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.