Photo by ehpien
I’ve had my hands on Apple’s finished version of iOS 7.0 for about 19.5 hours, which means that I’ve had ample opportunity to play around with it and, at the very least, sample some of its new features. Here are some initial thoughts:
- Downloading and installing…Yeah, it sucked! Things started out rather well. Both my iPhone 5 and my wife’s iPhone 4 were on pace to have iOS 7 downloaded within fifteen minutes of the 1 o’clock hour when the download went live. But both, with three minutes remaining, experienced an error. In the end, it took me 47 minutes to download, verify, and successfully install iOS 7 on my iPhone 5. It took 63 minutes to do the same on my wife’s iPhone 4, despite the download for the iPhone 4 being a few MB smaller. (Both were downloaded via WiFi for those who are interested about such details.)
- Apple touted the iOS’s simplicity and they were spot-on. By removing the limit on how many apps could be in a folder, Apple made it possible to remove the clutter caused by the numerous apps I’ve downloaded (many of which I don’t use on a regular basis). The design also makes it easier to access the information that I do want. For example, the inclusion of the weather app in the ‘Notification Center,’ although a subtle change, is fantastic. I no longer have to open the app. Current weather conditions are readily available and extremely easy to access.
- Multitasking. Need I say more? Multitasking has been retooled. In the few hours that I’ve played with the new iOS, iOS7 has already figured out which apps I regularly use. These apps––Twitter and Mail––are consistently only a swipe away. Apart from the fact that iOS7 learns my habits, I really like the look and feel of the redesigned multitasking feature.
- Photos. I really like iOS7′s overhaul of the ‘Photo’ app. In particular, I’m a huge fan of the ‘moments,’ ‘collections’ and ‘year in review’ features. It’s just awesome to be able to see my photos grouped together.
- Control Panel. Probably my favorite part of the redesign. Control panel now puts many great features at the ready. Flashlight––yeah, just a swipe away. Calculator––yep, it’s right there as well.
- AirDrop. In the Control Panel is the new AirDrop feature. Admittedly, this is one part of the new iOS that I haven’t been able to play with as much as I would like. I experimented––albeit, briefly––by sending a few files between my iPhone and my wife’s. My initial impression was ‘wow.’ This is one of those features I definitely think I will use, again and again!
- Safari’s redesigned tabs. It was a small change. But a needed one. In my humble opinion, Apple’s designers did an excellent job with this aspect of the redesign. The clunky browser tabs of the previous iOS have been replaced with the sleek, easy-to-scroll-through tabs of iOS7. Already this is one of my favorite updates.
- Siri. So far this has been the biggest disappointment. I tried to play with Siri last evening, but I kept receiving errors. I haven’t played around with Siri today, but I was rather perturbed last night by the lack of functionality. I really wanted to test-drive Siri’s ability to integrate with Twitter.
- Battery life. I’ve noticed a significant decrease in battery life since installing iOS7. Yes, it’s a new iOS. This means that I haven’t figured out how to adjust settings that will optimize battery life. But, still, after an hour with minimal use, my battery decreased from 100% to 87%!
- Lime green. It’s ugly and annoying. And in low light, it actually hurts my eyes.
Currently, there are some features that I’m interested to try, but haven’t had the opportunity to utilize to this point. One of these is the new iTunes Radio, which I’ve heard from friends is awesome.
If you’ve downloaded iOS7, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. What are your favorite features? What do you absolutely hate? What haven’t you tried? How was the download and install process on your end?