ios7_homescreenThis week Apple rolled out their new iOS7 operating software. Unless you’ve already got your hands on a new iPhone 5S or iPhone 5C, you’ll need to download iOS7 onto your Apple device. Here’s the lowdown on 10 our favourite new iOS7 features.

1. Control Centre

This is probably the most useful feature for iOS7 and can be swiped up from any screen even when your phone is locked. Control Centre is home to the settings you’re likely to use most often so saves you the hassle of trawling through a whole load of menus to find what you need. Control Centre includes access to your iPhone camera, calculator, alarms, WiFi, Do Not Disturb, AirDrop as well as music and brightness controls. There’s even a Flashlight setting so you turn your iPhone into a torch.

2. Bigger Screen Size

Well they can’t obviously increase the physical size of the screen but iOS7 changes the look and layout of the screen by removing the black bars which used to appear at the top and bottom of the screen and revamping the icons. The result is a rather nice and bright and appealing new screen.

3. Notification Centre

An upgraded version of the iOS6 notification centre. It’s now been separated into 3 different areas – All, Today and Missed. All is pretty much the same as the iOS6 version with every notification you could need, Today includes a calendar with meetings and appointments, a weather update and news on the traffic which is useful for any particular day and Missed has details of any missed calls and alerts which have yet to be dealt with etc.

4. AirDrop

As Apple doesn’t have NFC-enabled iPhones as yet, AirDrop could bridge the gap. It enables you to share documents, photos, contact details and links with your contacts who are nearby. All you need to do is select AirDrop and choose which contact you want to send the item to and hey presto it will pop up on their screen with the option to accept or reject the data.

5. Find my iPhone

If you’re iPhone goes missing or is stolen, not only can you track your iPhone when it’s on but extra security is now in place to deter thieves from stealing it. They will usually switch the handsets off to avoid detection but as once they switch it back on again or try to reactivate it, they will now require your Apple ID as well as your password in order to use it or your phone will stay encrypted. Hopefully this new iOS7 feature will prove to be a huge deterrent to would-be robbers.

6. Photo Gallery

To save you scrolling forever to find a particular photo, iOS7 will now organise your images by not only the date and the place but also into months and years. It essentially creates a collage of your pictures with tiny thumbnails of each photo so you can more easily locate the one you’re looking for and pull it up.

7. Siri

Siri has also had a makeover with improved features and better voice recognition. Siri can now turn your WiFi and Bluetooth on or off, can switch on the Airplane setting as well as opening apps and searching Twitter. It could come in handy for sending texts and emails via a headset if you need to contact people whilst you’re driving. Siri can also now return calls.

8. Camera

Some handy upgrades to the camera too on iOS7 which include a burst shot feature so you can take several photos at the same time, you can apply and preview a variety of new filters easily and quickly before taking your shot or you have the option to add or remove the filter after you’ve taken the photo. Also with iOS7 you can just swipe to quickly pull up the different camera shooting features.

9. Multi-Tasking

As well as the facility to press the home button twice to pull up what apps you have open or to look at the apps you most frequently use, iOS7 will also update the content of your social media feeds (if they’re one of your favourite apps) before you launch them and will ensure your iOS updates are done when you’re not connected to WiFi to maximise your battery efficiency.

10. Blocking Spammers

Really handy one for blocking those annoying spam texts without them sending you a deluge more. You need to be viewing the text in question and then by selecting Contact (in top right-hand corner), just select the ‘i’ symbol and move down to select Block and bingo no more texts from that particular number.