In its WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference), Apple announced bunch of launches including an update to iOS. This is the first time that the OS has went for a overhaul since its inception in Apple iPhone in 2007. As speculated and rumored, the iOS 7 does away with the skeuomorphic and 3D design and brings a flatter look to the OS. This OS has been developed by Jonathan Ive who was previously a hardware design head credited with the innovative design for Apple products like iPhone and iPad. Let’s see what the new iOS 7 offers-
The interface has new fonts, bright colors, flat icons giving the OS a translucent effect. When scrolling on home screen or some apps, it will have a subtle parallax effect. There are some other minor changes as well- new version of slide to unlock option, emphasis on touch gestures like swiping and pinching and more. Default apps for messaging, mail, calendar, etc. also got a refreshed look.
This is a much needed feature update. iOS 7 allows one to access notifications directly from lock screen, and syncs the notifications across multiple devices (if you own more than one), so that you may not see the same notification multiple times. Once pulled down, it has a ‘today’ section which gives the details about calendar appointments, weather information, birthday notifications, stock prices, etc. similar to Google Now.
This is a feature which have been present on iOS’s rival Android for so long- Quick Toggles for frequently used settings. From any screen on the iOS, one can drag the bottom to reveal a panel for turning off or on Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do not disturb, Flashlight and screen rotation. It also allows controlling music playback, change brightness, and connecting to AirDrop or AirPlay. The control center opens above the app you might be using on the iOS giving a nice translucent touch to it.
Apple will allow multitasking of all apps by allowing them to function in the background. Apple has also ensured that this doesn’t drains battery from the device, as the apps only perform in the background when they need to. For seeing the apps currently running, one needs to double tap the Home button and they will be presented with apps in a card based layout.
AirDrop is a Mac OS feature which allows instant sharing of files via Wi-Fi and now it comes on iOS. The file transfer happens peer-to-peer on the same Wi-Fi network and is security encrypted. Users simply need to enable AirDrop to start accepting files from other devices on the same network. Currently it allows sharing of images only with chances of ability to share other formats in the newer versions. Currently, AirDrop supports only iPhone 5, iPad 4 and iPad Mini.
Apple also made major changes to its Photos app making it a bit intelligent. It will automatically organize the photos based on when and where they were taken through its ‘Moments’ feature. The photos will be labeled based on the moment making it easier to sort the images. For example- one can see picture took at a particular place or in an year. The camera app directly allows auto-cropped images in square format for Instagram, Panorama mode, HDR photo, photo filters, etc. by a simple swipe. The photos apps also puts stress on sharing phenomenon photostream of photos for sharing with friends allowing them also to add photos to it. The app also supports landscape mode.
Siri has a new interface and a new male voice in addition to the female voice. Siri has also added support for different languages like English, German and French with support for more languages coming soon. Apple has also integrated Siri with functionality to control iOS settings like Brightness, Bluetooth, etc. Siri will also be pull web results from Bing (instead of Google), information from Wikipedia and even Twitter.
The App Store also undergone some changes like ability to provide suggestions of apps based on the location. Apple have also allowed the apps to be downloaded automatically in the background in a similar fashion to Android.
Apple’s default browser also got some love and added a new tabbed browsing view, access to iCloud Keychain, smart search field, etc. It also offers full screen mode and shares host of new features from Safari for Mac.
This was another feature which was rumored a lot. As the name suggests, iTunes radio makes it easier to discover the music you like based on genre, artists, etc. It also integrates well with user’s personal music collection. iTunes Radio is free with Ads and offers Ad free experience to iTunes Match subscribers. It’s somewhat similar to apps like Pandora, etc. which offers Radio Streaming but goes a step ahead by allowing users to purchase songs they liked.
Apple has added a security feature which makes it super easy to remotely control your device even if it’s lost. One can display custom messages and even remotely erase all the data. This also ensures that the device can’t be sold until and unless it’s activated via Apple ID and password.
iOS 7 can run on iPhone 4 and above, iPod Touch, iPad 2 and above and iPad Mini. It’s developer version have been released today and commercial version will be available from Fall.
Apple iOS 7 have underwent lots of changes both in terms of design and usability. It was also much needed as the iOS was starting to look stale since past 5 years and its competitors like Android and Windows Phone have been applauded for their intuitive interface. Many of the features like Notifications, card based interface of multitasking, etc. seems to be borrowed from other OS’s, but Apple still manages to put all of them together in a new design.
What are your thoughts about iOS 7? Are you excited about it?