Introducing the revolutionary Apple iOS 7
By Kevin Searle
iOS 7 represents the most radical change to Apple’s hugely successful mobile operating system since the original system was introduced in 2007. Apple boasts that there are over 200 new features and a fundamentally different design aesthetic. The lockscreen, homescreen, keyboard, app icons and app layouts themselves all look very different. There is a new and thinner system font: Helvetica Neue. There is no question that things are different, but the question is, are the changes for the better?
One of the biggest aesthetic changes in iOS 7 is the move away from skeumorphism. Skeumorphs, which attempt to replicate the look of a physical object in a virtual setting, ran rampant in iOS 6. Remember the felt in Game Center, or the yellow legal pad and felt-tipped pen in Notes? IOS 7 leaves all that far behind. Apps now follow a flat design, eschewing textures, shadows and an attempt of replicating the “real” version of an app. In my opinion, these changes are for the better. Using an iPhone or iPad is clearer and simpler than before. Finding information is easier and the apps look much nicer.
But it’s not all good news. Some of the app icons are eyesores, such as the Safari icon. Others just don’t fit with the app, such as the Settings and Game Center icons.
Another big change in iOS 7 is the addition of Control Center. If you swipe up from the bottom of the screen, you have the ability to adjust the brightness, change a song you might be listening to, turn on Wifi, Bluetooth, or rotation lock and even access a flashlight button.
Control Center is one of the best parts about iOS 7. Before the update, you would have to cycle through several setting pages to do any of these things, and the addition removes much of the frustration I used to have with iOS.
The multitasking in iOS 7 has also been overhauled. When you double tap the home button, all of the apps that have been used recently come up as ‘cards,’ showing the user a screenshot of the app’s current state, and swiping up on the card dismisses the app. Apps can now update in the background, meaning that your twitter feed and similar apps will be up to date when you open the app. These changes are extremely refreshing and remove the hassle of switching between apps and constantly refreshing apps.
The camera in iOS 7 has been given a different interface. Swiping left or right will bring up video or panorama mode, as well as a new ‘square’ mode that will make taking photos for Instagram much easier. In another nod to Instagram, there’s also a built in filter mode, offering eight filters that can be applied before taking pictures. The update makes camera functions easier to use, and the camera feels noticeably quicker in use.
A major addition to iOS 7 is iTunes Radio. Essentially a Pandora clone, users can pick from pre selected stations or create their own stations based on their musical preferences. When a user chooses a song they like or a station they want to listen to, songs that are similar to those will continue to play. Users can then ask that songs be played like the previous ones.
Ads are played once every 15 minutes, but can be removed with the $24.99/year purchase of iTunes Match, a service introduced in iOS 6 that stores high quality copies of a user’s music in the cloud. In my experience, iTunes Radio works extremely well. I found myself liking most of the songs played, and I found that it had more variety than Pandora.
Many of the changes in iOS 7 are serious improvements, in my opinion. My phone feels more useful and is nearly hassle-free. The added features all work well, and the new look is a major improvement. Some USD students voiced their concerns that iOS 7 now looks too similar to Android, Google’s competing operating system, but most students seem to really like the changes.