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iOS 7 Top Features and iOS 8 Wish List

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iOS 7 is Apple’s new operating system.  It brings a brand new user interface that is simpler and more layered, the felt and the linen have been taken out to dry  for the last time and we now have new additions, such as Control Center, male Siri, new ringtones/text tones, AirDrop, iTunes Radio and much more.  It has been out since September and here are the top features every iOS 7 user should know and my wish list for iOS 8 (coming Fall 2014).

iOS 7 Top Features Every User Should Know

Slide to Unlock

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On the Lock screen, you can now Slide to Unlock anywhere on the screen.  You just have to slide your finger from the left of the screen to the right side of the screen.  The Camera icon is in the bottom left corner of the screen and you must slide the icon up to unlock the Camera. To open the Notification center, slide down from anywhere along the Status Bar (where the time and battery icon are located).  To open Command Center, slide up from the bottom (opposite of Notification center).  If you don’t like having these capabilities (with the Notification and Command center in the Lock screen, you can disable them in Settings).

Text Message Time Stamp

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To see your text message time stamps, slide any chat bubble from the right to the left.  This works in many messaging apps as well (e.g. Facebook Messenger).  This will reveal the time stamps as long as you hold your finger on the screen.  For a more permanent copy of the time stamps or to win an argument, while holding the your finger on the screen with the time stamps shown, take a screenshot (lock button + home button).

Search iPhone

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The iPhone search (known as the Spotlight Search) is now found on any Home screen by sliding your finger in the middle of the screen to the bottom.  In the search bar, you can find apps, contacts, music, calendars and more.  You can also search the web or Wikipedia.  To save battery power, adjust your settings so your search results only contain contacts, apps or music.  The battery is drained more quickly when the iPhone has to search through your phone to find “Roar”.  It will display any contact information, songs, apps, notes, calendars, etc. that contain the word “roar”.  Plus you’ll have to dig through the results to find the song.

Siri Voice Gender

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Change Siri’s gender in the Settings app.  Tap General, Siri, Voice Gender and switch to the gender of your choice.  You can also turn off Siri, change the language, enable Raise to Speak and identify your information so Siri can be more personal.

Add I/O to On/Off Buttons

On/Off Labels Turned On

On/Off Labels Turned On

On/Off Labels Turned Off

On/Off Labels Turned Off

The On/Off switches by default are white when they are turned off (such as Airplane Mode) and green when they are turned on.  If this is confusing or you prefer something better, you can turn on I/O in the Accessibility Settings.  Tap General, Accessibility, On/Off Labels and switch to On.  The colors of the switches won’t change, but “I” will be displayed when the switch is on and “O” when the switch is turned off.

Swipe to Go Back in Safari 

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Swipe to Go Back

In Safari in order to go back or forward through websites, you can tap the arrows at the bottom.  Or you can slide your finger quickly across the webpage.  Sliding from left to right will bring you to your most recent webpage prior to this one (just like the back button) or sliding from right to left will bring you forward to another webpage (unless the current page is the farthest you have gone).

iTunes Radio

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The featured stations and my stations. The featured stations change every week or so.

Just quick note, iTunes Match subscribers ($25/year) do not have to listen to ads.  Okay, so iTunes Radio is Apple’s Pandora.  It is built right into the Music app (very convenient).  You can listen to Featured Stations, such as iTunes Top 100, Pure Pop, Guest DJ: Katy Perry, etc. or set your own stations, such as Dance Hits Radio, Ke$ha Radio, etc.  While listening to a song, you can also tell iTunes to play more like this song, never play this song again, add to your iTunes wishlist or in the top right side of the screen, you can purchase the song.  Tapping the i button at the top center will open a menu where you can also purchase the song, creation a new station from the artist or song, tune the station to play more hits, variety or discovery (new) songs, allow explicit tracks or share the station to your friends.

 

Hide All Notifications in the Lock Screen

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My lock screen is now clear, my notification center is not.

When you’re lock screen is cluttered with notifications, it is easy to unlock the phone to make the notifications disappear.  However this could be time consuming, especially if you have a passcode.  To hide all notifications on the lock screen, pull down the Notification Center and wait a second for the notifications to transfer to it.  Lock the phone or swipe up to reveal a clean lock screen.

Update Facebook or Twitter

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iOS 7 updated the Notification Center to be better at providing notifications, but took away the ability to quickly update your Facebook status or tweet on Twitter.  To update your status (without going into the app), tell Siri “Update my Facebook status” or “Tweet…”.  Siri will open a box to allow you to speak what you want to say.  You can either tell her or tap in the box to type it in yourself.

iOS 8 Wish List

  • At the bottom of the Command Center, I would love to be able to put my top four most used apps (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and swap out for the clock and camera.
  • The Notification Center is still missing the Clear All Notifications button.  It is hard work tapping the X and Clear every time I want to clear out all my notifications.
  • Still hoping for a way to hide unused Apple apps (like Stocks, Compass, etc.) For now, they are all in a Folder titled “Utilities”
  • The ability to make group FaceTime calls
  • iOS notifications that allow you to interact with it without leaving the app you’re in.  Say you’re playing Candy Crush and someone texts you, it would be great to write a quick replay in the Notification Center without leaving the app.
  • Multitask with two different apps at the same time on the iPad.  I would love to be able to use Skype while Googling something, or while Siri is using Bing.