by Bryan Hunter, founder of Phone Tips and Tricks
Back in September  when Apple unveiled the iPhone 5c and 5s models, it coincided with the release of iOS 7. This OS update wasn’t just for buyers of the 5c/s, but was also pushed out to the iPhone 5; 4S; and 4 ; iPad 2; 3; and Mini plus the 5th generation of the iPod touch. The release of iOS 7 represented a step change in both the feature-set and the look and feel of iOS, with a complete redesign of the interface and a number of new and overhauled apps. Below is a brief summary of the key features of iOS 7. For those wanting to explore more tips and tricks, I’ve also included a list of ten useful tips and tricks for the iPhone 5s.
A key feature of iOS 7 is that of the Control Centre which can be accessed by dragging your finger from the bottom of the screen upwards.
This has been a feature of other phone operating systems for many years; however Apple has been reluctant to provide something similar; perhaps in its drive for ease-of-use and minimalism.
iPhone users have however found this a welcome addition which allows users to adjust the brightness, access wireless and Bluetooth, and switch between profile modes.
Siri was given a makeover too, with the ability to choose between male and female voices. Again, this is location dependant however.
Another useful feature is the ability to store passwords, account details and your credit cards securely in Apple’s cloud service.
On the hardware front, the iPhone 5s is the first major smartphone to sport fingerprint unlocking, which despite the initial “will my fingerprints be automatically sent to the NSA” flak in the Press, is another welcome innovation to this flagship model.
Some rather strange, but useful functions also include a compass app, which by swiping your fingers across the app, enables a digital spirit level (handy for a bit of DIY).
Top 5 iPhone 5s tips & tricks
1. Enable Find My iPhone
Now that you have your shiny new iPhone 5S, you’ll want to protect it. A new feature of iOS7 is the Activation Lock, which is found in the Find My iPhone area.
This feature will stop anyone reactivating your device if it has been lost or stolen, even if you have remotely erased your device.
To turn this feature on, go to – Settings – iCloud and turn on Find My Phone. You should see the setting there.
2. Make the most of the Reminder app
Now that you have one of the most versatile gadgets on the planet, it’s time to get organised. The new Reminder app is great for this and allows you to keep multiple lists to sort your tasks or notes.
Head to the Reminder app and press the List button in the top-right corner of the screen (it should look like 3 lines). Press Create new List, name your list and then press Done.
You can create multiple lists and drag them into whatever order you like.
Once you have created at least one List you will be able to organise Reminders into the list. Simply go to a Reminder and press it. A new option saying Show More should appear. Press this and you will be able to assign the Reminder to a List
3. An easier way to take photos
If you’re out and about shooting photos of sunsets, or your lunch, then pressing the screen to take photos isn’t always the best option. Sometimes this can actually bump the phone making your photos appear slightly blurry.
You can now press the Volume key instead which allows for a more intuitive way of shooting.
4. How to share photos in iOS 7
After you’ve taken your first pic, you might want to share it with other iPhone users. Start by going to Settings – Photos & Camera and press Shared Photo Streams.
Then press Edit in the top right corner of the Photos App. Then choose the photos you would like to share. Press the Share button in the top left corner and press Photo Stream.
Next choose New Photo Stream and enter the email address of the person you want to share it with.
You can then give the stream a name and decide whether you want to share publicly with other Apple users. To do this, just toggle the Public Website option on or off.
5. Turn off Wi-fi network notifications
Having the ability to connect to your nearest Wi-fi hotspot is great, but sometimes the notifications can get a little annoying.
To turn these off, go Settings – WiFi. Then scroll to the bottom and change the switch that says Ask to Join Networks.
In future if you want to join a network, simply go to Settings – Wi-Fi and choose the network you want to join.
Apple has reportedly included around 200 new features into iOS7, so don’t be afraid to play around with your phone and explore some tips and tricks of your own.
Bryan Hunter is the founder of Phone Tips and Tricks which provides hundreds of tips, tricks and guides for dozens of smartphone and tablets including over 100 iPhone 5s Tips and Tricks. When Bryan isn’t updating the website and blogging about mobile phone related news, he will usually be found tinkering on his own wonder gadget.