WWDC 2013 saw the unveiling of iOS 7, the most immense changes made to OS since it launched back in 2007. But what’s new?
New Design Firstly, Apple has finally decided to give iOS a proper redesign appearance wise. iOS has looked almost identical update-to-update since it was first introduced. (2207- when the first iPhone launched – aeons ago in tech terms.) The most obvious changes to the design is the new icons. All the old designs have been ditched in favour of a new look. The ‘slick-business look’ has been dropped for more of a favour of a ‘friendly/social’ look. Who is behind this new version? Jonathan Ive- who? – the guy who was behind the hardware design of the iPad, iPhone and the original iPod – which made its debut in 2001. He’s an Apple veteran. Not only have the icons been changed but: all of their in-house apps have been given a slight makeover, including Email, the camera app, the browser, the photo gallery and EVEN the Apple keyboard. – yeah, that’s what I thought! Apple have been busy!
iOS 7 Camera The Camera app of iOS 6 has been completely redesigned for iOS 7. In previous versions, the camera app was the simplest mobile phone photo interface-just giving you access to an HDR mode, panorama, and the grid (seldom-used). iOS 7’s camera app is completely different. Apple has realised (about time in my opinion) that iPhone users love things like filters and the ability to easily share their photos with friends. The iOS 7 camera app now offers eight filters. There are now ‘photo collections’ too, which amass your photos into a timeline that stretches over days, weeks, months – and even years. Apple is clearly out to make social networking sites like ‘Instagram’ a thing of the past with iOS 7 (They’ll have a hard job doing that though). Your photos are shared on iCloud, Apple’s cloud storage service.
iTunes Radio The newest addition to iOS 7 is ‘iTunes Radio. It’s an ‘fm-like’ service that lets you listen to music for free. However, you won’t have full control over what you listen to. (It is free, after all) It’s said that the service; ‘learns your tastes’ over time, or you can listen to an ‘artist’ radio station. Adding further to the bad news, it is currently only available in the U.S.
Apple Control Centre The software update includes a brand new features switch panel that’s comparable with the notifications bar controls of the iPhone’s biggest competition: the Galaxy S3. The new ‘switch panel’ gives the user total control over features and settings like AirPlay, Screen Brightness, Music Playback, Bluetooth and Airplane mode. Also new to iOS 7, is the use of ‘hand gestures’ to access certain applications quicker than usual, it’s about time that Apple introduced this, as other phones (Even on the bottom end of the market, has this feature) This control centre panel is accessed by dragging along the screen with a finger upwards!
Notifications bar Although, Apple’s iOS 6 saw the introduction of the Android-like drag-down menu for notifications, and this has not disappeared, no, in fact EVEN THIS has been redesigned. (yep, Apple have definatley been busy) The new ‘flagship’ feature is a summary of all your daily updates. This includes texts, tweet,s shared photos etc: It also shows you calender events and the local weather.
Smart Multitasking Multitasking has been completely redeveloped in iOS 7. Rather than showing you icons of apps you’ve recently loaded, you’ll also see previews of what’s on-screen, similar to those seen in other Androids and Smartphones Although, lightly mentioned earlier, Apps will also now, ‘learn’ when exactly you search for updates in your daily schedule.For example: if you look at Twitter every day at 9am, your iPhone will update that app just before that, so you’re ready to see all your friends’ Tweets. Personally, I don’t see the point in this, but John Ivy clearly does. Apparently, this will help iOS 7 to save a bit of battery, so it won’t have to look for updates 24/7.The update will use, Wi-Fi rather than 3g whenever possible in order to saver battery, not trying to sound to skeptical but we’ll have to see how this works in person.
AirDrop Apple has always had constant criticism for not including ‘NFC’ (Near Field Communication) amongst it’s devices, however, the ‘AirDrop’ is truly Apple’s answer to the Samsung’s ‘S Beam’ It uses Wi-Fi Direct and Bluetooth to let you share files – primarily photos, contact and videos – with people nearby (only if they also have iPhones) If anything, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are much more efficient. Wi-Fi standards for this purpose as their ranges are far greater than NFC, which peters out after about 10cm. You’ll still have to select a contact to send files too as well, so you shouldn’t find random strangers sending you photos either.
Safari Redesign The browser has been given a long needed makeover. In common with the rest of iOS 7, it attempts to keep things simple. Its’ tabbed browsing view’ has also been changed. Rather than appearing as flat planes, they appear as 3D animated tabs – as shown in the picture -> Safari now uses iCloud too, letting you save your passwords and logins so you don’t have to type them in every time. And, for us social networkers out there, like me (Follow me on twitter: @LuqmaanChaudry) you save your ‘reading list’ URLs and share them over Twitter if you like. As a social network addict, and an avid iPhone hater, I truly think this iOS 7 update, may persuade me to migrate to #TeamiPhone rather than upgrade from the #GalaxyS3 to #GalaxyS4 Siri Siri is more advanced than before. Most of the updates are ‘experiential’, meaning you should only notice it’s better without necessarily realising why. There’s more feedback about when Siri’s listening and not. You no longer have to guess. Siri should no longer have to leave the Siri app, either. Apple has done a deal with Wikipedia that will see the Siritsearch Wikipedia within the phone rather than asking you if you want it to: “search the web” I think iOS 7 will truly revolutionise the way, iPhone users communicate, and also will encourage other phone companies like Nokia, to bring their A-Game to the market; and will truly make instant messaging…even more, instantaneous!