Try out these new features in Apple iOS 7

Photo courtesy Apple

(MoneyWatch) Now that Apple's iOS  7 has been availablefor a few days -- both as an upgrade to existing phones and in the new iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c -- you might have installed the updated mobile platform and started getting used to the new visuals.

In addition to several key new features, there are a wealth of smaller updates you might not notice right away. Following are some clever and useful additions to the iPhone's operating system you might want to look for:

Folders are now expandable. Application folders now grow dynamically as you drag new apps into them, so you can't run out of space. Folders simply extend to additional "pages" that you can flip through with a swipe. This should alleviate a lot of clumsy folder names, like "Productivity 1" and "Productivity 2."

You can hide the Newsstand. The Newsstand app, which houses magazine and newspaper apps and which few users seem to use, used to be nearly impossible to hide in a folder. Now you can drag it into any folder to get it out of the way, a handy move if you don't use this app.

See time stamps for your text messages. Now there's no doubt when you had a particular conversation. Just swipe to the left over any text balloons in the Messages app and you'll see when they were sent.

Siri has new tricks. Siri has some new abilities to show off. Beyond choosing among male and female voices, for example, you can also teach Apple's voice-activated helper how to pronounce names better. If you hear Siri say a name badly, respond "you didn't pronounce that correctly." You'll get a chance to correct Siri.

You can control where the new control center appears. By default, iOS 7's control center (which you can pull up from the bottom of the screen) appears everywhere. If you are worried about the security implications of that, you can disable it on the Lock Screen. And you can also disable it within apps, if you find that distracting or annoying. To do that, find the control center in the phone's settings menu.

You can block calls. It's now easy to add phone numbers to a list of calls that will never ring though to your phone. In settings, tap Phone, and then tap Blocked.

iTunes Radio lets you customize it for music you like. The Pandora-like iTunes Radio built into the music app is pretty flexible. Tap the info icon at the top center of the screen to create a new station from the artist or song you're listening to, for example, and control how adventurous the station should be with playing a variety of music. And don't forget about the star at the bottom left of the radio screen. It lets you emphasize songs like the one that's playing in your playlist, tell the app never to play that song again (on custom stations you're created) and add the tune to your wish list for later purchase.

Photo courtesy of Apple

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