Lawyers Guide to iOS 7

by Christopher Hopkins
Published November 2013

The American Bar Association reports that 85% of lawyers use smarthphones and more than half are iPhones. Nine out of ten tablet-carrying lawyers use an iPad. Meanwhile, Apple’s iOS 7 was released this September and, within a few days, over 200 million users updated. So now what do you do with it? This short guide will explain the two primary changes — Control and Notification Centers — and explain some iOS 7 tips and features.

First, let’s discuss the Control Center. Using your thumb, swipe from the bottom of the screen upwards. You now have instant “control” over airplane mode, wifi, brightness and other settings plus quick access to the flashlight, clock, calculator, and camera. In short, what used to take several steps to access is now available with a simple gesture.

Second, access the Notification Center by swiping down from the top of the screen — this page provides “notifications” from various apps, such as your calendar, stocks, reminders, and any other app which wants your attention. Go to Settings/Notifications and turn off the apps which excessively want your attention — like games and music apps. An unclogged Notification Center is a more useful tool for your calendar and important notifications.

Follow these steps for better control over your iDevice:

Protect Your Privacy (Location): Go to Settings / Privacy / Location Services and turn off any apps that really do not need to know your location. Then scroll all the way down to “System Services” to find the real demons: turn off Diagnostics & Usage, Frequent Locations, and any other invasive settings.

Protect Your Privacy (Ads): Step one, under Settings / Privacy, scroll down to Advertising to turn on “Limit Ad Tracking.” Step two, on that same page, hit “Reset Advertising Identifier.” Step three, go back out to Settings / Safari to turn on “Do Not Track.”

Search Your Device: You used to swipe to the left of the main page to access the “Spotlight” search tool. It moved. Swipe down from the top row of icons for the search bar to appear.

Make Text Bigger or Bolder: For our aging iDevice users, head over to Settings / General / Text Size to increase the font size. You can also make the new font a little bolder by going to Settings / General / Accessibility / Bold Text.

Ringtones, Vibration & Flashing: Check out the host of new ringtones under Settings / Ringtones. Create your own vibration by then hitting Vibrations / Create New. Give your contacts their own ringtone or vibration by going to Contacts, finding the person’s profile, hit “i” and then scroll down for the settings. Want your camera light to flash when you get a call? Head to Settings / General / Accessibility / LED Flash for Alerts.

What’s Eating Your Cellular Data? See which overactive app is using too much cellular data under Settings / Cellular and scroll down. Turning it off means the app only sends / receives data over WiFi.

What Time Was That Text Sent? On the Messages screen, use your left thumb to swipe from the right to left side of the screen. That gesture “pulls” the right margin to show the timestamp for each text.

Turn Off Text “Read Receipts”: Why should others know when you read their text? Go to Settings / Messages and turn off “Send Read Receipts.”

Edit Your Text Conversations: Want to show someone your text conversation except for a few choice comments? You can delete individual texts (while keeping the rest of the stream) by holding down the individual text and selecting “more.” Put check marks next to specific texts, hit “delete all,” and you now have sanitized your conversation. Parents beware.

Block Callers and Texters: Don’t want to hear from someone? Go to Settings / Phone (or Messages) and select “Blocked.”

Automatic App Updates: Want your device to always have the latest version of your apps? Go to Settings / iTunes & App Store and slide “Updates” to the right.

Automatic Background Refresh: Most apps do not really need to constantly refresh in the background when you are not using them. Save your battery and turn some or all of them off. Frequent travelers might want to keep travel apps on.

Instagram-like Filters: Want to take photos with b&w, instamatic, or other filters? In Camera, tap the overlapping circles icon to the right of the button and select your theme.

“Burst” of Photos: Don’t miss a moment of the action. When taking a picture, just hold down the button. Your camera will take a quick burst of pictures.

Change Siri: Change Siri’s voice at General / Siri / Gender. If Siri mispronounces something, train her/him by saying, “That’s not the way you say it.”

Don’t Like Zooming / Dynamic Effects? Turn them off (or down) at General / Accessibility / Reduce Motion.

Use Your Phone Like a Level: In Compass, swipe left to a new screen.

Check Settings of Any App: Just ask Siri to “Open [name] app settings.”

Christopher B. Hopkins is a shareholder at Akerman Senterfitt. While your device responds well to flipping gestures, he prefers emails at

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