A long awaited guest made its arrival today when Tim Cook took the stage to present the completely redesigned iOS 7 and all its interesting features. After being called a company who doesn’t innovate but simply increments, Apple took the plunge and re-designed iOS interface from ground-up.
In this latest release which should be available (in beta) right away for developers, design and internal functionality have been heavily altered. Everything has been reworked and the difference from iOS 6 to 7 will be visually dramatic. Now let’s see what Apple has managed to pull this time.
The Best features of iOS 7
As Tim Cook affirmed today, iOS 7 is perhaps the most re-worked version of iOS until present. Packed with a lot of new features, Apple’s latest mobile platform should be a joy to run on tablets and smartphones alike. But here’s what really stirs our excitement in the new release:
The general design of iOS 7 has been completely revamped in contrast to previous versions. Simplicity has taken over and elements like flat icons, a new slide-up control panel and even a reworked slide-to-unlock has been implemented. All basic icons have been redesigned alongside typography and a new palette of colors has been introduced. Alongside simplicity, translucency and the use of animations can be seen at each step, Apple upping the ante even with a 3D interface that changes perspective when the phone is tilted. The screen looks bigger and everything else fits in place.
Simply by swiping from the bottom of the screen, future iOS 7 users will have the possibility of accessing vital device functions, like Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, screen brightness, music controls (pause, play, jump or AirPlay stream) and Do Not Disturb. Simpler applications such as Clock, Camera, Calculator and flashlight can also be accessed from here.
Just like on Android, iOS 7 will allow notification to pass through the lockscreen and be visible with a simple gesture. Apple went beyond that and a new Today service gives users a brief summary over upcoming weather, traffic, meetings and events. Moreover, the interface is now card-based which has been recognized by many as a webOS borrowed element.
Any 3rd party application can now be optimized to run in the background thanks to a new API. Moreover, switching between active processes will be done smoothly and the platform will learn which application is used more frequently and update it continuously. All of these supposedly without affecting the battery life.
Using a new service called AirDrop, iOS users have a simple, fast and secure way of sharing files to contacts close-by, without needing a pre-defined network or other complicated arrangements. Simply by selecting the desired contact, AirDrop will automatically setup a peer-to-peer connection (like the one used by torrents) and commence transfers. This will work only on the iPhone 5, iPod Touch 5G, the new iPad and the iPad mini.
New Photos app
Complete with a wide range of new filters and Moments, a new way of automatically sorting photos and videos based on time and location, the new Photos application now comes with zoom in / out function to properly glance all entries, iCloud sharing and a new Activity view display which displays updates left on your streams.
Full-screen browsing, a new smart search field and enhanced bookmarks are simply three of the many updated elements of the new Safari. Just like in the desktop version, iOS’s browser will come with iCloud Keychain and Enhanced Parental Controls. Also, browsing can be done using gestures and there’s a new flipping card tab overview similar to Google Chrome.
Although not quite a jump, Siri can now speak in both male and female voices (that works for English, French or German) and can include Twitter feeds in its searches. Moreover, Apple’s assistant is now integrated with Wikipedia and can also use Bing for web queries. In addition, control to Bluetooth and brightness functions was also surrendered.
Music and iTunes Radio
The new Music application has been redesigned from ground-up. There a new design that might gauge some people’s eyes but on the inside, everything works great. Integrated with the new and free iTunes Radio, users will have the ability of choosing from over 200 online stations and other iTunes Store entries. As we learned, iTunes Radio will learn its owner in time and suggest relevant songs on-the-go.
Find My iPhone
An activation lock features at base, Find My iPhone does more than the name suggests. Unlike conventional services that could be erased clean off after a phone was stolen, Find My iPhone preserves some data after the phone has been wiped remotely and asks for your original Apple ID and password before someone can turn the service off.
Other worthy mentions
- Largest marketplace – not quite a features, but Apple held closely to note that the App Store currently has over 900,000 live applications and users will soon rejoice a Popular Near Me feature, which sorts applications by popularity and location. Helpful for country-related apps. Moreover, the marketplace now comes with a new Kids category, letting parents and children browse what’s best for their age.
- Night Mode for Maps
- FaceTime audio for high quality calls
- Notifications synchronization which dismisses events across all devices
- Blocking possibilities for phone calls, FaceTime and Messages
- Enhanced in-car integration which allows various car manufacturers to bring a bit of Apple inside vehicles
iOS 7 is pegged to arrive this fall as a free update for iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPad Mini, iPod Touch 5G and all later generations. Unfortunately, some of the features showcased today will not be available for all devices.