Last week, during the glitz and glamour of its WWDC keynote, Apple unveiled the latest instalment of its operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. While few attendees were surprised by the moniker, suitably dubbed iOS 7, there’s certainly a lot to look forward to when it launches later this year.
Sculpted by Jony Ives and his band of industrial designers, much has been made of the latest revamp – both online and in the mainstream press. iOS 7 isn’t a simple upgrade with a few bells and whistles chucked in for good measure. It’s an entire overhaul of the system, complete with remastered apps, redrawn icons, expertly tweaked fonts and a bevy of new animations.
Of course, the latest revamp isn’t all about eye candy. Apple has also seen fit to add a bunch of exciting new features, including Instagram-style camera filters, improved Siri support, AirDrop sharing and iTunes Radio. It’s possibly the closest we’ll get to owning a new iPhone, only without the added cost. To keep you in the loop, we thought we’d share our favourite new features below.
Assuming you haven’t Jailbroken your iPhone, or ventured into the uncertain waters of Android, iPhone users have been calling out for easier access to popular settings for ages. Thankfully, that’s all about to change with the release of iOS 7.
Now, by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, Apple’s new Control Center allows users to toggle airplane mode, adjust screen brightness, and even control music with track-skip buttons and a rather handy volume slider.
You can even access your phone’s internal clock, calculator, camera and flashlight at a moment‘s notice. And best of all? The new pop-up panel can be summoned from any screen, so accessing your phone’s most important settings is an absolute doddle.
Automatic App Updates
There’s nothing worse than waiting for your apps to install, and with the release of iOS 7 you don’t have to. Apple’s latest OS automatically updates your apps, so you’ll never have to fumble through the App Store looking for updates ever again. Of course, if you’re worried about installing unwanted features (such as in-game purchases or adverts) you can turn off automatic updates if you’d prefer.
While folders might not sound terribly sophisticated, they certainly serve a purpose. Despite making an appearance in iOS 4, a strict 16-app limit meant that they were pretty much pointless. Not any more, though. With iOS 7, there are no limits whatsoever – meaning your entire games library can rest comfortable in the confines of a single folder. Much better.
Multitasking has been completely overhauled on iOS 7, thanks to a delightful new panel that displays your most recently opened apps. Boasting full-sized screenshots, finding and returning to your apps couldn’t be simpler. What’s more, the panel also snaps back to your last opened app, so you can quickly return to what you were doing.
Forgotten that password again? Thanks to iCloud Keychain, you can automatically save passwords and all-important payment data, and access them on all your iOS and Mac devices. There’s even the option to generate high-security passwords, so you’ll never have to worry about remembering your mother’s maiden name, or the name of your childhood goldfish ever again.
Improved Game Center
You know how it is. You’re playing Plants vs. Zombies when, all of a sudden, you’re confronted with a bloomin’ poker table that just won’t disappear. Yep, we’re glad to say the Game Center is being revamped in iOS 7. Friends, Games, Challenges and Requests are once again present and correct, but the design and interface is super-slick this time around. There’s even a new ‘turns’ notification, which lets you know it’s your turn to play in asynchronous multiplayer games, so you can browse the web while the other player takes his or her turn.
Fancy a Facetime chat with your pals, but don’t want to use your remaining minutes? Facetime Audio makes it easy to connect with friends free of charge, as long as you’re within a wi-fi hotspot that is. Of course, with wi-fi hotspots popping up all over London, this is a fantastic new addition.
Which features are you looking forward to with the release of iOS 7? Be sure to let us know in the comments thread below.