How to close apps in iOS 7 and other tips for Apple’s new mobile operating system

Despite some early hiccups on the day of the roll-out, due to the overwhelming demand, many iPhone and iPad users are now running iOS 7 on their mobile devices. As promised, Apple has made some significant changes to the look, the functionality and just about every other aspect of the OS. And that’s left some people feeling kind of overwhelmed, unsure where they should start navigating.

Quite frankly, a lot of people are feeling like this little kid:

Poor little guy. But you don’t have to be upset, once you know how to take advantage of the new features of iOS 7. With a few tips and tricks, you’ll feel right at home in iOS 7 in no time:

How to close apps

Closing apps has been simplified – and as a result, a lot of people are a little confused. No more double-tapping the home button and pressing the red sign. Instead, you still double-tap the home button, only this time, put your finger on the window of the app you want to close, and swipe up. Away it goes, the app is now closed.

How to stop the background moving

If you’re on an iPhone 5 or higher, you have a nifty added feature, called a parallax effect: When you tilt the screen left and right, the wallpaper shifts slightly, making it look as if the apps on the home screen are floating there. After reading around online, I’m not the only person who got a little queasy after having this on for a while, along with some concern for what it was doing to my battery life. If you’d like to turn this feature off, go to Settings > General > Accessibility, then select Reduce Motion and switch it to On.

How to have full names on your texts and emails

iOS 7 by default goes for a more ‘personal’ feel by showing only the first name of your contacts on emails and text messages. If you’ve got several people with the same name in your contacts, though, this can quickly get confusing. You can change what names are displayed by going to General > Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars and clicking on Short Name (under Contacts). You can choose to have your phone display first name only, last name only, first initial and last name, first name and last initial, or if you want to go back to your phone showing full names, you can toggle the feature to Off.

How to view Calendar in list mode

One of my biggest frustrations out the gate with iOS 7 was with the new calendar; the hourly view was too zoomed up to give me an accurate picture of my day, and the monthly view wasn’t detailed enough. To get a better overview of what you’re doing over a day or week, you’ve got two options.

  1. With portrait mode turned off, move your phone into landscape mode and you’ll see your schedule for the next five days.
  2. From any of the calendar views, click the Search icon and it will show you all of your upcoming events in list view. Thanks to TUAW for this tip.

How to improve navigation on iOS 7 if you’re colour-blind

For people who experience various kinds of colour-blindness, the colour green and light colours on a white background can prove very problematic. Unfortunately for them, this colour scheme is used in spades across iOS 7. To try and counteract this, Apple has included two accessibility features which might help.

  1. Invert the colours so it shows up with white text on a dark background. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and toggle Invert Colours to On.
  2. Add an on/off icon to all of the toggle switches that appear in iOS 7 menus. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility and switch On/Off Labels to On (it should show as | instead of o).

Are you having any other problems navigating or using iOS 7? Leave us a comment or send me an email, and we’ll do our best to add some advice on how to fix it to this list.

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