Apple iOS 7
Last week we talked about Tim and the team at Apple introducing us to Mac OS 10.9 (Mavericks). At the same event, WWDC (World Wide Developers Conference) the executives at Apple presented a preview of the new and redesigned mobile OS “iOS 7”.
The preview showed that this years update to iOS is more than the normal yearly upgrade. There are hundreds of new technologies and features packed in. But the biggest change is it has a whole new look re-worked from the ground up. The design is simple, elegant and clean. In iOS 7 Apple has introduced a new sense of dimension. With the use of layers and transparency they are able to create depth and order, this gives the user a sense of place. Across the board the traditional font used has been replaced with a much thinner, sleeker font. One thing that is very apparent in the new design in the amount of white being utilized and the new pastel color palette. Almost all of the stock apps shipped in iOS have had there icons redesigned. The new designs utilize a the new color palette and are all designed around a grid system.
Apple showed off some of the new features at WWDC. Lets go through some of them now.
• Control Center
Control Center is brand new and gives users access to some very useful items with a quick swipe up. The slightly transparent background is filled with elegantly designed toggles for Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, Rotation Lock and Brightness. If you are playing a movie or music there is a section with the transport menu as well. Users also will see shortcuts to the Camera, Calculator, timer, flashlight and they will be able to access AirPlay and AirDrop menus from Control Center.
• Notification Center
Apple added a new feature called Today to Notification Center. Today, will give users a quick look at what the weather will be, any appointments or birthdays or even if the traffic on your commute is backed up. This is all available from the lock screen as well with a quick swipe down.
Now, multitasking has gotten smarter. It learns when you like to use your apps and will update the info before you even open it. Apple also changed the looks of how we all use multitasking. When you tap the home button twice you will see previews of the apps that you can scroll left and right through. With a quick swipe up you can close that app. iOS 7 will also pay attention to when your device is on and connected to Wi-Fi and schedule updates during those times to be more power efficient and prolong your battery life.
The Camera app interface has been updated with quicker access to switch between ways to capture (video, photo, square or even pano). They also added a slew of filters right in the app. A nice additional feature to the filters is if you add filter to your photo but decide you don’t like that filter 6 months from now. You can just remove the filter leaving your original photo.
It is faster and easier to browse through all of your images. Collections, Moments and Years are the new ways Photos sorts and groups your photos without you needing to do anything. Choose a year and all the photos you took that year fill your screen. Each year has its own collections which are separate moments from that year, collected together.
AirDrop is a great way to transfer photos, videos and documents to others that are on the same network as you. Just tap the share button as you would if you were to be sending it via text or email, but now you will also see AirDrop. A group of people nearby with AirDrop enabled devices will appear. Select the desired person and it will securely go right to them using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, without setup.
Safari in iOS 7 introduces a new tab view which now offers smooth vertical scrolling previews. It has a unified smart search field, which allows you to type a URL, a word or a phrase. Safari will also utilize the iCloud Keychain on all of your iOS 7 approved devices and your Macs running Mavericks.
Siri in iOS 7 has a new voice, new capabilities and faster responses. You can now choose between a male and female voice that is clearer and more natural. The interface has also been redesigned and utilizes the transparency seen throughout iOS. Apple also replaced the google search with Bing search.
Streaming radio, there are a lot of choices for us to choose from. Now, one of those choices is from Apple and they call it iRadio. iRadio is smart, the more your listen the more personalized to you it will become. You will be able to access it on all of your Apple devices for free (with Ads). However, if you are an iTunes Match subscriber you will get an ad free experience.
• iOS in the Car
Something I am extremely excited about is iOS in the Car. This feature will allow you to see a streamlined iOS experience integrated into your dash. You will be able to connect your iPhone 5 and use your vehicles built-in display and controls to safely make phone calls, access your music, send and receive texts and get directions.
The redesign is a huge leap forward, yet it still looks and feels so familiar and intuitive. There are so many other new design elements and features, I am sure once we all have iOS 7 on our devices we will continue to find new elements for weeks and months to come. There are a lot of criticism about the redesign interfaces. But in my opinion the redesign is long overdue. As with most things it will only get better with time.