Pro tip: Get full names back on iOS 7 lock screen messages

Follow these steps to determine how senders' names appear on your lock screen when you receive a message in iOS 7.

iOS 7
In iOS 6, when a message appeared on your lock screen, it displayed the sender's full name. However, iOS 7 changed that, and now a message only displays the first name of the sender. That's all fine and good (and much cleaner), but what if you have a number of contacts with the same first name? Sure, you can usually take the context of the message into consideration when trying to figure out which John or Jennifer is texting you, but why have this added layer of confusion? Instead, you can reclaim that last name in the lock screen with a simple change of a setting. Here's how.

  1. From your home screen, tap Settings | Mail, Contacts, Calendars
  2. Under Contacts, tap Short Name
  3. Tap the type of name listing you prefer (Figure A)

Figure A

Figure A
iOS 7 running on a Verizon-branded iPhone 5.

You can also completely turn off the Short Name feature to have the full name of the sender. To do that, simply tap the Short Name on/off switch until it's in the off position. The system will also continue to use Nicknames (when a nickname has been assigned to a contact). You can turn that off in the same screen by tapping the Prefer Nicknames on/off switch until it's in the off position.

This setting doesn't just apply to the lock screen -- it's global. So, if you'd prefer using short names for other features, it's either all or none.

That's it! You've officially rid your iOS 7 device of a new, annoying feature to help you always know who, exactly, is sending you a message.