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iOS 7 Tips and Tricks

Getting the Most Out of iOS 7

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The iOS 7 update promised to bring the biggest set of changes to iOS devices since the original iPhone was released. And for good or bad, it followed through on the promise. There's a lot of fun stuff hidden in the operating system update, including quick access to just about anything on your iPad, a way to correct Siri's mangling of your name and a way to reduce the motion of those apps floating over your background wallpaper.

  1. Search for anything from anywhere. Spotlight Search is now accessed from any home screen on the iPad by sliding down on the screen. This makes it much easier to access, which means your music, movies, apps and contacts are just as swipe away. How to use Spotlight Search.
  2. The new Control Center. The old control center was hidden away so successfully in the old taskbar that most users didn't even know it existed. The new control center can be accessed by swiping up from the very bottom of the iPad's screen and lets you control your music, turn on/off Bluetooth and AirDrop and AirPlay as well as quickly access the camera or a stopwatch. More about the Control Panel
  3. Reduce Motion. If you don't like the way the app icons move on top of the background, you can reduce the motion in the new interface via the settings. Simply go to General -> Accessibility -> Reduce Motion. Get help reducing motion.
  4. Swipe Back. Are you familiar with the back button in Safari? It takes you to the previous web page. And now, you can get there by swiping from left to right starting at the edge of the screen. And this back gesture even works outside of Safari, such as taking you from an email message to the index of messages in the Mail app.
  5. Flick apps closed. You can now flick to close apps by going into the task bar by hitting the home button twice and swiping up from the app's window. You can even close multiple apps at the same time by using two or three fingers.
  6. Share Almost Anything with AirDrop. AirDrop isn't just for photos. You can share anything from the website you are currently browsing to an app you are looking at in the App Store. Just hit the share button and share away. More about AirDrop.
  7. Correct Siri's Pronunciation . Is Siri mangling your name? Tell Siri "you didn't pronounce my name right" and Siri will ask you how to pronounce it correctly.
  8. Put all your apps on one screen. Now that folders can hold an unlimited number of apps, you no need to have multiple screens on your iPad just for apps. You can dedicated your screen for folders and organize all of your apps in those folders. Find out more about organizing your iPad on one screen.
  9. Automatically update apps. Never download an app update again. The iPad can now automatically keep all of your apps up to date. You can turn on automatic downloads by going into the iPad's iTunes and App Store settings, found in the Settings app. Get help turnign on automatic updates.
  10. Turn Off background app refresh to save battery life. iOS 7 now has multitasking features that can keep apps updated even when they remain in the background. Unfortunately, this can use up battery life. If you constantly find your iPad drained, try turning off background app refresh for any app you don't need automatically refreshed. You can get there via Settings -> General ->Background App Refresh. You can turn off all apps or just individual apps.
  11. Go Burst Mode with your Camera. You can now take a burst of photos by holding down one of the volume buttons while in the Camera app.
  12. Make text larger. Do you find things hard to read on the iPad? You can expand the default size of text in any apps that support the dynamic font by going into Settings, choosing General and selecting Text Size. This will give you a slider to make text larger or smaller.
  13. Customize your view of the day. One cool aspect of iOS 7 is how you can customize the Today View in your notification center to show what you want it to show. The Today View can show information from you calendar, reminders, events throughout the day and a summary of what is going on tomorrow.
  14. Add multiple songs or artists to a custom iTunes Radio station. Having fun creating custom radio stations with iTunes Radio? Don't forget that you aren't limited to just a single song or artist. You can add multiple artists to either get more specific within a genre or to add more spice, such as a Beatles / Led Zeppelin / Van Halen / Guns N Roses station that runs the gambit from the 60s to the 90s. How to add a new band or song to your station.
  15. New Sounds. The iOS 7 update also came with a bunch of new ringtones and alert tones, so don't forget to check them out. All of the old sounds are now under a folder called "Classic".
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