iOS 6 introduced Do Not Disturb, but some of us were annoyed by its implementation: Though the feature silenced iOS notification sounds while your iPhone or iPad were sleeping, those noises still blasted out when the device was in use. If that's not what you want to have happen, iOS 7 has the solution.
Armed with this hint, Do Not Disturb will empower you to use your iOS device in a room with sleeping people, or in a meeting where you're supposed to be paying attention, without fear that a bleep or bloop will bother those around you.
Head over to the Settings app, and tap on Do Not Disturb. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen, and set Silence to Always, instead of Only While iPhone Is Locked. From now on, Do Not Disturb works regardless of whether your iPhone is awake and in use, whenever the mode is enabled.
iOS 7's new design seemed to cause some spacing issues in Messages, especially on the iPhone. Where you formerly could see the full names of the people you texted, iOS 7 shows only a first name, or perhaps a first name and last initial. When you know as many Dans as I do—even as many Dan M.'s as I do—that just won't do.
There's a fix, though the setting isn't where you might expect.
In the Settings app, tap on Mail, Contacts, Calendars. and then scroll way down to the Contacts section. Under that header, tap on Short Name. For my purposes, I turned off both Short Name and Prefer Nicknames. Now, Messages shows the full names of the contacts I'm sending messages to, shortening the button labels at the top as necessary to make everything fit.
In iOS 7, Siri can toggle a lot of settings: Bluetooth, Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, and more. And the virtual assistant also gives quick access to more granular settings.
Tell Siri something like, "Change the brightness," and the brightness slider will appear onscreen, ready for you to adjust. Of course, you could always simply drag up Control Center instead, but who doesn't like a virtual minion to do their brightness-adjusting bidding?
One powerful new feature in the Settings app lets you see how much data your apps are using over your iPhone's cellular connection. You can even block specific apps from accessing data over your cellular connection if you prefer, limiting them to Wi-Fi-based data access only.
To find the options, launch Settings, and tap on Cellular.
Scroll down past all the Personal Hotspot, Call Time, Cellular Data Usage, and other options, and you'll get to a Use Cellular Data For section.
The list is sorted alphabetically, unfortunately, and not by cellular data consumption. But you can see how much data each app has used over your iPhone's cellular connection, and use the green slider to disable certain apps from using cellular data at all.
You can tap on System Services to see how much cellular data is used by system components that you can't prevent from using the cellular connection, like DNS services, Time & Location, Siri, mapping, networking, and such.
You can reset the statistics with a button at the very bottom of the screen.
In iOS 6, you could tap the Edit button in Messages to delete or forward one or more messages from a text/iMessage conversation. There's no Edit button in iOS 7's version of Messages.
Here's the work around: Tap and hold on any speech bubble in your conversation. A popover menu appears. Tap on the More button, and now you're in editing mode. You can check as many messages as you'd like with the round checkboxes (checkcircles?) that appear, and then tap either the trash can icon at the bottom left, or the forward button at the bottom right.
There's also a Delete All button at the upper left to wipe out the entire conversation history from this editing mode.
The Maps app in iOS 6 and later offers turn-by-turn directions using Siri's voice. But most iPhone and iPad device owners don't know how to adjust the volume of that voice. It's not where you'd expect.
Fire up the Settings up, and scroll down until you find Maps. There, you'll see controls for disabling the app's voice, or making its volume Low, Medium, or Loud.
When you want to snap a Panorama photo with your iPhone, you know the drill: You tap the button, and then slowly, steadily move your iPhone from left to right to capture the best possible panoramic photo.
But what if you're already standing at the right side of your horizontally-oriented subject? It seems crazy that you need to head all the way to the opposite left side, just so you can snap your wide photo.
And indeed, that WOULD be crazy. You don't have to. Instead, just tap on the Panorama arrow/line, and it flips directions.
When you lock your iPhone or iPad with a passcode, the general process for using your device is that you hit the sleep/wake button or the Home button, slide to unlock, and then tap in your passcode. But, as our old friend David Chartier pointed out at Finer Things, you can skip a step if you use an external Bluetooth keyboard.
Presuming your keyboard is already paired to the iOS device, you don't even need to touch the iPad or iPhone at all to unlock it. Press a key on your keyboard to wake the device up, and then typing in your passcode. The iOS device understands what you're trying to do, and jumps to the passcode entry screen automatically.
Once you finish typing in your code, your iOS device is unlocked and ready to go.