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Four Essential Tips to Get Started with iOS 7

Four Essential Tips to Get Started with iOS 7

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iOS 7 is here (you can download it now if you haven’t already). We cover tons of iOS 7 tips for iPhone, iPad and iPod users, but first let’s go through four essentials to get everyone started; Control Center and its overall greatness, apps stop multitasking the new feature, search your device with the revised version of Spotlight, and a nice change from the lock screen that speeds things up up a little.

1: Control Center – Accessible from anywhere with a swipe Up

Control center is great, and can be windy up being one of the features of iOS 7 that people use the most. To access it, you just have to do wipe up at the very bottom of the screen.

Wipe up for Control Center in iOS 7

You can access the Control Center literally anywhere – the lock screen, apps, or home screen – gives you instant access to frequently used setting switches and others features, including:

  • AirPlane mode – turns off the cellular and communication radios
  • Wi-Fi switch to turn wireless on and off
  • Bluetooth switch to turn Bluetooth on and off
  • Switch between do not disturb
  • Orientation lock
  • Brightness settings (!)
  • Music controls – yes, these can also adjust iTunes Radio
  • Flashlight
  • Stop the guard
  • Calculator
  • Camera

Just a swipe up at the very bottom of the screen and you have near-instant access to all of that from a single panel. Isn’t it great?

2: Exit apps – Swipe Up from the multitasking screen

Do you want to close an app? Bring up the new multitasking screen from double tap on it Home button, then just swipe up on one of the app preview panels to exit that app. The swipe up gesture sends the app off the screen and closes it in the process.

Wipe up to close apps in iOS 7

This is probably one of the more confusing changes for many users as it behaves very differently from how it worked in previous versions of iOS with multitasking and app shutdown. Nonetheless, it’s also one of the better changes, and the new Multitask panel is great – swiping left and right lets you cycle through running apps, just like in previous versions.

3: Search Spotlight – Pull down from an icon to search

Search in iOS used to have its own dedicated screen with Spotlight, but now you can search from any screen home screen panel just through by pulling down an icon to display the Spotlight bar.

In iOS 7, swipe down to open Spotlight

Note that if you swipe down from the top of the screen, your up Notification center, so you’ll want to focus on an icon and pull it down instead.

4: Lock screen – Swipe right anywhere to unlock

You can now swipe right everywhere on the lock screen to unlock your device.

Swipe anywhere to unlock iOS 7

No more precise swipes on the little “Slide to unlock” bar, just use the same gesture anywhere; the bottom, the middle, the clock, no matter where, it unlocks. This is a nice change, and it improves usability, making the unlocking process faster. (Side note: you must always use an access code).

Bonus # 5: iTunes Radio – great for music fans

OK, iTunes Radio has nothing to do with gestures or swiping around, but it’s great. If you are unfamiliar and haven’t tried out iTunes Radio yet, it is a free streaming music service accessible from the Music app by tapping the “Radio” icon in the corner.

iTunes Radio music streaming

Select one of the preset stations or create your own based on a genre, band or song you like and iTunes Radio will do the rest… fill an endless stream of music. Like a song? You can buy it. Don’t like a song? You can skip it. iTunes Radio is a bit like Pandora, but its discovery elements seem to be even better. Give it a try, it’s great if you want to hear your favorite classics or find new music. Oh, and iTunes Radio is now also on the desktop with iTunes 11.1.

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