So, I’m sure by now you’ve heard the next Apple mobile operating system is coming. It’s called iOS 7 and I’ve got to say, it’s a pretty nice update.
Yes, you say, I’ve seen the Apple website and the news releases, it’s very pretty and the apps look cool when they open and close, so what?
There’s more to it than that. I can tell you from experience, when you’ve used iOS 7 and go back to iOS 6, it kind of sucks. There’s some really cool new features that I didn’t realise how much I needed them until I used them.
First and foremost there’s:
It’s been a long time coming, but it’s been worth the wait. You can access Control Centre anytime, and yes, that includes from the lock screen! You can switch on airplane mode, switch bluetooth on or off. You can adjust brightness or play a song. You can set a timer or turn the flash light on, all from the Control Centre. Sure, when it’s spelled out like this, it seems like something that should always have been, and maybe it should have, but it’s here now, and Apple has done it brilliantly.
It’s been around for a while now, but it’s so much better in iOS 7. It’s available in lock screen as well and the organisation is much more intuitive. There’s tabs at the top so you can just see the notifications for today, all of them, or just the ones you’ve missed.
This is where you currently double press the Home button to see recently used Apps. In iOS 7 you get the app icons and a preview screen above it. It’s much nicer visually and for me it was a lot faster to find the app I’m looking for. Quitting an app is a lot better now too, you just swipe up to quit it. No more press and hold on the app icon to get the little red icon so you can press it to quit.
These are the main additions I’m loving in iOS 7 but there’s many more features. Safari has gotten a redesign, in a good way. Tabs are a lot better, so are bookmarks and reading list. Haven’t had a chance to use shared links yet, but they seem handy, especially if you and your friends spend too much time at work just browsing random things!
Airdrop, well, it sounds pretty cool on the Apple website, and when I’ve got more than one device running iOS 7 I’ll let you know if it is….
I think people are going to love iCloud Keychain. In case you don’t know what keychain is, it stores all of your passwords and credit card info etc. This will now be tied in with your iCloud account so any device or OS X 10.9 Mavericks computer logged in with your Apple ID will have and use the same information. You won’t have to remember and type all of those annoying passwords everywhere. Sweet.
Siri has had an upgrade, so Apple tells us. Unfortunately I’ve been testing on an iPhone 4, so no Siri for me. I’ll wait and see how well Siri works outside of the USA.
So… The verdict?
It’s a great update. There will be a couple of things to look out for, especially for those of us here in Australia that have limited data packs and exorbitant charges if you exceed them. Applications can now update in the background, without your input. All good in a perfect world, but not on 3G if you exceed your limit. Make sure you either turn off this feature on mobile data or completely. You can find this in Settings -> iTunes & App Stores -> Automatic Downloads. Either turn off Use Mobile Data or just turn off Apps under Automatic Downloads.
I will continue to test iOS 7 out, so don’t worry, if you upgrade the first day it’s released and have a problem, I’ll be ready to help you!