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Four features you didn't know existed in iOS 7

Apple added a lot of big features in iOS 7, along with some important lesser-known ones. These are some of the ones you should know about.

Sarah Tew/CNET

It's been nearly a week since Apple released iOS 7 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners. The update, which included several new features and a completely revamped interface, marked the biggest face-lift the mobile operating system has seen since its debut in 2007.

Features such as the new Command Center, revamped Camera app, added gestures, and redesigned Notification Center have seen a large amount of press. You may not have been aware, however, that Apple also added more, smaller changes to the operating system.

Here are a few important features you should know about in iOS 7:

Added security
You don't need the fingerprint scanner in the iPhone 5S to have a secure device. It's recommend that iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users utilize Apple's Passcode feature. This can be enabled by going to Settings, followed by General, and selecting Passcode Lock.

From this window you can lock your device with a password or PIN, in addition to enabling certain actions, such as using Siri or replying to a text message, while the device is locked. There are a number of options available to you when you set up the Passcode feature; for example, you can set the device to lock immediately after the screen is shut off, or delay the feature from going into effect for up to 4 hours.

Screenshot by Dan Graziano/CNET

You also have the ability to program your device to automatically erase all of your personal information after someone attempts (and fails) to unlock your phone. This feature can be found at the bottom of the Passcode Lock settings under the "Erase Data" option.

Improved Siri
We already told you about some of Siri's new abilities, including pulling information from places like Wikipedia and Twitter, controlling system settings, and the ability to change Siri's gender, but that's not all Apple's voice assistant can do. Siri can also help you listen to a voice mail or be used to return a missed phone call. To do this, simply open Siri with a long press on the home button and ask your request.

Apple Maps
The release of Apple Maps isn't something Apple would want to relive. The widely panned app was buggy and inaccurate, among other complaints, when it launched last year as part of iOS 6. With Google Maps gaining popularity across iOS, Apple has continued to improve its in-house mapping service.

A small change you will notice in Apple Maps for iOS 7 is a new Night Mode that is automatically enabled after the sun sets. The feature, which is present in the turn-by-turn navigation window, displays a darker gray background in place of the traditional bright white.

Along with support for new gestures, Apple's Mail app received a small and greatly appreciated new feature in iOS 7. A common complaint among iPhone and iPad users revolved around notifications that could quickly build up and become an eyesore. A simple change by Apple has all but resolved this issue, though.

Screenshot by Dan Graziano/CNET

All e-mails inside of the Mail app can now be flagged, or marked as read or unread in a few simple steps. To do this, click on the "Edit" button at the top right-hand side of the screen, followed by the "Mark All" option in the lower left-hand corner. A popup window will then appear that will give you the option to either Flag e-mails or mark them all as Read or Unread.

Be sure to check out this guide for everything you need to know about iOS 7.

(via Lifehacker)

Correction: An earlier version of this article listed the "Erase Data" option as a new feature to iOS 7.