Apple was hurt, yes it was! “YOU CAN’T INNOVATE NO MORE”, they said. The wounded tiger has bounced back. iOS7 is definitely a new iOS altogether. Call it minimalistic or a vibrant new UI, iOS7 surely breaks new grounds.
New Refreshing UI
Apple came up with a much needed beautification. When we first saw the unveiling of the iOS7, we couldn’t believe that this was indeed iOS. A complete overhaul, right from the icons to the homescreen. It looks way more refreshing and colorful. Gone are the dull grays that Apple seemed to adore so much.
Multi Page Folders
Apple continually boasts of how many apps are available over at the App Store, yet hitherto has only allowed twelve icons within a single folder, meaning one could only ever partially bring organization into their life. With iOS7, folders have pages, allowing ‘hundreds’ of apps to be stored within any folder.
Apple now lets you toggle your iOS settings right from anywhere you’d fancy. Dragging up the bottom of your screen now allows for quick setting toggling – called the Control Center. You pull up a pane that has all your settings for Bluetooth, Brightness, and WiFi, all neatly laid out on a frosted background that slides outline a glass pane. Right at the bottom of Control Center, are nested shortcuts to the built-in timer, camera, and calculator apps, as well as a new flashlight too. Whatever we’ve been seeing on jailbreaks seems to have been included pretty stylishly with iOS 7. Another really awesome feature that’s going to be heartening to mst is the inclusion of AirDrop ! Which allows two devices to connect over Wifi or Bluetooth for file transfer. Though this’ll be available only on newer hardware.
Speaking of significant recent features which have seemed unnecessarily limited, it was a matter of much bemusement that the Notification Center was a home screen-only affair when it debuted with iOS 5. Notifications received an improved look and feel as one will now be able to view their notifications in either a collective All section, or just your missed notifications in the Missed section. You can also view a Today section, which highlights upcoming calendar entries, reminders, and anything else going on in your day. Somehow, all this reminded us of Google Now.
SIRI now comes with a choice to let you pick a male or a female voice. Besides the mentioned much needed addition, SIRI also lacked a multi language voice playback. Again with iOS7, Apple has introduced 3 new languages integrated into SIRI. French and German were demonstrated on-stage and Apple says that more languages will be added over time. You can also ask Siri to search Wikipedia and Twitter. Moreover SIRI gets rid of Google search web results and instead uses Bing now. Apple surely hates Google.
The Music App for iOS got a whole makeover to go with the overhauled interface. And with that, it also received a spanking new feature- iTunes Radio. Built right into the music app, the first thing you notice with iTunes Radio is that it streams a list of the music that’s currently trending on Twitter right on your phone’s feed. But then you’re not in the mood for the current chartbuster. You tap on the station you want to pick from- something that suits your mood, and you hit play. From this point on, you can share that track with your friends, or create a station based on that artist.
Perhaps the most annoying feature of iOS, multitasking has often been the center of criticism. With the inability to resume from where an app stopped to the clumsy cramped up display of all the apps running, Multitasking has deservingly gotten a makeover.
True multitasking will work for all apps, and will, according to Apple, bring background updates to each and every apps. What’s more, in reaping these new benefits, you won’t have to forgo any of your precious battery life, so the new multitasking feature is, in theory, an all-round win. Now iOS recognizes your most used apps based on various factors such as time and location and updates your most commonly used apps while easing back on those you don’t.
New App Store
The App Store now has a new kids category that sorts apps by age, which is great for parents. You find apps that are popular near you. Location-based options that give you recommendations for certain apps solely based on either your current whereabouts or local events that you’re attending in line with the rest of the UI design changes in the new software, the App Store is now flat, white and easier to read.
Those days when you would abandon FaceTime and switch to Viber to make straight audio calls will soon be gone. Apple has announced that high-quality calls over Wi-Fi will complement video calls for those who would rather talk while on the move.
Safari now opens up straight into full screen mode, with the option to pull down to bring up the search bar at the top. Tabs come with a totally new interface, scrolling in a vertical carousel, and there are no longer any limits. In other words, you can have as many tabs as you want, as opposed to just 8 like before. Swipe a tab off to the side to throw it away. The new Safari is integrated with iCloud keychain from OS X Mavericks, and also comes with parental controls.
Mac users will cheer the addition of AirDrop in iOS 7, a peer-to-peer file-sharing service that will soon support the iPhone 5, fourth-generation iPad, and iPad Mini.
AirDrop works by creating local ad-hoc networks among nearby users. So if you want to share a photo, you’ll hit the share button, and automatically see others around you who are also on iOS 7. From there, you just tap a friend’s picture and iOS 7 uses Wi-fi and Bluetooth to send your photo (and the recipient can accept or decline). It also offers the option to make yourself invisible to nearby iOS 7 users from the Control Center. Say goodbye to proximity dependent features like bump sharing.
Camera and Photos
Apple has done some serious hard work on the Camera interface and how the photos reside on your phone. The camera app surfaces all your shooting modes so you can tap them to frame your shot, such as still, panorama, HDR, video, and a square configuration, some flattery to please Instagrammers, that is. With iOS 7, Apple treats photos as moments in time organized around geotagged locations, not just chronology. Users can share via AirDrop, iCloud photo-sharing, as well as shared Photo Streams. You can even share videos with iCloud photo-sharing.
This is for those of us who have had an iPhone stolen. If a thief steals your phone and tries to turn off Find My iPhone, they can no longer turn the device back on without your iCloud password. Users can also block messages and calls from other users.
Other note-worthy features
- Unlock the phone, and icons drift down
- Revamped weather app shows dynamic weather animations onscreen; pinch for all-city overview
- iCloud keychain remembers sensitive data
- Long MMS support
- Swipe from day to day in Calendar
- Phone, FaceTime, and Message blocking
- View PDF annotations
- Support for 60fps video capture
- Background asset downloads
- Inclinometer support
Availability and Compatibility
Unless you are a registered app developer – who get a crack at the new iOS 7 beta beginning today - you might have to hold you horses a little longer. The full public release comes to your iPhone and iPad this fall. However there’s no word about an exact date as yet.
Also, not every device is going to be iOS7 compatible. iOS 7 will be available only for the iPhone 4 and later, the iPad 2 and later, the iPad Mini, and lastly, the fifth generation of the iPod Touch. This leaves out the iPhone 3GS and the fourth-generation iPod Touch.