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
99 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
99 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
99 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
99 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
99 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
99 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

april 2021 event coverage feature

Apple Event Live Coverage: New iPads, AirTags, and More Expected [Event Over]

Tuesday April 20, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
Apple's virtual "Spring Loaded" event kicks off today at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time, with Apple expected to debut updated iPad models and perhaps some other hardware such as AirTags or iMac models based on Apple silicon. Apple is providing a live video stream on its website, on YouTube, and in the company's TV app across its platforms. We will also be updating this article with live blog...
m1 imac colors

Apple Announces Redesigned iMac With M1 Chip and Seven Color Options

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has announced a new, redesigned 24-inch iMac, featuring an M1 chip, a 4.5K display, and a range of color options, as well as an improved cooling system, front-facing camera, speaker system, microphones, power connector, and peripherals. The new iMac features a completely new compact design, and comes in a range of seven striking colors, including green, yellow, orange, pink, purple,...
Ports 2021 MacBook Pro Mockup Feature 1 copy

Stolen MacBook Pro Schematics Confirm Apple's Plans to Add More Ports and Remove Touch Bar

Wednesday April 21, 2021 10:31 am PDT by
Schematics stolen from Apple supplier Quanta Computer outline Apple's plans for the next-generation MacBook Pro models that are expected in 2021, and clearly confirm plans for additional ports and a return to MagSafe. MacRumors saw the schematics after they were leaked online, and some of them feature the logic board of the next-generation MacBook Pro. On the right side of the machine,...
iphone 12 preorder purple

Apple Launching iPhone 12 and 12 Mini in New Purple Color on April 30

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:08 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini will be available in a new purple color starting April 30, with pre-orders starting this Friday. Apple is also releasing a new MagSafe Leather Case and Leather Sleeve in Deep Violet, a Silicone Case in Capri Blue, Pistachio, Cantaloupe, or Amethyst, and a Leather Wallet in Arizona, all available to order beginning today. iPhone...
13 inch macbook pro m1

14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Models With XDR Displays Expected to Launch Later This Year

Wednesday April 21, 2021 7:08 am PDT by
Apple yesterday unveiled a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a Liquid Retina XDR display that uses mini-LED backlighting to achieve up to 1,000 nits of full-screen brightness and up to 1,600 nits of peak brightness. With over 10,000 mini‑LEDs grouped into more than 2,500 local dimming zones, the display also has an impressive 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio. Apple has so far branded its mini-LED...
14

Apple Says iOS 14.5 Will Be Released 'Next Week'

Tuesday April 20, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Apple today in a press release about its new AirTag item tracker announced that iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 will be available starting "next week." iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 are packed with new features, including the ability for iPhone users who are wearing an Apple Watch to unlock the iPhone with Face ID while wearing a mask. iOS 14.5 and iPadOS 14.5 will also be the minimum software versions...
ipad pro with m1 chip

Apple Introduces Next-Generation iPad Pro With M1 Chip, Thunderbolt, 5G, XDR Display, and More

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:40 am PDT by
Apple today announced the next-generation iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, Thunderbolt and USB4 support, 5G connectivity on cellular models with mmWave support in the United States, and more. With an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, Apple says the M1 chip in the new iPad Pro provides up to 50% faster performance and up to 40% faster graphics compared to the A12Z Bionic chip ...
f1618938547

Apple Announces AirTag Tracking Devices Starting At $29 Each

Tuesday April 20, 2021 10:10 am PDT by
Apple today announced AirTag, a Tile-like Bluetooth tracking device that's designed to be attached to items like keys and wallets for tracking purposes, letting you find them right in the Find My app. AirTags are accessories for attaching to backpacks, luggage, and other items. Any U1 device like the iPhone 12 can be used for precision finding to guide you right to the item you're looking...
airtag engraving 69

Apple Tries to Limit Offensive AirTag Engravings... With Mixed Results

Wednesday April 21, 2021 3:16 am PDT by
Apple's AirTag item trackers can be custom-engraved using text, numbers, and even emoji, but users looking to express some college humor will likely need to look elsewhere, because Apple's online AirTag personalization tool is easily offended. An AirTag is just big enough to fit up to four characters or up to three emoji. That might seem just enough to get dubiously creative with your...
maxresdefault

Apple Event 2021: Everything Apple Announced at Its 'Spring Loaded' Event in Just 6 Minutes

Tuesday April 20, 2021 4:23 pm PDT by
Apple today held its first event of 2021, and it was one of the most exciting events that we've seen in some time. Apple announced a whole slew of new products, including an M1 iMac, an M1 iPad Pro, a refreshed 4K Apple TV, and the long-awaited AirTags. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. It took Apple an hour to introduce all of the new devices during its virtual...