First things first: I haven’t used iOS 7, and it won’t be available to the public until the Fall. But I did watch Apple unveil it on Monday at WWDC and have listened to, watched, and read a ton about it the past few days. Here are some of my thoughts on what Tim Cook called “the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone,” which was the start of iOS.
Let’s back up a little. As my wife asked the other night, you might be wondering, “what is iOS?” OS stands for operating system, for example, Windows XP. It is the base software that runs on your “computer,” in this case your iPhone, iPad or Touch device. Each year Apple has released a new version, this being the 7th version. One problem that Apple runs into is the fact that as they advance iOS, some older devices aren’t capable of running the new features. Cult of Mac posted this handy iOS 7 Compatibility Chart to help show where you stand. Of course, this doesn’t account for the new iPhone that will come out about the time iOS7 is available.
I heard a great quote today from Apple:
“it’s a bit like getting a new phone that you already know how to use.”
The media has been adamant that it was time Apple needed to make some changes to iOS; that it was falling behind. That they did. Apple actually fired the guy that has been responsible for iOS to this point and turned it over to the guy, Jony Ive, that has been responsible for designing all their beautiful devices.
OK, enough blabbering…on to some of the new stuff that I am excited about:
- The Whole Look – It has a much flatter design. It looks more modern and has gotten rid of Skeumorphism, basically making everything look like real life. Example: the calendar app no longer looks like a desk calendar.
- Control Center – Now when you swipe up on your phone you can control all those things that you need to control. This was one of the main reasons I jailbroke my phone.Turning on/off Airplane Mode, WiFi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, Orientation Lock, and adjusting brightness without having to navigate through Settings makes life so much easier. There are also music controls and some quick links to useful things like the flashlight, clock, calculator and camera. Sorry to the 10,000 flashlight apps in the app store…
- Scrolling Folders – You can now add tons of apps to one folder. No more need to have 3 games folders, which was another big reason that I jailbroke.
- Multitasking – When you double click the home button you no longer just get the icon of apps you have used. Instead you will get a screenshot of what you were doing in the app. They have also built a lot into the backend to make things work much better.
- Photos – I currently have 2,729 photos on my iPhone. Apple is going to help me look through those faster. You can look at your photos with super tiny icons by year or location. Trust me, it looks great. And yes, I need to delete some pictures off of my iPhone.
- iTunes Radio – Basically, Pandora, Apple style. I think it will be a great feature.
- AirDrop – This is like the thing where you have to bump your phones in the Samsung commercials, but you don’t have to bump. It will be very nice for sharing files between Apple devices.
- Weather, Messages, Siri, Notification Center, Mail, Safari – All lots of improvements, different look, etc.
That is a quick rundown of a few things, but for further reading:
- Apple’s iOS 7 page – with animations of many new features.
- iOS 7 FAQ – from Macworld.
- 8 Apps Apple killed with iOS 7 – from Cult of Mac.
- 10 Awesome iOS features Apple didn’t talk about – Cult of Mac is on it.
- Best iOS 7 Animated Gifs – guess who…
I am really excited about iOS 7. There are a lot of tech writers that are complaining about the new look, but they are the same ones that complained about the old one. Apple makes the best products, so they have become the ‘in’ thing to complain about. But everyone will update and get the new iPhone and decide again that Apple is the best.