It’s Friday, so Apple must have released a new gadget or a new operating system. With its latest unveiling, the iconic fruit has given Applephiles an almost new device, from new colors and fonts to its feel as you navigate around its mazes of technical wizardry.
With a new operating system comes new challenges: learning the basics, navigating through the various menus, adjusting settings, etc. As a service to you, we’ve taken the highlights from this update and have compiled a list of the basics and a few surprises contained within iOS 7.
What Has Changed
Much has changed, in fact. With the iOS 7 update, you basically have a new phone without having to sign a new contract or without having to leave your home or office. Samantha Murphy Kelly, on Mashable.com, provides us with a nice overview of what to expect from this new OS. Below are the highlights from her highlights, highlighted for you.
1. The overall look
New colors, new fonts, new sounds, and a new feel— all have changed to make a “cleaner, sleaker (operation)… Just about every nook and cranny in the whole house has been renovated.”
2. The control center
You wanted a hub where everything could be easily accessed, and Apple has given it to you. From music settings to alarm settings and back through to Airplane mode and beyond, the common stuff is here— and it can be accessed when the lock screen is activated.
3. Gestures, slide to unlock
More gesture-focused than ever, the iOS 7 has taken some of the mundane and tedious tasks and made them easier and, well, more fun. For instance, no longer does the user have to slide their finger across the bar at the bottom of the screen to unlock the phone. Just swipe it!
Apple has opened the vaults and is offering plenty of new and vivid pictures for your phone’s backdrop.
5. Photo organization
With phones becoming the depositories for photos that boxes and plastic tubs used to be (and with no tangible product to develop and store, we take more pics than ever), organization is a key issue that Apple has tackled and, it would seem, done a swell job at making the process easy and, well, easy. With pics and videos placed into groups based on time and place, accessing the 983 pics and the 45 minute video you took at your child’s first school play are easily accessed and enjoyed with family and friends near and far.
6. New ringtones
According to Ms. Kelly (and more than a few Apple users I know), the iWhatever is not known for its plethora of catchy and memorable ringtones. No longer. Apple has consulted with someone who understands that ringtones and wallpaper are the two most important features on any phone.
More than once in my life, I have accidentally pressed a button or by dumb luck just happened to pick the right combination of buttons only to have a new feature or a once unknown shortcut revealed to me on my phone or on my remote control. We’ve all done this at one time, as Aaron Souppouris of theverge.com notes in his article about the hidden gems contained in the new iOS 7. Here are a few he found by accident on purpose. Or was it on purpose by accident?
1. Know when that message was sent
No longer will the exact time a message was sent be a mystery. The sleuths at Apple have allotted you an easy way to know exactly when your husband sent that text saying he would LOVE to go see the latest romantic comedy with Sandra Bullock simply by swiping the message bubbles to the left.
2. Take control of your apps
iOS 7 has given your iGadget the ability to download updates in the background while you play another level of Candy Crush, ensuring that your apps are always up-to-date and ready to go. And given that it’s useful but not particularly data friendly, as Aaron notes, Apple allows you to pick and choose which apps you wish to be updated in the background.
3. Always be updating
Tired of trudging to your virtual car, driving to the virtual Apple store, and manually updating your apps? Apple feels your pain and no longer do you have to exert 5 calories to do this every time an app gets an itch for an update. Your new iOS will now automatically update every app, and you can switch this feature off when you’re using cellular data.
Stop them watching
While it may seem strange that a marketing company would reveal a way to STOP receiving messages, we wish to remind you that we’re consumers, too, and we, too, tire of ads for “enhancement” pills and “this weird old trick” that will save you millions on your auto insurance. Under the Privacy tab, this feature can be activated and enjoyed with the lack of ads you’ll receive.
With 200+ changes to the old operating system, the iOS 7 gives you, in essence, a new phone. Improvements to old features mixed with new and more easily accessed features make this a welcome update that is sure to satiate the rabid appetites of the fans of all things Apple.
And it’s free.