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7 hidden features in iOS 7

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By Jeffrey Van Camp
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It's been out for more than a week, but we're still finding and noticing little things about iOS 7. We've already listed some of the major problems and major tips we have, and reviewed the OS, but there's always more. Next week, we'll explore a few annoying things we'd like Apple to change, but for now, here are a few useful nuggets hidden in Apple's increasingly dense Settings menu. We hope these help you save a little battery life, or time.

You can turn Touch ID on or off with ease

If you're scared of the NSA, or just don't like Apple's newfangled Touch ID fingerprint sensor, then you can easily deactivate it. Go to Settings > General > Passcode & Fingerprint. In this menu, you can Change your 4-digit passcode, make it longer, complicated word, and mess with your fingerprints on record. Enter the Fingerprints menu to scan more of your fingers, and choose whether to use Fingerprint authentication for unlocking the phone and iTunes/App Store purchases. Though people are saying Touch ID has already been hacked, we still think it's a lot better than a simple password.

Bonus: If you want to know which fingers you've scanned, simply touch one of your fingers to the Home button while in the Fingerprints menu. If it's a stored fingerprint, one of the rows will turn grey for a second, indicating that you're good to go.

You can simplify the Notification Center

We think the pull-down Notification Center screen on the iPhone is fairly useless no matter how you slice it, but if you want to tailor it to your needs a little more, you can. Go to Settings > Notification Center and start marking and unmarking boxes. You can turn off the Today View, Calendar, Stocks, Reminders, and more. If you want to get really granular, you can enable and disable every single app's ability to send notifications, and customize whether they come in as an alert, banner notification, or silent notification, depending how you care to be notified. Every app can be given different sounds as well. The options are pretty robust.

You can choose which apps can use cellular data

Here's something really cool. If you're going over your phone's data limit, or in danger of it (that's probably all of you), go to Settings > Cellular. In this menu you can toggle cellular data, roaming, and LTE (high-speed data) on and off, but also turn every app's ability to use cellular data (at any time) on or off. This isn't just background usage. If you disable an app on this menu, it won't ever be able to use cellular data. When you enter an app that you've disabled, it will tell you that it can't use cellular data. In some cases, this means your apps will be unusable unless you're on a Wi-Fi connection. But it's great that the choice is yours.

You can choose which apps can run in the background

In iOS 7, Apps can now operate more freely in the background. This is often great. It means that your Podcast collection might be able to sync without you having to enter the app and have it open, among other things. However, if too many apps are running in the background, it can impact your battery life. You can toggle every app that's capable of running in the background in Settings > General > Background App Refresh. We recommend that you let mapping apps run in the background, as well as Apple's Weather App.

Siri can learn to pronounce things right

This isn't inside the Settings menu precisely, but if Siri is mispronouncing things for you, you may want to correct it. Simply say "that's not how you pronounce that" and it will ask you how to actually say it. If you have more Siri questions, hit the small question mark circle in the lower left of the Siri app and it will tell you all the ways you can communicate with it. Or if you want Siri to be a man or disable it entirely, head to Settings > General > Siri.

You can make the text larger and bolder

If you have terrible eyesight, then you may want to consider buying a larger phone (like a Galaxy Note), but if you also hate big phones, Apple has a few settings to help you make things easier to read. To increase or decrease the default size of text, head to Settings > General > Text Size and adjust the slider bar. If that isn't enough, there are a few more things you can try. You can Bold Text by going to Settings > General > Accessibility. This menu also has a feature called Increase Contrast that will make menus easier to read. Finally, if these just aren't working, try enabling Zoom (also in the Accessibility menu). This lets you tap on the screen with three fingers to zoom in and look around. Tap with three fingers again to unzoom.

You can tone down animations if they're making you sick

The truest sign of success for Apple is that it's OS is used by enough people that there are some people who cannot handle the minimal animations present in the operating system. If the parallax effect (3D-like effect of icons on the home screen) and other animations are giving you headaches or making you nauseous, you can "reduce" the problem a little. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion to reduce animations. There is no easy way to entirely remove animations. You may want to invest in an Android phone (and you'll still need a mod) to remove animations entirely.

That's it, for now

We may update this with a more complete list of Settings in the future. If you have tips you'd like to share with other users, please leave a comment below.

This article was originally posted on Digital Trends

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