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Next time you do an iTunes sync, select your iPhone or iPod touch in the Devices section of the iTunes sidebar. Scroll down to the Web Browser section of the Info tab on the right-hand side of the iTunes window and select Sync Safari Bookmarks.

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iOS 7.0.3 Adds iCloud Keychain and Disables Animation

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Hot on the heels of updating almost everything, Apple has released iOS 7.0.3, finally adding the iCloud Keychain feature, making it possible to disable motion effects that were making some users sick (see “iOS 7 Animations Cause Nausea for Some,” 25 September 2013), and fixing an accelerometer calibration issue (for more information on that, read “The iPhone’s Positioning Sensors Were Never Good,” 18 October 2013). You can download the 92.8 MB update in Settings > General > Software Update.

iCloud Keychain is a feature built into Safari in iOS 7 that stores and generates secure passwords, syncing them to Safari in OS X 10.9 Mavericks. It’s similar to products like 1Password and LastPass, but not as full-featured or compatible with other Mac Web browsers.

Many users railed against the flashy animations in iOS 7, such as icons swooping in from the Lock screen and folders “zooming” into view, with some people being annoyed by waste of time and others being made physically ill. You can now disable these animations in iOS 7.0.3 by visiting Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion, and turning on the switch. In prior versions of iOS 7, this switch merely eliminated the parallax effect, whereas now it knocks out the animations as well. A brief video by Federico Viticci demonstrates the difference. The Bold Text setting in Settings > General > Accessibility now also affects the dial pad text (see “Peering at iOS 7 for the Vision Impaired,” 19 September 2013).

Apple says that the update fixes an issue where text messages would fail to send, something that caused great consternation (see “Four Problems with iOS 7: Crashing, Messages, Siri, and Audio,” 2 October 2013). We certainly hope the other problems mentioned in that article have been resolved as well, but the release notes don’t comment on them.

iPhone 5s users who weren’t making full use of the Touch ID sensor may appreciate the fact that the “Slide to Unlock” switch on the Lock screen is now delayed when Touch ID is enabled, making it more obvious that the fingerprint scanner works from this screen.

Making a comeback in iOS 7.0.3 is the capability to search the Web and Wikipedia from the Spotlight search screen, which was mysteriously removed in iOS 7.0. Other welcome fixes include increased stability when using iWork apps, plus removal of a pair of bugs that could allow users to bypass the Lock screen passcode and prevent iMessage from activating.

Overall, iOS 7.0.3 fixes many of the major complaints about iOS 7. Assuming that all goes well over the next few days with the 7.0.3 update, anyone running an earlier version of iOS 7 should make sure to update — and those who held off upgrading to iOS 7 because they weren’t enamored of the animation should now find the tweaked operating system more attractive.

Check out the Take Control ebooks that expand on the topic in this article:

Slowed down by entering passwords repeatedly? Learn how to let 1Password do the heavy lifting. With directions for 1Password 4 for the Mac, as well as 1Password for iOS, Windows, and Android, author Joe Kissell makes it easy to generate and use secure passwords, speed up online shopping, and share and sync Web logins and other confidential data.


New for iOS 8: TextExpander 3 with custom keyboard.
Set up short abbreviations which expand to larger bits of text,
such as "Tx" for "TextExpander". With the new custom keyboard,
you can expand abbreviations in any app, including Safari and
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Comments about iOS 7.0.3 Adds iCloud Keychain and Disables Animation
(Comments are closed.)

How do I turn off the need to enter my four digit password every time I open my iPad. I'm using os7.3
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-10-24 09:11
Look in Settings > General > Passcode Lock.
Jarryd  2013-10-27 09:57
I tried that however the Turn Passcode Off option is not highlighted. Also when trying to 'turn off' Simple Passcode, it prompts to 'change passcode' instead. Any input?
I noticed the same thing. This version doesn't seem to allow a bypass
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-10-27 11:31
That's very weird! I see some indication that you'll need to do a backup to iTunes and then erase the device and restore.
L Carl Pedersen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Contributor 2013-10-28 08:42
Most likely, the passcode setting on your device is locked down by a connection to an Exchange server, or a company VPN. Mine is like that. I give up a little freedom in order to access company resources. My choice.
agreed, mine is like that too. you have to have a passcode lock if you are using exchange server, in most cases.
jschenck  2013-10-23 22:44
I'd just like to note that 7.0.3 is a game changer for an iPhone 4. Not only does it have the fixes everyone is talking about, it puts real zing back into the iPhone 4 and makes it a pleasure to use. I have the animation off, but everything was slower before 7.0.3 including the loading of apps post animation.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-10-24 09:12
That's great to hear - I was thinking about leaving our iPhone 4 on iOS 6 for testing, but the iPhone 3GS will get that honor instead then.
Josh Centers  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-10-24 09:13
True! My iPad 2 was a stuttering mess before 7.0.3, and it works so much smoother now.
So, Adam, does that change your advice from last week then? The ars article you pointed to last week seemed to indicate that an iPhone 4 should only be updated to iOS 7 if somebody absolutely needed a specific iOS 7 feature.

I'm not so sure I *need* an iOS 7 feature as much as I'd simply like to have some of the goodies. Is now the time to try on an iPhone 4? Keeping in mind there's unfortunately no way of going back...
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2013-10-29 07:53
We should see what those who really live with an iPhone 4 say, since although I can install it on one, it's not my main device, so I won't have that real-world feel for how it has changed. I am hearing that it's quite a bit better though.
Peter Hinman  2013-10-28 18:49
All these fixes are fine, but they don't address the basic issue which is that iOS 7 is just plain ugly. I find all of the changes are less visually attractive than their predecessors. How can we tell Apple to restore the more attractive features of earlier systems?