Yesterday Apple unveiled an all new iOS, iOS 7. And with its arrival, which will come sometime this fall (probably in September) will be a bevy of new features to enhance your everyday life, or at the very least simplify it. That all said, the features contained below don’t encompass all of the updates, but what I believe to be the most noteworthy and useful, even though many of them have been long available on Android.
New Control Center
The iPhone’s new control center puts all of the controls at your fingertips no matter what screen you’re in. Just swipe up from the bottom of the screen to activate it. There you can control Bluetooth, Wifi, turn on Do Not Disturb, orientation lock, access your music controls, turn on your iPhone’s LED light (flash light) and control your screen’s brightness. All of these features required a many button presses and if you’ve ever used Android then you know how convenient this is.
Gone is now the tired app drawer. It has been replaced by a more visually impactful slider, which is effectively a small preview window of all of your running apps. Swiping left to right (and vice versa) lets you scan through your running apps. To quite or close an up, just swipe up. It’s an experience that is analogous to that of Android, though Google’s orientation is different in terms of swiping direction.
iOS 7 can now learn from your behavior. Check Facebook at 11am? The app will automatically update in the background and show the freshest deets as soon as you launch it. Talk about instantaneous gratification.
Sick of remembering passwords? Apple’s iCloud Keychain can remember passwords, shipping info, and even credit card numbers so you don’t have to plug them in every time you want to checkout. Apple assures us that the service is secure thanks 256-bit AES encryption. And yes, you’ll be able to access the same feature on you Mac.
Signing up for a new account? No problem. Safari will generate a unique, and hard-to-guess password so you don’t have to. Then it will store that password in the iCloud Keychain.
I wrote about this yesterday. And as I said then, iTunes Radio is effectively Pandora. You’ll get exclusive song access thanks to Apple’s exclusive deals with select labels. And you won’t have to pay a dime or endure ads, provide of course you’re an iTunes Match subscriber. Apple hasn’t said at what quality the music will stream, but if anything it should be on par with comparable services, right? That said, it iTunes Radio will keep a complete history log and allow you to buy songs directly from the iTunes store (oh joy).
Find My iPhone isn’t a new feature. Activation Lock is. Now, when you lose your iPhone you can not only remotely wipe it clean of all of your info, you can prevent the would be thief from selling it on Ebay or Craigslist. Activation Lock, if enabled, permanently posts an image on the home screen stating that this iPhone was lost and must be reactivated with the same Apple ID that was used to wipe it.
iOS in the Car
The iPhone in the car has long been a half ass experience. Now, Apple has partnered with a number of car makers to integrate the handset directly into the vehicle’s infotainment system. This means you can make calls, respond to text, get directions, and listen to music using the car’s stock control systems. You can even respond to texts using Siri via the Bluetooth system.
Automatic App Updates
Finally! iOS 7 will now update apps in the background so you don’t have to do it manually. That means the latest iteration of an app will always be at your fingertips regardless of when you last visited the app store. And fear not, your iPhone will only update when it makes sense; connected to WiFi and there is battery life to burn.
Call and Text Blocking
Girlfriend won’t leave you alone? Bill collector calling at 3am? You can now block calls, text messages and even emails from people you don’t want to hear, or more importantly, deal with. This is a bit like iOS 6′s notification center, but instead of selecting who has access to your phone’s ringer, you can deny a select few. That said, I’m not sure what happens to blocked calls and text messages.
You can easily download an app for this, but who doesn’t want it as a native feature. iOS 7 will bring 60 frame per second video recording. It’s not clear at what quality or resolution this will happen, as often a high frame rate means less quality, but we’ll have to wait and see this fall.
Apple’s weather app has been delivering inaccurate weather reports since the phone’s inception. But don’t blame Apple, blame the source of the info. Nevertheless, the new weather app should make the experience a bit more tolerable as Apple says it will be like looking out your window; fog, hail, and lighting will move around the on-screen, bounce of text and create a more blissful and interactive experience.