Early this morning, Apple took the curtains off its iOS 7, possibly the most exciting iOS version since the first iPhone hit the market back in 2007. The latest update, which will be available to consumers later this year, not only features a brand new interface, Apple also include a whole host of new features to change the way things work within its mobile operating system.
It’s a long list, almost everything has changed overnight so hit the break for a detailed explanation.
We all expected Apple to do something about shortcuts, bringing most frequently features to the tip of your fingers and the way Apple is doing it is by introducing a new Control Center.
Simply swipe up from the bottom of the screen and welcome a new menu that gives you quick access to controls and apps. Available on the lock screen as well, Control Center allows you to switch to Airplan mode, toggle Wi-Fi, or adjust the brightness of your display. The menu also has shortcuts for you to turn on/off Do Not Disturb (thank god!), quick menu to your music (play, pause, or skip a song), connect to AirPlay enabled devices, access the AirDrop feature for you to share instantly. The apps supported in this menu includes flashlight, timer, calculator and most importantly (to me at least) the camera app.
The Notification Center has been given a complete makeover as well, looking much better than before. First up, the new Notification Center, also available from the Lock Screen, can be accessed by swiping down from the top of your display. The interface has been split up into three tabs – today, all and missed.
Today shows you information about things you need to know to start the day, including the weather, your appointments, traffic conditions, to-do list and such. You can also select the missed tab to see messages and calls you’ve missed, while the all tab shows a summary of everything including when your friends shared something new into the iCloud Photo Stream.
The multitasking feature on iOS 7 not only features a new interface – preview of the app rather than an icon and the ability to swipe to close an app by swiping, it is a whole lot smarter too. iOS 7 can learn from the way you use your phone and predict what you need even before you start the day.
For example if the first thing you ever do in the morning when you wake up at 7am is to check your Facebook, iOS 7 will learn that and your feed will be reading and waiting for you the next day. “It knows what you want to do before you do”.
iOS 7 can also intelligently schedule updates to save you some precious battery power – something very useful considering how bad the battery life is on an iPhone (mine at least). iOS schedules updates during power-efficient times, for example, when your device is on and connected to the internet, I sure hope this means that my device will not heat up for no reason at all because it tries to connect to things while it’s in my pockets.
Apple is putting swipe into everything, swipe down for the Notification Center, up for the Control Center, swipe to close an app in multitasking menu and even the new Camera comes with new swiping features. Swipe left or right to toggle between different camera modes – regular camera, video, square camera or panorama.
The brand new camera app also comes with a whole list of new filters which can be applied to the camera itself for you to see the effect even before you hit the shutter button, or it can be applied later. The filters include mono, tonal, noir, fade, chrome, process, transfer and instant. If you take a shot with a filter on, you can chose to remove it later too, giving you much more control over the images you’ve taken.
Finally, a better way to organize the pictures you’ve taken. Instead of dumping everything into one big huge folder, the new Photos app automatically sort your pictures into Collections, Moments and Years.
Whether you like to view your pictures in an entire collection – Years – or a specific Moment like your recent holiday in Bali, Apple sorts them up automatically, making it much easier for you to share pictures with family and friends.
iCloud Photo Sharing
Go on a trip with your family and friends and create an iCloud Photo Sharing album for everybody. Everyone in your group can have access to the folder and share their own images with everyone else that has access. The new Activity view shows you the latest updates from all your shared streams in one place; I think we’re going to need more iCloud storage space.
AirDrop originated from Mac OS X whereby users within the same Wi-Fi network can share files with one another. AirDrop for iOS 7 allows you to do the same thing, but a connection is not necessary, making sharing of photos, videos, contacts and anything else easily and quickly.
Just tap share, select the person you wish to share with, and let AirDrop do the rest. AirDrop utilizes Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity and all transfers are encrypted.
Browsing just got bigger with the new Safari app for iOS 7. Apple has given a full screen view, removing all the buttons and bars until you need them so you can see more content than ever.
You can now swipe to go back or forward a page, the unified smart search field can automatically suggest the closest match to what you are looking for; even the interface for tabs has been revamped for you to see all your opened webpages easily.
Apple has also redesigned the ways users share in Safari. See all the URLs in your Twitter timeline, who posted them and what friends have to say about them. There is also a new Reading List for you to read through different articles.