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iOS 7 Review and Guide

iOS 7 Review

iOS 7 Review and Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Apple’s New Operating System

Polarizing has been a common word to describe Apple’s iOS 7. For years, we’ve grown accustomed to yearly updates that would layer new features over the existing framework. When you updated from iOS 4 to iOS 5 or iOS 5 to iOS 6, the changes were not so extreme as to disrupt your comfort zone. Apple would rollout new software releases on a yearly basis, which would include hundreds of new features. If you had a relatively current iPhone, you were in line to receive a free software update, that would include most, if not all of the new features. Some older models would miss out due to hardware limitations, but for the most part, they got to take part in the joy that had become the yearly iOS update. With 90 percent of iOS users running iOS 6, Apple has avoided the fragmentation issue that has plagued other platforms, most notably Android. Despite the incredible success of iOS, the lack of change has caused some friction amongst the faithful. Familiarity breeds contempt, with some suggesting Apple’s mobile operating system had become stagnant with increasing complaints of boredom. iOS 7, the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone is how Tim Cook so succinctly put it when announced at WWDC 13′. It will forever change how we use our iPhones. The very foundation of comfort for some will see seismic shifts. At the same time, are the changes more form than function and will they appease those who had expectations of revolutionary changes to iOS. Change becomes a delicate balancing act, when 97 percent of iOS users are happy. There are millions upon millions of iOS users counting on Apple getting it right. So did they or is this a New Coke moment for Cupertino?

iOS 7 Review

NEW LEADERSHIP

Scott Forstall resigned from his position as Senior Vice President of iOS in late October of 2012. There has been plenty of conjecture that Forstall was forced out, partly due to the Maps fiasco and his unwillingness to take responsibility. Forstall had been with Apple since 1997, joining Apple as a result of their acquisition of NeXT. Forstall was a Jobs guy and both of them had a fondness for skeuomorphic design. With Forstall gone, Tim Cook installed hardware expert Jonathan Ive. He is of course known for his success with Apple’s hardware and product design. Cook looked to Ive to usher in the next generation of iOS. As the Senior Vice President of Design, Ive’s touch would no longer be limited to hardware, providing leadership and direction for the company’s software. In less than seven months, Ive would be featured in a video played at WWDC 13′ introducing iOS 7. Change had come and now it is upon us.

DESIGN

Despite the ease of use often associated with iOS, the operating system is tremendously complex. One change to a UI element can have widespread effects. Changes you make have consequences not only to the outward appearance, but to how people use their iPhone. iOS 7 represents an entirely new design philosophy, one that is anchored in theory of ‘bringing order to complexity through simplicity‘.  Besides acting as a foundation for the OS and stock apps, it will serve a blueprint or guide for third party app development.

iOS 7 on iPhones

Typography

One of the more notable changes is the use of a beautiful new typeface, with a move to Helvetica-neue. The light version, which is a thinner font, gets heavy use within iOS 7 applications. It’s the first thing you will notice upon powering up your iOS device. From the wallpaper to apps, you cannot underestimate how changing a typeface can affect everything you touch. You’ll find that in general more spacing throughout, allow the font to breathe a bit.

Helvetica-neue

Elements Or Lack Of

iOS 7 sees a removal of gradients, buttons and the traditional bluish gray menu bars that have been such a familiar element since iOS 1.0. By removing unwanted clutter, it allows you to focus on what matters, your content. Using Safari as an example, the old menu bars at the top and bottom would frame and in some ways overwhelm the content. The address bar is a subdued gray and there are also entirely new blue icons for all the actionable items. The descriptive language of the icons has not changed. Gone are any drop shadows, replaced with thin, vector-like iconography. The placement of actionable elements has not changed, which should help with recognition and consistency gained from using older versions of iOS. These are reproductions of the existing icons using iOS 7 design philosophy. The icons might contain similar elements, but the look is so different that it can cause some confusion when navigating.

Vector

More Text, Less Buttons. A New Way To Navigate

In keeping with less is more, iOS 7 does away with buttons. In previous iterations, iOS apps would have buttons of a darker shading overlaying the menu bars. The most common, what portends to be a back button, allowing you to move one step back within an application. In the Mail app, that could be your Inbox. This button style was a rectangle, with an arrow left, a subtle design element to reinforce that tapping will take you back a step. The button has been stripped completely, leaving textual navigation with a ‘<‘ to represent back.

Text buttons

New Icons

They are front and center each time you slide to unlock your iPhone. The core apps that many of us rely on each and every day. Their outward appears is the most polarizing aspect of iOS 7. The design is flatter, but there are still plenty of gradients. The icons have been completely redesigned using a grid system. There is a consistency amongst iOS 7 icons that did not exist previously. In iOS 6, some icons had beveled edges for a pseudo 3D-look. The new group all follow the same strict guidelines creating a uniformity that works. With the parallax effects, there is no longer a need for drop-shadows to create a sense of depth. This is another area where Apple has stripped away unneeded elements. At the same time, you’ve got larger text underneath each app icon. With old and new side by side, the iOS 7 icons have an appearance that feels larger.

iOS 7 Guide

Much has been written about Jony Ive’s apparent disdain for skeuomorphic design, a style where graphics try to replicate real world items. The Newsstand and Contacts icons from iOS 6 are fitting examples. They are among a collection of app icon designs which have not common bond with their older siblings. It might cause some to have trouble initially locating an app. Messages, Mail, Videos,Clock, iTunes Store and App Store are flatter, more fluorescent reproductions.

Even the app badges have been updated. There is no more thick white border, gone are any hints of a gradient and the font is thin.

Icon notifications

If your initial reaction to the icons is a sense of shock, you’re not alone. People loved the icons in iOS and for good reason. They weren’t all good, let alone great. Just look at the Game Center icon if you need a reminder of designs that fell woefully short of the mark. For the most part, these were impeccable, generational designs that were built to last. Until now.

When you shift an entire philosophy of design, you have to cut the good with the bad. Maybe Jony Ive loved the existing Camera icon? To achieve the desired effect of a simple, consistent interface, you need to leave the older baggage at the door. Thusly, we have an entire set of new icons that embrace the future. The cost can be measured in fabulous icon designs that are now left to linger on older devices not eligible for the iOS 7 upgrade. And for some icons like Settings, you can still find them in Mac OS X Mavericks, at least until the unification of software design. Apple has not announced their intentions, but it would hard to fathom Apple not bringing iOS design to Mac OS X.

Perfecting simple design is tougher than one might think. When you gussy up a design and it falls flat, there is a level of expertise that can be recognized. When it succeeds or fails, simple looks easy, as if any of us could bang it out in Photoshop in a matter of minutes. Some great designs are easy to replicate. A look at the biggest brands often reveals design that doesn’t attempt to do too much. It gets out of the way.

The Rise and Fail of iOS 7 Icon Design

There are some clear wins with the new icons. Their appearance is consistent, they look bright and crisp. While I admire the standard Apple has set, I suspect the truly great design will come from third-party developers. Developers like Tapbots (Tweetbot) and Real Mac Software (Clear) have always delighted users with stunning designs from icons to the apps themselves. These are the types of developers that will take the morsels of Apple’s philosophy and push it in ways never thought imagined. At least that’s my hope and it’s anchored in the software they’ve delivered over the past years.

New iOS 7 icons

When the iPhone 5 was released, the onus was on developers to provide apps that supported the new 4-inch display. There were some cases where it took months upon months to get an updated pushed out. I’m not talking about smaller developers with minimal sales/downloads. Speedtest.net was a serious offender. How quickly will developers update their apps? I’m talking about core functionality and app icons that work well in iOS 7? Using our own everythingiCafe app* as example, it clearly looks out of place in iOS 7. When updating, you might have some level of frustration with the lack of consistency, the embodiment of two worlds colliding.

non-iOS 7 apps

* An update to our app is a priority and will be made available shortly.

MOVING FORWARD

Over time, I suspect we’ll all gain a greater level of comfort with this new set, but it might take longer for some than others. Some claimed the icons were rushed, which suggest changes would have happened over the summer. That did not happen, so expect minor refinements over the coming years. If you wishing and hoping that Apple will reverse course, I wouldn’t bank on it. Apple has gone to great lengths, even producing the iPhone 5c, to create a harmonious experience between hardware and software.

New Colors, Increasing Emphasis On White Space

If there is one area that has caused some brushback, it has been with the aforementioned icons. It’s my feeling that the icon designs themselves are not necessarily at fault. iOS 7 features a bright, almost neon at times, color palette. I’m of the opinion that if they had pumped the brakes just a bit, it would have made a world of difference. Having said that, it gets better with time. Having used iOS since 2007, I needed time to process and accept the change. Did I drink the Kool-Aid? Maybe, it’s been a long and hot summer. Plus, who doesn’t a cold, fruity beverage? I suspect some users will find themselves at odds initially with iOS 7, perhaps even questioning their decision to upgrade. Whether love or hate the new color palette is subjective. Different strokes of color for different folks.

Messages

ANIMATION

iOS 7 uses technology that creates distinct layers within the operating system. It’s quite amazing that software alone manages to pull off the effect. This isn’t a hokey 3D interface and I promise, you won’t need movie theater glasses to appreciate it. From the moment you power up your iPhone, there is a sense of dimension. Rotating the iPhone will cause the background to change based on your movements, with the top layer not changing. The effect is ever present on the home screen where your icons float on what feels like a different layer. Pulling down the notification shade reveals a transparency that helps cement the depth of the UI. Rather than taking over the screen, each element is carefully layered, building upon your experience. My appreciation for the level of depth was immediate and helps the os feel modern.

“The sense of depth is an experience unlike any other mobile operating system. It feels alive, drawing you in, inviting you to interact with it. It’s stunning in both its look and operation.”

Unlocking your iPhone will give you a taste of the new animation effects, with icons shuffling into to place on your home screen in a slick new sequential animation. As you move between screens, there is a a fluidity that didn’t exist before. iOS 7 has more bounce to it, with enhanced rubber banding that is incredibly responsive. Scrolling to the end of a thread in the Messages app will generate a bounce, with even the individual text messages gaining movement.

“The animation is lively and gives a greater sense of personality to your iPhone. The differentiation between other platforms has been heightened.”

Wallpaper

In iOS 7, your wallpaper selection will play a bigger role on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. There is a new dynamic wallpaper. Without moving your iPhone, you’ll see the background image slowly move, creating a lava lamp inspired feel. Using static wallpapers, the parallax feature magnifies the importance of your choices. Your images become layered deeper in the operating system.

Wallpaper

MAJOR NEW FEATURES

We’ve grown accustomed to new releases each year offering up hundreds of new features. This year is no different and like in previous years, there are a few tentpole features that stand out from the rest.

Control Center

The Control Center can be accessed from anywhere in iOS 7 by simply swiping up. This will reveal an array of options. Quick access to commonly used settings and apps, while allowing you to quickly get back to browsing in Safari, reading emails in Mail or playing your favorite game. When you swipe up, the new Control Center comes up as a transparent overlay. A set of controls allows you to change an array of commonly used options.

Control Center

You can toggle Airplane Mode, Wifi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb and Rotation Lock. There is a slider for changing brightness. You’ll also have access to player controls, which will populate with the artist name and track if a song is being played. Either way, the music controls are within Control Center. You also have access to AirDrop, which is new and we will discuss later in the review. Also within Control Center is AirPlay controls for streaming audio/video to supported devices.

Control Center on iPhone in iOS 7

A commonly used app bar is also conveniently accessible from within the Control Center. You now have a built-in Flashlight app. Chances are that if you are in need of a flashlight, you’ll want to conserve power. Turning off the device still allows for flashlight use. You can check off ‘flashlight’ from your Hurricane preparedness kit. The other in the row are quick access points to a timer (within the Clock app), Calculator and the Camera app.

Recommended reading: How to use Control Center on iPhone in iOS 7

Multitasking

The method of accessing multitasking remains the same in iOS 7 as compared to iOS 6. From the home screen or any application, double-clicking the home button will bring up icons displaying open applications. In iOS 6, applications are in the background, but third party applications are not actively updating. Multitasking in iOS could be defined as app switching. The row of four icons that appear at the bottom can be swiped through, while tapping on the icon switches from what you were working on to the new app. iOS 7 multitasking includes a new card view that provides a preview of what’s happening within an app. The one drawback I found was that when selecting apps, it was slightly more difficult.

iOS 7 multitasking

You always knew the position of the icons, whereas in the new version some icons are cropped and others are offset to the left of the app preview. There are only three app icons in view as compared to four in iOS 6 multitasking.To remove an app, swiping up will close it. Multitasking now includes support for intelligently scheduled updates. iOS 7 learns when you like to use your apps and can update your content before you launch them. So if you tend to check your favorite social app at 9:00 a.m. every day, your feed will be ready and waiting for you.

iOS 7 multitasking

It will also update apps during what they call power-efficient times, which can be when you are connected to Wi-Fi.

Recommended reading: Multitasking in iOS 7

Notification Center

The Notification Center now allows for access from the lock screen by swiping down. You’ll see notifications of new email, to-dos and third party apps. Apple brings the most important elements of your day and brings them into a ‘Today’ view. Your calendar appointments, current day and weather are all front and center. There is even Google Now-ish feature that provides you with time to navigate to home. The at a glance view provides you with everything you need to get your day started. The Today view also offers a sneak-peak at tomorrow’s scheduled events. Apple has also improved sync between iOS devices. If you remove a notification on one iOS device, it should update on the other.

Notifications

Recommended reading: How to use the notification center in iOS 7

AirDrop

Have you ever shared a contact? How about a photo? Chances are that you used email or maybe went to great lengths to setup a shared Photo Stream. With AirDrop, Apple makes it easy to share content between iPhones that are on the same WiFi network. Enabling AirDrop allows you to set controls for your iPhone. If you are in a large corporate environment, AirDrop can be set to allow visibility of your iPhone to those users who are in your contacts.

AirDrop

Enabling AirDrop is done through Control Center. Sharing options are available through your individual apps. For example, click on the ‘share’ icon in Photos and tap a photo. If you select AirDrop, people on your network will show up. Click on the photo of the person you’d like to receive the photo and they’ll receive a message along with the photo. The entire process was fast, easy and secure.

This solves some major problems when sharing larger content files. Email is less than great for sending large video files. With AirDrop, it’s all been made easy. One to one file sharing, and it’s all done in a matter of taps.

iTunes Radio

Long rumored, iOS 7 brings the launch of Apple’s Internet streaming music service. iTunes Radio, which can be found the new Music app, allows you to create your own music stations based on an artist or select a feature station based upon music genre. There is tight integration with the iTunes Store, so you can quickly purchase a song from within iTunes Radio. This could be a plus or minus, as you might be more likely to increase your iTunes spending as a result. Other services offer similar purchase options, but there is definitely something to be said for having iTunes Radio built-in to the Music app. For one, you can use your existing iTunes library to create a station. During my testing, stations did a fair job of pumping out music in line with my selections. The more you use iTunes Radio, the better it gets at generating playlists that enhance your experience.

iTunes Radio

There is support for Siri within iTunes Radio. If you are listening to a song within iTunes Radio, you can invoke Siri to ‘play more songs like this’. iTunes Radio also offers settings to ‘Tune This Station‘ to play more hits, more variety or enable a greater chance of discovery. By default, iTunes Radio does not allow explicit tracks. This can easily be toggled to the on position if that’s your preference.

Siri iTunes Radio

While iTunes Radio is free, it is ad-supported. If you are an iTunes Match subscriber, there are no ads. At $24.99 per year, it increases the value proposition of iTunes Match.

Siri

If you have a compatible iOS device (iPhone 4S or greater, iPad 3 or greater, iPad mini, iPod touch 5g), Siri is included and has finally shed the beta tag. Here in the U.S., Siri had been female, but that’s become an option in iOS 7. If you navigate to Settings > General > Siri, there is an option to set the Voice Gender to Male or Female. The voice is more natural sounding. Whereas Siri had sounded a bit robotic, the newer version sounds like a person and is much more polished.

Siri iOS 7

Accessing Siri hasn’t changed, but you’ll find an entirely new look when asking for help. Siri doesn’t just pop-up on the bottom, but instead takes over the entire screen. A semi-translucent background replaces the linen and the Siri icon is completely flat, with a waveform line that changes as you issue requests. In my testing, the time it took to execute a request were either no different or they offered a slight improvement. Siri will also perform better if you set relationships.

Google Gone, Bing Is In

If you use Siri to search the web, the new default search engine is Bing. Search results will now appear inline within Siri. Selecting a result will launch Safari and link you to the page. While Bing powers search in Siri, at no point do you directly come in contact with Bing. As of now, there are no options to change the default search engine.

ALL NEW STOCK APPS

iOS 7 isn’t just about a new set of icons. All of the apps have been redesigned specifically for the new operating system. They all look different inside and out. For the purpose of this review, we’re going to highlight some of the more popular apps and have plans to do breakout articles for the other apps in the coming weeks. Below are screenshots for every stock app.

Stock apps

Stock apps

Stock apps

 

Photos

The  app has a new default tab appropriately titled ‘Photos’, which can be a bit disorienting at first. Photos uses the information to intelligently sort your images using Years, Collections and Moments.  At first glance, it looks like a rorschach test gone terribly wrong. If you have a large photo library spanning several years, this navigation makes discovery of photos easier. Tapping on years brings up intelligent grouping of your images that Apple creates based on dates and location found within the meta data of your photos. For example, if you took your family to Disney World in February of 2013, it will show up as a separate collection.

Here’s where it gets a bit tricky. Let’s say that during your trip, you spent a day traveling to Fort Lauderdale. The app should correctly segment different ‘Moments’ within your Florida trip ‘Collection’. During my testing of the Photos app, Moments didn’t work as advertised. It seems unable to analyze and correctly categorize Moments where the photos were taken in nearby locations. We have a local park that is 3 miles away. It correctly grouped photos at the park, but also included images taken at my home. I’ve had this happen on several occasions. In theory, this would be a great feature and will work best if you take a vacation or a trip that allows the Photos app to clearly identify and segment your locations or moments.

iOS 7 Photos app years

Shared Photo Streams can now include photos from all parties in a shared stream. You can set up a ‘family’ stream, with each member sharing to the stream.

Recommended reading: iOS 7 Photos App Is About Years, Collections and Moments

Camera

With iOS 7, Apple has vastly improved upon making it easier to access the Camera app. You can still launch the camera app from the homescreen by waking your iPhone with the power/sleep button and swiping up from the camera icon. The iOS 7 camera app removes the lens opening animation of a lens, which cuts startup time by 1-2 seconds,  a major improvement that could mean the difference between capturing or missing an important moment.

iOS 7 camera app vs iOS 6

There is also a new square shooting mode. Combined with the availability of filters within the app, it can provide for Instagram-like results, all within the stock app. One major difference is that you shoot with the filter enabled, so you’ll get a preview of how the resulting image effects, before taking the photo. Here’s a look at the 9 new filters.iOS 7 Camera filters

In older versions, you’d have to toggle the switch in order to shoot video. If you wanted to enable HDR or shoot a panorama, those were tucked away in options, which likely resulted in a fair share of people never using those modes. Here’s a commonly used app, where Apple has definitely increased the usability of the app. To switch modes, you simply swipe left or right.

Switch shooting modes in iOS 7

With the iPhone 5s, iOS 7 supports a new ‘burst’ mode. If you press and hold the shutter, it will shoot images in rapid succession at 10fps. Burst mode works somewhat on previous models. Tested on an iPhone 5, holding the shutter resulted in 3fps. On the iPhone 5s, the app will help you choose the best image, while disposing of the others. We’ll have more on this in our upcoming iPhone 5s review. On older models, you might find limited utility with burst mode.

Recommended reading: iOS 7 Camera App Improves Access, Adds New Shooting Options and Filters

App Store

The App Store sees two new features. Using your Location, the App Store can now return relevant apps. Using the Disney trip analogy we used previously, this could return apps specific to your trip to Disney, such as an app for navigating the park or rides. When using the ‘Near Me’ option in my home town, the results were pretty good, returning a few local newspapers and TV apps, railroad time schedules and real estate listings. The list is compiled based on users in your area and what they are downloading. I see this as a great feature for new users who are getting acquainted with iOS. It provides them with instant access to apps that have a greater likelihood of being relevant and useful.

App Store near me

Also of note is a new Kids category. At the time of review, this was not available. It will be an Apple curated section of the App Store, with apps segmented by age group – 5 and under, 6-8, and 9-11. Developers will still use existing categories, in addition to targeting the kids section. This should prove useful for parents looking for apps that have been developed for kids.

Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone used to be a nifty app for locating a lost iPhone, unless it wound up in the wrong hands. Using any Mac or PC, a thief could restore your iPhone to factory settings using iTunes. This removes the app and decreases your chances of recovery. The thinking behind it was good, but there were some serious flaws, which have now been patched.

Find my iPhone in iOS 7

Now if your iPhone goes missing, it cannot be restored with entering your username and password. I’m not sure if this will result in less iPhones being stolen, but there is some solace that a thief can in no way benefit from stealing your iPhone. With this feature enabled, crime really doesn’t pay. If it has gone missing, Lost Mode is back, allowing you to erase the iPhone. Even if it has been erased, Find My iPhone can display a message.

Find My iPhone was a good service that just got great.

THIRD PARTY APPS

While the focus understandably so has been squarely on the stock apps, the bigger fish for iOS users will be third party apps. There are a handful of stock apps, but hundreds of thousands of third party apps. It will be exciting to see how developers interpret the design language and philosophy of iOS 7. Some will do the minimum, simply recompiling their apps for compatibility. There will be some developers who seize upon the opportunity, using the new design and APIs to simplify and revitalize their apps.Users should expect that some developers will use this as a fork in development, thus asking users who want new functionality to have to spend again on apps.

For developers, and users of their software, there are a number of important APIs in the SDK that should result in amazing new app experiences that go well beyond the new look.

AirDrop: AirDrop sharing isn’t just for Apple stock apps. Developers can take advantage of AirDrop by adding the Activity sheet. Peer-to-peer content sharing is handled by the operating system, without requiring any set-up on the developer’s part.

Multitasking: Applications can now take advantage of ‘Background App Refresh’. iOS 7 will learn when you typically use a particular app. You can enable this feature on an app by app basis. When enabled, the apps will refresh their content when on WiFi or cellular or use Location Services in the background. This can have an affect battery life. To disable, navigate to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and toggle either all apps on individual apps to the off setting.

Graphics and Gaming
A new Sprite Kit framework and new APIs should make it easier for developers to create great new 2D games. They can also add support for physical game controllers, which are expected later this year.

Camera
The camera captures video at 60fps, making it possible to create dramatic scenes in slow motion. There are new custom video compositing APIs to create video effects and transitions utilizing multiple video tracks.

iBeacon
Remember when everyone was excited about NFC? Rumors of an NFC-enabled iPhone were a regular occurrence. Apple’s answer iBeacon, that can uses low-powered, low-cost transmitters to notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence. This should provide a whole new level of location based interaction. Apple provides examples such as trail markers in a park, exhibits in a museum, or product displays in stores. We could see a huge influx of retail uses for iBeacon akin to the Gap scene in Minority Report.

Maps
With new directions APIs, app makers can create directions within their apps and take advantage of 3D views, controls.

 

iOS 7 Compatibility

The following devices are iOS 7 compatible:

iOS 7 iPhone compatibility

iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s

iOS 7 iPad compatibility

iPad 2, 3, 4, iPad mini

iOS 7 iPod touch compatibility

iPod touch 5g

Not all of the features are supported on older models. The following is a list of hardware requirements for certain features:

  • Siri: iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, iPad 3/4, iPad mini, and iPod touch 5th generation.
  • Turn-by-turn navigation:  iPhone 4s, iPhone 5/5c/5s, iPad 2/3/4, and iPad mini with cellular data capability.
  • FaceTime over cellular:  iPhone 4s or later, iPad with Retina display, or iPad mini with cellular data capability.
  • AirDrop: iPhone 5/5c/5s, iPad 4, iPad mini, and iPod touch 5th generation.
  • AirPlay Mirroring: iPhone 4s/5/5c/5s, iPad 2/3/4, iPad mini, and iPod touch 5th generation.

Conclusion

iOS 7 might not win you over with the first slide to unlock. There are sweeping aesthetic changes, immediately noticeable by the splashes of vibrant colors present in the home screen icons, all part of a new color palette that is both distinct and jarring. App experiences have been completely revamped, with the design offering copious amounts of white space and a modern typeface throughout. As you open or close apps, new animations provide a more fluid and dynamic interaction. iOS 7 uses layering effects that create pseudo 3d-like experience that is nothing short of amazing in its subtlety and execution. It feels alive. It’ll makes you want to interact with my iPhone, either by opening an app or simply titling the screen to accentuate the depth effect. Your wallpaper selections are instantly rewarded with each translucent overlay.

This software update is not about just a fresh coat of paint. There are new features and improvements abound. Control Center has been on the wish list of users for years and the implementation is spot on, providing quick access to things you need most.

This isn’t a software update that will find a unanimous audience in favor of the changes and that’s ok. The initial reactions can be attributed to Apple’s changing of an interface that up until now has largely remained the same. It’s a big gamble on Apple’s part, attempting to both shed their past, while at the same time keeping true to what has made iOS so successful.

A recent Apple web ad campaign reminded us that People Love Their iPhones, but the campaign really should have read, People Love iOS. Those who stray to other platforms, leave primarily because of a hardware attraction. It’s got a bigger screen, removable battery or a 41-megapixel camera. When I see stories of people coming back, they are coming back for iOS, coming back for the app experiences that cannot be found elsewhere.

People use iOS because it’s simple and it just works. Both very good reasons to use a mobile operating system. Apple has managed to pull off bold changes, while not disrupting the familiarity that makes the iOS so successful among users. iOS 7 is bold, beautiful and more than ever, it’s driven by your content, creating an beautiful experience that is unique to every user.

18 Comments

18 Comments

  1. Yancy

    September 18, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Awesome write up!

  2. Bertrand

    September 20, 2013 at 8:06 am

    You nailed this review! Right on the money!

  3. Ellen Richards

    September 21, 2013 at 7:11 am

    I cannot seem to find out how to shut down open apps in new version. I hit home button twice and all apps that are open appear. Holding finger down on each app only brings them up to full screen. Holding finger down on the icon representing the app only opens it. How to close programs or apps……..that is the question

    • Christopher Meinck

      September 21, 2013 at 7:24 am

      After double-clicking, you’ll see your apps in ‘card view’. Swipe the apps you’d like to close up and flick them away. That will quit the app.

      • Ellen Richards

        September 21, 2013 at 10:57 am

        YES! Knew it had to be something as simple as that! Thanks!

  4. Ellen Richards

    September 21, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Also, just checked my calendar and no data was transferred!!!! Help! That hurts. Not sure I’m happy that I hit install for new version. My calendar was full and included dates in 2014. Don’t like that at all

    • Ellen Richards

      September 21, 2013 at 7:25 am

      Forget this one, had to turn it back on in I cloud.

  5. Susan VanHook Ferguson

    September 24, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    Another issue, which I assume probably has a simple solution: I, always used my own photos as wallpaper and have never had a problem, however, now when I try to set a photo as wallpaper, it will look right when I pull up the photo in my album, but when I set it as wallpaper, it makes the image huge and only shows a portion of it in the home screen or lock screen view. Has anyone else dealt with this situation yet?

  6. Holly

    September 26, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Can’t find where my screen capture pics appear!

  7. Holly

    September 26, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Also can’t swipe up to find the control center!

    • Holly

      September 26, 2013 at 7:13 am

      I am using ipad2 if that makes a difference. Holly

  8. Holly

    September 26, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Another problem is I can’t get my iPad to import pics from my camera stick

  9. Zel

    September 26, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Sorry. HATING this update. Apple forces us to use the super fugly keyboard. I can’t uninstall. I feel trapped and pissed off.

    • Tazma

      October 11, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      Ya, they said that would fix bugs, then they do this shit. They deleted iOS 6, so no we can’t go back…rage.

  10. Zel

    September 26, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Regarding Helvetica-neue (light version) which is a thinner font,….. Is there a way to change to a thicker and darker font? I can see better when inverting but then my pics are scary inverted also:)

  11. Tom

    September 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    You want real reviews on ios7, check out this thread from actual users: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5325838?start=885&tstart=0

    • Christopher Meinck

      September 29, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      I’ve actually used iOS 7, for almost four months. I’d say my opinion is valid. If you have a specific point you’d like to make, I certainly welcome any dissenting opinions as to why you dislike iOS 7.

  12. JEFF

    November 8, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Apple has RUINED the iOS with version 7. My iPhone 4s is virtually unusable. ANDROID HERE I COME! I am DONE with Apple products (and I’ve got a house FULL of them, all the way back to the Macintosh II+

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