iPhone and iPad

Every iOS 7 Trick You Will Need for iPhone Utopia

Bakari Chavanu 16-06-2014

From putting folders in the dock to blocking incoming calls, there are lots of iOS tips and features that many new and veteran users are still unaware of.


Though iOS is nearing its eighth incarnation, iOS 7 is only a year old and still bearing many new fruits in terms of productivity if you know where to look. I’m going to assume that you have some basic knowledge of how your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch works, if you’re looking for a beginners crash course, check out our iOS 7 guide A Complete Beginner's Guide to iOS 11 for iPhone & iPad Here's everything you need to know to get started with iOS 11. Read More .

Organizing Apps

You may find your iOS 7 device easier to use if can get to your regularly used apps quicker, and delete those which are not being used. Here are some tips:

Put Folders in the Dock

Put one or more folders of apps in the dock by dragging out the single apps taking up space and replacing them with folders of your most regularly used apps.


Locating Apps

If you need to find where an app is located in a folder, use Spotlight to search for the app by pulling down the search bar on any home screen. The folder name will be listed on the right-hand side, and you can tap the app to launch it.



Check Usage in Settings

Check to see how much space you have remaining in your device, by launching Settings > General > Usage. If you’re running low on space, you can delete apps from this menu too.

Use Your iTunes Wish List

If you want to wait later to buy an app (perhaps when it’s on sale), you can add apps to your wish list by tapping the Share button at the top, and then tapping Add to Wish List. This only works only for paid apps, and you can find the wish list on the Featured tab by tapping the menu button in the top-right corner.

App wish list


Reducing Battery Usage

Quickly Turn Off Wi-Fi and Cellular

To quickly turn off Wi-Fi and your cellular connection, swipe upwards to reveal Control Centre then tap Airplane mode. Though this feature is designed for air travel, it can also help save battery usage when needed, and it can be useful for temporarily preventing camera shots to be copied to Photo Stream, or for when want to enhance a photo in Instagram but don’t want it posted to your Instagram stream.

Note: You won’t be contactable while Airplane Mode is on, calls will go straight to answer phone until you disable it again.

Typing and Text

Voice Dictation

When the keyboard is open in any application, you can use voice dictation feature (tap on the mic icon) to dictate text. Clearly speak a sentence or two at a time, and when done, tap the mic again and your voice will be converted into text.

IMG 7220


Quicker Text Selection

Selecting text on the iPhone and iPad mini can sometimes be a challenge. A faster way to select a single word is double-tap on it with your index finger. To select entire line of text or a paragraph, single tap on the text with two fingers.

Selecting text

Shake to Undo

If there’s no dedicated undo button in an iOS 7 app, shake your device and a box will appear so you undo what you last typed, moved or deleted. This works for accidentally archived email messages, contacts added to your address book and more.

Undo type


Use Typing Shortcuts

To type regularly used text, like your name or email address, create a shortcut for such text. Open Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcuts, and tap the plus “+” button to create a shortcut. Type the phrase you want expanded, and the shortcut you wish to use and it will appear system-wide.

IMG 7223

You might also want to check out the word expansion app, TextExpander 22 Essential iPhone Keyboard Tips and Tricks Here's a bundle of iPhone keyboard tips and tricks, including how to type faster and customize your keyboard. Read More which works with other iOS apps.

Phone Tips

Use Do Not Disturb

If you receive too many unwanted calls, especially during work hours, use the Do Not Disturb feature to block all calls except from callers on your Favorites list, or contacts in a selected Contacts group. To set this up, open the Settings app > Do Not Disturb and enable the feature. Select a time that suits you, and a list of calls that will make it through regardless.

Every iOS 7 Trick You Will Need for iPhone Utopia dnd mode

Multi-task During Phone Calls

If you need to type a phone number or look up a contact while you’re talking the phone, first tap the speaker button so you can hear the other person talk. Click the Home button on the iPhone to leave out of the phone app. From there, you can open a notes app (or most any other app) and do whatever you need to.

Return to phone


Take a picture, look up an item on Amazon and even send email. To return to the phone app, tap the green bar at the top of the screen. Check out our article about other things you can do while on the phone 10 Things You Can Do While Talking on Your iPhone Bored while stuck on hold, or want to get more from your iPhone's calling functionality? Try these tricks on your next call. Read More .

Deflect a Call

You can send an incoming call directly to voicemail by the double-clicking the Lock/Sleep button at the top of the phone. Click the button once and it will silence the ringtone and allow the phone call to continue until the voicemail responds.

Block A Caller

You can also now block a caller indefinitely by locating the caller’s number in your Recents list and tapping on the information (i) button. From there, scroll down and tap, Block this Caller.

Block caller

To unblock the number, open Settings > Messages > Blocked, and then tap the edit button to delete a blocked number from the list.

Make FaceTime Audio Calls

You probably know that you can make FaceTime video calls on the iPhone and Mac Don't Forget You Can Make & Receive FaceTime Calls on Your Mac Apple's FaceTime is seen in many of its commercials, but some Mac users may not realize that the application is also available for use on their desktop computer. Read More , but iOS 7 also now allows for voice only FaceTime calls, which is useful when you’re getting a bad phone connection between you and another caller. FaceTime calls can be made over the cellular network, but they also work over Wi-Fi too and provide superior call quality to standard calling.

To make a voice call only, tap the FaceTime phone icon in the contact’s info page, and it will make the call. When you’re already on a video FaceTime call, tap the FaceTime button during the call, and it will switch to a voice call only.


Assign Ringtones to Contacts

A great way to know who is calling without looking at your phone is to assign a different ringtone to selected contacts. Open the Phone app, tap on the Contacts tab, and select a contact. Tap the Edit button at the top, and then scroll down and tap Ringtone. From there you can change the default ringtone. The same can be done for voicemail alerts.



Camera Tips

Take Photos while Shooting Video

Every iOS 7 Trick You Will Need for iPhone Utopia video recording1

While you’re shooting using the iPhone camera, you can also snap photos without interrupting the video capture. While in video capture mode, just tap the camera icon on the screen to take one or more photos.

Take Burst Photos

If you want better chances of capturing a fast moving subject with your iPhone camera, frame the shot and then keep your finger on the white shutter button (or volume increase button on the side of your iPhone). This will cause the camera to continue snapping photos until you lift your finger ager the shutter. Check out our guide to other iPhone camera features Beginners Guide To Using The iPhone Camera If you haven't used the iPhone Camera app much, or if you’re a new user of the device, you may not realize just how close the app is to literally being a point-and-shoot camera, and... Read More .

Iphone 5s continuous burst

Getting Things Done

View Countdowns on the Lock Screen

If you set a timer using the default clock app or if you tell Siri to set the timer for you, you can check the countdown in the lock screen of the phone, without having to unlock your phone or leave the lockscreen.


Bookmark Locations in Maps

If you haven’t noticed yet, the Maps app allows you to access a list of recent locations you’ve searched for directions (tap on the bookmarks button in the top left of the Maps app), and you can also bookmark a location (tap on the address on the map, and then tap Add Bookmark) to use it again. You can even give the bookmark a custom name.


Close All Safari Tabs

If you have a huge list of Safari tabs open on your iPhone (there doesn’t appear to be a limit) you can close all by tapping the bookmarks or the tabs icon at the bottom of Safari, and then tapping on Private to enable private browsing mode. From there you can select to close all apps, then tap Private again to disable private browsing.

Safari app

Any websites you visit in private browsing mode won’t be saved to your history.

Siri Tips

Siri can answer lots of questions, and help you perform many tasks. If you haven’t been using this feature, here’s introduction to get you started If You're Not Using Siri By Now, You Should Be Most of the commercials, jokes, and media hype about Apple's iOS voice assistant, Siri, have subsided, but I still run into iPhone users who don't take advantage of this powerful feature. Just the other day... Read More .

Siri Commands to Remember

“Remind me to…when I arrive home”
“Give me direction to [name a location, or a contact’s name whose address is in your contact list]”
“Set a timer [or alarm] for…”
“Cancel my alarm for tomorrow morning”
“Open [name an app]”
“Tomorrow’s appointments”
“My appointments for next week”
“Make reservations at [name a restaurant]”

Activate Siri Using Earphones

You can send Siri commands by clicking and holding on the middle button the remote iPhone earbuds. And here’s some other things you can do with the iPhone headphones 4 Nifty Things Your Apple EarPods Headphones Can Do The Apple EarPods that come with your iPhone actually have a lot of use. Here's everything you can do with your iPhone headphones. Read More  too.

Alternative Apps

Sometimes you might find replacing Apple’s default apps with something a little more advanced makes the time you spend with your device more pleasant. Here are some ideas.

Quicker Notes

Use the app Scratch ($2.99) or Drafts ($3.99) notes for quickly type and save notes. Each time you open these apps, it opens with a blank page ready for typing. You can also email notes or send them to other design apps or cloud services. Scratch (shown below) is the easiest to use, while Drafts provides lots of advance features Apple Notes vs. Microsoft OneNote: Which Note-Taking App Is Best for You? If you're a Mac user, you might wonder whether you should use Apple Notes or a cross-platform tool like OneNote or Evernote. We'll help you make that decision. Read More .


Fantastical An An iPhone Calendar

If you use your iPhone Calendar app a lot, consider downloading Fantastical 2 ($4.99) and using it instead. This third-party app is much better designed than the default calendar app, and it’s especially useful for duplicating an event, such as a irregular dentist appointment or meeting, and adding a new date and time to the duplicated event. Fantastical also stays in sync with your iCloud calendar and syncs with Fantastical for the Mac Manage Your Calendar From The Mac Menubar With Fantastical Manage your calendar, completely, from your Mac's menu bar. Fantastical isn't just a way to quickly see your upcoming events: it's a way to never look at Apple's default Calendar again. Read More .


Numerical: Calculator Without Equal

If you want to save some tapping while crunching numbers, download Numerical ($2.99). This app instantly displays the answer to equations as you type, and it saves your calculations in a history view. It also supports swiping gestures for undoing and redoing inputs, copying and pasting results, and several more advanced math features.


That’s it for this round of iOS 7 tips. The next round-up will probably involve a lot of iOS 8 features, so keep an eye out for that. Let us know what tips you would add to this list, and what questions you have about the iOS 7.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. Jeselle P
    June 26, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    This is awesome! I can't wait to impress all of my friends with these tricks.

    But how do I spotlight search my apps? I can't find it anywhere.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      June 26, 2014 at 7:38 pm

      Pull down on the screen with the device unlocked of course, and the search box should appear.

  2. Alex
    June 24, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    1. Swiping from left to right on the number in the Apple calculator will delete a number

    2. You can take a photo with the volume up button on the Apple earbuds

    3. Holding your finger down on a time in "Day View" in Apple's calendar app will add a new event where your finger is being held down.

    4. Pinch to close gesture when viewing the weather data for your local area will collapse all the weather locations you have set up in the app into the List View instead of tapping the icon to do it in the bottom right corner.

    5. When viewing a webpage and you want to search for a word on the page, tap into the address bar, type the word you are looking for, and in the results that appear below look for the section called "On This Page". Tap the word you are searching for in that section and it will highlight all instances of that word on the webpage you are viewing and you can cycle through them all with arrow buttons.

  3. Alex
    June 24, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    "Close All Safari Tabs"

    This trick is no longer possible in iOS8. You can now have Private Browsing tabs and regular tabs both open at the same time in separate lists.

    There is no more "Close All Tabs" that I can see anymore.

    Also, if you hold your finger down on the "Plus" button (which normally opens a new tab) it will instead bring up a list of "Recently Closed Tabs" so you can open something you might have accidentally closed.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      June 24, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      Alex, thanks for letting us know this. Apple seriously needs to add a way to close all tabs. That's a long overdue feature.

  4. Saikat B
    June 18, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    One of the coolest tricks for me is that iOS 7 lets you launch Siri or press the Home button by simply tilting your head, or pull down Notification Center by tilting your head to the left. It is actually an accessibility setting available under Settings > General > Accessibility > Switch Control

    • Bakari Chavanu
      June 18, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      Hey Saikat, thanks for adding that head movement tip. I've used it a few times when out taking a walk, but it's not a feature I remember for some reason. I didn't know you could pull down Notification Center by tilting your head to left. Is that useful for when you're talking on the phone and you quickly need to check Notifications?

    • Amalie
      June 18, 2014 at 10:56 pm

      Wow, I did not know that. Great tip, thx.

    • Amalie
      June 18, 2014 at 10:58 pm

      I love learning about shortcuts, thx for sharing :-)

  5. Bill R
    June 17, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    I could be wrong, but many of the tips above do not apply to older iPhone / iPad versions even IF IOS7 is installed.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      June 18, 2014 at 4:43 pm

      Bill, good point. I probably should have made that point about older iPhones/iPads in the article. Thanks for your feedback.

  6. Marie Barger
    June 17, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Great tips. I learned several! Love the hold the photo button for burst shots! Going to use this when taking pix of kids skiing next season!!! Also the shake thing is cute. The best one was the close all tabs on Safari. I personally use Chrome, but by default when I click a link it uses Safari. I spend lots of time closing each one! What a time saver tip. Thank you!!!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      June 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      Marie, thanks for your feedback. There are several occasions I wish I had remembered the burst mode feature, and closing Safari tabs one at a time used to bug me big time.

  7. Maurice Lewis
    June 17, 2014 at 12:20 am

    I didn't know about putting a folder in the dock. That was awesome and now I put my most used apps there. Very helpful and thanks!

    • Bakari Chavanu
      June 17, 2014 at 5:26 am

      Maurice, thanks for your feedback. Appreciate it.

  8. Bakari Chavanu
    June 16, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Matt, thanks for your feedback. Have you tried checking the settings for Fantastical and Checkmark 2 in the Settings app > Notifications? Be sure to enable Show in Notification Center. I believe that works.

    • Anonymous
      June 17, 2014 at 1:33 am

      I checked the settings. They show in the "all" menu only not the "today" menu in the notification drop down menu. Also the 2 mentioned apps only appear in the all menu after their due. They don't show as upcoming or due tomorrow like the stock apps do in the today menu. I wish apple opened up 3rd party apps to the today menu

    • Bakari Chavanu
      June 17, 2014 at 5:29 am

      You might want to write directly to Fantastical on this issue. And one other place you might check the Reminders settings in Fantastical.

  9. Matt
    June 16, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    I love articles like this. I'm always searching for a new tip. Relearned a few I'd forgotten about so thanks. I have used Fantastical and other note taking apps like Checkmark 2. Both top shelf apps. My only complaint is I wish I could make them appear in my Today menu on my notification center drop down like the stock iOS apps. It's really convenient to just swip down and see what events are coming up but instead I have to open the two apps to get the info I want.

  10. Dann A
    June 16, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    I knew about most of these, but the shake-to-undo feature is new to me. Pretty cool! This is a great list.

    • Bakari Chavanu
      June 16, 2014 at 6:00 pm

      Dann, thanks for your feedback. I was hoping that readers would find at least one feature and trick they didn't know. The shake-to-undo does require a vigorous shake, so don't do it in a meeting or something in which you might look like you're trying to get your phone to work.

    • Mark P
      June 17, 2014 at 12:08 am

      The shake to undo feature made me laugh. It sounds like it came about from people who shake their phone when they get really frustrated/angry at it. Now when they get frustrated they can shake it and it will ask them if they want to undo it!

    • Dann A
      June 17, 2014 at 9:58 am

      Haha—it does sound like that! I can just imagine when people discover it: "Blasted phone! I didn't want—oh! Look at that! Yes, please undo."