iOS 7 holds the key to Apple’s fate-whether it gets back to the top, or sees its stocks take a nosedive. This Buzzle article looks at some of the new features of iOS 7.
‘i’ owe youThe networking giant Cisco owned the ‘iOS’ trademark, which was later bought by Apple. These companies were earlier caught in a legal battle over the ‘iPhone’ trademark.
Google has been chomping away at Apple’s pie for quite a while now, with Android toppling iOS to claim stake to the title of the most popular operating system. The world waited with bated breath to see what Apple’s response to the onslaught would be-Apple did not disappoint (well, at least not completely!)
Apple may boast about the great build quality of their phones, and the impressive hardware it comes with, but the fact remains that the hardware seen on their phones, while being impressive, aren’t exactly top crop. What really sets Apple devices apart from the rest of the competition is its fluid, and intuitive operating system-iOS. Since it first made its appearance, iOS has completely revolutionized the way we interact with our phones and other gadgets. Over the years, it is their operating system that has been Apple’s crown jewel, and one that has drawn such a massive fan following.
Apple announced the arrival of the latest iOS edition-iOS 7, way back in June 2013; we got to see it in all its glory during the unveiling of the company’s latest flagship device-the iPhone 5s, and the mid-range iPhone 5c. While the fingerprint sensor on the 5s got quite a few heads turning, the real star of the show was the swanky new iOS. Apple designers have drawn a lot of criticism for lack of innovation with their OS. The famed operating system has been largely unchanged since its inception. This time around, heeding to the need of the hour, Apple has finally revamped its operating system. Such has been the change, that Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, said that, “Downloading iOS7 is like getting an all-new device.” Here’s a look at the many features of Apple’s latest operating system, that has got the entire tech fraternity raving about it.
New feature set: (from left to right) iTunes Radio, better multitasking, cleaner UI, advanced Control Center, and all new Safari browser.
Image Courtesy: www.apple.com
iOS 7 does away with the old all-too-familiar interface, and now sports a much cleaner and polished look. Gone is the 3D look of the icons, which now have a flat, and more rounded look. The color scheme too has changed to bright and vibrant colors. The new UI also brings in a host of cool animations, which accompany every action, right from the homescreen, to the many applications within the menu. The iconic ‘slide to unlock’ bar is now replaced with a simple swipe in any direction to unlock the phone. iOS also finally brings in dynamic wallpapers, its own version of animated wallpapers for your homescreen.
Taking a leaf right out of Android’s book, the latest iOS now brings drop-down notifications, along with an advanced control center. The control center can be accessed from any screen, while using any application on the device. It gives you quick access to the most commonly used features and settings, like Wi-Fi, airplane mode, Bluetooth, camera, calculator, brightness control, etc. It also lets you control the basic functions of the music player.
Finally, Siri seems to have found a perfect match for herself. Siri can now be customized to play a male or female voice for all its responses. Siri has also become a whole lot smarter, and is now integrated with Wikipedia. Apart from the different look of Siri, it can carry out even more functions, like controls to Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, screen brightness, social networking, etc. In spite of the overhaul, Siri abomination for Google Now continues, as you would still be greeted with an angry response, if you call it by that name!
Camera and Photo Gallery
The camera has been the USP for most of Apple’s phones, so it was only a matter of time that the camera interface got a major facelift. The camera now has a lot more live filters, which allow you to apply filters while you shoot your subject. The update also brings in a host of new lenses, like square, circle, and panorama lens. Video shooting now supports the pinch-to-zoom feature to zoom in or out without any lag during shooting. The photo gallery now groups the many ‘moments’ based on when and where the photographs were clicked.
This is by far the real crowd puller for iOS 7, AirDrop-Apple’s reply to Android’s tap to share feature. AirDrop lets iOS users share images and other apps without using any dedicated third-party app or service. All you need to do is click on share, select the iOS user you want to share the data with, and AirDrop does the rest for you. It sends encrypted data via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.
The lockscreen has seen an overhaul, and the icons now sport a flatter, and brighter look.
The latest version of iOS brings in a major upgrade on multitasking. Double clicking on the Home button now brings up thumbnails of all the recent apps. You can click on them to go to the app, or you can simply swipe it up or down to close the app. You can also close two apps at a time by swiping over two thumbnails with two fingers. You can’t however, close all the running apps at once. Overall, multitasking is lightning quick now, with no noticeable lag.
A novel feature aimed at saving on power consumption and data charges is the scheduled updates feature. Updates run at a scheduled time based on when you usually are connected to a Wi-Fi network. Once set, these apps update automatically, unlike the case with earlier iOS versions, where you were required to update them manually.
A first for Apple, iOS 7 now brings in iTunes Radio to its devices (US only at launch). The app boasts of having more than 250 DJ-curated stations, across various genres. You can create and edit stations based on your choice of music, artist, genre, or songs. The best part about iTunes Radio is the fact that it is completely ad-free.
Other Notable Features
The default Safari browser is faster, smoother, and now supports swipe controls.
iCloud can now remember your usernames and passwords, and Safari automatically fills in the fields when you want to sign in.
Apps Near Me
Shows you a collection of trending apps relevant to your location.
Find My iPhone
Enhanced security feature to disable unauthorized use of the device.
iOS in the Car
Integrates your iOS device with your car’s built-in display.
iOS 7 is by far the biggest upgrade for iOS over its 7 generations. The entire OS has got a complete makeover, which could bring back the company to its former glory. The updates are expected to roll out to iOS devices (iPhone 4+, iPod Touch 5, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, and iPad mini) OTA from 18th September. The new OS brings a lot of promise, but time alone will tell if it can help the Cupertino-based company revive its fortunes.
Author: Alex Mathew