iOS 7: how to install it and what to do once you have

The latest update to Apple's mobile operating system has plenty of new features: here are some of our favourites

For Apple users who have successfully slogged their way through update errors and torturous download times there’s been some not inconsiderable disappointment: the promised land might not be all that it was cracked up to be.

However, there really is more to iOS 7 then meets the eye (see below to read our tips to get the most of the update) and with reports of limited stock available for the iPhone 5s, it might be your best best to get your hands on the latest 'Apple experience'.

If you're yet to install the update and are curious about the changes then you can find it by navigating from your Settings menu to General, then Software Update. The size of the download is roughly a gigabyte though, so it might be best to connect to Wi-Fi to avoid costly data charges.

(click here to read our guide to the major changes in iOS 7)
(click here to see our reviews of the iPhone 5c and 5s)

Navigate apps & flick-to-quit

In iOS 6 switching from app to app was achieved by double-tapping the home button and scrolling across a ticker bar of icons at the bottom of your screen. iOS 7 provides a full-screen update to this. You still double-tap the home button to see what’s running but you’re now presented with a scrollable gallery of app windows – simply find the app you need to close flick upwards to shut it down.

Also remember: when you’re viewing these apps, pressing the home button again will take you back to the app you were in, not to the home screen itself.

Double press the home button see what apps you've got running and swipe up on a screenshot to close the app; goodbye to London's weather!

Sleep easy

Although there might have been a couple of Apple fans who were caught out by the update (leaving the download on overnight meant that alarms didn't turn on this morning...) but iOS 7 allows quicker access to the iPhone's 'Do Not Disturb' function. Simple swipe up to access the Control Center (itself full of all sorts of handy toggles and quick access to the phone's flashlight and calculator) and press the Moon icon to silence all incoming calls and texts.

And for people who might want to let some calls get through in case of an emergency, you can create a list of exceptions by navigating to Settings, then Do Not Disturb and then adding contacts to Allow Calls From.

...and get better security

iPhones have always been prime targets for thieves but with iOS 7 Apple is giving owners more tools to fight back. Setting up the 'Find My iPhone' features is necessity for owners. First grab your Apple ID (the login you use for the App Store and iTunes) and then simply head to iCloud.com. Log in and then select the Find My iPhone icon to go through the setup.

Once this feature has been activated you'll have a range of options if your phone is lost or stolen. Head back to iCloud.com on a computer and log in to your account; from there you can remotely turn on GPS and figure out your phone's current location or (if GPS was on already) track where it's been. You can also chose to lock the device, erase its content, or even send a message to the screen.

The Find My iPhone app feels like a crime-fighting hub, hopefully it will help deter thieves. Shine a Spotlight on anything

Spotlight - Apple’s search engine for messages, apps and contacts - used to be found to the left of the homescreen on iOS 6. With iOS 7 it’s on every screen – just swipe downwards to load it up and find what you need. Somewhat annoyingly Apple has removed Spotlight’s capacity to search the internet (available in iOS 6) but with the newly empowered Siri, that’s not a terrible curse.

Find more with Siri

Siri, Apple’s personal assistant, is now on-hand to answer even more questions – as long as you know how to ask properly. Apple has always been good at keeping a big list of natural language commands for Siri, but it’s good to remind yourself of what you can ask. Set an alarm with the instruction “Wake me up at …” or a pen a quick reminder by saying “Remind me to …”.

New for iOS 7 Siri can also search Twitter or find pictures with the words “Find me images of …”.These search answers will now be returned from Bing, rather than Google, and although you can’t change the default search engine, you can use your provider of choice by prefacing your query with their name. Eg “Google what is happening in Syria” or “Yahoo what is happening in Egypt.”

As with iOS 6, hold down on the home button to bring up Siri and begin speaking to perform web searches; schedule reminders in your calendar; or find pictures and Tweets.

Manage your data

Apple has always taken flack for underestimating how much control some users want over their data and although iOS 7 isn't perfect, there are certainly more options to play with. iPhones have always tracked browsing habits in order to target ads to the user (the data is anonymised of course) but now Apple has made the option to disable this more apparent - just head over to Privacy and then select Advertising to find the toggle.

iOS 7 also now downloads updates and data for apps automatically. For example, if you click on a news app you won't have to wait to download the latest stories - your phone will have handled this in the background. However, this isn't the most data-friendly feature and so Apple is letting you decided on an app-by-app basis which will get automatic updates: head to Settings, General and then click on Background App Refresh to decided which will update.

From left to right: the toggles for which apps automatically update, accessed through Settings >> General; and then the Privacy settings which include the option to 'Limit Ad Tracking'.

Getting the balance right

How often have you been hanging a picture or putting up shelves only to throw up your hands in despair and ask ‘just where has my spirit level gone?’ Okay. Probably not ever, but swipe to the left on iOS 7’s Compass app and you’re presented with a solution: a super-minimalist bubble level. Simply place your iPhone on any surface and when the screen goes green, the surface is level.

From left to right - the newly designed compass app; swipe to the left to find the spirit level; then the far right screen shows the green light you get on flat surfaces.

And if you’re still missing iOS 6…

And for those of you who are finding the switch over just a little overwhelming, there’s a couple of options to bring the UI back to iOS 6. Text is a big part of the update and whilst Apple’s choice of font is certainly attractive (it’s reportedly their own variation of Helvetica Neue Ultralight) it can be tricky to read. Click Settings then Accessibility to activate ‘Bold Text’ – then restart your phone and voila, slightly chunkier text is yours. Whilst you’re there you can also choose to toggle ‘Reduce Motion’ to turn off the Parallax effect that gives the illusion of depth on the home screen.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
News
people

Actress isn't a fan of Ed Miliband

Arts and Entertainment
Rooney Mara plays a white Tiger Lily in forthcoming film Pan
filmFirst look at Rooney Mara in Pan
Life and Style
health

Do you qualify – and how do you get it?

News
Food blogger and Guardian writer Jack Monroe with her young son
people
News
i100
News
Privately schooled, Oxford educated and a former editor of arguably the world's poshest magazine 'The Lady', it's perhaps unsurprising that Rachel Johnson rarely mixes with ordinary Proles.
people

The Mayor of London's sister, Rachel Johnson, apologises for shocking tweet about the PM

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Langley James : IT Sales Executive;Borehamwood;£40k(neg) uncapped comm£100k+OTE

    £40000 per annum + £100k+ OTE: Langley James : IT Sales Executive; connectivit...

    Recruitment Genius: DevOps Engineer

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A DevOps Engineer is required t...

    Langley James : Trainer, Technical, Field Based, West Yorkshire c£25k

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Langley James : Trainer, Technical, Field Based, ...

    Langley James : Trainer, Technical, Field Based, Southern England c£25k

    £25000 per annum + benefits: Langley James : Trainer, Technical, Field Based, ...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
    Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

    24-Hour party person

    Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
    Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

    A taste for rebellion

    US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
    Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

    Colouring books for adults

    How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
    Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

    Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
    Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

    Call me Ed Mozart

    Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
    10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

    From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
    Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

    Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
    'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

    'I am a paedophile'

    Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

    Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
    Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

    From a lost deposit to victory

    Green Party on the march in Bristol
    Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

    Winter blunderlands

    Putting the grot into grotto
    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

    'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

    London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital