Features I Love About iOS 7 for My iPhone–Improve Your Personal Productivity

I’m digging the latest update for my iPhone (I’m still on the 4 model, and that suits me just fine).

Here are the top features that help me stay productive.

 

The Unit

  • Control Center. If you swipe up from the bottom of the screen (from anywhere except the camera so far), the Control Center opens with shortcuts. I especially like that I can quickly play my music and set a reminder with the alarm. The flashlight is right there too. The other shortcuts there are either to features I don’t use or already have easy access to (e.g., camera). You can change the functionality of the Control Center in Settings (e.g., you might want to turn it off when inside an app). When it’s disabled, you’ll still be able to get to it on the Home screen.
  • Notification Center. If you swipe down from the top of the screen, the Notification Center opens. It shows new mail, missed calls, a calendar Today view, and more. You can customize what you see by tapping Settings, Notification Center.
  • Searching. Whether I’m looking for a contact or an app, if you swipe down from the middle of the home screen, you’ll be able to conduct a quick search.
  • Alter Data Usage. Under Settings, Cellular, you can determine which apps will be restricted to using WiFi as opposed to your data plan. I turned completely off and will use cellular plan only when I have to.
  • Zoom. Use your fingers to zoom. To turn the feature on, tap Settings, General, Accessibility, Zoom. After this is set, use three fingers and double-tap to zoom in and out. Double-tap and drag three fingers to move around the screen.
  • Easier Tapping. I’ve realized that the more streamlined interface makes it easier to tap the keyboard.

Apps

  • Automatic Updates. You can set your unit up to automatically update apps. Tap Settings, iTunes & App Store, and scroll down to Automatic Downloads and tap it on. You’ll also see where you can opt to use your cellular data plan for updates instead of the default WiFi. I left this off.
  • Quick Preview of Apps. When you double-tap the Home button, you’ll be able to swipe through preview screens of the apps you have open. Tap one to open. To quit an app, just swipe it up and out of preview.
  • Organize More Apps Inside Folders. I have most of my apps organized into folders using broad categories such as Media, Travel, etc. I just noticed that I can add more than the nine I can see. To preview the others, tap the folder to open, then swipe to the right to see more. (To get them into a folder in the first place, press down on any icon until all start to shake. Then slide an icon on top of one that you want to group. When you release, you’ll have the opportunity to name the folder by tapping the text, deleting, and typing as you normally would.)
  • Media Organization. I’m a professional organizer and organize everything. I appreciate having my photos separated from videos in albums. Tap Photos on the home screen, Albums. Another feature is Summarize Photos and show in collections and by year. Tap Settings, Photos & Camera, tap to turn the feature on or off.
  • Close Apps. Double-tap the Home button. Close apps by swiping them upward. You can see more of them by swiping left and right. Double-tap the Home button when done.

Messages

  • Message Templates. I love the message templates. Go to Settings, Phone, Respond with Text. Create your own custom messages. When a call comes in, Message will be one of your options. Tap that, and choose one of your templates.
  • Selecting Text-Paragraph. Only if you’re in typing mode (e.g., replying to an email message), you can double-tap (use two fingers) a paragraph to select it.
  • Selecting Text-Word. To select a word, double-tap it (use one finger). Then drag the pointers to extend the selection.
  • Timestamps for Messages. It’s easy to check for the exact time every message was sent and received by swiping message bubbles to the left.
  • Blocking Unwanted Calls and Messages. You can block someone by first adding them to Contacts, Settings, Phone, Blocked, Add New, find that contact you want to block.
  • Always Bcc Yourself. When I send a message from my iPhone, I automatically send myself a blind copy so the message will end up in my Outlook Inbox. Under Settings, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, scroll down to Mail, and turn on Always Bcc Myself.
  • Customize Your Signature. I wanted to add a couple of lines to my auto signature. Under Settings, Mail-Contacts-Calendars, scroll down to Mail, tap Signature, tap inside the signature space, and tap your text.

Calendar

View in a List. If you’d rather see your appointments in a list, open Calendar, and tap the magnifying glass at the top. You can search your calendar from here also.

Reminders. I don’t use iPhone’s Reminders as mine are in Outlook and synched. Plus, I have a separate app (Alarmed) that I use. But if you do use Reminders, here is a great article about that.

 

More Tips

Here’s a great article I found with some more less obvious tips. Click to find out how to:

  • Delete an entire conversation (swipe to the left in the Messages screen). “However, if you want to keep some messages but delete others, this is less obvious.“
  • Find out how to see the timestamp on every message.
  • And more.

Here’s a great article on ways to save on your battery life.

Have you found features hidden in this new operation system? Leave a comment to let us know.

PEACE.

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