First Impressions with iOS 7

With Apple's recent update of iOS 7 on their devices, many changes have occurred that are hit or miss with the individual person. Always resistant to change, we often miss the old features. With the new update, we see new ways to mange the device and change settings, and how we view our apps have changed as well. This review reflect my personal preference of the iOS 7 update on the iPad 3.

There are many things that I like about the update. First off, the interface has a nice smooth, glossy, efficient feel to it. The interface dropped solid colors and went for a frosted and transparent look to their system.

 

 

The search bar has been removed to the left, and has been made available by swiping down from anywhere but the absolute top of the screen. It brings up the keyboard(black for only this feature). I'm not 100% sure how I feel about this yet. It does offer convenience, but I am afraid that this will be activated more often on accident than on purpose.

 

 

When swiping from the top of the screen, you pull down your notifications and calendar. This is nice, reminds me very much of the Android interface.

 

Next, we look at the keyboard for most use on the system. It is white with black text. Not much has changed on the actual keyboard. I was hoping for a faster typing system such as a swiping inspired input. Nothing new, so no real commentary here.

 

The camera app has changed quite a bit. We now have a designated bar for the options, along with some cool features. I took screenshots of the extra camera modes instead of the default mode. The quality of pictures has not changed really. It seems sharper, but it could be because of the interface. I'm not well-experienced in camera technology so I can't really vouch for it.

 

 

I have to say that I truly dislike the folder system. Before the update, my folders could hold an entire tray of apps in front of me to choose from. Now I need to choose my folder, which only shows 9 apps. If I want more apps in a folder, it requires an additional swipe to get them. I preferred the older system better. One bright side of this system is that I can now store any number of apps in a folder.

 

Next up, I looked at Siri. I was impressed by the new system. It brings a nice search interface to the iPad. I had a full screen to do a search. I really don't use Siri that often, but I do like the new look.

 

The calendar just simply turned white. Nothing else really changed that I could see.

 

The Slide to Unlock screen looks cool, but once again reminds me of some Android unlock screens. It looks beautiful with your full lock screen background showing.

 

Closing tasks is now a 4-finger shift upwards, or double tapping the home button. This once again adopts the Android style of swiping to close apps. If only they could incorporate a "Close All" feature that didn't come in the form of another app to download.

One nice update was the iTunes Radio. It works in a similar fashion to Pandora, where you can choose a song/station and play related music, very similar to Pandora. For a yearly fee, you can override the advertisements. One thing to note is that without any purchased music on the iPad, I am getting an alert of "No Content" and I cannot proceed to the radio. Very strange. Looks like I can't listen to their radio unless I buy something.

 

 

 

Overall, I am impressed with the visual aspects of iOS 7. However, it reminds me of Android a little too much, which kills my impression of innovative software. While it looks nice, it's nothing new. At least I can use my iPad and Galaxy S3 in a more fluent manner. I am very dissatisfied with the folder layout. Having 9 icons per page now makes searching for an app a chore unless I carefully craft my apps and memorize where they are. I miss having 20 apps in a folder. I am pleased with Google's updated apps. Chrome and Drive look amazing with their new look and feel, the white background in the icons gives it a nice feel, and the apps run flawless as expected. I am very turned off by the Music app that gives me the "No Content" error when I try to boot up radio, and I refuse to purchase a song to open up radio out of principle.

Is the update worth it? No. Not yet. It looks pretty, shiny, and smooth, but nothing else on the device really makes it worth updating at this point. The Android-inspired drop down menu is helpful, and the search feature is better than a separate page, but these things aren't groundbreaking.

If Apple really wants to give a great system, we need widgets. I would LOVE to have a 3X3 grid for apps to run in the homescreen of my iPad. Widgets would add a whole new dimension of usability. Even better, put then inside of a folder so I can "scroll" to each widget. This would make the next software update impressive.

 


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