Apple’s iOS 7 download is now available for newer iOS devices, and there are changes throughout the system that Apple hasn’t told you about.

We’ve had some time to play with iOS 7 and found new features that will vastly improve one’s daily mobile life.

Block a number

Haters, beware! In iOS you can now block a number in your contacts. To do so, head to the person’s contact page and scroll to the bottom. There, you’ll see an option to block a number’s calls, SMS/iMessages, and FaceTime requests. The contact must remain in your phone so the person can remain blocked, and you can unblock them once they apologize to your face (unless that restraining order was approved).

ios7-block-contact

Put Newsstand in a folder

You never wanted to use it, and to make matters worse you couldn’t put it into a folder. Now, Newsstand can be hidden away so that you never have to look at that thing. Who wants to read magazines on a mobile device anyway?

ios7-newsstand-folder

App switching now has live previews

When you double-click your home button to see your open applications, you will now see what each of the applications is up to. Simply swipe left or right to browse through your open apps. To close one, swipe up and “throw it” away.

ios7-app-switch

Swipe right instead of hitting the ‘Back’ arrow

No longer do you have to reach all the way up to the top left to hit the back arrow within an app. Now, just swipe from left to right to go back to the latest page.

ios-7-swipe-right

‘Spotlight’ is now at the top of the home screen

Instead of existing as a page on your home screen to the far left, Spotlight has moved to the top of all home screen pages. To access, swipe down from anywhere on the home screen (but not the very top, because then you’ll pull down notification center).

ios-7-spotlight

View text history even when the reply window is full

You’ve been there before. You type a long-winded response to a friend, but before sending the message you need to see what else your friend said. If your reply window was full, you couldn’t hide the keyboard to view the rest of the text history unless you pressed ‘Send’ or temporarily cut your text.

You can now view text history before sending. To do so, swipe down from the contact’s name to hide the keyboard.

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View times for every text message

If you need to know how long its been in between text messages (“Is she ignoring me?” “How long has it been since I last nagged him?”), you can now swipe left to peek at each text message’s timestamp. Previously, iOS decided on its own which timestamps to display and which not to.

apple-ios7-text-timestamps

‘Today’ view in Notification Center

iOS now provides you with a glance at what’s on tap for you today using your Calendar, Weather, and Maps apps. With default iOS 7 settings turned on, iOS will learn about your daily routine and is able to tell you how long it will take you to get from your frequently-visited physical locations (i.e. work, school commute times).

ios7-today-view

‘Control Center’

You now have quick access to commonly used settings like WiFi on/off, Bluetooh on/off, calculator, camera, and flashlight. To access, simply swipe up from the bottom of your screen.

If you accidentally open Control Center too often, there is a setting to let you disable Control Center within apps. With this setting turned on, you can only access Control Center from the home screen.

ios7-control-center

iOS 7 download

You can now download iOS 7 for free starting today. To do so, load up your iOS device and go to Settings -> General -> Software Update. Make sure your data is backed up before you download iOS 7!

iOS 7 review

By far the biggest iOS 7 feature is its all-new design which brings the operating system up to modern times. However, these new looks didn’t distract us from the fact that the operating system doesn’t boast many big new features. There are many under the hood improvements like better background app management to hopefully preserve battery life and little changes like the ones noted above, but overall we feel that Apple takes too long to add these types of improvements.

We would like to see Apple unveil two big iOS versions a year so that they’re running a better competition with Android OS. Google’s operating system seems to always be a step ahead of Apple in terms of features, and it’s time for Apple to catch up and stay ahead.

Edited by Brandi Delhagen