Friday, 21 June 2013

iOS 7 : Coming Autumn 2013

I haven't always been a 'geek' or 'nerd' but I do have an IT qualification, and the latest gadgets interest me. Having a tech savvy boyfriend means that I can try out all the latest gadgets months before they hit stores.
On Tuesday 11th (UK time) Apple announced their latest iOS (operating system) which would be rolling out in 'the Fall 2013'. Although it's not out until the autumn, my boyfriend managed to get it onto my iPhone 4S so that I can try it out and review it for you all. 
I must stress that this is a beta version of it as it hasn't officially been released yet. I'm certain that they're going to change a few things.

The first thing you notice from the update is the home screen icons. They have changed from the dull and more '3D' type icons to these more colourful and 2D icons. My iPhone is black, and from these colours I'd think that they would look better on a white phone, but that's just personal preference. The signal bar at the top has also changed and is now instead a row of balls which fill or un-fill depending upon how much signal you have. Many of the icons have changed, for example the Safari icon. The bottom four icons are also on a 'frosted glass' rather than on a shelf on previous iOS.
The camera has changed (not the MP). The video and photo option are available by scrolling to the desired setting, rather than sliding the switch. There is also the option of a square and panoramic photo as well. Photos can also be taken in HDR.
They keyboard is also another aspect that has changed. It's white rather than grey, and the lettering isn't bold. As you can see above as well, the 'cancel' button isn't a button as such anymore, but rather just text that you click on.

The photos have been arranged into 'collections' where they can be sorted by date and year, or can just be left normal in the camera album under 'albums'.
The settings menu also looks different as everything is white and blue. The 'Notification Centre' and 'Control Centre' tabs that you can see above are explained later.
I'll just add that apps automatically update too, something which I've heard Android has been doing for a while.

When new notifications come though they can be found but scrolling down from the top, like usual. However they are on a frosted glass type background as you can see above. The colours are still slightly visible through the notifications. At the top of the 'Notifications Centre' are 'today, all, missed'. Under the 'all' tab you will find such notifications like above, the 'missed' tab is for when you get a few notifications through whilst your phone is locked, to which you then unlock it to one of the notifications. The 'today' tab is explained later.
Pop ups look different, like the one above when deleting a picture from the Photo Stream. They pop up from the bottom rather than popping up in the middle of the screen. The cancel button is also separated from the delete button.
Sharing photos is also easier than before as there isn't a list, but rather scrolling icons that you can choose from. Personally I think this is a better feature to the old version where you had to click through several buttons before the picture was shared on twitter.

The lock screen where you enter the passcode, if you choose to have it, looks a little like the one above. Again its on a frosted glass with the picture slightly coming through the boarders of the buttons. I like the fact that the buttons cover the whole screen rather than only coming up from the bottom of the screen and covering half. The buttons are much more spread out which makes typing in the passcode easier and also means that you don't accidentally press the wrong number and have to type in the passcode again. 
When you click on a folder, instead of it opening up to cut half the screen away, it opens up onto a new screen. Again the frosted glass makes an appearance, but I think it all looks quite smart and well put together. The transitions, I must add, have changed too with everything falling back into one another when closing screens.

The 'today' tab in the Notification Centre (when scrolled down from the top) looks like this. It shows the date, weather report and the calendar, as well as any reminders you have.
The 'Control Centre' is accessed by scrolling up from the bottom of the screen. From here you can easily access the functions such as Areoplane mode, WiFi, Bluetooth, sleep, auto rotation lock, the torch, alarms, calculator and camera, as well as the screen brightness and music player.
Double tapping on the home button will come up with the applications that are currently running. On older versions of iOS the icons themselves would come up in a row at the bottom of the screen, and you could then hold and press the 'x' to close them. With the new iOS, the open applications come up like above (which I'm told is similar to Windows phones?) they can then be closed by swiping each applications screen upwards.

A design fault that I have found is on the lock screen. If you have a bright background then the lock screen clock is hardly visible. I'm not sure if it can be changed, but it's something Apple should look into before the actual release.
As you can see the 'slide to unlock' boarder has gone, and instead the words are left. You also don't have to slide the screen over the words, but instead anywhere on the screen. The Notification Centre and Control Centre can also be accessed here.
The Notes have changed too, rather than having the old version where the notes were written on 'lined yellow paper' they are now simply written up in standard text. Personally I prefer this as I find it much easier to read rather than the ghastly old text they used for Notes.
When you get notifications through on the lock screen they come up like the picture above. Not a lot different to the old style. The screen however turns a frosted black making the arrows for the Notification Centre and Control Centre more noticeable. 

The Safari is another thing that has had a make over. Adding new pages come up differently than they previously did, which you can swipe to the left or click the 'x' to close. The Safari can also be made private so that history isn't recorded.
The calendar has had a facelift too with a much simpler and cleaner design. As usual the calander can be set into years, months and day views, with reminders and invitations coming up in the 'inbox' tab.

The music player hasn't changed too much, just a different look to it. All the functions seem to be the same (don't hate my song choices). 
The messages still come up in their coloured bubbles (green for text and blue for iMessage). The only difference being that the bubbles are no longer '3D' with the shadow behind the bubble. 
The App Store has changed to match the rest of the new look, but all functions seem to be the same. The only difference I have noticed is when downloading an app, the button has changed.

Siri has moved from using Google as it's search engine to now using Bing. I don't use Siri so this isn't really a problem for me, however I do know that others have issues with the change in search engine. In my eyes, as long as you get the answer you want, does it really matter what search engine is used?
 Almost at the end now, the weather has had a little make over, showing the day's break down and the weeks summary.

And finally, something that I can't screenshot is the Apple Parallax. I'm not quite sure what the point is, but the wallpaper background moves whenever you tilt your phone. My boyfriend has told me it's to give the illusion that the apps are on a glass and that you can see through it to your wallpaper background - if that makes any sense to you. For me, I just think that it's very distracting and I really hope they get rid of it before the official launch.

Overall I think that this iOS is a little 'girly' as the colours are all bright and fresh. I also think that a few changes should be make such as the Parallax and lock screen. 
This review has been my own opinion and I have not been swayed by anyone, therefore your opinion may be completely different to mine. 
If you would like to know how I managed to get my hands on iOS 7 please email me.

What do you think of iOS 7?

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  1. Thanks for this! Keen to try it out come fall xx

  2. I'm really not a fan of it much prefer the look of the old one :/ X

  3. This looks great! Can't wait for it to come out! xx

  4. I definitely prefer the old look, but its nice that Apple are finally catching up with system updates that other phones have been doing for a while.

    Juyey xx


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