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Inside Apple's iOS 7: Details on the new features of your just-updated iPhone & iPad

post #1 of 39
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iOS 7 comes with a bevy of new features and changes that will greatly enhance the mobile experience for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. Here is a rundown of some of the highlights found in Apple's new mobile operating system.

iTunes Radio: Apple puts Pandora on notice



Radio


Apple's long-awaited iTunes Radio is now an official service, available in the newly released iOS 7. The service's functionality and performance are virtual identical to Pandora, the company that has long been the king of Internet streaming radio stations.

Users simply add a new station by searching for an artist name or song title. From there, iTunes Radio will intelligently assemble a mix of songs with a similar sound, allowing users to discover new artists.

One of the key drivers for Apple and record labels alike is music discovery. All of the content streamed through iTunes Radio is available for purchase through the iTunes Store, allowing users to own the song and listen to it at their convenience.

Users who subscribe to Apple's iTunes Match service for $24.99 per year will be able to listen to iTunes Radio without any commercial interruptions. That capability comes in addition to the scan-and-match cloud syncing functions already available through iTunes Match.

Photos: Apple automates picture organization



Photos 1


One of the biggest application overhauls in iOS 7 is the Photos app, which has been redesigned to automate picture organization and take full advantage of Retina displays.

The Photos application is now divided into three menu options: Photos, Shared and Albums. The default is Photos, where pictures are automatically organized in a way that allows users to more easily find the shot they may be looking for.

At the macro level, photos are presented based on the year they were captured. A summary of the year appears to the right, showing where the pictures were taken, and offering a nice recap of places the user may have traveled.

Taking advantage of the iPhone's Retina display, tiny thumbnails of the images are presented with just enough detail to get an idea of what the picture is. Users can hold their thumb over the tiny images to view a larger thumbnail, and release their finger to pull up that particular image.

Siri: Smarter with new system controls



Siri


Siri, Apple's voice-driven personal assistant, has become even more helpful with iOS 7 by granting users the ability to control settings such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and even screen brightness.

By holding the home button and invoking Siri, users can issue a command such as "increase the brightness," or "turn off Bluetooth." Users can also enable or disable the new built-in flashlight functionality.

When asked to turn on "Airplane Mode," Siri will even warn users that it will no longer be functional, as the software requires an Internet connection to operate.

Settings that are changeable are accompanied by onscreen controls that a user can manually change by tapping. For functions that Siri is not able to accomplish, such as enabling "Personal Hotspot", disabling LTE, or turning off location services, the system provides a quick link to the respective section in the Settings application.

Siri has also gained new, more natural sounding voices, and the option to choose a male voice as well.

App Store: Auto-updates and new discovery tools



App Store


The daily routine of manually installing application updates will become a thing of the past, while discovering new software will get easier, thanks to the enhanced capabilities of Apple's App Store in iOS 7.

Users annoyed by the seemingly omnipresent red update badge on the App Store icon will particularly appreciate iOS 7 when it debuts this fall. The App Store will automatically check for an install updates in the background, if the feature is enabled.

Users can control the new auto-update functionality in the "iTunes & App Stores" section of the iOS Settings application. There, Updates, Apps and Music can all be enabled or disabled under the "Automatic Downloads" section. As in earlier iOS builds, users can also decide whether auto-downloads are allowed to use cellular data.

Camera: New Instagram-like filters, square pictures



iOS 7 Camera


Apple's new Camera app in iOS 7 adds some features reminiscent of Instagram, the photo sharing service recently acquired by Facebook, in an update that unifies and simplifies the user interface.

Switching between modes is now a simply a Coverflow-like flick control of the various modes, positioned above the capture button.

HDR capture is now activated or disabled by tapping on the blue onscreen HDR indicator, rather than being hidden in a menu (along with Panorama capture) as was previously the case. When off, the HDR indicator goes grey.

And Apple's new Camera app photo filters, accessed by tapping on the grey overlapping circles, will likely remind users of Instagram, which popularized the idea of applying effects to photos to enhance them before posting to its social network of image feeds.

Weather: Apple's updated app gets animated



Weather


One of the most significant aesthetic changes in iOS 7 is found in the iPhone's native Weather application, which has been redesigned with moving three-dimensional graphics that illustrate the current conditions.

Many will first notice that the Weather icon no longer has a static indicator of 73 degrees. That potentially confusing decision, which lasted for years on the iPhone home screen, has been removed, and the new icon simply shows a cartoonish sun partly covered by a cloud.

Upon opening the application, the changes are immediately apparent: The entire background is an animation mimicking the current weather conditions. On a mostly sunny day, clouds will slowly drift by, while thunderstorms will bring down strikes of lightning from the virtual sky.

The animations even reflect the current time, with darker nighttime animations and brighter conditions during the daylight as clouds float or snow falls.

Messages: New group chat user pics, hidden timestamps



Messages


While it wasn't given as drastic of a redesign as some other native iOS 7 applications, Apple's new Messages app sports a tweaked look and some subtle but useful new features.

The feel of messages has changed in iOS 7, as each text bubble seems to have its own "weight" when scrolling. As the bubbles move when the page is scrolled, they will pull apart, only to come back together when scrolling is stopped, with a gravity-like effect applied to the items on screen.

A new Contact button in the upper right corner of any text messages quickly brings up options to call or FaceTime the person being texted. This is a change from iOS 6, when users had to scroll to the top of a conversation to access those options.

When using group messaging, if a person has a picture associated with their contact information on the iPhone, it will appear in a small circle next to their chat bubbles. Users who don't have pictures will have their first and last initial displayed.

More detailed message timestamps can also be viewed through a hidden new feature in iOS 7. Simply swiping and holding to the left will push sent messages to the side, and bring in specific message-by-message timestamps from off the screen. Letting go of the screen releases the page and throws the timestamps back offscreen.

Mail: New gesture support and reworked UI



Mail


Although not as striking a change as some other first party apps in iOS 7, Apple's makeover of Mail offers a number of usability changes that are welcome improvements over its predecessor, including gesture controls and a cleaner layout.

Mail in iOS 7 continues Apple's theme of an uncluttered look with maximum usability, made effective by a predominantly white background behind thin black text. Popping out from the monochrome design are blue circles demarcating unread messages, and orange circles or flags for flagged content.

Starting from the Account Setup page in iOS 7 Settings, things are already a bit different. For the first time, users have a way to easily add multiple "From" addresses to one IMAP or POP account, instead of listing out each one in a single text field. With the new system, users can also choose a default account from which emails are sent directly from the Settings menu.

Additionally, iOS 7 now lets users choose whether to send a deleted IMAP or POP account message to the "Archive" folder. Previously, only iCloud supported archiving, though attached Gmail accounts had a similar method that would send messages to the "All Mail" tab in Mail.

iBeacons: Enhancing app location awareness through Bluetooth



WWDC iBeacons


Acting as iBeacon, a user with an iOS 7 device in hand could trigger events around them, allowing them to, for example, turn on lights and unlock and open doors simply by signaling the user's proximity to devices listening for it via Bluetooth Low Energy.

The BLE specification also supports the concept of device leashing, which could, for example, enable a peripheral like a watchband to communicate its location to a configured smartphone. The specification also supports peripheral push notifications, which Apple supports in new APIs in both OS X Mavericks and iOS 7.

iOS 7's iBeacons can be used by app developers to do things like build an interactive tour of a museum, where the user's attention is directed to specific exhibits as they walk freely within the building.

In more general terms, the feature can also be used enable indoor navigation similar to GPS in settings such as an airport or underground subway station where GPS signals aren't available, or specifically to enhance navigational accessibility for the blind or users with other impairments.

New look: Animations and flat graphics create a sense of space



The iOS 7 user interface overhaul is a striking departure from past aesthetics, and one that has garnered a fair share of press, but a complete rebuilding of system animations is equally impactful despite going largely unnoticed.

Starting with the Lock Screen, there are already a multitude of changed elements, including the "slide to unlock" bar, which no longer exists. User still need to "slide" or swipe right to unlock the iPhone, but the animation has been modified to move an entire layer of the screen instead of just a small slider. The Lock Screen also fades in from black when the iPhone wakes up, which is a nice touch.

Notification Center, which is now accessible from the Lock Screen as a system settings option, slides down as it did in iOS 6. The translucent panel that pops into view has some added physics, however, as it "thuds" to the bottom of the screen, bouncing back as if rebounding from a fall.

Swiping up from the opposite end of the screen brings the new Control Center into view, with the window gliding to just below the clock before slightly retracting in a very "rubber-bandy" movement. This panel, also accessible from anywhere in the OS, doesn't rely on magnitudes of motion, meaning it bounces back the same degree, no matter how fast or slow the swipe.

For a more in-depth look, see AppleInsider's entire Inside iOS 7 series.
post #2 of 39
What's the appeal of square photos?
post #3 of 39
Originally Posted by malax View Post

What's the appeal of square photos?

 

Some people who use(d) Instagram are used to it.  It eliminates the need to decide whether to go horizontal or vertical with your composition.  And yes, I suppose it makes for nice tight shots of your dinner plate.

 

Also, some cameras shoot square photos.  Several 6x6 cm film cameras do, but some of them (e.g. Hasselblad) are so expensive that you'll rarely see any in the field.  Still, the square image can sometimes indicate to serious photographers that care was taken in the composition and/or arrangement of a photo.

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post #4 of 39
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post
The service's functionality and performance are virtual identical to Pandora, the company that has long been the king of Internet streaming radio stations.

 

Never even tried Pandora.  I seem to recall it required a subscription, so I deleted it.

Now I'll never need to use Pandora.  iTunes Radio is beautiful.

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post #5 of 39
Are all features of iOS 7 available to older hardware? Will my iPhone 5 have the new ringtones, new Siri voices, slow motion video? Anything exclusive to the new iPhones?
post #6 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post

Are all features of iOS 7 available to older hardware? Will my iPhone 5 have the new ringtones, new Siri voices, slow motion video? Anything exclusive to the new iPhones?

 

The iPhone 5 definitely will, older models such as the 4 and 4S won't have everything iOS 7 has to offer though.

post #7 of 39

For those of us selling our iPhones to buy a new one I wonder if it isn't better to leave iOS 6 on there. The reason being is the buyer will have a choice to upgrade to iOS 7 if they wish but downgrading is not an option. Some may actually prefer iOS 6 for whatever reason. 

post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

What's the appeal of square photos?

 

For instance:
 
 
All with an iPhone. 
post #9 of 39
Has anybody with the iOS 7 update tried to see if the Notes, Numbers and Keynote apps are available for free? I'm still wondering if that is only for new purchases or if extends to any iOS 7 device.
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post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post
 

 

Never even tried Pandora.  I seem to recall it required a subscription, so I deleted it.

Now I'll never need to use Pandora.  iTunes Radio is beautiful.

Pandora never required a subscription. Just a user's name

post #11 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arbiter8 View Post

Has anybody with the iOS 7 update tried to see if the Notes, Numbers and Keynote apps are available for free? I'm still wondering if that is only for new purchases or if extends to any iOS 7 device.

I think you mean Pages, not Notes. And it also includes iMovie and iPhoto. But those are free with the new hardware + iOS 7. Not just iOS 7.

http://www.apple.com/iphone-5s/built-in-apps/
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arbiter8 View Post

Has anybody with the iOS 7 update tried to see if the Notes, Numbers and Keynote apps are available for free? I'm still wondering if that is only for new purchases or if extends to any iOS 7 device.

 

It's not tied to the OS - Notes is built-in and always has-been. If you mean Pages, iWork and iMovie come with the new devices. You still have to pay for them if you have an older device.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post
 

For those of us selling our iPhones to buy a new one I wonder if it isn't better to leave iOS 6 on there. The reason being is the buyer will have a choice to upgrade to iOS 7 if they wish but downgrading is not an option. Some may actually prefer iOS 6 for whatever reason. 

 

Because iOS 6 can be jailbroken and unlocked easily, perhaps?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983 View Post
 

 

The iPhone 5 definitely will, older models such as the 4 and 4S won't have everything iOS 7 has to offer though.

 

I believe the iPhone 4 is the only device missing features. As I understand it, only the dynamic wallpaper (and, of course, Siri) are not available on the 4. I believe the 4S gets everything.

post #13 of 39
Yes, I meant Pages. Thanks for the info. It wasn't clear beause a new iPod Touch with iOS 7 will come with it for free, but the same generation iPod Touch purchased a month ago for the same price and updated to iOS 7 will not. I suspect if I did a full Restore it would. Hmmm, might have to try it just to see.
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post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

What's the appeal of square photos?

Some people who use(d) Instagram are used to it.  It eliminates the need to decide whether to go horizontal or vertical with your composition.

Somehow I doubt people who post on Instagram even know what compositing a photo means. No /s missing here.
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post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arbiter8 View Post

Yes, I meant Pages. Thanks for the info. It wasn't clear beause a new iPod Touch with iOS 7 will come with it for free, but the same generation iPod Touch purchased a month ago for the same price and updated to iOS 7 will not. I suspect if I did a full Restore it would. Hmmm, might have to try it just to see.

 

I doubt it. I'm only guessing here, but I suspect this will be handled the same way it is on the Mac with the iLife suite. The apps will be pre-installed and if you do a full restore, you'll have to re-download the apps from the store (which will check your device to ensure it is eligible to download the apps free of charge).

 
Again, only a guess. With luck I'll find out in a couple of days :)
post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arbiter8 View Post

Has anybody with the iOS 7 update tried to see if the Notes, Numbers and Keynote apps are available for free? I'm still wondering if that is only for new purchases or if extends to any iOS 7 device.

Don't know, already have all those.

Still, quite a few issues to iron out:
  1. time is set incorrectly after upgrade, it's set to automatically based on timezone, which it can't find (yes, location services is on)
  2. can't change volume when reviewing a video you just shot while still in the camera app
  3. new mail still plays a sound, even when disabled

But I'm a whiner for these kind of things. Will take a peek at iOS7 on my iPad now, once it freaking installs. Their servers must be hammered!
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post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

But I'm a whiner for these kind of things. Will take a peek at iOS7 on my iPad now, once it freaking installs. Their servers must be hammered!

 

It feels like they have an array of about 7 mac minis serving the iOS update to the entire globe. 

post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

For those of us selling our iPhones to buy a new one I wonder if it isn't better to leave iOS 6 on there. The reason being is the buyer will have a choice to upgrade to iOS 7 if they wish but downgrading is not an option. Some may actually prefer iOS 6 for whatever reason. 


 



it may be a selling point as some may not want iO7 and those that do can easly update.
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post #19 of 39
I heard elsewhere that you'd now be able to zoom in and out when shooting video footage. Ain't happening - at least on my iPhone 4S.
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

iOS 7 comes with a bevy of new features and changes that will greatly enhance the mobile experience for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. Here is a rundown of some of the highlights found in Apple's new mobile operating system.

Apple's long-awaited iTunes Radio is now an official service, available in the newly released iOS 7. The service's functionality and performance are virtual identical to Pandora, the company that has long been the king of Internet streaming radio stations.

Users simply add a new station by searching for an artist name or song title. From there, iTunes Radio will intelligently assemble a mix of songs with a similar sound, allowing users to discover new artists.

I know this is an American site, but it would be nice of you to emphasize on the fact that iTunes Radio is a US only service.
https://www.apple.com/ios/whats-new/#itunes-radio
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post #21 of 39
Originally Posted by malax View Post
What's the appeal of square photos?

 

Pretentiousness.

post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyb0731 View Post
 

Pandora never required a subscription. Just a user's name

 

Requires subscription if you want to bypass Ads.  Just like iTunes Radio.  iTunes Radio probably has more songs though - and costs less (and you get the locker service - Match as a freebie).

post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Somehow I doubt people who post on Instagram even know what compositing a photo means. No /s missing here.

Was it Max on Two Broke Girls who said Instagram is Twitter for people who can't read? And my Instamatic from 50 years ago took square pictures.
post #24 of 39

Oh dear.

 

I just upgraded my iPhone to iOS 7 and my initial perception of the user interface is one of shock.

I work as a UX specialist and this interface (compared with the iOS 6 version) is just terrible - bland beyond belief.

Sir Jony Ive may be a wonderful (hardware) industrial designer but he clearly knows nothing about software and UX.

post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post

Are all features of iOS 7 available to older hardware? Will my iPhone 5 have the new ringtones, new Siri voices, slow motion video? Anything exclusive to the new iPhones?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983 View Post

The iPhone 5 definitely will, older models such as the 4 and 4S won't have everything iOS 7 has to offer though.

Darn, new ringtones...yes. New Siri voices...yes. Slow motion video....looks like just the new hardware.
post #26 of 39
How about the weather icon show the actual local temperature the way Calendar shows the actual date!?

That's what I thought they were going to eventually do ... What a missed opportunity. Some things Microsoft's live tiles actually got right ...

3D weather graphics ... Pointless
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumergo View Post
 

Oh dear.

 

I just upgraded my iPhone to iOS 7 and my initial perception of the user interface is one of shock.

I work as a UX specialist and this interface (compared with the iOS 6 version) is just terrible - bland beyond belief.

Sir Jony Ive may be a wonderful (hardware) industrial designer but he clearly knows nothing about software and UX.

 

I couldn't disagree more.  I think that this UI is MUCH improved over iOS6.  It has an actual feel and look to it, as opposed to the last one which sort of sat there, all black.  This has some beautiful controls.

 
But more to the point, it WORKS better than the others did.  Yeah, it might take some getting used to.  So what?  
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac_128 View Post

How about the weather icon show the actual local temperature the way Calendar shows the actual date!?

That's what I thought they were going to eventually do ... What a missed opportunity. Some things Microsoft's live tiles actually got right ...

3D weather graphics ... Pointless

 

Considering taht you don't even need to unlock the screen to get the current temp. ...

post #29 of 39

Seems that the ability to set an different alert sound for each mail account has now been removed. As a result, my three email accounts still use their old assigned sounds, despite changing the "New Mail" setting to one of the new tones. I guess the way out is to delete and add back in the accounts for those that I want to have the new alert.

 

I've also emailed Tim Cook expressing my disappointment that in the UK we are still stuck with the same goofy male Siri voice. I wish we could chose the recognition language separate from the spoken voice as I quite like the US female voice.

post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post
 

 

Considering taht you don't even need to unlock the screen to get the current temp. ...

 

.....unless you live in the UK where it appears that the weather summary is not part of  the notification centre :-(

post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick Dann View Post
 

 

.....unless you live in the UK where it appears that the weather summary is not part of  the notification centre :-(

 

Wow, that was a quick fix, the weather summary just popped up!

post #32 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mick Dann View Post

Seems that the ability to set an different alert sound for each mail account has now been removed. As a result, my three email accounts still use their old assigned sounds, despite changing the "New Mail" setting to one of the new tones. I guess the way out is to delete and add back in the accounts for those that I want to have the new alert.

I tried to disable the sound altogether; not possible. Sure, you can set it but the freaking phone will still sound. Bug was already there in iOS6, and continues in 7.
Quote:
I've also emailed Tim Cook...

Good luck with that.
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post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumergo View Post
 

Oh dear.

 

I just upgraded my iPhone to iOS 7 and my initial perception of the user interface is one of shock.

I work as a UX specialist and this interface (compared with the iOS 6 version) is just terrible - bland beyond belief.

Sir Jony Ive may be a wonderful (hardware) industrial designer but he clearly knows nothing about software and UX.

 

Indeed, I've just had my last hope dashed, I presumed that the icons would be improved at the last minute and be a pleasant surprise  :-)

 
Seriously, I like pretty much all the new functionality but I think the icons are just incompetent. They look so childish, the colours (notably the reds) are ill-judged and the function is only deducible by reading the text underneath them. They might suit an phone aimed at pre-teens but they don't sit well on a sophisticated piece of hardware like, oh, any iPhone. I kept telling myself that I would have to get used to them ... I guess I'll have to get used to them  :-(
 
I'm a great iPhone fan so just to show I'm not trolling here:
Colours are ill-judged: That red icon for music in the bottom right-hand corner looks like an error alert, it pulls the eye away from the rest of the screen.
Function is only deducible by reading the text: tell me again why the icon with the photos on it is for photo booth (iPad) and the photos app is the one with the flower with multi-colour petals.
Stocks and voice memos both have graphs (and if there's a colour coding going on here, why aren't voice memos' and mail's icons green like phone etc?).
And Newsstand - try that on a non-retina display for an authentic 1980's icon-design-by-programmer experience.
 
To be clear, they're not all bad so maybe we'll see a gradual improvement (I remember Mac OS's translucent menu bar - that got fixed). Say after me: Not going to stop me ordering a 5S!

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post #34 of 39

The icons really suck.  The color patterns suck.  And the lack of contrast sucks.  Functionality is ok though.

 

The bottom line:  It's nice to whine on a forum, we all do it but it gets nowhere.  If you want to make an impact you need to email Apple.  I suggest one email per topic.  They are like any large corporation.  If enough people complain about something they will change it.

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post #35 of 39
I downloaded the iOS 7. I don't like it. How can I get my old system back. I got the iPhone because it was simpler to use.
post #36 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrsuppon View Post

I downloaded the iOS 7. I don't like it. How can I get my old system back. I got the iPhone because it was simpler to use.

You can't. As of last Saturday Apple doesn't sign iOS6 anymore.
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post #37 of 39
Originally Posted by jrsuppon View Post
I downloaded the iOS 7. I don't like it. How can I get my old system back. I got the iPhone because it was simpler to use.

 

You don’t. Start liking it. It’s still simpler to use. It’s identical, in fact.

post #38 of 39

I wish I hadn't downloaded iOS 7!  It looks awful and is NOT easy to use.  I may be blonde but it should not be this difficult to get to the month view in calendar or to add events.  So far I have found nothing that I like about it.

post #39 of 39
Originally Posted by piaffesavvy View Post
it should not be this difficult to get to the month view in calendar

 

Touch “Month”.

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