Apple’s new iOS 7 for iPhone and iPad is the biggest redesign of the mobile operating system since iPhone was first introduced.
1. Panning wallpaper
Having a boring old static image behind all your apps on the home screen is so boring – at least according to iOS 7.
It introduces a new feature that allows the wallpaper to pan around as you move your phone to give a three dimensional like view.
This is called Parallax. Already there are dozens of specially designed wallpapers that attempt to make the most of this new feature.
There was also due to be the ability to use panoramic pictures as wallpaper too, but this seems to be missing from the final released data.
However, seeing the world float past your eyes every time you move your phone has the drawback of inducing motion sickness.
It is also extremely distracting, especially on the larger screen of the iPad.
While some might quite like the effect, others may be hankering for their plane old static picture of the Earth or the picture of their friends that used to sit on the screen of their phones.
However, turning it off is hidden away.
Here is how: access General Settings, and then select Accessibility. Here there is an option called Reduce Motion, select that and turn on the little switch. This will disable Parallax.
2. Contacts names on text messages
On the locked screen, messages flash up with the contacts name and a fragment of their message. However, in the new iOS, the message no long displays their full name by default.
Instead it will only show their first name. While this may feel friendlier, for anyone with more than one David or John in their contacts book, it will be confusing.
To restore formality back to your world, access Settings, select Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
Then under the Contacts section, select Short Name and then select the option you prefer – First & Last Name, First Initial & Last Name or just if you are the public school sort, pick Last Name Only.
3. Control Centre while using an App
The new look control centre is designed to be easy to access – simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen and the frosted-glass effect pane will appear.
Great. Unless of course you are using an app or playing a game that requires just such an action, like the hugely popular Temple Run – then up pops the control centre exactly when you don’t want it.
Fortunately it is possible to turn this off so the control centre will not open when you are using apps.
Access Settings and then select Control Centre. Turn off Access with Apps and no longer will the Control Centre intrude upon your App using experience.
4. Closing apps
In previous versions of iOS, double clicking the Home button would reveal App icons on the bottom of the screen. Holding down a finger on them would make them shake and open a little red cross in the top right corner so they could be closed down.
In iOS 7, this has changed. The drawer opens up along with a smaller preview of each App window.
At first it may not seem immediately obvious how to close Apps and no amount of holding down will cause them to shake.
There is a new, and far more enjoyable, way to do this – simply swipe to the App you want to close and then swipe the preview window upwards, as if pushing it off the screen.
It is worth remembering that pressing the Home button while in this view will take you back to the App you were in rather than back to the home screen. So not really a Home button anymore.
5. Notification centre
In its original form, the Notification Centre is a long list alerts from social media apps, emails, text messages and calendar alerts.
In the iOS 7, it has received an overhaul to include a calendar view which will give you a day by day update on what is happening in your life.
It also features a Missed option to allow you to access missed calls. While it is still accessed in the same way – by swiping downwards from the top of the screen – it looks different.
For those who prefer the old style Notification Centre, it is possible to turn off the Today view as well as control whether it alerts you to Stocks and gives you Reminders.
Go to Settings, then Notification Centre and use the switches to turn off Today Summary and Tomorrow Summary along with whichever apps you want to appear.
The new Notification Centre can also be accessed from the locked screen without entering your passcode.
If you are a paranoid sort and do not want others seeing what is happening in your life uninvited, then this too can be turned off.
Again, access Settings, then Notification Centre and use the switch to turn off Notifications View and Today View under Access on Lock Screen.
6. Improve the battery life
Another of the new features in iOS 7 is the ability to allow Apps to refresh their content while they are running in the background.
This can help ensure they are up to date when you need them – who wouldn’t want to have all the news waiting for them in the morning on the Telegraph App rather than waiting for it to load, for example?
However, it will also prove to be a massive drain on the battery.
To disable it, access Settings, select Background App Refresh and toggle the switch to off.
However, it may be better to do this on an App by App basis as turning this off will also mean functions such as GPS will not run in the background.
Turning off AirDrop will also help to save batteries. This new feature constantly searches for other iPhones or iPads nearby, so turning it off will reduce the drain on power.
Simply swipe up to open the Control Centre and double tap on the AirDrop logo and turn it off.
7. Hard to read text
The text under the App icons can be hard to read following the update, particularly with some of the lighter coloured background wallpapers.
This can be improved fairly easily – make the text bold by going to Settings, then Accessibility and then turn on Bold Text.
Increasing the contrast can also help the text to stand out a bit more. Again, go to Settings, then Accessibility and then Increase Contrast by turning on the switch.