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

(View all)
Avatar
92 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)
Avatar
92 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)
Avatar
92 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)
Avatar
92 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)
Avatar
92 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)
Avatar
92 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

Hands-On With iOS 14 Widgets, Custom Icons, and Home Screen Setup

Tuesday September 22, 2020 3:25 pm PDT by
Apple with iOS 14 introduced widgets on the Home Screen, leading to unprecedented levels of customization for the iPhone. Combined with Shortcuts that let you change an app's icon, iOS 14 lets you create a whole new look for your Home Screen. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We've been following along with some of the creative alternative Home Screen designs that M...

New Images Leak of iPhone 12 Braided USB-C to Lightning Cable

Thursday September 24, 2020 2:37 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple's upcoming iPhone 12 models will ship with a new Lightning to USB-C cable that includes a braided fabric design. Images of the purported cables were leaked in July, and today leaker Mr White has shared new images that give us a closer look at what we might get included in the iPhone 12 box. The photos show a USB-C to Lightning cable with a clearly braided design rather...

Apple's iPhone 12 Event Could Happen on October 13 Based on Rumors From Mobile Operators

Wednesday September 23, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone-centric event could perhaps be held on Tuesday, October 13, according to information shared with MacRumors by an employee at a UK cellular carrier. There's no way for us to confirm the dates at this point in time nor are we sure on the credibility of the source, but even without a rumor, Tuesday, October 13 is a good guess based on Apple's historic launch timelines, ...

New Version of Microsoft Office Coming Next Year That Won't Require a Subscription

Thursday September 24, 2020 1:53 am PDT by
Microsoft will next year offer a new perpetual release of Microsoft Office for Mac and Windows that doesn't require a subscription to use, according to the software giant (via Windows Central). "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021," said Microsoft in a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange server,...

Interest in iOS 14 Home Screen Ideas Helps Pinterest Break Daily Download Record

Wednesday September 23, 2020 4:37 am PDT by
Apple's introduction of widgets on the Home Screen in iOS 14 has driven a surge in interest among users looking to customize their iPhone, and that has reportedly had a knock-on effect for Pinterest, whose iOS app has seen record downloads as users flock to its content seeking design inspiration. As reported by TechCrunch, App Store intelligence firm Apptopia was first to note the impact of ...

'iPhone 12 mini' Name Reappears in Leaked Apple iPhone 12 Case Stickers

Friday September 25, 2020 1:58 am PDT by
Earlier this week a proven leaker claimed that the iPhone 12 lineup would be named "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max," and today the same nomenclature has appeared again in a photo depicting alleged stickers from unreleased Silicone iPhone cases originating from Apple's international distribution center in Ireland. The photo shows three stickers with the...

Apple Releases iOS 14.0.1 With Fix for Bug That Resets Default Apps After Rebooting

Thursday September 24, 2020 10:12 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS 14.0.1, the first update to the iOS 14 operating system that was released on September 16. Today's update is a bug fix update addressing issues that weren't able to be fixed in the initial iOS 14 launch. The iOS 14.0.1 update is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. ...

Apple Emphasizes That Solo Loop May Increase in Length Over Time, Updates Sizing Guide With More Specific Instructions

Wednesday September 23, 2020 8:26 am PDT by
Apple on Tuesday updated one of its support documents to emphasize that the new silicone rubber Solo Loop for the Apple Watch may increase in length over time, as mentioned in fine print at the bottom of the Solo Loop product page. Apple has also updated its printable Solo Loop sizing guide with more specific instructions, as noted by 9to5Mac's Michael Steeber. The guide now advises users to ...

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
Updated on September 22nd with hands on video. In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of...

Kuo: Mini-LED Displays to Debut in Apple's Next iPad Pro

Tuesday September 22, 2020 11:45 pm PDT by
Following his report earlier this week indicating that Apple will be accelerating adoption of mini-LED displays in its iPad and Mac notebook lineups thanks to better than expected development from potential secondary supplier Sanan Optoelectronics, analyst Ming-Chi has released a new report today sharing a bit more perspective on the mini-LED display market as it relates to Apple. Kuo says...