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iOS 7: What You Need To Know

After years of small iterations to its mobile operating system (don’t fix what isn’t broken?), Apple has finally taken the wraps off iOS 7. Many say Apple needed to do something dramatic to counteract the barrage of features being hurled at consumers by Android.

Whether this is Apple’s answer answer to the “stale” look and feel of the current OS, or a clap-back at Android and its cute commercials, iOS 7 is indeed new and fresh. Here is an overview of the new features I think you should take a look at.

Design

Apple has ditched the natural and familiar textures, and opted with a more clean and simplistic look and feel. Fonts are more pronounced, and everything seems brighter. Apple tried its hand at a more “flat” look and feel – Something that Windows Phone pioneered with its design. All of the native Apple icons have been redesigned and the shading has been dropped that originally gave them the appearance of depth.

Control Center

I personally wanted Apple to adopt the “widgets” functionality that Android users have enjoyed. The new Control Center is probably the closest thing to an iOS widget I’m gonna get. In a nutshell, iOS 7 will let users “swipe up” from anywhere in the OS to pull up essential and commonly-used options (Wifi, Bluetooth, brightness, music control, etc) – There’s even a flashlight button – Yay!?

Multitasking

Think of WebOS “Cards” and that’s what the new iOS 7 multitasking reminds me of. Double-tap the home button, and a row of open apps that resemble cards will appear that you can quickly scroll through. “Swipe up” on a card and you will kill the app – Much easier than holding an app to wait for it to “jiggle”. Apple claims that true multitasking, and not just pausing) works for all apps.

Siri

Nothing to see here really besides the addition of more voice choices (male & female) and the addition of Bing, Wikipedia, and Twitter search results. The interface has been redone but “meh” – Imma need Siri to actually #DoBetter before it just looks better. Although, if I could pick a version where at the end of every response she would add “Son” I would be in love.

“Here’s your reminder to tomorrow at 8pm, Son”

Camera/Photos

Everything has been redone in iOS, including the camera and photos app. Most notable is users can now add filters to their images, instead of first sharing them to third-party image apps like Instagram. Additional features include groups of pictures taken around the same time at the same location will be automagically grouped as “Moments”, and all images are quickly shareable with other nearby iOS users via AirDrop functionality – Apple’s answer to Samsung’s cute little “tap phones” trick in commercials NFC sharing.

Security

If you can’t already tell, Apple has jacked implemented popular features from Android, Windows Phone…and Palm (of all people), and as slightly inebriated American Idol Paula Abdul would say, “made it their own”. Probably the one thing that Apple has stepped out in front of is the ability to essentially “brick” your phone to deter thieves.

In other words, if your phone is lifted by these new-school ‘Apple pickers’, they won’t be able to wipe and reactivate your phone without your Apple ID credentials, rendering the device useless. They could sell it to a smartphone “chop-shop” for parts (not sure if that’s a thing) but I guess Apple is betting on the fact that thieves don’t want to go through all that trouble.

iOS In Your Ride

Apple will be partnering with a ton of car manufacturers to bring iOS to your car in 2014. In other words, your phone will be able to “talk” to your car as a hub for information, communications, and entertainment, as it should be. In my opinion, there is NO REASON for a separate, intricate car system, when you already have a powerful device in your pocket or purse.

Outro
As far as overall functionality is concerned, iOS 7 adds more BlackBerry-esque gestures to how you operate the phone…but that’s about it. Google, Samsung (and I guess others?) have been slanging new and innovative functionality at users for the better part of a year.

Apple chose to go hard on a new design to keep fans interested. The good thing about Apple is when iOS 7 does launch in the fall (probably alongside a new iPhone 5S or 6) it will be available for everybody with an iPhone 4 and up, which is over 90% of iPhone users, compared to Android with only 16% of people currently using OS 4.2 “Jellybean”

There is no doubt that iOS needed an overhaul, but what do you think: Did Apple do enough to continue to be “the team to beat”, or will Samsung Android continue to gobble up more a more marketshare with more bang for your buck?

One reply on “iOS 7: What You Need To Know”

I think with the iOS 7 update, apple has done just enough to prevent those current iPhone users who are on the fence about moving to the galaxy from taking the leap and hold them over at least until the iPhone 6 is released. If apple doesn’t step its game up with the 6 then it will probably end up losing a lot of customers.

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