7 iOS 7 tricks you probably should know

While we wait for Foxconn's new army of 100,000 workers to manufacture the new iPhones, iPads and wearable devices we expect to see from Apple this summer, I've assembled a short list of iOS 7 tricks most people probably should know about.



When you edit text on your iPad or iPhone, it's pretty easy to accidentally cut characters you really wanted to keep. That's OK, because everyone knows there's an Undo/Redo command, right?

If you didn't, here's two ways to access it:

Shake your device and the undo command kicks in, or…

Raise the touchscreen keyboard and tap the .?123 button.  Look to the next row of buttons above the .123?/ABC button and you'll see the Undo command there. Tap it to undo, or press the #+- button to find the redo command, if you want to repeat an action.

On the head

Did you know you can control your device using head gestures? It's an Accessibility option (Settings>General>Accessibility>Switch Control).

Select Switches and then select Camera in the next screen. Now, you can assign an action to each of Left and Right Head Movement: Move your head to the left to select an item or right to tap, for example.


If you've ever tried to leave a long memo or complex reminder you'll know that Siri needs better listening skills -- Apple's intelligent assistant tends to cut you off mid-flow. You can control this by holding down the Home button when you speak with Siri to force it to listen for as long as you speak; just release the button when you've finished. This should help you record long messages and reminders. You can also get Siri to read your emails to you -- just ask it to "read my emails" and it will tell you the sender, time and date sent and email subject.

Better Mail search

You can define which mailbox to search when you're looking for an email on iOS. When you enter a search term, just pull down the search results and you can choose to search all your mailboxes or just the one you are currently in. (It still upsets me that searching Mail on iOS is so much more effective than it is on iCloud Mail -- get a grip, Apple).

Near me

If you travel a lot, then do take a look at the App Store Near Me feature, which lists the most popular apps in your current location. While this feature is usually only as useful as a chocolate teapot, when you travel it's often a great way to quickly find town and city guides, tourist information and transportation apps.

iPad and keyboard

There are several iPad-specific navigation tools you can use when you use the tablet alongside an Apple Wireless Keyboard. You need to enable these in Settings>General>Accessibility and turning on Voice Over. Do this and these (and other) commands will function:

Ctrl Option H: Press the Home button

Command Shift Tab: Switch to previous app

Option and any arrow key: Scroll the page.

Touch ID

You can make Touch ID more accurate by scanning the finger you use most to access your device twice as two separate fingers. This will help your device recognize your print more reliably.

Some readers may be interested to know I spoke with Gene Steinberg at TechNightOwl last week. You can listen to the transmission here.

More iOS 7 hints and tips:

Google+? If you use social media and happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic's Kool Aid Corner community and join the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

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Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

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