We all knew it was coming, and the question on everyone's mind was: What new will Apple bring to the table with iOS7? Apple has surprised everyone by giving its next iOS iteration the biggest facelift that we've seen since August 2007 at the WWDC 2013 event held yesterday. Apart from shedding the older look with a new flatter and refreshed design, Apple has added umpteen new changes and features to woo the loyal Apple fan following. Here's a list of things you need to know about iOS 7.
A “flat design” for iOS 7 is something that has been making news for some time now. Apple hasn’t just adopted a flatter design, but completely revamped the user interface. From type-faces to icon colour schemes, everything looks new and refreshed. It now comes with new flatter icons, redesigned stock app icons, slim fonts, slide-to-unlock function and a sliding control panel giving access to frequently accessed apps. Apple has given preference to content over embellished looks and all unnecessary bars and buttons have been stripped off. iOS 7 looks simple and beautiful, and most importantly, it is a change everyone has been waiting for.
The new icons, fonts and colours
iOS 7 has been organised in layers. The motion sensors are used to give it a cool effect. So, as you move the handset, the layers also move in 3D-like fashion, offering a Parallax effect. So, basically, the OS lets you focus on apps that you need and puts the things that you are not using in the background layer.
Control Center is available from any screen; you just need to swipe upwards on the screen. From here, you can toggle and access several features like Wi-Fi, camera, music, Bluetooth and more.
Apple makes multitasking smarter. iOS 7 is intuitive and learns how its users are using an app. The official iOS 7 page reveals: “So if you tend to check your favourite social app at 9:00 a.m. every day, your feed will be ready and waiting for you. That’s multitasking in iOS 7. It knows what you want to do before you do.” One can preview the screens (like cards) of live apps by pressing the home button twice. One can close an app by swiping it up and then out of the preview. The new multitasking feature is introduced for every app.
The Notification Center gets a new feature dubbed Today, giving you an update of everything that is happening or lined-up for the day. It also gives you a heads up for the next day. The Notifications Center can be accessed from all the screens (including the lock-screen) and the changes you make get synced across all iOS 7 devices.
Siri has also been tweaked for better capabilities, including playing voicemail, controlling iTunes Radio and other extra tasks too. It now comes with a revamped look, along with a more natural speech pattern. New female and male voices have been added, which Apple claims to be easier to understand. Siri will be faster at responding to questions and will look up for more sources such as Bing, Wikipedia and Twitter. Siri has learnt some more new languages too, such as French and German.
Siri and iOS 7 for cars
Apple has been hinting at iOS integration in cars for a while now. We knew it was coming, but users will still have to wait until next year. However, Apple has officially announced that iOS in cars will seamlessly integrate with your iOS devices and Siri. Users will be able to connect and interact with their iPhone 5 using their car’s built-in display or Siri Eyes Free.
Apps Near Me
The “Apps Near Me” feature shows a collection of popular apps relevant to your current location. Apple has also added a new Kids category with apps for children based on their age.
AirDrop makes sharing a photo or a file with someone around you easier. AirDrop is integrated in a new share panel and uses Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to share an email, contact or other content with someone right next to you. The “Share” button lets you share content from any app in a secure encrypted environment, without the need for any setup.
Easily share content with others
The camera app now supports several shooting formats including still, video, pararoma and square – front and centre. The square format is quite popular, courtesy Instagram. Apple adds new filters, allowing you to play around with the images. You can even choose a filter and see the effect before clicking a photo.
It now arranges your photos according to Collections, Moments and Years. The smart grouping of photos is based on time and place. So, each year has a feature called Collections, and within Collections one can view Moments. iCloud makes sharing photos by creating a photo stream. Users can post photos, videos and even comments on the stream. There is an Activity view to see all the latest updates.
Years, Collections and Moments
Music app and iRadio
The music app has been redesigned and appears to be cool and simple. However, the highlight is the new iRadio feature. This ad-supported feature is a new streaming service that lets you create stations based on your library and listening habits, and also share them with friends.
Browsing has been made better and beautiful in iOS 7. All the unnecessary buttons and bars are hidden until you scroll to reveal them, allowing users to see more content on their screen. It has been designed to make browsing faster without any obstacle and allows you to easily move across a page.
Apple also plans to launch the anti-theft feature for iOS 7, which will be available in the fall. The Activation lock feature will be handy if a thief tries to wipe a stolen device, as the feature won't allow them to activate the device. The feature requires a legitimate owner's ID and password before an iPhone can be wiped clean or re-activated after being remotely erased. iOS 7 has introduced new iCloud keychain that enables iCloud to remember your account names, passwords and credit card numbers. In fact, Safari can enter them automatically whenever the user signs into a particular online retail shop. It is said to be highly secure with 256-bit AES encryption. You can also have Safari create a unique password each time you create an account, and also remember it for you.
iOS 7 for iPhone is available for developers, while the iPad version will be made available in a few weeks. The final version of iOS 7 is likely to be seen in the next-gen iPhone when it releases later this year. iOS 7 is also expected to be made available for other devices such as iPhone 4 or above and iPad 2 or above.
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