Apple iOS 7 review

iOS 7 Control Center
iOS 7, with its overhauled user interface, breathes new life into the otherwise ageing mobile operating system, and sees Apple finally catch up with rival Android on popular features.
Pros:
Refreshed look and feel, better multitasking, new Control Center, AirDrop for content-sharing, user friendly
Cons:
Updates to Calendar and Photos aren't always an improvement, many of the changes are copies of long-standing Android features, some may not like design overhaul
Overall Rating:
4 Star Rating: Recommended
Price: Free with compatible Apple devices
Manufacturer: Apple
iOS 7 ships with iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C.

Available to download on iPhone 4, 4S and 5; iPad 2, 3 and 4; iPad Mini; iPod Touch 5th generation.


Review:

Apple's iOS 7 is finally here, and the update is an exciting one for many as it's the biggest update the firm has released since the launch of the original iPhone. However, it's also an uncertain update for others – with some not so keen on Jony Ive's radical user interface overhaul and threatening to switch to Android because of it.
We've been using iOS 7 for a couple of months, and there's no doubt that the update is a huge departure from iOS 6, but in our opinion, it's a change that has been needed for a long time.
Design
Apple's iOS 7 has been heralded by most as a flat design due to the lack of texture on app icons, the bare-bones fonts and the minimalistic menus. However, we don't think that's the right word to describe it, as Apple's new colour palette, swooshy transitions and live wallpapers make iOS more vibrant and exciting than ever.
The first thing you'll notice once past the simplified setup menu is the revamped lock screen. The new iOS lock screen lets you swipe anywhere on the screen to unlock your iPhone or iPad, and also features dynamic wallpapers that appear to move as your iPhone does, thanks to Apple's new Parallax Effect feature. Thankfully the camera button remains intact, so it's just as quick to fire up the photo app.
There's also support for the Notifications Center from the lock screen, as well as Apple's new Control Center, which can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. This has proven to be one of our favourite features of iOS 7 thus far, as the Bluetooth and WiFi toggle switches have saved us from trawling through the Settings menu every day, and the music controls are much slicker than those found on iOS 6.
iOS 7 Control Center
Once the handset is unlocked, everything looks completely different at first, although users will soon realise that it's not really different in terms of usability. Safari's icon, for example, is now a basic compass icon, while Weather features a simpler, gradiant background and a stripped-down picture. While app icons have been completely reworked by Ive and his team, everything still works in a similar way as previous versions of the mobile operating system, despite looking radically different.

Apple has reworked folders too. In addition to the option to have multiple pages so you no longer have to have two Games folders, the look and feel has changed, with folders now opening to fill the screen. Another difference users will notice is the status bar across the top, while the drastic font changes across the board add to changed look of the iOS user interface.
Apple iOS 7 folders
Multitasking has also been given an overhaul, and is now reminiscent of HP's WebOS with its card-based interface. Double tap on the Home button now and it will display windows showcasing all of your open apps, which can be closed by swiping them away.
While we prefer this to Apple's earlier multitasking menu, we have found that it is a longer process than clearing apps by double tapping on the home button in iOS 6.
There's no denying that the design changes will take a while to get used to, but we think most users will grow to love them.


 Apps

As well as redesigning its app icons, Apple has reworked many of the apps that come built in to iOS, both inside and out.
Among the most notable and perhaps our favourite is the Camera app, which has been completely refreshed in iOS 7. While it doesn't include the new photo-taking features of the iPhone 5S, the changes Apple has made are mostly positive.

Users can now swipe across the image viewer to select whether to record video or take a normal, panoramic or square photo, which is ideal for fans of Instagram, while capturing images is much speedier than in previous iterations of iOS. The firm has also added a number of Instagram-style filters to the Camera interface as it looks to win over the hipster crowd.

Our only real gripe with the Camera application is that if you select a filter for a photo, it will still be set the next time you open the application, which often led us to believe we had a smudge on the camera lens.
iOS 7 camera interface
Mail has been given a much-needed lick of paint too, and although the reversed buttons took a while to get used to, we now find the app much more useful than before. The most welcome change added by Apple is the ability to search your entire inbox or inboxes, while thanks to Apple's minimalistic design change we found that the updated app offers an all-round more pleasant experience.

The Photos app has also been reworked, although we didn't feel quite so positive about this. The new interface, which orders images in Years and Collections, looks good, but it isn't as functional as the previous Pictures app, often making it difficult to spot the photo you're looking for. What's more, if you've saved a picture from the internet to your Camera Roll it will date that image from when it was uploaded to the web, rather than when you saved it.

One feature we were more fond of, however, was the ability to share images via AirDrop. We found it easy to pair with another handset running iOS 7 and share an image within seconds. In fact, the whole sharing interface has been reworked, which we found makes it much easier to share multiple photos and to post snaps to social networks.

However, we worry that when AirDrop is set to Everybody – meaning your phone will be able to discover anyone else with the feature switched on nearby – it could result in some unwanted pictures popping up on our iPhone screen.

Another app that's been spruced up is Safari, which seems to be a bit nippier for it. Users can finally have more than eight tabs open at once, and can flick through open Windows using Safari's new card-based interface. There's also the addition of a Bookmarks window, making it easy to get to frequently visited websites quickly.
iOS 7 Safari Weather
Along with Safari, Weather has been given a much needed revamp, and it no longer fools you into thinking that it's constantly 23 degrees Celsius. Instead, when you open the app, Weather now greets you with an animated overview of the day's weather along with an hour-by-hour breakdown, a huge improvement over the previous app.

Another random but excellent revamped app is the Compass. Not because we're regular trekkers or have ever used the app before, but it now comes with a built-in spirit level, which provided us with hours of fun. Sure, it's not a major addition, but we thought it deserved a mention.

While most of the app changes we've noted have been mostly positive so far, we're not fans of the Calendar app, which no longer offers an overview of the day's events when you're in the Month view. However, these can be accessed via the reworked Notifications menu, which offers Today, All and Missed views, or by clicking through to each individual day.

There are plenty of other apps that have been reworked too. Messages has been given a refined new look, there's now a separate FaceTime app and Settings looks completely different, offering a bare-bones, stripped-back look. There's of course also iTunes Radio, although we were unable to test this as it's available only in the US at present.

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About Doru Somcutean

Hello, my name is Somcutean Doru and I'm from Romania.

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