Yesterday we were given a preview of iOS 7, and apart from the fact that we only saw a teensy snippet of one of our personal favs and the man mainly responsible for iOS 7, Jony Ive, the new iOS announcement exceeded even our expectations. And we had high hopes!
Now, this system update will not change your life drastically, it will not do your job for you or make you a more beautiful person, but what it does is promise to enhance your life, with it’s combination of a pared down and simplified beauty and increased functionality.
This seventh system update is the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone came out with the user interface changing pretty drastically as well as the addition of a number of new features.
As was predicted ( or leaked in a timely manner by Apple), the new iOS has none of the skeumorphic, life like graphics or icons as seen in the previous versions.There is a whole new color palette, completely new icons and the overall impression is a much cleaner, flatter, brighter and simpler user interface.
There is a translucent feel to the screen, which gives depth to the phone, even down to the wallpaper, which you can now see behind app icons, and that moves intuitively in relation to the motion in your hands.The typography, also, has been redesigned to be bigger, spacier and cleaner.
Apple has said that this is the future of iOS, that as well as being the biggest change to iOS since the original iPhone, it is a new beginning.And, well, we haven’t tested it out yet, but we like the way it looks. We like the new features, and we like the direction Apple is going with it.
Here are some new features that make iOS 7 super, double rainbow exciting.
Swiping up from the bottom of the device, you can find the all-new control center. This innovation provides quick access to preferences and settings. You will find switches for wifi, Airplay, a flashlight, do not disturb, brightness, airplane mode, and quick music buttons.
Weather, Messages, Calendar
Messages and the Calendar app have both been cleaned up and simplified. The updated weather app has animation representing live weather, (the lightening looked particularly cool) with the ability to see more details such as humidity, and scrunch all your favorite places together to see not only the weather in each, but the time in world clock format.
Pressing the power button twice will now give previews of apps that are open, rather than the small app icons that we see right now on iOS 6.
The phone will intuitively learn which apps you use most often and at what time. Background processing will then provide updated content, ready and waiting for the time that you use them.
This also applies with apps that send push notifications- when that happens, the phone will start processing updates because it knows that you will more than likely be opening that app soon.
The phone will recognize and take advantage of power efficient times, such as when it is connected to Wi-Fi, to update apps.
This is a new function, sadly only available on the most recent devices ( iPhone 5, iPad etc).
Airdrop makes it super easy to share photos, videos, contacts and other stuff between friends with iPhones. Connecting via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, you can simply click the share button and choose the recipient from those around you.
You can send whatever you want ( from apps that support Airdrop) and the person receiving can choose to save the item- it will then be located in the appropriate app. Photos in iPhoto, etc.
Safari is updated with a new full screen look and smart search tab, one tap access to favorites and better parental controls.
You also have the ability to see and browse your tabs from other devices.
Also… and this is kind of a biggie… no more eight tab limit! Oh my god apple, why did that take so long, but thank you, thank you.
Tabs are also now organized differently- vertically in 3D instead of horizontally, with the ability to reorder the tabs. To get rid of one tab you just swipe it to the left.
Photos and camera
The camera app now includes 4 camera options- Normal, square cropped, video and panoramic. You also have the option of a number of live filters to apply to photos.
The photos app has a brilliant way of organizing your photos using time and location to bundle your photos into ‘moments’, which are photos from the same time and/or place. These ‘moments’ can then be organized into ‘collections’, which are groupings of moments using that same organizational information.
You can also view your whole collection via year, see what locations you were in for each year, and scrub to find a specific photo.
Siri now has not one but two new voices, a more human like female and male voice!
A new interface, with sound waves to represent Siri when he/she’s processing, French and German capabilities and a whole whack load of higher intelligence makes Siri exciting again.
The results can now include photos within the app and has the ability to answer more questions more intelligently, with Twitter, Wikipedia and web search results from Bing integrated into the app. Interesting choice with Bing, but we’ll ride with it for a while…
Siri itself has also become more integrated into your device, and can perform functions such as turning the brightness down, turning Bluetooth on etc.
New app store
For starters, the new app store looks way better. Secondly, all of your apps will now update automatically, (down with those little red numbers!) and thirdly, we now have some new search options.
You will be able to search for apps based on your location, or or an event or festival you’re at. You can also now search for and find apps using age range, which is designed with kids in mind.
We have a whole other section on iTunes Radio, go here to read it ☺
Ios in the car
iOS will soon be integrated into your car by having your device display through the in-car monitors. A bunch of cars will begin to be integrated with Siri, Maps, messages and more in 2014.
The introduction to this was pretty broad, however there will be more details to come. The car manufactuors who will be including iOS in at least one of their models include Honda, Mercedes- Benz, Nissan, Volvo, Kia, Acura, Ferrari, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar, Opel, and Chevrolet.
OK, so those are the big features. There are also a ton of different, smaller features in iOS 7, like the updated notification centre that can now be accessed from the lock screen, and synced across all of your devices, and the activation lock to try to prevent theft ( no-one can use your iphone unless they know your iCloud username & password.)
We think that iOS 7 is really pretty cool, especially considering that we’ll be getting at least a few more cool features in the hardware component around the same time (Fall this year). What do you guys think?
iOS 7 will be available to the public in the Fall. Demos for iOS 7 are available on Apple’s site- here.
First image courtesy of techradar.com, all others courtesy of Apple.com