1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

iOS 7 Tutorial: Navigating the New Features and Interface

A Guide to iOS 7


The iOS 7 update brought with it several cool new features and a brand new interface. Unfortunately, it can be a little bit of culture shock for those used to the old look and feel of the iPad and iPhone. Not to worry, though. The new interface mostly behaves similar to the old one, and while some gestures have changed, it is easy to get used to once you know a few tricks.

How to Update to iOS 7

The New Control Panel

A great "new" addition to the iPad is the control panel. I write this somewhat sarcastically because the iPad did have a control panel previous to the iOS 7 update. It was simply hidden. In fact, it was hidden so well that most people didn't know it existed. There are no similar worries with the new control panel. You can access it by swiping up from the bottom of the screen -- the very bottom. Placing your finger on the edge of the screen or completely off of it works.

The new control panel will let you control the music playing, modify AirDrop options, change the screen brightness and turn on/off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth among other options. Being able to turn off Bluetooth so easily is a major boon to anyone with a Bluetooth device that automatically pairs when you are in range. Find out More About the Control Panel

The New Share Button

As with most of the interface, the Share button received a facelift. More importantly, it has added functionality, such as the ability to share via AirDrop or to share to new social networks like Flickr and Vimeo. Unfortunately, the Share Button can move around, so it is important to recognize it. The new share button is a box with an arrow sticking up from it. Find Out More About the Share Button

The New Task Bar

The task bar also got a refreshed look in the iOS 7 update. Instead of just a bar of icons at the bottom of yoru screen, the task bar -- which is accessed by clicking the home button twice in a row -- now shows minature windows with the app icon below it. This makes switching between apps a much more visual experience. It also changes the way you close an app. Instead of closing similar to how you would delete an app from the home screen, you now close an app by dragging that miniature window up to the top of the screen.

The New Spotlight Search

The new spotlight search is much like the old spotlight search. You can still search for almost anything on your iPad, including apps, contacts, music, videos, etc. You can even search the web through the spotlight search interface. The major change here is how you get to it: Instead of swiping from left to right while on the first page of apps on your home screen, you can now access the spotlight search on any home screen by swiping down on the screen. Just make sure you don't start at the very top of the screen or you will get the navigation center instead. Find Out More About the Spotlight Search

iTunes Radio

One of the biggest new features of the iOS 7 update is iTunes Radio, which is available on all iOS devices and in iTunes on Mac and Windows-based PCs. iTunes Radio is a Pandora-like music streaming service that acts as a Internet-based radio station. Or radio stations -- plural. You can even creaete your own radio station by inputting your favorite artist, song or genre, and customize it further by listing more artists that you like or don't like to teach your radio station what to play. Find Out More About iTunes Radio


If iTunes Radio is one of the biggest new features, AirDrop might be one of the most useful. Or perhaps just the most fun. AirDrop lets you share almost anything with any nearby iOS device or Mac computer. Unfortunately, the device must be relatively new for AirDrop to work. For example, you can share with iPhone 5 owners, but not iPhone 4S owners. But it when it does work, it's pretty cool. You can share anything from a photo to the website you are currently browsing. Find Out More About AirDrop

  1. About.com
  2. Technology
  3. iPad
  4. iPad Guides and Tutorials
  5. iOS 7 Guides
  6. iOS 7 Tutorial: Navigating New Features and Interface

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.