iOS 7 is Apple’s most anticipated software update ever. Ever since it was unveiled at WWDC 2013 in June, users have been itching to get their hands on it. Some of us got a sneak peak this summer using the betas, but that wasn’t a finished product. Finally yesterday Apple released iOS 7 to the masses. There were some download issues, sure. But that is to be expected when there are hundreds of millions of iOS devices out there. We’re only a day in and already about a third of users have updated to Apple’s newest software. So now that iOS 7 has been released and we’ve had some time to play around with it what do we think?
First off, if you’ve never seen iOS 7 before, it’s going to take some getting used to. The software has a much more flat design than ever before, getting rid of skeuomorphism across the board. This is replaced with transparency that gives a layering effect across the OS. Apple’s own apps have been fully redesigned. Gone is the fake green felt in the Game Center app and the yellow lined paper in Notes. What is left is more white space and a more elegant design. Instead of pressing a ‘back’ button in Messages for example, you simply swipe from left to right to go from one contact back to all your texts. Again, it takes some getting used to but it should be standard across the board once all of your favorite apps are updated for iOS 7.
Notification Center has received a nice update. It can still be accessed by swiping down from the top of your screen, but now this also works on your lock screen. Once Notification Center is open, there are three sections: Today, All, and Missed. Calendar, Stocks, and Weather are all available at a glance.
Control Center The new Control Center is a welcome feature for users. By simply swiping up from the bottom of the screen a pane appears. In this pane you can adjust 16 different settings to your personal preference, including Wifi, Bluetooth, and Screen Orientation Lock. No more digging through the settings app when I want to sync via bluetooth, a much appreciated new feature.
Multitasking Apple first introduced multitasking in iOS 4. It was primitive to be generous. You would double click the home button twice and a row of apps that you had previously used would show up. To go into the apps you would click and to quit the apps you would hold down until a red minus sign appeared on the upper right corner. This all changes in iOS 7. Now when you double click the homescreen App ‘cards’ launch and you can see exactly what you were looking at within the app. To dismiss the app simply flick the app up and it’s gone. Apps can now update in the background when you’re not using them, making this a much more useful way to multitask on a phone or tablet.
Siri Ever since Siri was released alongside the iPhone 4S two years ago, it has been at times unreliable. While technically in beta all this time, when a user hold down their home button and launches Siri into action they expect to get what they ask for. Unfortunately this was rarely the case for me. It had its uses sure, but it wasn’t a product that I could count on to get done what I ask of it. Finally with iOS 7 Siri is out of beta. Equipped with a more human voice (your choice of male or female), Siri has some new added functionality. It can change settings for you, search within Twitter, Bing, Google, or Wikipedia, and check how many emails you have in your inbox. After using it in iOS 7 it’s not perfect but it seems better than it ever has been.
iOS 7 has over 200 new features. These are just our quick thoughts on some of the big updates. We will be reviewing different features more in depth in the days to come. Have you downloaded iOS 7 yet? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below!