Apple unveiled the new redesigned iOs 7 on monday with a couple of design changes, some new features and tweaks. Hype and media blitz aside, what are the changes that have actually been made to Apple’s mobile operating system? We have answers to that, here’s what’s different on the new iOs:
Apple has in the past few has been bashed for not really changing the look of iOs’ user interface since the very first iteration. Apple has taken note of the criticism and made some changes to the UI on iOS 7. Skeuomorphism (the principle in which design cues are taken from the physical world. e.g Apple’s use of “leather” and “wood” textures on iOS 6 and below) has been killed in the favour of a more modern, “flat” design in iOs 7. The icons have been redesigned as well (Yes! the weather icon is no longer always stuck at a sunny 73 degrees) Some argue that the new icons are a step in the wrong direction, but hey, they are different all the same. A brighter color palette as well as some transparent elements and even a new system font (Helvetika Neue Ultra Light) have also been introduced to jazz up the UI.
iOs 7 is more reliant on gestures than ever before. In addition to the slide to unlock gesture and dragging the notification drawer down from the top of the screen, users can pull up the Control Center from the bottom. Swiping slightly down from the top of an icon row reveals a search bar, and alarms can be dismissed by sliding up. Also much like BlackBerry 10, you can now go back a level by swiping from the right edge of the screen to the other side.
Control Centre (mentioned above) is a swipe up menu that brings quick settings such as WiFi, air-plane mode, screen brightness, etc. It also allows you control media and flip through open apps. This (and multitasking) would probably be one of the most welcome changes for iOs users. It is a pain in the butt to have to exit your app and dig through the settings to make the same changes on previous iterations of the OS.
Multitasking has been upgraded and now supports all apps, unlike previous versions of iOS were stopped at services and stock apps. Apps would also update in the background without affecting battery life, and it is now smart enough to selectively update certain apps at certain times of the day or when there is WiFi. Apps would also now auto refresh as soon as they receive push notifications, so you don’t have to wait and refresh the app after opening as is currently available. The multitasking UI is also changed from the static grid of icons at the bottom to a fresher card-based system with app previews on each card, reminiscent of WebOS.
AirDrop is a new feature in iOS 7 which can be accessed from within the Control centre that lets you share content with other iOS users who are close by. It however is only available on the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch, fourth-generation iPad, and iPad mini.
Camera and Photos
The camera app on iOs 7 has been refreshed with improved UI, photo framing, and integrated filters.The Photos app has also been revamped and automatically arranges images by date and location.
Apple’s stock mobile browser, Safari now features improved full-screen browsing, gesture-based navigation, and a new flipping card-tab overview that is near identical Google’s Chrome for iOS and Android. The search bar on the right is also gone as the address bar now doubles as the search bar as well. Safari also has the newly announced iCloud Keychain, which syncs passwords and credit card information across devices integrated.
Siri also gets updated in iOS 7, the visuals have been flattened to match the rest of the OS and there is now a male voice option added to it as well. Also, The depth of Siri’s “reach” has been improved. It can now control functions such as toggling Bluetooth or controlling brightness and can also also reference Twitter, Bing, and Wikipedia when answering queries.
iTunes Radio service which is integrated into the music player lets you choose songs to listen to on demand, and it has the ability to curate radio stations based on particular songs, artists, albums, or genres. It would only be available in US at launch though.
There are a few other changes and new features, we’ll look into them when we do a full OS review when it is available in its final form, before then though, it is safe to say that iOs 7 is the biggest change from status quo since iOs debuted in 2007. Whether the refresh is enough to satisfy those who think iOs is stale now, is up for debate. One thing that isn’t though, is the fact that upon release, it would be quickly and widely be adopted by the legion of iOs users who are out there now.