If you have a relatively modern Apple iPad, iPhone or iPod, then you have probably already been given the option to download iOS7. So, it’s time to back up everything important to you (just in case!) and see how iOS7 will change your mobile experience.
iOS7 has been called the “biggest change to iOS since the iPhone”. OK, so that was said by Apple CEO Tim Cook, but just by looking at the visuals will show that this is a fairly dramatic upgrade. But this comes with danger. Mobile devices are so integrated into people’s lives that it is tough to make changes to an operating system which are significant enough to be exciting, but not so significant that the device feels unfamiliar to the user.
iOS7 will bring a new, flatter and more colourful ‘look and feel’ to devices, with a design that fills up the screen better than iOS6. Presumably this is in response to users downloading more and more apps, as well as some envious looks over the shoulder at our friends’ Androids.
Siri is receiving an upgrade. You will be able to choose a male or female voice, and there are some enhancements to the voice recognition. I have never had a problem with Siri (with a London accent), but the recognition should enable more people to use a very cool service – iOS7 meand Siri is available in French and German.
iTunes Radio sounds very cool with 200 radio stations that you can listen to for free, but this is not expected in Europe for a couple of months. It is being released in the US this week.
One of the most significant usability changes is the Control Centre. This will allow you to swipe up from the bottom of the screen to show some common settings, which is a positive move. One of the features at the Control Centre is a torch, and while there are a number of free flashlight downloads which seem to do that job, easy access from the Control Centre may make finding the keyhole a little easier after a long night at the pub!
Also, notifications are available at the lock screen, which is useful, particularly if you are a social networker or social gamer.
I have a weakness for new gadgets, and I think that this will satisfy my appetite for something new to play with on my iPhone 5. Given the mixed reactions to the 5S and 5C, are major software updates a way for handset manufacturers to keep a sense of excitement around their devices?