33 great tips and tricks for iOS 7

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21. View saved passwords and credit card info: Whether or not you have iCloud Keychain syncing password information between your iOS devices and/or Macs, you can have Safari on your iOS device save your usernames, passwords, and credits cards locally. In both cases, you can take a look at the information under Settings > Safari > Passwords & AutoFill. In both cases, you’ll have to enter your device’s passcode—sorry, no Touch ID here—to view the full credit card number or password; it’s yet another reason to choose a strong passcode, as though you needed one these days. Both sections let you remove entries, but the Credit Cards section will also let you add a new card right from Settings.

Mail call

ios7tips mail mailboxes

Tapping Edit on Mail's main screen lets you add several special mailboxes, including Flagged messages, Attachments, and To or CC. 

22. Search all mailboxes: Searching Mail in iOS 6 could be a drag, especially since you could only search the mailbox you were currently viewing. In iOS 7, it’s a bit easier: When you enter a search term, pull down on the search results, and you’ll reveal a toggle that lets you choose between searching only the current mailbox or all mailboxes.

23. Undo trash/moved/junked messages: We’ve all done it: accidentally deleted or moved a message we didn’t mean to. Yes, you could go all the way out of the account and then into the Trash and move it back to your inbox, but here’s a much faster way: Give your iOS device a shake and you should see an Undo dialog box pop up. Tap Undo to put your messages back where they belong.

24. Smarter mailboxes: While we still don’t have true, customizable Smart Mailboxes in iOS 7, there are a bunch of handy specialized mailboxes that you can add to your main Mail screen. Just tap Edit and scroll down to see a list of options, including your VIP mailbox, flagged messages, those that have attachments, and even one containing just those messages which have you in the To: or CC fields. Select any to show them (or deselect those ones you want hidden); you can also rearrange them by tapping and dragging them into the order you want. When you’re finished, just tap Done at the top of the screen.


25. Check the time: As you go through your conversation in the Messages app, you might spot the occasional timestamp between conversations. But sometimes you want to know exactly when a certain text appeared. Messages offers just this feature in iOS 7—all you have to do is swipe and hold left on a conversation to expose a set of timestamps for every text you and your friends have sent.

What time was that message sent? Swipe left, and you can find out. 

26. Send that text onward or banish it from existence: In prior versions of iOS, you could delete text messages from your phone or forward them on via the Edit button. In iOS 7, that button is gone; instead, to forward or delete a text, you must first tap and hold on it. Tap the More pop-up, and circles appear to the left of your messages, with the current one selected. It’s up to you whether you want to delete or forward a single text, or select multiple messages.


ios7tips airdrop

iOS 7's AirDrop feature is handy not only for sharing photos, but also websites, videos, map locations, and almost anything else you can share.

27. Send everything with AirDrop: One of the most powerful, if under-appreciated, features of iOS 7 is AirDrop. Most people think of it only as a way to send pictures, but in truth anything that you can text or email you can probably send via AirDrop. For example: Got a bunch of friends meeting at a location? Fire up Maps, search for your location, tap Share, and AirDrop it to everybody present at once. It doesn’t require a Wi-Fi network, or even that you know the other person’s contact info. Just make sure that the recipients have AirDrop set to Everyone or Contacts Only in Control Center.

28. Short names in Messages and Mail: Have too many Dans in your Messages app? You can make their names show up as “First initial, last name” thanks to iOS 7’s new Short Names feature. To enable it, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Short Name and turn on the Short Name toggle on that screen. You can choose from the aforementioned First Initial & Last Name setting, or pick First Name & Last Initial, First Name Only, or Last Name Only. You can additionally opt for your device to Prefer Nicknames, if they’ve been set in a contact record.

29. Monitor what cellular data your apps use: It’s easier than you might think for your device to gulp up cellular data, especially when on speedy LTE networks. To avoid running up expensive overage charges, you can view how much data each app is using by going to Settings > Cellular and scrolling through the app list. Under each program’s name, you’ll find how much data it’s been using—to the right, there’s a toggle for disabling cellular data for that app.

Scroll all the way to the bottom and you can also check how much your system services (Personal Hotspot, Exchange Accounts, Messaging services, and the like) are using, along with a button to reset these numbers to zero and start counting all over again.

30. Disable Background App Refresh for certain apps: Is your battery lagging in iOS 7? You might be the victim of too many apps using the operating system’s Background App Refresh feature. For apps like your Mail client, it’s important to be able to grab new data even if that program isn’t running in the foreground; other apps like Facebook might not need such extravagances.

To disable Background App Refresh on an app-by-app basis, go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh. From there, you can turn off the feature altogether or individually disable just the offending apps.

ios7 compass heading

31. Find the Compass’s hidden features: Not only is iOS 7’s Compass app a thing of beauty, it has some neat functions hidden away. One such function: compass headings. If you know you have to head 340° North, for instance, you can tap the screen once to set a compass heading; whenever you deviate from that path, a red bar appears along the side of the compass from your heading start point. To clear it, tap once more.

Swipe left, and you’ll find a second app inside Compass: a level. Though not as accurate as a traditional bubble-level, it’s still a useful tool in a pinch—and if you’re looking to distract yourself from playing Threes, try leveling your phone while you hold it in your hand like a game controller.

32. Customize Notification Center’s Today pane: Swipe down from the top of your device’s screen and you’ll visit Notification Center, iOS 7’s repository for your alerts. In addition to a list of your current notifications, this pane also offers a Today view, which provides you with the current date, a list of birthdays, the weather, calendar data, reminders, stocks, and a preview of your next day. You can choose which of those features actually appear by visiting Settings > Notification Center and toggling features in the Today section on or off.

33. Tips and tricks with Touch ID (iPhone 5s): If you have an iPhone 5s, you’re probably pretty familiar with the device’s fingerprint scanner. Here are a few ways to make it even better.

If you’re having trouble getting Touch ID to recognize your print, try scanning the same print multiple times, or deleting the original print and starting over. Because Touch ID is constantly attempting to refine your print, it can occasionally get confused and its data can degrade.

In addition, if you can’t remember which finger it was that you scanned in, visit Settings > Touch ID & Passcode and put your finger on the Touch ID reader; the appropriate print under the Fingerprints section should highlight in grey.

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