iOS7: What’s all the hype about?

Published: September 20, 2013
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It is sleek and user-friendly. You should definitely upgrade.

A recent tweet had me in hysterics:

“Daddy, why has your phone gone all funny?” – A 6 year old’s reaction to the iOS7. 

And that’s the new hype on online sites these days – The new Apple iPhone and iPad software upgrade – the iOS7. There were so many posts and tweets that I actually got confused because I thought Apple had launched the iPhone 6 so soon after the launch of iPhone 5c and 5s!

However, after installing the new software and talking to people who have installed it, I realised that it is a major overhaul by Johnny Ives, the Senior VP of Design at Apple. And you know what they say about major changes, don’t you? The response is usually varied, dramatic and extreme. So is the case with the iOS7.

The positives:

Although functionality has also seen some changes, what has impressed or angered users the most is the first interaction with the aesthetics of the new software. Laying my iPhone (before installing the software) side-by-side with the my husband’s (after installing the software), was like looking at two different types of phones.

The first thing that jumps out at you is the minimalism incorporated in the design – the fonts are flatter, the layout is cleaner, the signal bars have made way for a series of dots and the new palette of colors just freshenes up the look.

Now, once you’ve gotten over the intial shock of the bare and modern aesthetics, you will most likely proceed to unlock your phone, looking for the ‘slide to unlock’ bar on your screen. Not finding it on the screen may leave you terribly confused. But fear not, in addition to the aesthetics, Apple has simplified this first function of the iPhone as well. Now you can swipe anywhere on the screen to unlock the phone. Awesome isn’t it, especially while driving which is where I would struggle with the touchscreen the most (although please avoid calls while driving at all costs).

Them we come to multi-tasking and intelligent scheduling: the key feature of smart phones.

iPhones  were already smart allowing you to fade music out, attend a call, check a picture and send it, return to the call and then go back to the tune you  were enjoying. But with the iOS7 you can now access the bluetooth and Wifi toggles without having to trawl through settings. Even better, iOS7 learns when you like to use your apps and can update your content before you launch them. So, if you generally check a social networking website every morning at 10:00 am. iOS7 will have it ready and waiting for you!

That, if you ask me, is smart.

Then, of course are the little cherries on the cake –new wallpapers (including dynamic ones),  swiping up to turn the torch and calculator, message timestaps (pulling your text messages to the left to show the time you sent/received them) and the jazzy camera options. You can swipe between shot types, add quick effects and take burst shots, reducing the time to get ‘that perfect shot’.  And I am sure the audio only feature on facetime will be a welcome option for all those who want to talk but not be seen!

That said, with a major overhaul there have got to be negatives, and the iOS 7 has them too.

The negatives:

The iCloud, for one, is still a disappointment to many. Although it offers free backup, users keep running out of space with more and more apps and photos and the iCloud offers no good or easily available solution to fix this. And the camera burst feature further clogs up the cloud since it allows many shots to be taken in a burst, but the focus speed isn’t quick enough – ending up with the user storing blurry pictures on the iCloud and taking up unnecessary space.

Additionally, the software is a major drain on the battery life, which could be problematic if you tend to use your phone a lot.

All in all, It is different and it will definitely take time to warm up to, especially because the older  version lasted so long. Still, it’s definitely slicker in usability and faster when switching between apps and windows.

Like a friend said,

“One thing that amazes me about Apple always is the user-friendliness and adaptability – I couldn’t get the hang of multi-tasking and I gave the iPad to my 18 month old daughter and she could almost get them to work each time! I had to observe her hand movement to figure out what to do!”

The verdict:

So all in all, upgrading to the iOS7 is probably a good idea since you’ll be re-acclimitising yourself to some features and it will be a transition for the next software upgrade. Otherwise, you might be at a loss when the next software hits the market. Having said as much, the upgrade is recommended more for the iPhone 4S and the 5 and not so much for the iPhone 4.

A small piece, though, of advice – keep your expectations to the ground and you’ll be a satisfied iPhone user.

Ayesha Amin

Ayesha Amin

The author is a lover of the written word, the beating heart and the many blessings of life! She tweets as @AminAyesha (twitter.com/AminAyesha)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.