iOS 7 Tidbits: iMessage Timestamps, App Switching, Spotlight Search, and More

Apple released iOS 7 to the public earlier today and while we highlighted a number of the major features in the operating system, there are more than 200 changes in all, including hundreds of minor tweaks and improvements. We’ve gathered up a list of some of the lesser known iOS 7 features below and additional information about iOS 7 can be found in our iOS 7 forum and our post on the iOS 7 release.

ios7
Control Center: The new Control Center can be accessed by swiping upwards from the bottom of the screen. It includes quick access buttons for AirPlane, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Orientation Lock, and Do Not Disturb mode. It can also be used to adjust brightness and open apps like Calculator, Clock, and Camera. There’s even a built-in flashlight. Control Center can be disabled/enabled within apps or on the lock screen via Settings > Control Center.

controlcenteroptions
Notification Center: Notification Center is accessed by swiping downwards from the very top of the screen. Choose what is displayed in Notification Center by accessing the option in the Settings menu. It can display Calendar events, Reminders, Stocks, and daily summaries. It is also able to provide location based information such as weather and driving times. Tapping on the temperature within Notification Center will open the weather app, and Notification Tabs can be swiped to change windows as well.

Weather App: Tap on the temperature within the weather app to reveal additional information like humidity, chance of rain, and wind speed. Temperature is also now displayed in the Notification Center, as long as Location Services for the Weather app are turned on, accessible through Settings > Privacy.

Automatic App Updates: In iOS 7, apps can update automatically. To turn this feature on and off, access Settings > iTunes & App Store. This setting is turned off by default, but when it is on, app updates will be downloaded and applied automatically without the need to visit the App Store and update manually. This saves time, but it does not allow users to pick and choose updates.

automaticdownloads
Turning off Location Data: To prevent Notification Center and other apps from using location-based data, go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services to turn off options like Frequent Locations and location based iAds, which are new features found within iOS 7. Frequent Locations is a function that will store location histories in order to provide information to various apps.

Spotlight Search: Spotlight, which allows users to open apps and locate both files and information, can now be accessed by swiping downwards on any app page. Previously, it had a dedicated screen that was accessed by swiping left on the home screen.

searchoption
Closing/Switching Apps: Double tapping on the home button now brings up a display of apps that are currently running. Users can switch between apps by tapping on an app card, or close apps that are running with an upwards swipe. Multiple apps can be closed at once by swiping with more than one finger on the screen.

Lock Screen: Both the Control Center and the Notification Center can be accessed from the lock screen for user convenience. Swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen to open Control Center, and swipe downwards from the top to access Notification Center. The camera can also be quickly accessed from the lock screen by swiping upwards on the Camera icon.

slidetounlock
Folder Size: Folders are now able to support multiple pages and can hold more apps than before. Swipe left or right to access different pages within a folder. Folders have also been made translucent and blend in better with the background of the device. Apple's Newsstand app can also be put away into a folder now.

Siri: Siri can now pull up restaurant reviews, toggle settings, search for images, post to Facebook, play Voicemail, and access tweets. Siri will now attempt to learn the pronunciation of difficult names and Siri also has a new male voice that can be accessed through Settings > General > Siri > Voice Gender.

iMessage/SMS Time Stamps: Time stamps within iMessage are now available. Pull to the left within on a speech bubble within the app to see when a text or message was sent or received.

Background App Refresh:: Apps are able to refresh their content in the background in iOS 7, keeping them up-to-date at all times. This can be toggled on and off for individual apps by accessing Settings > General > Background App Refresh. Disabling Background App Refresh can potentially increase battery life, so it is best to limit this function to apps that are used often.

backgroundrefresh
Go Back Gesture: There's a new system-wide gesture that can be used to go back to the previous window, which is especially useful in Safari. Swipe to the right from the very left edge of the screen to use the gesture.

Names in Messages: The way names are displayed within Messages can be changed in iOS 7. Go to Settings > Mail Contacts and Calendars > Short Name (Under Contacts) to select an option. Choices include first name and last initial, full name, and first name only.

Closing Safari Tabs: Safari in iOS 7 has a new tabbed layout. Tabbed pages can be closed quickly by swiping the page to the left.

Ringtones and Sounds: iOS 7 adds a slew of newly redesigned ringtones and system sounds, which can be accessed via Settings > Sounds.

AirDrop: AirDrop can be used to wirelessly transfer files between the iPhone 5 and later, the fourth-generation iPad, the iPad mini, and the fifth-generation iPod touch. It does not work with earlier devices (there will be no AirDrop option in the Control Center) or with AirDrop on the Mac.

Private Browsing in Safari: Private browsing is no longer turned on within system settings. Instead, when a new window is created within the browser, the "Private" button can be tapped to initiate a private browsing session. Do Not Track can be enabled within Settings > Safari.

Clock: The Clock icon now displays the correct time. Within the Clock app, world clocks will display as black for places where the sun has set, and white where the sun remains up. Times can also be swapped from digital to analog by tapping on the city name.

Maps: When viewing turn-by-turn directions, Maps automatically switches from day to night mode using both the current time and ambient light sensor to judge which is more appropriate.

navdayandnight.jpg
Deleting Bookmarks in Safari: Swipe left on bookmarked pages to quickly delete them. This also works in Reading List.

Dynamic Font Sizes: A system-wide font size can be selected for apps that support it. To change the font, access Settings > General > Text Size.

Block Phone Numbers: Specific contacts and phone numbers can be blocked within iOS 7. Go to Settings > Phone > Blocked to add contacts that will be prevented from calling (sending the calls to voicemail), FaceTiming, and sending messages.

blockedcalls
Level: The Compass app now includes a built-in level that can be accessed by swiping to the right on the main screen of the app. Double tap on the Level screen in order to zero it out at any angle.

App Downloads: Blue dots are used to denote apps that have been newly downloaded or updated, and a new app installation animation has been introduced with iOS 7.

newdownloadanimation
Cellular Data Usage: iOS 7 provides an overview of the amount of data that each app uses. Go to Seeings > Cellular and scroll down to the bottom to view the amount of data that apps are using. It is also possible to toggle Cellular Data usage on and off for specific apps that are eating up a significant amount of data when on a Cellular connection.

Turn Off Parallax: iOS 7's slight motion effect, termed parallax, shows up when an iPad or iPhone is slightly tilted. Parallax can be disabled by accessing Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion. Turning this setting on will disable the parallax motion effects.

iTunes Radio: iTunes Radio can be accessed from within the Music app. It is currently only available for users located in the United States, though it works for users outside of the U.S. as long as they have a U.S. iTunes account.

Camera: The Camera app includes new photo filters, which can be applied to the live view. Tap on the colored dots at the bottom of the screen to access the new filters, and swipe on the screen itself to switch between Video, Photo, Square (takes an Instagram-sized image) and Panoramic modes. Focusing photos can also be done by pressing the volume up button rather than tapping on the screen.

Photo Sharing: Tapping on the Photos tab within the Photo app will open a new organizational system divided into Years, Collections, and Moments. Tapping on a Year, and then a Collection within a Year will display photos taken throughout the course of the year, which are divided into Moments. Entire Moments, which are essentially different events, can be shared all at once (via AirDrop, Messages Mail, Facebook and Flickr) rather than on an individual basis.

Top Rated Comments

downpour Avatar
103 months ago
Is there an option to disable ugly mode?

I would look for it myself but the interface has given me snow-blindness.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ironman159 Avatar
103 months ago
The fact that it uses cellular data to update apps when you have no WiFi connection is a big disadvantage to me.

You can toggle a switch and prohibit it from using cellular data, only Wi-Fi.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
koruki Avatar
103 months ago
Is there an option to disable ugly mode?

I would look for it myself but the interface has given me snow-blindness.

Turn off your facetime camera :rolleyes:
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
12vElectronics Avatar
103 months ago
lots of cool features in iOS7. Wish all these things were available with the old school "look" though..
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
redkamel Avatar
103 months ago
I already don't like it very much. All this zooming in and out when I switch apps gives me a headache, and none of my wallpapers work anymore! The parallax makes them get automatically stretched. I can't even turn it off....

Edit: Thank goodness, figured out how to turn it off...its listed under accessibility, reduce motion.

The more I use it, the less I like it. I now have nausea from app switching (and I rarely get motion sickness). I really don't like the new design language. At all. If this is way mavericks is going to be, I am going to have to learn some heavy customization skills.

Theres also so many meaningless animations.

And the icons really are ugly. I was going to give them a chance but all day long, this has just been less and less good. I hope they update soon!
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
timborama Avatar
103 months ago
Haha. Simplicity is not your thing I guess huh?
Big difference between Simple and Amateur. These are Amateur..
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
iPad mini pro feature 2

iPad Mini 6 to Feature 8.3-Inch Display With No Home Button and Narrower Bezels

Monday July 26, 2021 12:26 pm PDT by
The sixth-generation iPad mini that's in the works will have an 8.3-inch display, according to display analyst Ross Young. That will be larger than the current 7.9-inch display, with the larger size due to the removal of the Home button and a narrower bezel design. Rumors about the iPad mini 6 have been picking up in recent weeks ahead of its prospective launch this fall. Apple analyst...
iphone 12 pro gold

Report: iPhone 14 Pro Models to Feature Tough Titanium Alloy Chassis

Monday July 26, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Next year's "iPhone 14" series is expected to feature high-end models with a new titanium alloy chassis design, claims a new investors report by JP Morgan Chase. According to the report, the use of titanium alloy will be one of the biggest changes to the case design in the 2022 iPhone series, and Foxconn will be the exclusive manufacturer of the titanium frames for the high-end models....
nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
apple mac business page

Apple Shares 11 Reasons Why Business Users Should Choose Macs

Monday July 26, 2021 11:35 am PDT by
Apple today updated its Apple at Work website with a new section dedicated to the Mac, which offers up 11 reasons why "Mac means business." On the webpage, Apple highlights the M1 chip as the number one reason why business users should choose a Mac, offering up an M1 overview [PDF] that explains the benefits of the M1 chip. The information isn't new, but it does provide a look at all of...
imac with accessories

Larger Redesigned High-End iMac Rumored to Launch Next Year

Monday July 26, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
Apple's larger redesigned iMac will arrive sometime in 2022 rather than later this year, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." On Twitter, Dylandkt claimed that Apple's "high end iMac" is not expected to release in the fourth quarter of 2021 alongside Apple's "M1X Macs" – a reference to Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models – because "Apple simply does not want their devices to...
General iOS 14

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 Patch Security Vulnerability That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Monday July 26, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple today released unexpected iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates to the public, and according to a newly released support document, the software addresses a serious security vulnerability that may have been exploited in the wild. Apple says that an application may have been able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges due to a memory corruption issue. "Apple is aware of a report ...
apple bitcoin hack

Is Apple Really Buying Bitcoin?

Monday July 26, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
A large number of websites and posts on social media are stoking rumors that Apple has purchased $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the company's first move into cryptocurrency, but is there any validity to the claims? Many people are citing the fact that Apple was looking for a Business Development Manager with experience in alternative payments, including cryptocurrency, earlier this year as ...
tesla red orange bg feature

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Takes Shots at Apple During Earnings Call

Monday July 26, 2021 4:53 pm PDT by
During a Tesla earnings call that took place today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk spent time sniping at Apple, reports CNBC. Musk criticized Apple's "walled garden" and made comments on the company's cobalt use. In a discussion about plans to allow Tesla competitors to use the Tesla electric vehicle charger network, Musk said that Tesla does not want to create a walled garden to "bludgeon" Tesla...
FaceID iMac REREREREMIX

Gurman: Face ID on the Mac Coming Within a 'Couple of Years'

Sunday July 25, 2021 7:09 am PDT by
Apple plans to bring Face ID to the Mac within the next "couple of years," respected Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter. In the newsletter, Gurman says that he believes Apple's ultimate goal is to shift all of its products to Face ID, including the lower-end iPhones such as the iPhone SE and the iPad Air, which feature Touch ID....