What you need to know about the iPhone Contacts and Calendar apps in iOS 7

If you are not a hardline Angry Birds or Temple Run player, chances are that the two iPhone apps you use the most are Contacts and Calendar.

Under iOS 7 both the Contacts and Calendar apps underwent a substantial transformation. Think you know it all? Read on and find out how easy it is to block contacts, delete nagging contact suggestions from popping up or to zip through time with the new iPhone Calendar app. new contacts and calendar app ios 7

In addition to exploring the features of the iOS Contacts and Calendar apps on the iPhone, learn how to manage iPhone contacts and calendar events directly from your PC:

Manage iPhone contacts and calendars

iPhone Calendar app re-vamped

The iPhone Calendar app under iOS 7 is as streamlined and as practical as ever. The old skeuomorphic design is gone for the sake of simplicity and workability. Once you open the Calendar app, you are taken to the default Day view where today’s events are displayed. At the same time, you can scroll through the days of the week on top. iphone calendar day view

What happened to event list view?

The list view is gone from the Calendar app under iOS 7. Now you can quickly invoke a list of events by tapping the search symbol on top. ios 7 calendar list view gone

Whooshing through time

You can quickly whiz from day- to month- to year- view by tapping the top left corner of each section. At any point of time, you can create a new event by using the “+” button. create new event ios 7 calendar

New alert time one week before event

The iOS 7 Calendar app includes a new alert time period. You can now set up to be notified for an event up to 1 week in advance. This is especially handy for appointments which require extensive preparation. ios calendar notify one week before event

New calendar settings

Calendar settings remain largely unchanged under iOS 7. The only exception is that you can now set the starting day of the week (default is Sunday). You can also set the Default Alert Times for all calendar events to “1 week before” a feature unavailable in iOS 6. To access calendar settings navigate to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars. start week on monday iphone calendar

Calendar settings remain largely unchanged under iOS 7. The only exception is that you can now set the starting day of the week (default is Sunday). You can also set the Default Alert Times for all calendar events to “1 week before” a feature unavailable in iOS 6. To access calendar settings navigate to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars. start week on monday iphone calendar

Where did the “Invitees” option go after update to iOS 7?

A blog reader told us about a problem with the iOS Calendar app where the “Invitees” option disappears after updating to iOS 7. ios 7 calendar invitees option gone

If you experience this issue, all you need to do in order to be able to invite people to your iPhone calendar events is to sync back the iPhone calendar with iCloud. To do so, navigate to Settings > iCloud and place the Calendars switch to the ON position. enable ios 7 calendar invitees

Once you merge the iPhone calendar to iCloud, the “Invitee” option becomes available again.

The Contacts app under iOS 7

The iOS 7 Contacts adopts the minimalistic look present throughout Apple’s latest mobile OS. Flipping through the contacts app one finds it contains lots of text labels and few icons which are quickly deciphered. iphone contacts list ios 7

Adding contacts

There are multiple ways to create contacts on the iPhone. It is easier than ever to add contacts form the Phone and Messages apps. To set up a new contact entry from within the Recent-calls list simply tap on the “i” symbol, next select “Create New Contact” or “Add to Existing Contact”. add new contact iphone

It less obvious how to save contacts from within the Messages app. If you are looking through a text message, to create a contact associated with the sender’s number, tap “Contact” then tap “Create New Contact”. create contact from iphone message

When creating a new contact on the iPhone, you’ll notice that the contact photos are not square as in iOS 6 but are now round. Also, the “social profile” and “instant message fields” are now directly accessible from the main Edit view. Previously, one had to dig those fields up by tapping on “add field”. add custom fields on iphone ios 7

Contact fields and custom labels

As with iOS 6, the Contacts app in iOS 7 offers a myriad of detail fields which can be added to the contact. You can quickly fill out information about the contact’s address, birthday and other important dates, related people and so on.contacts app ios 7 add fields

You can also add custom labels to almost any new field. For example, add the plate number of your partner’s car, by tapping “add address”. Next, instead of selecting “home” or “work”, create a new label for the address field called “Car plate” by tapping “Add Custom Label”. add custom label to iphone contact out of order

Those of you who use lots of custom labels, will be unpleasantly surprised by the fact that the list of previously-created labels does not appear in alphabetical order like it used to in iOS 6. You will now also be unable to delete any of the previously-created custom labels. This makes selecting a custom label from the list time consuming especially if you’ve got a couple of dozen label entries. Many users have voiced complaints over the nuisance and some have even found workarounds until a fix is issued.

Interacting with Contact entries

Go to a contact entry and you can instantly call, message, or FaceTime by tapping on the respective symbols. You can also share the contact via a text message, email, or AirDrop. If you added a street address, you can tap on it to look up the location via the native Maps app. iphone contacts on ios 7

Blocking intruders from contacting you

Ever since the introduction of FaceTime and iMessage, there was a steadily growing list of iOS users who complained over the inability to block people. Apple have finally introduced the new feature with their latest iOS. All you need to do in order to block a contact from calling or texting you is to tap “Block this caller”. The option is only available if you access the contact entry via the Phone or Messages app. block people from contacting you on ios 7

NOTE: you can’t block people who haven’t yet called or texted you.

Managing your iPhone address book

There are a number of ways to manage contacts on the iPhone. You can sync the entire address book to a cloud account such as iCloud, Gmail, or Yahoo. You can also opt out and keep the contacts offline, locally on the iPhone. To access the iPhone contact sync settings, navigate to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars.

If you are on a Windows PC, you can transfer and back up the iPhone address book to Windows Contacts. If you have a Mac computer and are using Mavericks, the latest Mac OS X, you can unfortunately not keep iPhone contacts offline on the Mac. You can only sync the iPhone address book with iCloud. The reason: Apple has quietly removed the “Sync Address Book Contacts” feature beginning from iTunes 11.1.2 for Mac.

Here’s what the the Mac Help Center has to say about Mac OS X’s switch from offline sync to cloud-based sync. sync contacts with mavericks not possible

Delete auto-complete contact entries

Ever wondered how to delete contact entries from the auto-complete when composing emails or typing text messages? iOS 7 makes this possible. To stop a contact from showing under auto-complete simply tap the “i” symbol next to the list entry once auto-complete pops up. From the next screen, tap “Remove From Recents”. delete contact autocomplete iphone

NOTE: Auto-complete entries are not necessarily contacts saved to your address book. These are simply numbers or email addresses you have contacted in the past via a text message or email.

The new iOS Calendar and Contacts apps are as useful and practical as ever and with streamlined look. Apple this time made sure to include long requested features such as contact block and deleting contact entries from auto-complete. Do you like the new look of the Contacts and Calendar apps? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • leisureguy

    Now that my i phone 4 has iOS 7.0.4, I no longer know how to invite folks to calendar events. I’ve Googled and Googled, I’ve found no site that will tell me how. Will someone tell me?

    • Krasimir CopyTrans

      Hello, is your iPhone calendar synced with iCloud? It looks like on iOS 7, the only way to have the “Invitees” option is to sync your current iPhone calendar with iCloud.

      • leisureguy

        Thanks! I can now send invitations!


        • Krasimir CopyTrans

          You are welcome! Could you please quickly let me know how you tackled the issue? I will then feature the solution adding it as an update to the above article.

          • leisureguy

            I followed your instructions. I clicked on the “settings” icon on my main screen; after that click, I clicked on “i-cloud”. After clicking on “i-cloud” i found the switch next to “Calendars”. I moved that switch to the right, so that the button appeared green in color. After I moved the switch to the right, I clicked on an appointment in my calendar. I then clicked on “edit”. When the edit screen came up, I discovered, happily, that the “Invitees” row now appears.

            Thanks again,


          • Krasimir CopyTrans

            Perfect, thanks!

          • Garren Gaz Kelly

            Hi, I have the same problem but the solution above did not help because my iCloud button was already on green (on). I have turned it off and kept the calendar dates on my iPhone, switched back on and then merged and still no change. Please help??!!

          • Hi Garren, if nothing helps, please try finding an alternative solution by beginning with the following Apple discussion thread: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5344411

          • james

            hi, how to change the fb messenger app ios 7?? because i dont want it. how to change into normal?

  • JayCovert

    Sadly, this calendar “fix” only works on iPhone and not on iPad at least not on the iPad mini.

  • NotYourAvgJoe

    I would like to have my phone numbers format as follows 1-516-555-1212 but by default I get 1 (516)-555-1212 I can’t seem to change it. Please help!

    • You can change the way the contact numbers appear by configuring your Regional iPhone settings. Navigate to Settings > General > International > Region Format and change the country format.

      • NotYourAvgJoe

        Thank for your suggestion… It is already set properly to the USA. The problem is on the computer and has now transferred to the phone.

        It started when I used a program to “fix” my contacts called ***** It did a great job of removing dupes etc. but when it was done the phone formats all had change. The weird thing is that even if I try to manually change the format back, it just reverts to the new format with parentheses around the area code.

  • Gregory Anene

    hey hi, i need some help. so i performed the upgrade to ios7 and now when i look at my contacts the ‘groups’ icon is no longer available and a lot of my contacts are hidden with no way to unhide them. can anyone help?

    • Looks like you used to sync your contacts with iCloud or another online service (Gmail, Yahoo). If so, go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars and make sure to set up the contacts account with which you used to sync your iPhone address book before the restore.

  • Jennifer Ruperto

    How do you delete auto-complete entries that are not contacts saved to your address book?

  • Ron Hoeflinger

    Your article sounds like it was written by Apple:

    “The new iOS Calendar and Contacts apps are as useful and practical as ever and with streamlined look.”

    The “streamlined” look is just a bland look. I never thought I would see this from Apple, but the Calendar, Contacts and iOS 7 in general are an example of fixing something that wasn’t broken. Microsoft loves to move features around with every new release of Word, and now Apple has done the same thing.

    BTW, the “new” one week in advance alert is NOT new. But they DID introduce something new… they removed the ability to set a second alert.

    It appears I’m not the only user who hates the fact the he/she was pushed to iOS 7 in order to use new apps. I seriously doubt that Apple will revert to the previous non-streamlined look and restore the missing features, but hopefully they will learn from this lesson that they need to make changes GRADUALLY.

    Oh yeah… the upgrade via iTunes didn’t complete and I had to go to the local Apple store to get iOS 7 installed. The people in those Apple stores are great. I hope THAT never changes!

  • mrgilbe1

    I have contacts from many sources on my iPhone – google contacts, Exchange contacts, LinkedIn, Facebook… the only contact sources I explicitly don’t use (and don’t want to use) are iCloud and somewhere local to the phone.

    How do I tell where a given contact has come from?

    When I create a new contact, which of my contact sources does it get saved to?

  • Budzogg

    To invite a contact to a meeting, I open Contacts, use Search to find the person (usually after the first 2 or 3 letters), open the “3 dots” at the bottom right & pick either Work or Personal depending upon how I’ve set up the contact. It automatically opens into a meeting invite within the calendar. What I particularly love is that I can open up the Activity tab at the top of the invited person’s contact folder & it automatically links the meeting invitation with all of the other contacts I’ve made with that person. It is so easy & intuitive. I also really like that my information isn’t in the iCloud. If you group contacts into a group, inviting the group is just as easy as a person. This is already built into the OS, no aspps required. As a business tool, the BB OS10 is fantastic. It’s too bad that people won’t give it a chance.

  • James Hughes

    If I link two contact records, for example one from my Gmail account and another from Exchange, then later make a change on the iPhone to the linked record, in which source account does the change appear? In other words, will the change be reflected in my Gmail account contact record or my Exchange account record, or both?

    • It all depends on which account the contact you modify belongs to. If it belongs to Exchange, that’s where the change will be applied.

      For newly-created contacts, it depends on which of the accounts is set as the default on your iPhone. Whichever account you set as the default, that’s where all the new contacts you make on the iPhone go.

      On the iPhone, navigate to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars and under the Contacts section tap “Default account”.

      • James Hughes

        Thanks but how do you tell, on the iphone, which account the contact belongs to? It’s a linked contact, so part of it came from Exchange and part of it came from Gmail.

        • The pat which comes from Exchange, once modified will be saved to Exchange, the part which came through Gmail, once modified will be saved to Gmail.

          • James Hughes

            And I suppose if I add a phone number or email it will update both Gmail and Exchange?

          • You’ve caught my interest! 🙂 To be frank, I am not sure about this. Would you have the means of testing and reporting back the outcome?

          • James Hughes

            Yes, it adds to both, unless you drill down after pressing Edit and add it specifically to one or the other. Same with deleting.

            I did learn that making the changes on the phone syncs pretty quickly to the source accounts. However, when I make changes directly in Gmail or Exchange, etc., the phone is quite a bit slower in syncing the updates.

            Thanks – I had been tentative about using the link feature out of concern that it would booger up my email accounts, but now that I understand how to manage them better, I can clean up the display on the phone.

          • Thanks for sharing your experience! I myself am not a fan of linking contacts on the iPhone. It keeps the contact book organized and avoids duplicate-looking contact entries but linking is temporary. The next time you update your iOS, or restore the iPhone for whatever reason, the meticulously linked contacts are restored back to their separate state.

          • James Hughes

            Thanks for the tip. Did not know that updating iOS would wipe out my work. I think I did notice when I changed phones that some things changed. Never have used linking much before; only what the phone seemed to link on its own. Thanks for all your help! Like the iPhone but managing contacts & calendars was much better on my old BlackBerry. Thanks again.

          • You are welcome, James! Give our CopyTrans Contacts a try. It makes managing iPhone contacts on the PC a breeze 🙂 Here’s more about what CopyTrans Contacts can do: http://www.copytrans.net/support/user-guides-copytrans-contacts/

  • Concerned Economist

    Hello, I’m very sorry if this is the wrong place for this request but I can’t find any way to contact the CopyTrans people and this is my last-ditch effort! Please help if you can . . . I am looking at buying CopyTrans, In a nutshell, I have an iPhone 4 and wish to get rid of iTunes – I hate it. I don’t play with music a lot at all and just require contact, calendar, TXT and email management. The website options and bundles confuse me so can you please advise the best thing for me, value-wise, to buy for my purposes. Thanks, Brian (Australia) P.S: I need a reply quickly, if possible – many thanks guys and gals.

  • Prasad Koneti

    i am using new iphone 4s version 7.1.1
    how to manage contacts without help of icloud
    i am looking to delete all existing contacts in single shot

  • Steven C Rogers

    My question is when an app asks to access the contact list, does it get all the fields including notes? I like to store account numbers in the notes field for certain contacts. It just dawned on me that any app accessing my contacts can see my note fields. What say you? Thanks!!

  • Laura

    Hello! I was just given an Iphone 4s and was surprised to find that when using the phone function, it doesn’t autocomplete or suggest names or phone numbers like my Android did. I am surprised as I find it cumbersome to have to go through “contacts” rather than simply start typing on the keypap, and the number or name will pop up. I see above you talk about how to turn autocomplete OFF for messages – do you know how to turn it ON for phone calls? Thanks, Laura

  • Dave Ross

    All good info. Any idea how to stop emails from auto-loading street addresses in the iPhone maps (OS8.1.3)?

  • Ramzi

    Thanks a lot for sharing this useful info.I have a question : why every time i add a number to a contact the IOS does not allow me to choose a label i want ? ex : the first No is mobile the second one became home no matter what i do to force it to be mobile too. i use iphone 5c and IOS 8.4 .

  • jcgreen2

    Recently in Note in my Contacts on my iPhone 6, the lines just keep going to the right, so they don’t fit on the screen. And there is no scroll button, so I can’t see info to the right of screen. How can I change that back so the entire note fits within the visible screen? Thanks.

    • Marika CopyTrans

      Hey Jim, that’s so odd, never heard of such error before. I’m sure we can do something about. Could you please email us a screenshot at copytrans@copytrans.net with a copy of your comment? Thanks!

  • Teresa Vaughan

    Some of my contacts are grayed out when I try to add invites to a calendar meeting.