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7 tips and tricks for navigating iOS 7

4:01 PM, Sep 21, 2013   |    comments
An iPhone with iOS 7 software, left, is displayed next to an iPhone with the older iOS 6 operating system on Sept. 17, 2013, in New York. (Photo: Mark Lennihan, AP)
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Along with Friday's launch of two new iPhones, Apple has released iOS 7, the latest update to its mobile operating system that runs the smartphone as well as the iPad and iPod Touch.

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Whether you sat through an hours-long download on Wednesday or plan on upgrading your phone or tablet today, here are some tips and tricks for navigating Apple's new iOS.

1. Breaking down Command Center. Swiping from the bottom of the touchscreen up brings up one of iOS 7's big features. Along the top are five settings options: Airplane Mode, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Do Not Disturb and Orientation Lock. Users flip between turning these on and off with simple taps on the preferred icon.

The middle is where users control the phone's brightness and music. Four native apps appear along the bottom: a new flashlight, calculator, clock and the camera. It's also accessible while the phone is locked.

2. Shutting down apps. Normally, if users want to close out apps, they double tap the home button and pick the apps they want to close. In iOS 7, after the double tap, apps now appear as a series of screens users scroll left to right (similar to how mobile Safari might organize multiple pages). To close apps, users simply swipe up.

3. Performing a phone search. Instead of scrolling completely to the left to search for content on your phone, it's accessible through a swipe similar to viewing notifications. While users would place their thumb at the very top of the screen and swipe down, users swipe down anywhere on the screen to bring up a Search field.

4. Folders get bigger. Say farewell to limits on the number of apps users can keep in a single folder. Each one will now hold as many apps as you choose.

5. Using the camera. There are more options right in front of you, like High Dynamic Range and Panorama. There's also a new Square option and native filters, a nod to Instagram fans. Photos are organized a bit differently, too. There's the standard albums, but when you tap the Photos icon at the bottom left, you can view images as "collections" sorted by date.

6. Blocking numbers. Let's say a user gets phone calls or messages from a number they don't want. There's now an option to block callers. You can do this with contacts, or numbers found in the Recents menu. Click the info button on the right and scroll down to Block. The feature will block any phone calls, messages or FaceTime chats from that contact.

7. Apps are changing, too. Most notable is mobile browser Safari, which gets major upgrade with new design and Shared Links fed through Twitter and available through the Bookmarks tab. Music adds iTunes Radio, which features a variety of free radio stations for users to peruse, similar to Pandora. Since it's linked to iTunes, you can directly buy music from a station, too.

Even third-party apps are getting a new look. Take Facebook, for example, which moves access to Notifications, Friend Requests and other options to the bottom of the screen with a cleaner design matching iOS 7.

As for updating apps, users can now choose to have apps automatically update instead of push them through manually. The App Store will show a list of apps that have been recently updated.

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