iOS 7 – What’s Hot and What’s Not?

Tue 12 November 2013 Written by Evi
Evi

Apple users have had a busy week as iOS 7 hits most of their major devices. This release is all about integrating hardware design with software design and is expected to see a major increase in app development for the platform. Let’s take a look under the hood and see what the fuss is all about – starting with the good stuff.

Control Center

This is a major update and you can now reach down into the interior of the device with a single swipe. It’s got a rather pleasant translucent skin and there’s a lot of space given up to playing music and controlling the device brightness. It also brings the AirPlay and AirDrop features to center stage.

AirDrop

At last you can get AirDrop on your iPad or iPhone and that means you can share pretty much anything easily. Tap the screen and you’re away sharing. You can easily share plenty of different items through screen touches too.

iTunes (Music and Radio)

Apple says that the iTunes release is simply the best thing they’ve ever done for media playback. You can now browse any material stored in the iCloud in addition to the stuff already on the device. That’s pretty handy as a unified music and media collection is what most of us want.

Safari

The browser has seen a few minor tweaks - in particular the URL navigation bar now resizes dynamically, freeing up some badly needed screen space. Bookmarks now act to harvest links from the folks you follow on Twitter, making it easy to bring together your information in one place.

Siri

Siri’s got a new voice and has finally come out of Beta. You can also give some new commands to your device using the interface – including turning on your Bluetooth.

iOS on the Road

Developers will be keen to get to grips with the support for in-vehicle screens. That means car manufacturers will be able to develop their own Apple style devices and applications without the need for an iPhone or iPad anywhere.

App Store

The app store’s been given a major overhaul and it should be easier to find great applications. Better still applications will automatically update when the device isn’t being used online – a huge blessing to the user experience.

Multi-Tasking

It’s a minor tweak but the change in interface makes it easier to work out which application you’re jumping to by doing away with the little bar on the screen and replacing it with icons.

And now…for the not so good:

Bug!

The new release has already been dogged by a number of bugs, including the rather embarrassing ability to make a call when the screen’s been locked down. This isn’t really that big a deal and will surely be patched quickly.

Fingerprint Software

The fingerprint software has already been demonstrated to be easy to hack and corporates may be less likely to adopt iOS 7 devices with the facility (currently only the iPhone 5S).

The Upgrade Itself

Reviewers have also noted that it’s a pretty ugly upgrade compared to the previous release. The learning curve’s higher than most releases because of the number of additional features. There’s also the potential for some conflicts with older applications (and therein lies the opportunity for developers to steal a march on the competition).

So…where does this leave us?

Apple has certainly achieved their objectives, and succeeded in bringing something fresh and new to the market, though it's worth pointing out that better user functionality has come at the price of a steeper learning curve. Developers on the other hand should welcome the change in platform to produce better applications.