Apple’s big update to its mobile operating system has finally hit the floor running. Some may have experienced issues trying to get the download to start, but other than a few hiccups, most users probably already have the update installed, or are working on it now.
Apple now makes it possible for you to access certain controls and apps by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. This feature is also available in the Lock screen, so you no longer have to unlock your iPad in order to put your device in Airplane mode, turn off Wi-Fi, or enable Bluetooth.
The alert and notification service that is featured in iOS has received a complete redesign. Now, you will know about new mail, missed calls, to-do lists, and more. See calendar events, traffic and weather updates, and stock information. All you have to do is swipe down from the home screen.
Apple’s multitasking feature has been more of a pain than a benefit. I was constantly having to close apps as my multitasking list would get longer and longer. Now, Apple has made it more useful to have apps that can be quickly accessed in a bar at the bottom of your screen. Double-tap the Home button to preview the actual screen of the app you have open. Quitting an app has been made easier, too. Just swipe the app from the multitasking bar up and out of preview and it is closed.
The redesigned Camera app now displays your shooting formats right out front. You don’t have to edit them first. You can now apply eight different filters to square and still photos. You can even see the effect in real time, before you take the picture. It is just as easy to remove the filter as it is to add it by editing the image later.
The Photos app has gotten a complete overhaul, making photo album management much easier. Images can now be organized into Years, Collections, and Moments. Tap on the “Years” tab to see all images taken in a particular year. Within each year, Collections will automatically be divided out. For example, a trip to Disneyland will have its own section. Within the various collections, Moments will be generated. The app recognizes where you were at what time and separates them into categories. For example, if you went to the Red Lobster during your trip to Disneyland, your pictures from that night will be in a separate section. Shared photos are now available in iCloud, where you and your friends can post images and videos and comment on each others uploads.
This is the new technology that makes it possible for you to quickly share files and documents without having to “bump your phones.” All you have to do is tap the “Share” button and select the person in the room that you would like to share the file with. Using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, it will be sent to the recipient directly. All transfers are encrypted and secure.
Apple’s default Web browser now has full-screen viewing. Buttons and bars stay hidden until you need them by scrolling up or down. Instead of tapping an arrow to go back to a previous page, swipe the screen to flip back.
After years of rumors and speculation, Apple has finally launched a music streaming service for iTunes. When iTunes 11.1 launched, I started listening to the new radio service right away. It is similar to Pandora because it customizes your music listening experience by making adjustments to stations based on what you listen to and buy in iTunes. You can listen to preexisting stations, special celebrity-currated stations, and even create your own by picking an artist, song, or genre.
Siri got a little more transparent and a lot smarter in iOS 7. She can also be turned into a He. The interface has been redesigned to be compatible with the new iOS 7 look. The voice is clearer and more natural sounding, and answers questions faster than ever. It also looks up answers to questions in a wider variety of places, making it more likely for you to find out what you need to know. Siri now returns calls, plays voicemail messages, controls iTunes radio, and more.
Completely new look
Of course, the biggest feature in iOS 7 is the completely new look. Gone are the skeuomorphic bookshelves and notepads. Now, everything is flat, white, and bright. The font is bolder and clearer. Things now have a transparent background instead of a solid gray or black backing. Control bars are updated with a more modernized look. While the changes in iOS 7 may look big, the things you can do with your iPhone and iPad haven’t changed much. They’ve just been improved.