In late September 2013, Apple introduced iOS 7. This is the latest version of the iOS operating system that runs on all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. In addition to offering a handful of useful new features and functions, as you’ll soon discover, iOS 7 showcases an entirely new look and redesigned user interface.
All new iOS mobile devices purchased after September 18, 2013 come with iOS 7 pre-installed. However, if your current Apple smartphone or tablet operates using iOS 5 or iOS 6, you’ll definitely want to make the free upgrade to iOS 7.
The easiest way to do this is to have your iOS mobile device access the Internet via a Wi-Fi connection, and then follow these steps:
1. Backup your iPhone or iPad using iCloud Backup for the iTunes Sync process.
2. From the Home Screen, launch Settings.
3. Tap the General option from the main Settings menu.
4. From the General menu, tap in the Software Updates option.
5. To download and install iOS 7 onto your mobile device, it must have at least 3.1GM of available internal storage space available. If ample storage space is available, tap the Download and Install option when the iOS 7 upgrade screen appears within Settings.
6. When the Terms and Conditions screen appears, tap the Agree option. Then, when the related pop-up window appears, tap the Agree button.
7. The iOS 7 download process begins. Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, allow between 10 to 30 minutes for the update to download from Apple’s servers to your iOS mobile device. It’s a good idea to refrain from using your iPhone or iPad for others tasks during this process. During the download process, a progress meter displays on the screen.
8. After iOS 7 downloads to your mobile device, it automatically installs. Your iPhone or iPad restart itself and the Apple logo appears during the rebooting and installation process.
9. As soon as the installation process completes, iOS 7’s animated Hello screen displays. To continue the one-time setup process, swipe your finger from left to right across the screen.
10. A message displays that says: “Update Completed. Your iPhone/iPad was updated successfully. There are just a few more steps to follow and then you’re done!” Tap the Continue option.
11. Depending on which iOS mobile device you use, a handful of iOS 7 setup screens display, one at a time. To progress through this setup process, make your selection on each screen, and then tap the Continue, Next, or Skip option that displays.
12. From the Location Service screen that displays during the iOS 7 setup process, tap either Enable Location Services or Disable Location Services. It’s a good strategy to turn on this feature, and then if you choose to later, restrict specific apps from accessing and utilizing your location information.
13. When the iMessage and FaceTime screen appears, confirm which iPhone phone number and which email addresses you want to associate with these online-based services, and then tap the Next option.
14. From the Find My iPhone/iPad in iOS 7 screen, be sure to turn on the newly improved Find My feature. After it’s turned on, if at any time in the future your iPhone or iPad is lost or stolen, you can use the Find My feature of iCloud.com or the Find My iPhone app to locate the lost equipment and remotely lock it down or erase its contents.
15. One screen at a time, work your way through the setup process, which should take no more than 2 to 3 minutes. When you finish, the newly redesigned Home Screen displays on your iOS mobile device.
Notice that on your Home Screen, all the familiar pre-installed apps are present, but they each have a newly designed app icon associated with them. However, all your data and settings remain intact. You can now begin using your iOS mobile device and take advantage of the new features and functions of iOS 7.
Because iOS 7 represents a rather significant update to your iOS device, the majority of optional apps you have installed on your device also now need to be updated. One new feature of iOS 7 is that app updates now happen automatically. As you begin using iOS 7 for the first time, make sure your iOS mobile device remains connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot or wireless network to ensure all the necessary app updates can be installed as quickly as possible.
iOS 7 includes a redesigned Notification Center screen (iPhone) or window (iPad), Control Center, and the capability to customize the wallpaper of your iOS mobile device’s Lock Screen and Home Screen using Dynamic (animated) backgrounds. As you’ll also discover, iOS 7 offers a handful of new ways to customize settings, features, and apps. This can be done from within Settings.
To begin further customizing iOS 7 and how it’ll perform on your iOS mobile device, launch Settings and tap the Notification Center option. From the Notification Center submenu, you can now determine what information displays within the Notification Center screen (iPhone) or window (iPad).
As always, when you swipe your finger from the top of the screen in a downward direction, the Notification Center screen/window displays. Now that you’re running iOS 7 on your mobile device, however, near the top center of this screen/window will be three tabs: Today, All, and Missed.
Based on how you set up the Notification Center from within Settings, when you tap the Today tab, a summary of your Calendar appointments and date-specific Reminder app listings display, along with the current date and the local weather forecast.
When you tap the All tab, a summary of all the app-specific alerts, alarms, and notifications that have recently been generated by various apps running in your iOS mobile device display. From the Notification Center menu within Settings, you can determine which apps this feature monitors, plus determine how many alerts or notifications from each app display. You can also determine the order in which app-specific content displays.
By tapping the Missed tab, all alerts and notifications generated by iOS 7 and various apps running on your mobile device while it was in sleep mode or left unattended display. On the iPhone, for example, this includes calls that were received and unanswered, new voice mails that have been received, and new text messages, missed FaceTime calls, and alerts related to other apps running on your device that the Notification Center is set up to monitor, including Mail.
After you personalize the options related to the Notification Center from within Settings, return to the main Settings menu, and tap the various other options that are new to iOS 7. Be sure to customize those options as well. For example, tap Control Center, Do Not Disturb, Sounds, Wallpapers & Brightness, iCloud, and so on.
As you begin customizing these options, you’ll discover that some of the default sounds associated with common iPhone or iPad tasks have now changed within iOS 7. You can further customize these settings by tapping the Sounds menu option. Likewise, to take advantage of a new dynamic (animated) background for your Home Screen or Lock Screen, from the main Settings menu, tap the Wallpapers & Brightness option.
Another new feature of iOS 7 that you’ll want to customize early on relates to iCloud Keychain. This feature works with the Safari web browser and automatically records, saves, and synchronizes the majority of your website-specific usernames and passwords, along with credit card information you use to make online purchases from specific websites.
To adjust the settings related to iCloud Keychain, launch Settings, tap the Safari option, and then tap the Passwords & AutoFill option. Next, turn on the Use Contact Info option, and then associate your own personal entry from within the Contacts app with the My Info option displayed as part of the Passwords & AutoFill menu screen. (If you haven’t yet created a detailed entry for yourself within the Contacts app, do so before customizing the iCloud Keychain option.)
Also from the Passwords & Autofill menu within Settings, turn on the Names and Passwords feature, and then decide whether to activate the Always Allow option. This ensures that Safari will remember the username and password you use anytime you access a new website. Then, when you revisit that website later, Safari will automatically fill in the username and password fields, so you don’t need to manually log in to those websites.
You can also securely store your credit card details within your iOS mobile device that you use when shopping online. When activated, Safari autofills fields associated with your credit card information, expiration date, and billing address when you make online purchases. To turn on this feature, which is part of iCloud Keychain, turn on the Credit Cards option from the Passwords & Autofill screen within Settings, and then tap the Saved Credit Cards information to enter your credit card information once.
iOS 7 is chock full of new features and functions but also features a new look to preexisting features. In some cases, familiar options within apps now look different or are located somewhere else on the screen. You may also discover that in some instances, instead of swiping your finger from left to right to accomplish something, a right to left swipe is now required. So, expect there to be a slight adjustment period and learning curve when you begin using this new operating system.
Two other major differences between iOS 6 and iOS 7 include how you access the Spotlight Search feature and the new Control Center. When using iOS 7, to find any content or app stored on your mobile device, use the Spotlight Search feature by placing your finger somewhere near the center of the Home Screen and swiping downward to reveal the Search field.
To access the new Control Center from the Home Screen, or from almost any app, swipe your finger from the bottom of the screen in an upward direction. From the Control Center, you have quick access to a handful of common iOS 7 features and apps, including Music controls, a screen brightness slider, a volume control slider, and command icons that enable you to quickly turn on or off Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, and the auto-rotation lock.