Get to know iOS 7

Get to know iOS 7: Changes in the Settings app

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Among the types of data you can choose to sync using your iCloud account, you may also notice that Apple has renamed the Photo Stream item of iOS 6—it’s now called Photos. However, the settings in this item are identical (though Shared Photo Streams is now called Photo Sharing).

Mail, Contacts, Calendars

The Mail section no longer has the option to choose how many recent messages, by default, are displayed in a message list, but you can choose how the Flagged indicator appears in mailboxes and messages: as a circle or as a flag icon. Under Contacts, you can now choose how iOS shortens contact names when it tries to fit more names on the screen: as Joe S., J. Smith, Joe, or Smith. Alternatively, you can tell iOS to use nicknames for those contacts to which you’ve assigned them.

You can choose how iOS shortens your contact names.

Minor changes under Mail, Contacts, Calendars include the elimination of Hotmail as an option when setting up a new account; and the per-account delivery options (push, fetch, or manual) now appear on the main Fetch New Data screen, instead of hidden behind an Advanced button.

The Calendar section also gains a Start Week On section, which lets you change the calendar start day from Sunday to any other day of the week (in case your work week doesn’t really start until Wednesday.)


This screen loses iOS 6’s setting for which font to use in the Notes app. (As Notes in iOS 7 has rid itself of the silly notepad-paper look, there’s less need for a font that looks like handwriting.)


The Phone settings screen gains several new toggles. First up is an option that lets you add contact photos to your favorites list. You can also view contacts you’ve blocked and add to that list in the new Blocked section, and you can change your voicemail password. In terms of cosmetic changes, the ‘Reply with Message’ setting has been renamed ‘Respond with Text’.


The Messages screen also gains the new Blocked section.


FaceTime, too, gains a Blocked section.


New to the Maps screen is a setting to choose your preferred type of directions, walking or driving, reflecting Maps’s addition of turn-by-turn pedestrian directions.

Now that Maps provides pedestrian directions, you can choose your default turn-by-turn-directions setting.

Unfortunately, Maps’s settings screen loses map label sizing, which you can now control only through the new system-wide text-size setting (in Settings > General > Text Size).


The Compass app finally gets its own preference screen, but it’s limited to a single toggle that sets whether to use true north.


The biggest change here is to iOS 6’s AutoFill screen, now called Passwords & AutoFill.

Safari in iOS 7 can autofill credit card info, and you can view saved passwords.

As in iOS 6, you can choose to allow Safari to autofill your contact information, user names, and passwords. But in iOS 7, you can view and edit every saved website login and password, and you can force websites to allow Safari to autofill, even if the website is coded to prevent it. Additionally, you can now add and edit credit card information that Safari can autofill. You can even change this information—but you’ll need your device passcode first.

Another new Safari option in iOS 7 is Favorites. With this enabled, Safari displays your Favorites list (née Bookmarks Bar bookmarks in iOS 6) whenever you open a new tab. The Favorites section lets you choose a different folder of bookmarks for display if you prefer not to use your Bookmarks Bar.

Also new here is Do Not Track. Enable this feature, and Safari will do its best to prevent sites from tracking your Internet activities with a cookie. You have further control of this below by choosing to block cookies from everyone, only from third parties and advertisers, or never. Below Do Not Track, a new Smart Search Field screen lets you toggle search suggestions and select the feature that preloads the top search result.

Whenever you open a new Safari tab, you see a page with your favorite folder of bookmarks.

Apple has removed the Private Browsing toggle from the Settings app in iOS 7, but that’s for the better—it’s now more conveniently located within Safari itself. Open your bookmarks in Safari, and tap the Private button at the bottom of the screen to enable private browsing. (Safari’s toolbars turn black during private-browsing sessions.)

You can also toggle whether to use cellular data when using Safari’s Reading List feature, and, under the Advanced screen, you can enable or disable JavaScript.

iTunes & App Store

The big change in this screen relates to iCloud media: iOS 6 gave you the option to show all of your music, including tracks stored only in iCloud; in iOS 7, you gain the same option for videos.

You can also enable or disable automatic downloads for your App Store updates in this preference screen, as well as choose whether to do so via cellular data.


This screen sees only two minor changes. First, it gains the Show All Videos setting for iCloud—a duplicate of the toggle in iTunes & App Store. Second, it loses iOS 6’s Closed Captioning toggle, which Apple has moved to Accessibility.

Photos & Camera

New in this preference screen is a Summarize Photos option. With this enabled, the Collections and Years views in the Photos app display a more-compact summary of photos, rather than a tiny version of every photo. (Once you open a Moment, you’ll still see all photos—this setting just makes it easier to browse collections and years.)

With Summarize Photos enabled, it’s easier to browse years and collections of images in the Photos apps.

Additionally, Apple has hidden away the Camera app’s Grid option in this settings screen. And as in iCloud settings, Apple has renamed Shared Photo Streams to Photo Sharing.

Game Center

New in iOS 7, this screen lets you log in to your Game Center account, allow game invites from friends, allow nearby Game Center players to see you and invite you to games (over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth), edit your Game Center profile, and enable friend recommendations based on your contacts and your Facebook friends.

Newsstand begone

This Settings item, which in iOS 6 let you choose which publications could automatically download new content, is gone in iOS 7. Its publication-specific toggles now reside in the Background App Refresh screen of General settings.

New social options

iOS 7 integrates Flickr and Vimeo, each of which gets a settings section where you can log in to your account for each service. This makes them available as options when you’re sharing photos or videos using iOS 7’s Sharing sheet.

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