5 quick iOS 7 tips for pilots

3 min read

The latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 7, has been available now for a few weeks. While some have had issues with the upgrade, most pilots are getting used to the sleeker icons and new layout. Once you get comfortable with the basics, there are some advanced tips that can help you customize your iPad and operate more efficiently.

Here are our five favorite tips for iOS 7:

  1. Close multiple apps at once. Multi-tasking got a whole new look with iOS 7, and the way you close apps changed with it. Double tap the home button to bring up a list of all the apps that are running in the background. Swipe left and right to review all the apps. Then, instead of tapping and holding on an icon (like you did in iOS 6), slide the app up to close it. What you may not know is that you can close multiple apps at the same time like this. Tap two apps with two fingers and slide them both up to close them simultaneously. Remember, this closes the app, it does not delete it from your iPad.
    multitasking with hand
  2. Make text easier to read. Some pilots have complained that the new text style in iOS 7 is hard to read, with its thin typeface and different color scheme. Fortunately, there are some options for improving text readability. Go to the Settings app, then General, then Accessibility. From here, you can turn on Bold Text and Larger Type, both of which should help readability. You can also turn on Reduce Motion and Increase Contrast if the fancy backgrounds and animations are distracting for you.
    accessibility settings
  3. Turn off background app refresh when battery is low. One of the nice upgrades in iOS 7 is the way Apple allows apps to update in the background (when they’re not the primary app being used). This is really handy for keeping apps updated with the latest information without having to open them, but it can increase battery drain. While it hasn’t been a big issue for us, some pilots have noticed significantly worse battery life with this feature enabled. If you’re down below 20% battery life, it’s a smart idea to turn this feature off. You can turn it off for all apps in one touch, or choose individual apps to disable. Go to the Settings app, General, Background App Refresh.
    background app refresh
  4. Monitor automatic app updates. The ability for apps to update themselves when a new version is released was another new feature for iOS 7. Some app developers have advised against using this feature, for fear that an update minutes before your next flight could be risky. That’s a valid concern, but we think it’s going overboard to completely disable this feature (it’s pretty handy). Another option is to allow these updates, but be religious about checking for which apps have been updated before flying (your iPad will notify you). Alternately, you could disable automatic updates the night before a flight, to ensure nothing changes in the middle of the night. This setting is adjusted in the Settings app, from the iTunes & App Store page.
    app updates
  5. Triple click to zoom. We’ve shared tips before about the “triple click home” feature (you can use it to invert colors, for one). Another setting that could be valuable for older eyes is the triple click to zoom feature. When this is enabled, you can click the home button three times to zoom in on the screen. The nice part here is that you can zoom in on anything you see on your iPad–so while you can always pinch to zoom the map in ForeFlight, this feature allows you to zoom in on the nav log or airport page (which don’t allow pinch zooming). It’s simple to set up, from the Settings app, General, Accessibility, Accessibility Shortcut (at the bottom of the page).
    triple click
8 replies
        • Jack in Jax
          Jack in Jax says:

          Double tap with 3 fingers doesn’t do anything on my iPad. Triple click to zoom does work…but FF doesn’t allow shifting of the image. So e.g. in their example, you can open the A/FD tab and then triple click to zoom in on the A/FD…but if what you want has been zoomed out of view, you’re out of luck.

          • ayrpyg
            ayrpyg says:

            If you are zoomed in and are not viewing what you want to see, hold your finger on the pad in the direction you want to look. The view will pan in the direction you place your finger.

  1. Bill Kane
    Bill Kane says:

    The automatic updates feature was erasing all my ForeFlight charts and favorites! I had to agree to the ForeFlight terms and conditions before I could download everything again and wait to download. More than an inconvenience!

    I turned off automatic updates and have not had any problem since. Thank you to ForeFlight for their help!

  2. Allen Wrigley
    Allen Wrigley says:

    Triple-click zoom was nice, and promised to be useful in aviation apps that don’t allow pinch zooming on certain screens. I use the past tense because it quit working shortly after I enabled it. I might have inadvertently “killed” it, but I turned it off and back on, to no avail. I’ll keep trying, and try to research this.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] you should never leave it in the airplane overnight or in direct sun. On the ground, turning off Background App Refresh can help, but this isn’t much of an issue in […]

Comments are closed.