts section allows the user to decide whether to shorten the first name or last name (e.g. “J. Hollington” vs “Jesse H.”), or show the first name or last name only. A “Prefer Nicknames” option here also allows any nickname in a Contact entry to be displayed instead of the user’s actual name.

Accessibility

Accessibility gains a handful of new options and subtle changes. As noted above, Larger Text now uses a slider view in place of the six pre-defined font choices, with seven slider positions representing smaller or larger text options. It is unclear, however, whether this will be the same in the final version, since as the name implies, the Accessibility option is for larger text, and the option currently only supplies three larger sizes and three smaller sizes.

Bold Text can be used to increase font weight for users who have difficulty reading some of the thinner text in the iOS UI. This is particularly apparent in areas such as the icon labels on the home screen.

A “Reduce Motion” switch has been added which disables all of the parallax effects in iOS 7, again useful for visually impaired users or those who may simply find that the effect makes them nauseous. Interestingly, users can also disable Ambient Noise Cancellation during phone calls from here if they so desire. The three-button click option has now been renamed to “Accessibility Shortcut” but otherwise provides the same basic functionality as before.

An On/Off Labels setting adds I/O text to every control switch throughout iOS, a useful feature for visually impaired features to compensate for the removal of the actual ON/OFF text used in prior iOS versions.

Subtitles can also now be customized from a new “Subtitles & Captioning” section in the Accessibility settings. Users can enable Closed Captions and Subtitles for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (SDH), and choose their preferred display style. Three standard options are provided, along with a preview of what the subtitles will look like. A button in the top-right corner also allows the user to switch to a full-screen preview.

Alternatively, users can choose to create a completely custom style of their own, choosing font, font size, font color, background color and opacity, and even text opacity, text edge style, and text highlight. A sizable collection of font choices and font substitution options are available, and each setting includes a “Video Override” option to allow the user to choose whether styles supplied by the video they are watching will override their preferred settings or not.

Conclusions

iOS 7 represents a massive—and perhaps shocking—change to a relatively staid and static six years of Apple’s mobile operating system, and it’s quite likely that many users will be divided as to whether such changes were necessary; some will welcome the fresh new look in a mobile platform that they may have felt was getting “stale” while others will find the experience jarring and unsettling, taking some getting used to.

The good news is that it’s not all about the UI refresh, however, and iOS 7 has added some much-needed quality-of-use enhancements such as Control Center, an improved Notification Centre, photo improvements, and AirDrop. Whether these will be enough to compel hesitant users to take the plunge remains to be seen, however.

As one last aside, it’s worth nothing from a stability perspective that while iOS 7 seems rock solid on the iPhone and iPod touch, iPad users may want to wait until iOS 7.0.1 or 7.1 ships to see if this stabilizes the experience. Our team has been having mixed results with iOS 7 on our various iPad devices, with the iPad mini seeming to suffer the most instability, while the older iPad 2 remains relatively stable.

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Comments

1

You have it saying that the in-camera filters are not available on anything below an iPhone5, but I can use them on my 4s. Not just applying them after the fact, I can take the pictures while the filter is already on.

Posted by Joe on September 18, 2013 at 2:27 PM (PDT)

2

Just so that I’m clear, you can still scroll with the new Cover Flow right? In any case, I’m glad they kept it. It has always my favorite feature.

Posted by hoshieBIOTpod in Havelock, NC USA on September 18, 2013 at 6:57 PM (PDT)

3

Some subtle changes:

In the Summary bar while connected to iTunes, there is a new “Documents and Data” category.

For the time period to require a Passcode, 15 minutes is now available for iPhone (was 5 minutes max, 15 was only for iPad).

Posted by rockmyplimsoul on September 18, 2013 at 11:08 PM (PDT)

4

This update should be aloud on ipod 4th gen also thats what i have and its really cool. How come ipod touch 5 gen always get all the good stuff?

Posted by Laura on September 19, 2013 at 6:54 AM (PDT)

5

Another subtle difference—there is now a dedicated FaceTime app for iPhone, it used to be accessible only through Contacts.

Posted by rockmplimsoul on September 19, 2013 at 7:44 AM (PDT)

6

Very informative, thank you! I won’t hold it against you that you used Rush for screen shots wink.

Posted by Scott on September 19, 2013 at 10:50 AM (PDT)

7

Hi! Just a real simple question really; how do I turn on location services in the privacy settings? The toggle bar is not available to turn on or off! I’ve read through reams of info but I can’t get to the point of turning it on. I need it so that my TomTom app will work. It did before I downloaded IOS 7 but sure doesn’t work now! Please can you help, thanks.

Posted by chris taylor on September 20, 2013 at 1:58 AM (PDT)

8

When I receive a text in “lock” mode, how can I change the appearance on the Lock screen to say “text message” instead of showing the contents of the message?

Posted by E on September 21, 2013 at 8:31 AM (PDT)

9

Hi,my iPhone 4s has paired beautiful with the new iOs7. Everything working fine exept the translucent effect with the control center window. Any helpful suggestions? Thanks.

Posted by Rudi Oppinger on September 22, 2013 at 8:17 PM (PDT)

10

Can you reset the deault colors, for example my stock app is now black, green and red.  The green in this app and all other apps is so bright that it makes it difficult to read the text.

Posted by Nancy on September 23, 2013 at 9:20 AM (PDT)

11

The older iOs allowed one to clear the cache by double-tapping the home button.  How is the cache manually cleared with iOs7?
Thanks

Posted by Tom on September 23, 2013 at 2:02 PM (PDT)

12

Hmmmmm. Is this a bug? I have Do Not Disturb enabled with the Silence Always option checked. However, if I’m in the Messages main screen and a text comes in the phone will make a sound. It is my understanding that if the Silence Always is checked then no alert sounds should go off. This only happens when on the main screen of the Messages app.

Posted by Veronica on September 23, 2013 at 3:52 PM (PDT)

13

what happened to my app icons when i updated my 4s to 7.0.2?

Posted by roy on September 26, 2013 at 1:18 PM (PDT)

14

HELP!
I can’t find any information on my problem. My iPad 2 just keeps trying to download iOS7.0.2 but is not making any progress. How do I stop it OR how do I make it start? It has been spinning for days now.

Thank you,
Sue

Posted by Sue on September 29, 2013 at 6:21 AM (PDT)

15

Hello,I can’t find my timeline on iOS 7 Facebook.Thanks

Posted by Paul Corwin on October 1, 2013 at 1:29 PM (PDT)

16

Thanks very much for this piece of information. It is the best I could find sofar.
Keep going!
Hans

Posted by Hans Ris on October 2, 2013 at 1:00 AM (PDT)

17

The new iOS has screwed the alarm clock function for many users.  It’s is so quiet that you miss it and sleep through. There is also to marimba tone which was the best alert.  Si in short, I can no longer rely on my alarm clock to wake me.  Very upset since it used to work so well and you could have the screen locked.  Will you be returning the alarm click to its former glory? I have ready countless posts , all with the same complaint.  People have been late for work and even missed flights. Not a smart change in this upgrade

Posted by Shaunna on October 2, 2013 at 1:38 PM (PDT)

18

@Shaunna (#17): Marimba is actually still there—you’ll find the older ringtones under a “Classic” sub-menu along with all of the other pre-iOS 7 sounds.

Posted by Jesse Hollington in Toronto on October 3, 2013 at 7:04 AM (PDT)

19

The new ios7 is rubbish.
You should have left things the way they were.
The volume of tones,music & alarms are quiet now even thou evrything is turned up to the max.
The mute button has even stopped working since i updated.
Whats going on if this carries on im moving to Android.

Posted by Chris on October 6, 2013 at 12:42 PM (PDT)

20

I have problems with my control center! I have an ipod touch gen 5 and my music player won’t start when I click the start button and when I started it in the music app and lock my ipod It wont let me skip to the next song.

Posted by Lily on October 7, 2013 at 2:37 AM (PDT)

21

I cannot lock the screen into the portrait or landscape position. The least little movement causes it to move all the time. Very difficult to read a book or anything else.
The control center on the mini iPad does not have a place to lock th screen into one position despite people saying it ides.

He control center on he mini iPad does not look lik the one on my iPhone 4S.

Posted by Barbara Fedak. on October 12, 2013 at 4:37 PM (PDT)

22

The older iOs allowed one to clear the cache by double-tapping the home button.  but in the newer version i can’t..  How is the cache manually cleared with iOs7? thank you

Posted by tmtm on October 26, 2013 at 6:38 AM (PDT)

23

and now with ios7.03 all your apps are gone too. all the time you spent organizing your aps into folders are all gone. All your ‘sent’ mail and all other folders are all gone too. crap crap crap. Losing money here because of this stupid ‘upgrade’—how can anyone rely on this fickle minded os for doing business??? The ‘best’ part is…you cant even restore from a previously properly working back-up…..crap crap crap

Posted by malik on October 26, 2013 at 7:05 AM (PDT)

24

@Tmtm to clear the cache is also by double-tap home button. Only unlike the 6, with 7 you just slide up the apps one by one.

Posted by ddd on December 15, 2013 at 9:54 PM (PDT)

25

How do I get my iphone 4 to text while holding horizontally with two hands? It was working fine & I was playing around getting to know the it and now it only works vertically. What did I do and how do I fix it? Thanks, Brian

Posted by Brian Hilberer on January 5, 2014 at 5:36 PM (PDT)

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