Well, the new operating system we’ve been hearing about all year is finally here, and the buzz about iOS 7 has reached a fever pitch. So, now that we’ve had a chance to play around with Apple’s new features, here’s a look through how they perform, and what they mean.
First off, let’s cover the brand new look. Opinions differ here, but the bottom line is there’s no denying the new, flatter apps with bolder colors are incredibly sharp and sleek. Little details, such as the apps’ seeming center of gravity that keeps them moving slightly when you tilt your phone, just contribute to the perfection of the display.
It’s a very convenient new feature – a swipe-up menu accessible from any screen that gives you basic utilities. We particularly love it for adjusting brightness, turning WiFi on and off, and accessing the flashlight.
This depends on your habits. If you’re already comfortable with an iPhone calendar, Notification Center will take some getting used to. That said, it’s a very quick and easy way to view events and appointments (a swipe-down menu like Control Center in reverse).
This is Apple’s big new file sharing application that lets users transfer data through the air to other iPhones or iPads in the immediate vicinity. It’s certainly handy, and very useful for certain types of files (photos, songs, etc.). However, for your more secure or complex file sharing needs, Sharefile or another external app focused solely on secure transfer is still recommended. AirDrop is fun and convenient, but not a practical game changer.
The camera is far more convenient, offering 4 options all available on the home screen – photo, square, panorama, and video. Additionally, new filter effects make for some easy artistic spin on your basic photo work.
The new photo storage is miles and miles ahead of previous iOS systems. Photos are now automatically organized into “Years” (such as 2013), “Collections” (such as Trip to Paris) and “Moments” such as (The Louvre), all with automatic location pinpointing.
There’s still no sort of split-screen ability on iOS devices, which is regrettable, but the new Multitasking is a clear improvement nonetheless. Being able to simply side-swipe to different open applications (after a home button double-tap) is very quick and convenient.
This is perhaps the biggest surprise of iOS 7. iTunes Radio is fantastic, a much improved version of Pandora Radio that may even challenge Spotify for some users. Customize your own stations to either play what you know, play what you’re certain you’ll like, or discover new music.
And that’s the round-up of iOS 7 after an early look. Of course, if you opt for the iPhone 5S rather than just the new software, you’ll also enjoy new features like the fingerprint scanner. However, one thing is clear: even with just the software update, Apple’s on top once more.
[box title=”About The Author”] This is a guest post by Jim Morris. Jim is a tech enthusiast, freelance writer and blog contributor who posts on all things mobile.[/box]