Yesterday we all survived the “Apple-Pocalypse”. For anyone who owns a recent “i” product from the white fruit company, there was a sudden peer pressure to upgrade to the newest version of operating system. Namely, “iOS 7″. Not creative, but the name probably shouldn’t detract from the shiny-ness of the product itself.
After having used the OS for about a week prior to launch thanks to a “Lifehacker” blog, I was able to test drive some things and see what I liked and potentially didn’t like before the servers exploded on launch day. If you haven’t downloaded yet, now might be a good time and this is why I think you should:
(1) Everything looks and feels better. Apple has spent a lot of time fine tuning the Keyboard, making the OS move faster (I’m running an iPhone 4S), and taking away all the fake Bevels and Gradients that clogged the visuals of previous operating systems. The new look is solid and much more cheerful (bright and airy). At the same time, the backgrounds are much more detailed and beautiful (honing in on the Desktop Background experiences as Handheld computing becomes more popular). The fonts have been redone to embolden or recede as necessary in the Phone and Texting Apps, and the icons create a different ethos than was previously had. Even the notes app is brighter and easier to use. Going back to iOS 6 would be abrasive visually.
(2) There has been much more added functionality (and accessibility). The number one improvement I like is that you can go into your “Cellular” settings and choose which apps are allowed to use Cellular data. If you want to cut off a data hog thats not always necessary, you now have the precision tool to do it. New Menus are also accessible by thumb swipes giving easy grap of the new built in Flashlight button, music controls, bluetooth, wifi, sleep, airplane mode, and especially at Brightness slider – all in one spot. Some utilities like Camera, Calculator, and time are also there for quick picks. Lastly, the Folders now can slide and have multiple pages – not sure if I need it, but its nice to know its there).
(3) The movement is more bouncy, and feels fun. Texts bounce up and down when stopping (though only slightly), notes are similar when going up and down, the apps fly on and off screen when locking/unlocking the phone, and the folders grow and retract more smoothly than I remember. The background creates depth by moving in the background, so my chosen image of stars and clouds tilt as I tilt the phone. Its fun to show others and to do when I’m bored in meetings while checking the time.
Other things: The basic app selection on the phone doesn’t seem to have changed much. Facetime seems to appear more prominently, with the same green icon as Phone and Messages, but apps like Passbook are growing in utility as apps come out that allow you to collect plane tickets, gift cards and movie stubs. I hope this continues to develop. The Maps app still isn’t as good at Google Maps, Gmail (for Gmail users) is still more precise search-wise with Google’s app than Apple’s. The camera is more robust now with different modes and filters on live images which is fun (having instagram like abilities from the get go. All the apps still work too – so its not like you’re going to miss much, and the new things will take some time to play with, but will soon become useful.
In conclusion, pick up the new iOS as soon as you can. There really isn’t a downside and it seems like there is a lot of upside. Its fun, pretty, and functional (and continuing to get better with each revision). For Apple fans, just do it.
(Photo Credit: http://www.maximumpc.com/files/u154082/ios7_cover_photo_2.png)