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iOS 7: What You Need To Know

by Shashank Bhardwaj

So Apple has unveiled its highly anticipated iOS 7 at WWDC.  The latest iteration of what Steve Jobs once claimed to be ‘5 years ahead of any other phone’, is what Tim Cook is now calling, 5 years later, ‘the biggest change to the platform since the iPhone’.

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iOS 7 is a completely redesigned experience – it has flatter icons, a new way to slide to unlock, slimmer and sharper fonts, among many other additional features. There is almost no 3D design anywhere on the OS – with everything adopting new colors and a modern, flat look.

So if you have an iPhone 4 (or better), an iPad 2 (or better), an iPad mini, or a 5th generation iPod Touch, you get to upgrade to this new experience. But before you upgrade, here’s what’s different in iOS 7:

What’s New in looks:

  • The look itself. iOS 7 has a new sharper and slimmer font. The entire UI consists of flat icons and flat menus. Every app too – Calender, Game Center, phone, contacts – has a cleaner, flatter layout. Even the music player app has been revamped.
  • The change to the Weather App is major. It now features background animations corresponding to the current weather.
  • The Lock Screen has been changed for the first time in iOS history. There’s no more sliding across the bar. Instead, the function is now translucent on top of the background image.
  • The keyboard is slightly transparent – allowing you to see what’s behind it.
  • Network strength is no longer indicated by bars, but by five dots, situated at the same position.

 

Whats New in Features:

  • There’s finally, finally a Control Center. It is brought up by swiping up from the bottom of your screen, & gives you quick access to toggles for Wi-Fi, brightness, Bluetooth, rotation lock etc.

Additionally, you get a flashlight toggle, music controls, & tabs to other apps for quick access. Yes, Android got there first – but iOS fans are not going to mind one bit, having wanted this feature for a long time.

  • Block Calls: Now you can block calls – both cellular, and Facetime, and even messages. Speaking of Facetime, the Apple service also supports audio calls now.
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  • AirDropWe don’t need no NFC! With Airdrop, you can share content with other nearby iOS users simply by tapping their name. No NFC needed. Airdrop is compatible with iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPad mini, and the iPod Touch 5.
  • Multitasking: Multitasking is now possible with all third party apps, and in a much better way – resulting in lower battery consumption. Apps can update in the background without any strain on the battery. There’s a new way to manage apps too – there’s a card-based interface offering live previews of the running apps. It looks like it’s been lifted right from WebOS.
  • Safari: Safari now features a full-screen mode, a card-based interface to switch between tabs, & gesture-based navigation. There’s no limit on the number of tabs now (it stopped at 8 earlier). It also supports iCloud Keychain, which sync passwords & credit card information across all your devices.
  • Camera: The camera has a new UI. There’s gesture based controls – you swipe between your preferred camera mode – HDR, panorama etc – instead of having to access menus. You also get new filters.

The photos app is revamped as well. The Moments feature sorts images by location or time, letting you search with the same parameters. As for sharing options, there’s AirDrop and iCloud photo sharing (which shares video too).

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  • App Store: The App Store will now automatically update your apps for you in the background. Additionally, it has also gotten more intelligent with location-awareness. The App Store will showcase apps to you based on your location.
  • Siri: Siri now has new voices – both male and female, in different languages (English, French and German so far). Apart from a new UI, Siri also gets more control over your device – you can now toggle Bluetooth, or lower the brightness, among other things, just by telling Siri. Siri will also be searching Twitter, Wikipedia, and Bing for your queries.
  • iOS in the Car: You can now have iOS right on your car screen, and control it too – place calls, ask for directions, or play music, thanks to Siri.
  • iTunes Radio: This is Apple’s answer to Spotify (or Google Music All Access). Only available in the US so far, the service allows you to listen to music on demand, for free.
  • Activation Lock: Last year, half of all phones stolen in San Francisco were iPhones. As an added security measure, like we had reported earlier – if your iPhone is stolen, and the thief turns off the Find My iPhone feature, the phone will not turn on without your iCloud password.

 

That’s a lot of features, no doubt. Developers get to download the iOS7 Beta right now, while we have to wait a little while longer. Is iOS 7 tempting enough for you to make the switch?

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