Handy iOS 7 tips and tricks

ios 7 tips and tricks
I’ve recently been delivering some bespoke iOS training courses across London and realised that there were quite a few useful tips and tricks that I was demonstrating, which long time users of iPhones and iPads were just were not aware of.
So, to continue in Amsys’ ongoing mission to ‘spread the Apple love’, I thought I would jot a few down here for everyone – in-case others have missed these too!

Keyboard/Typing tips (Using iOS onscreen keyboard):

1) Using Caps Lock: Double-tap the ‘Shift’ key in the onscreen keyboard for caps lock, the Shift key’s icon will change to be underlined as shown below:
ios 7 keyboard tips
2) Creating customised keyboard shortcuts: You can specify a shortcut to a long word or even a phrase so that you can simply enter a couple of letters and iOS will replace this shortcut with the full word or phrase.
Go to Settings > General > Keyboard, then tap Add New Shortcut:
customised ios 7 keyboard
Enter the full ‘Phrase’ and then enter the reduced character ‘Shortcut’ that will be automatically replaced on entering for the full phrase.

  • Tap Save to save your new shortcut.
  • You can add as many shortcuts as you wish.

In the example below, in any app where I can use the built-in iOS onscreen keyboard, if I enter ‘amst’, this shortcut will be replaced with the phrase ‘Amsys Training.’ I just need to tap the space-bar key to accept the replacement suggestion:
reduced character shortcuts ios 7
What if you have a word or phrase you regularly use, which the built in dictionary keeps telling you is wrong, and you don’t want it corrected?
Simple. Create a shortcut, only entering your word as the phrase, but leave the Shortcut field blank.
In the following example, I regularly refer to Apple’s iOS SDK in emails and messages and the built-in dictionary doesn’t like the word ‘sdk”
adding custom words ios7
To delete a shortcut, just swipe from right to left over the shortcut in the Settings > General > Keyboard > Shortcuts list and tap ‘Delete’:
delete customised shortcut
3) Alternative Text characters: Touch and hold a key, then slide over one of the suggested options to choose it. (For example, ‘E’ and ‘O’ have additional accent and character options):
alternative text shortcuts ios 7
4) How to undo the last entered edit: On a desktop or portable mac, you can easily use the ‘Cmd’ + ‘Z’ keys to undo the last entered edit. In iOS, all you need to do is ‘shake’ your device to the left and right, then tap ‘Undo’ when the pop-up appears. You can also Redo an Undo!
undo last entered text edit ios 7
undo last entered text edit ios 7
5) Define a word: In apps like Safari, Mail, Pages etc you can define a word by double-tapping it to bring up the options menu, and then tap Define:
define a word in ios 7

Useful Mail Tips:

1) Quickly delete a message in Mail: Simply swipe from right to left on messages in your inbox to quickly delete them by selecting ‘Trash’:
quickly delete a message in ios 7 mail
(Use the ‘More’ option to select features such as to quickly Reply, Forward or Flag the email):
flag mail in ios 7
2) Go back in Mail: To go back, swipe left to right from the edge of your screen:
go back in mail ios 7
3) Get back to drafts: Touch and hold the ‘Compose’ button to switch to your list of draft saved messages:
get back to drafts in ios 7
4) Search mail for a message: Swipe down in the messages list to reveal the search field if not already on display.
Searching looks at the address fields, the subject, and the message body.
To search multiple accounts at once, search from a smart mailbox at the home page of the Mail app, (such as ‘All Sent’):
search of mail message in ios 7
5) Search mail by time-frame: Type something like “August meeting” to find all messages from August containing the word “meeting”:
search mail in timeframe ios 7
6) Search mail by message state: To find all flagged, unread messages, type “flag unread.”
(You can also search for other message attributes, such as “attachment”):
search mail by message attachment ios 7
If you would like to learn more about Apple’s iOS products and how to support them, then take a look at our collection of iOS end user & support training courses.
We also have a collection of iOS App Development Courses, which may also be of interest.
If you require something a little more bespoke, then please contact our training department who will be more than happy to organise something for you.
While the author has taken care to provide our readers with accurate information, please use your discretion before acting upon information based on the blog post. Amsys will not compensate you in any way whatsoever if you ever happen to suffer a loss/inconvenience/damage because of/while making use of information in this blog.
These features were tested on an iPad (3rd Generation) running iOS v7.1.2 which was the latest iOS release at the time of writing.