Some Useful Hidden Features in iOS 7

Last week I posted some basic tips for iOS 7. In this post I want to share some useful but not obvious features.

For those of you who find iOS 7 harder to see, in addition to selecting a darker wallpaper, as I explained in my previous post, you can make the new slimmer system font bold so that app names are more visible. Do this by going to Settings>General>Accessibility, and turning on Bold. In addition, you can increase the font size by going to Settings>General>Larger Type, and adjusting the slider. This doesn't appear to affect fonts on the Home screen but does increase the size of fonts in those apps that take advantage of this feature, including most of Apple's apps such as Mail.

Master your iPhone in one minute a day:

Sign up to iPhone Life's Tip of the Day Newsletter and we'll send you a tip each day to save time and get the most out of your iPhone or iPad.

I also really like a new gesture that lets you swipe from the left margin to go back to the previous page instead of using the Back icon. In Safari you can also swipe from the right margin to go forward.

There's a hidden feature in the newly designed Compass app. It now includes a level that functions just like a bubble level. To access the level, simply swipe to the side in the Compass app to see the level.

Siri also has some new features. For one thing, you're no longer limited to a female voice in the US. (The UK has always, from what I've read, had a male voice because of cultural differences.) Simply go to Settings>General>Siri>Voice Gender and select Male. Also new with iOS 7 is the ability to use Siri to change a greater range of settings. Read more about this on Macworld. The article also describes the new resources that Siri gives access to, such as Wikipedia. Siri can also now be used to search for images. Simply say, "Show me a picture of the Eiffel Tower," and Siri will return photos of it.

I like the appearance of the folders much better in iOS 7 than in iOS 6. I've long used them to organize my apps. New with iOS 7 is the ability to have as many apps as you want in a folder. You can also now create more pages for apps WITHIN a folder. You do that by dragging an app to the right until it moves onto a new page.

In my post on basic tips, I explained how to close running apps: by double pressing the home button, and then dragging the image of the open app to the top of the screen. I've since learned that you can close two apps at a time by dragging them upward simultaneously.

It's fun learning new features of iOS 7, and obviously there's much more to learn. 

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.