If you’ve upgraded to iOS 7 on your iPhone or iPad, you’re probably familiar with a whole collection of new features. But some of the best additions in the software update are hiding beneath the surface and take a little time to uncover.
SEE ALSO: The 11 Worst Things About iOS 7
We’ve been digging deep into Apple’s new mobile operating system, discovering some surprises along the way. From night mode in Apple Maps to a faster way to close apps, here’s a few useful features that you can find — as long as you know where to look:
1. Clock Icon
Go ahead and look at your clock app icon. Take a closer look. It’s an actual clock with a working second hand. A nice little touch from Apple.
2. Text Timestamps
If you slide text messages to the left, you can see the timestamp for all of them — not just the most recent.
3. The Level
By opening up the Compass app and swiping your finger across it, a new digital “level” feature is revealed. You’ll never have a crooked painting on the wall again.
4. Night Mode for Maps
If you’re driving late at night, the glow of your iPhone screen can be nearly blinding as you try to use the Apple Maps app. Now, the platform displays a darker interface at certain times. This is less distracting and easier on the eyes when navigating at night.
5. Closing Multiple Apps
You can close multiple apps at once! Here’s how: double click the home button to reveal open webpages and platforms. You can then swipe up to three apps at the same time by using three fingers and dragging them upwards.
6. Siri Controls Settings
You can use Siri to set alarms and reminders on previous iOS versions, but now you can lean on her to navigate settings too. For example, by saying “Open Settings,” Siri will open the Settings folder. By asking Siri to “Turn Off Wi-Fi,” she’ll gladly oblige without you having to lift a finger. You can also tell her to make calls and play voicemail messages too.
7. Block Calls
If you’re getting harassing calls, you can now put a stop to it. Visit Settings > Phone > Blocked to add numbers you want to restrict.
8. Apps Near Me
The Apple App Store has a new “Near Me” feature, which shows apps that are popular near your current location. So if you live in New York City, it will highlight handy apps such as NYC Subway KICKMap and Way2ride taxi, which lets you pay for cab rides via the app.
Find any other not-so-obvious features? Let us know in the comments below.
Apple’s iOS 7 hit the iPhone and iPad last month and packed the new release with not only a brand new design, but lots of new gestures, feature and capabilities. We’ve already discussed some of our favorite things in iOS 7, as well as some of our gripes and along the way have managed to learn a new trick or two.
Thanks to your feedback — and some additional sleuthing — we’ve got even more hidden iOS 7 features that you might not have run across.
See also: 8 Great Hidden Features in iOS 7
Some of these features are nice to have, and others — like some of the keyboard shortcuts — really make iOS 7 a more productive experience.
1. Controlling Control Center
Control Center is awesome. In fact, it’s far and away one of our favorite iOS 7 features. The problem is, it can be easy to accidentally pull up Control Center if you are furiously scrolling through a list in an app or in certain games.
Fortunately, Apple has made it easy to disable Control Center inside of apps.
Do do this, just go to Settings > Control Center and then toggle “Access Within Apps” on or off. If you toggle it off, you can’t pull Control Center up inside of apps, but can still access it on the home screen.
2. Auto Focus With Shutter Button (iPhone 5S Only)
The new iPhone 5S has a lot of slick features, including the ability to activate auto-focus without touching the screen. Just briefly press the volume up button and the familiar auto-focus square will appear.
Sadly, this only works on the iPhone 5S (at least as far as our tests go), but it’s one of those tricks that makes the iPhone that much more like a regular point and shoot camera.
3. Burst Mode for Photo Buttons (All Devices)
One photo feature that isn’t limited to the iPhone 5S is the ability to take consecutive shots by hitting the volume up or down button in the camera app. Press and hold and prepare to fill your camera with dozens of consecutive shots.
To be clear, this isn’t the same feature as Burst Mode on the iPhone 5S — that feature not only takes more snaps, iOS 7 gives you a neat way to select what shots you want to keep. Still, this is great for anyone who wants to take lots of photos at once.
4. Access .com by Long-Pressing “.” Key
My personal biggest gripe with iOS 7 was the death of the “.com” button inside Safari. I love the new omnibar for search and URL entry (or return to the omnibar if we’re being historically accurate), but I hate not having access to .com.
It turns out, you CAN access that button! Simply press and hold the “.” key and a .com, .net., .us and .edu selection pops up. How great is that!
Macworld goes into even more depth of secrets of the iOS 7 keyboard, and I thank them for this tip!
5. Quick Apostrophe on iPad Keyboard
Speaking of keyboard tips, in iOS 7 on the iPad, you can quickly access the apostrophe key by pressing and holding the comma button. It’s much easier to use the correct form of “it’s” when typing.
OK, our bad. This one isn’t actually new to iOS 7. It was just new to me. Still, enjoy!
6. Peek in Messages and Mail
This is a hidden feature you’ve probably stumbled upon. As we’ve discussed, iOS 7 is considerably more gesture-driven than previous versions of iOS. One of the cool features Apple has enabled is the ability to swipe forward and backwards in its messaging apps.
If you’re on an email message in the mail app or viewing a conversation in iMessage, you can slightly swipe to your right to reveal a peek at the message list below.
BlackBerry 10 fans might notice that this is similar to the way the peek and flow gestures works on the Z10,
7. Create New Events On Date or Times in iMessage
One of my favorite features in OS X is the smart way you can create appointments or calendar entries based on text inside an email or on a web page. Now, more of that functionality is in iOS 7.
Inside iMessages, typing something such as “Dinner with Dan at 7 on Thursday” will underline “7 on Thursday.” Tap the underline text and you can create a calendar event with that subject.
8. Look at Most Visited Areas
This one might cross the creepy line, but we think it’s pretty slick. You can view a map of your most recently visited areas by going to Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services (scroll all the way down to see System Services) > Frequent Locations
When this is on, you can view your location history on a map. You can also opt to use frequent locations to improve Apple Maps. This is neat because iOS 7 will learn your location patterns and offer better predictive ideas of how long it will take to get to your next appointment.
Got Any More Hidden Features or Tips? Let Us Know
Even after almost a month with iOS 7, we’re still discovering new and fun tricks and hidden extras. Have we missed one of your favorite new features? Let us know in the comments.
Camera in Control Center
Access your camera quickly by swiping up from any screen — including the Lock screen — and tapping the Camera icon.
You can easily shoot panorama photos from left to right or right to left. Just tap the arrow to switch the direction.
Capture multiple shots of the action — for as long as you hold down the button — by snapping 10 photos per second. And real-time analysis suggests the best photos of the bunch.
Apply one of eight live photo filters to any picture. Just choose a filter to see the effect before you take the shot, or apply it later.
View the locations of your pictures on a map by tapping the location heading under Years, Collections, or Moments.
Format text in Mail
Double-tap any word to bring up the options menu, tap the arrow, and select the B I U option to bold, italicize, or underline your text.
Define a word
In apps like Safari and Mail, you can define a word by double-tapping it to bring up the options menu, and then tap Define.
Delete a message in Mail
Simply swipe from right to left on messages in your inbox to quickly delete them.
Go back in Mail
To go back, swipe left to right from the edge of your screen.
To open Spotlight search, swipe down from anywhere on the Home screen — such as the middle. Then type in what you’re looking for to quickly find it on your device.
View timestamps of your messages by touching and dragging message bubbles to the left.
View all your locations by pinching to see a collapsed view. To reorder locations, simply drag them where you want. Swipe from right to left on a location to delete it.
Now you can make audio-only FaceTime calls. On your contact’s card, tap the phone icon in the FaceTime section.
Get there with Quick Route
When Maps drops a pin on a location, you can get turn-by-turn directions to that location almost instantly. Just tap the Quick Route button next to the location’s name.
See up close with Flyover
Tap the 3D icon to switch to Flyover view and explore select cities from the air. You can zoom, pan, and rotate around landmarks.
Tilt and rotate your view
As you’re looking at a map, use two fingers to tilt or rotate the view. Maps keeps the names of the streets and places where they belong. So everything’s easy to read, and you won’t get lost.
Share a pin
In Maps, drop a pin on a location you want to share. Then tap the pin and select Share. Now you can share the location via AirDrop, Messages, Mail, Twitter, or Facebook.
Tell Siri who’s who
Tell Siri about your relationships, such as “Natalia is my wife” or “Rick is my dad.” Then you can say “Text my wife” or “Call Dad” and Siri knows who you mean.
Set your locations
Enter your home and work addresses in Contacts. That way, Siri can remind you to do things when you leave or arrive at either place.
Change the way Siri pronounces a name
If Siri mispronounces a name, simply say “that’s not how you pronounce that.” Siri will ask you for the correct pronunciation, then say the name back to you three different ways so you can choose the one you like.
New views in Calendar
View your calendar by list, day, or month. Switch to landscape view to see a full five days.
Tap the month name in the left corner to change to Month or Year view. In Day view, you can swipe the week bar at the top to jump to days in the next or previous week.
Search for specific events
Tap the search icon for a list view of every event in your calendar.
In the Music app, tap Playlists, then tap Add Playlist and give it a name. Now tap any song or video to add it to the playlist. You can add individual songs, entire albums, or all songs by an artist.
Create radio stations
To create a station in iTunes Radio, tap the + button under My Stations and search for an artist, genre, or song. Or choose from over 250 genre-focused or DJ-curated stations.
Edit radio stations
Adding and deleting stations is easy. Tap Edit and select the + button to add a new station. To remove a station, swipe left on the station name and tap Delete. Or remove multiple stations at once by tapping Edit and the – button next to each station.
Buy songs from iTunes Radio
Tap Buy on a song that’s currently playing or one in your History or Wish List, and it downloads instantly from iTunes to your library.
While browsing your music collection, switching to landscape view displays a mosaic of your album covers. Swipe to scroll, pinch to zoom in and out, and tap to play.
Insert a photo or video
When you’re composing an email, touch and hold in the message to see the “Select, Select All” menu. Tap the arrow and select “Insert Photo or Video.” Now you can choose a photo or video to attach from your Camera Roll, albums, or shared streams.
Keep your inbox clean
You can delete or move messages in batches. From your inbox, tap Edit, select the messages you want to organize, then tap Trash or Move.
Get back to your draft
Touch and hold the Compose button to switch to your list of saved message drafts.
Sign in once under Settings, and you can tweet or update your Facebook status directly from Safari, Photos, Camera, and Maps. Or ask Siri to do it for you.
Manage open Safari pages
Drag and drop to rearrange your tabs. To close tabs, tap the X or just swipe them off the screen.
Create web clips
Quickly visit your favorite websites by creating web clips for them on your Home screen. Visit the site and tap the Share button. Then select “Add to Home Screen.”
Broadcast live with AirPlay
When connected to a Wi‑Fi network, you can use AirPlay Mirroring to share exactly what’s on your iPhone with your HDTV connected to an Apple TV. Just access Control Center by swiping up, tap AirPlay, and select your TV.
Print wirelessly from iPhone
AirPrint makes it easy to print email and web pages from your iPhone to your AirPrint-enabled printer. To print an email, tap the Reply icon and select Print. To print a web page, tap the Share button and select Print. You can also print photos, documents, and more.
Have text read back to you
iPhone can read text out loud in apps like Mail, Safari, Messages, and iBooks. Just turn on Speak Selection in Settings > General > Accessibility. Then go to the app, highlight the text you want to hear, and tap Speak.
Control font size
Adjust fonts to your preferred reading size in all apps that support Dynamic Type. Simply turn on Larger Type in Settings > General > Accessibility. Then choose your desired font size.
Get flashing alerts
Your iPhone can give you a visual alert for incoming calls and texts. Just go to Settings > General > Accessibility and turn on LED Flash for Alerts.
Let your iPhone do the typing
Dictation lets you talk where you would type. Tap the microphone button on the bottom row of the keyboard, say what you want to write, and your iPhone converts your words into text.
View closed captions
To turn on the captions in closed-captioned movies and TV shows, just go to Settings > General > Accessibility. You can even customize captions by size, font type, and color.
Merge left and right audio
Play left- and right-channel audio in both ears to accommodate hearing loss on either side. Just go to Settings > General > Accessibility and turn on Mono Audio.
Enable emoji characters
Access all sorts of smileys, animals, shapes, and other peculiarities from the emoji-enabled keyboard. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Add New Keyboard and select Emoji. Now when you type, just tap the globe button and choose the emoji that fits the mood.
Go to Settings > General > Keyboard to turn on or off features like Auto-Capitalization, Auto-Correction, and more.
Do Not Disturb
In Settings, turn on Do Not Disturb to silence sounds from incoming calls and notifications. You can allow calls from your favorites, specific contacts, or contact groups. Enable Do Not Disturb manually or schedule a recurring time.
The dust on the Apple’s latest iPhones had barely settled when we started hearing about the next-gen version, supposedly called the iPhone 6. As the year 2014 flagged off, the rumours started getting stronger about the various features we can expect. From iOS 8 and Healthbook to newer battery technology and iWatch compatibility, the rumour mill has been working overtime churning out tidbits about Apple’s next generation iPhone. Needless to say, we are pretty excited to see what the iPhone 6 brings to the table. Let’s take a quick look at what we know so far.
The rumours around the alleged iPhone 6 kick started with analysts predicting a 4.8-inch display for the next-gen Apple device, backed by revelations from component suppliers. After reportedly testing sizes starting at 4 inches and going up to a massive 6 inches, Apple is believed to have zeroed on a 4.8-inch display size. It should be noted that Apple has been loyal to the 3.5-inch display since the first iPhone was launched way back in 2007. We saw a slightly larger display of 4 inches in the iPhone 5. If Apple opts for 4.8-inch display, it will be the largest display thus far.
Sapphire crystal display protection
A recent report revealed that Apple’s sapphire crystal manufacturing unit in Arizona could go live as soon as next month. It is highly speculated that February kick-off is a hint that the next-gen iPhone will have a sapphire crystal display, followed by other iDevices. Sapphire displays would mean more durable iPhones that have a longer shelf life. Apple has also applied for a patent for off-screen gestures using pressure sensitivity, where too a sapphire crystal display makes most sense. Late last year, there were reports that GT Advanced Technologies had inked a deal with Apple for sapphire crystal.
iOS 8 is expected to debut with the iPhone 6 and word is Apple is betting big on health and fitness tracking features, and will come integrated with the Healthbook app. Reports also claim that iOS 8 wouldn’t be much different from iOS7 in terms of the UI and only has minor changes. This may not surprise many, as Apple redesigned iOS greatly for version 7.0.
Heathbook and iWatch
The fitness-focussed iOS 8 is rumoured to include a dedicated app called Healthbook as a one-stop solution for all things fitness related. The app is said to be visually similar to Passbook and could work in tandem with the rumoured iWatch. In fact, the iWatch is cited as the reason for a sudden interest in health tracking apps within Apple. The Healthbook app could reportedly monitor users’ vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, hydration levels, and also glucose levels. The iWatch could reportedly collect data gathered by the Healthbook app from the various sensors in the iPhone. This is probably the reason why Apple has integrated the M7 motion co-processor in the A7 chipset. There is also the possibility of integrating iWatch with Apple Maps for location tracking and navigation.
Two iPhones and a summer launch
Apple is likely to launch two new versions of the iPhone in 2014, with both allegedly sporting 4.8-inch displays. So, it could launch a successor to the iPhone 5s, and a slightly “cheaper” successor to the iPhone 5c. Both models are believed to come with metal casings and the plastic exterior used in iPhone 5c won’t be returning. Rumours also claim summer 2014 launch for the iPhones. However, it is quite unlikely, since that is usually reserved for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference.
8MP camera with improved OIS
Supply chain chatter suggests that Apple’s next-generation iPhone will not feature the previously rumoured 13-megapixel or 16-megapixel camera. Instead, the company will rope in an 8MP snapper, just like the iPhone 5s, but with some functional improvements including in the optical image stabilization (OIS) module.
Interchangeable camera lens
Apple has got patents for interchangeable mobile camera lenses. The patent is touted to result into an official accessory from Apple, perhaps a case. The patent mentions a camera add-on that connects using a physical locking mechanism like a DSLR lens, as well as a magnetic component for quicker attachment.
Apple reportedly has more than 200 patents for stylus. The iPen patent allows determining the orientation of the stylus through a sensor which is fitted in the stylus as well as the slate.
That’s what we have heard about the iPhone, but Apple is also working on the iWatch, which is said to feature innovative battery charging methods namely. Could some of these make their way to the iPhone? We surely hope so, but for now we have only speculation to go by. As we get closer to the announcement date later this year, we will get a better idea of what Apple has planned for the next-gen iPhone, whatever it is called.
It’s just February and the dust has barely settled on the iPhone 5s and 5c launch, but it’s already time for news of the iPhone 6 to emerge. It looks like we’ve received what could be the first sneak peek into what the new iPhone will look like.
The leak could be considered the real deal as it comes from none other than prolific Apple tipster Sonny Dickson. He had earlier tweeted component pictures – including fingerprint sensor – of the iPhone 5c and the iPad mini with Retina display. The new pictures of the alleged iPhone 6 show a sleek grey casing that appears to be similar to the iPod touch.
The leaked device also appears to have a larger flash than what we’ve seen in the iPhone 5s. However, one can’t be sure if the device is the next-generation iPhone or iPod. The Verge, however, reports that the pictures originated from tweets by someone called @mornray886.
The anonymous tipster has tweeted full images of the alleged iPhone 6 parts. A glance at these photos and one can clearly see a larger display without any bezel on the side. In fact, the bezel on the upper and lower side of the display also seems to have narrowed.
Rumours of the iPhone 6 started surfacing late last year, not too long after the last variants of iPhones were launched. One consistent rumour has been its large screen, possibly 4.8-inch. It is also believed that Apple will employ a Sapphire crystal display, manufactured at its Arizona plant. The device will run on the rumoured iOS 8 and work in tandem with the alleged iWatch.
Here’s everything we know about the iPhone 6, so far.
Buying Guide, Top mobile phones compared: what phone is best for you?
6. iPhone 5S
Did you see this one coming? The iPhone 5S behind five other Android phones in our rankings? Some think it should be higher, some think lower – it depends on your level of Apple love.
Never has a company polarised opinion in the smartphone world like Apple – and with the iPhone 5S, so many are quick to decry it while others know it to be the smartphone they’ve been waiting for.
And let’s make no bones about it: this is a stunning phone, with a gorgeous two-tone finish, a high-res screen with good colour reproduction, a 64-bit chip and that all-powerful TouchID sensor that lets you unlock your phone with a simple fingerprint.
The iOS 7 update is one that we sorely, sorely needed and does bring a lot more power and control – as shown by the impressive and pervasive Control Center.
We really like TouchID, the processor might be a little useless now but definitely brings a touch more zip to things, and the M7 chip for fitness apps will be very exciting in weeks and months to come as app developers get their paws on it.
The main problem we have with this phone, spec list aside, is the fact the iPhone 5S is STILL very expensive… we’re not sure how such sky high prices can be charged when equivalent smartphones are available on the market, plus it still has a small screen compared.
Let’s not beat around the bush here: the iPhone 5S is still one of the great smartphones in the world thanks to a great package of technology, design and UI intuition.
iOS 7 is the update we’ve needed for a while, and does a lot to help keep Apple current at the sharp end of the market – but we still can’t wait to see what the iPhone 6 will bring, as essentially this is still the same phone as the iPhone 5 but with a better engine under the hood.
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The Apple iPhone 5c comes loaded with an A6 chip, 4″ multi-touch retina display, 8MP camera with 1080p HD video capture, FaceTime, AirPlay mirroring, Apple TV, Siri, three-axis gyro sensor, accelerometer, and WiFi.
- Data: Edge, 3G, 4G, EVDO, HSDPA, LTE, UMTS, 1xEVDO
- Design: Bar
- Keyboard/Buttons: Touchscreen
- Type: Smartphone
- Talk Time: 10 hours (600 minutes)
- Touch Screen: Yes- Capacitive
- Camera Features: 1080p HD video capture, 720p HD front-facing camera for FaceTime, backside illuminated, hybrid IR filter, dynamic low light mode, precision lens alignment, sapphire crystal, panorama mode, touch-to-focus, face detection, auto-focus, geo-tagging
- Bluetooth: Yes, v4.0+HS Supported Profiles: HFP 1.6, PBA, A2DP 1.2, AVRC 1.4, HID, PAN
- Operating System: Apple iOS
- Wi-Fi: Yes
- See full specs