iOS 7: 5 Small, But Exciting Features
Yesterday, Apple announced its brand new operating system that will be coming to older devices sometime this fall. On stage, Apple took a look at ten of the biggest features in iOS 7 and we upped the ante and offered a look at 50 of the most useful features of iOS 7. Now, it’s time to dig a little bit deeper and take a look at a few of the smaller but exciting features that have been discovered since Apple released the iOS 7 beta.
At WWDC 2013, Apple took the stage to debut not only its new version of OS X, OS X Mavericks, but also its new mobile operating system, iOS 7, a piece of software that will replace last year’s iOS 6. iOS 7 represents a massive change for Apple’s operating system as it not only sports a brand new look but also revamped core applications as well.
The Photo application has been redesigned in iOS 7. Apple has changed up the way Notifications work. It has added new and powerful Multitasking. And it’s even outfitted the software with something it calls iTunes Radio, the company’s Pandora challenger. These of course represent some of the biggest changes that Apple has made to iOS.
In true Apple fashion though, the company has also made some smaller changes to its operating system, changes that weren’t announced on stage and were instead, discovered within the iOS 7 beta that Apple released to developers yesterday.
The iOS 7 beta gives developers a chance to tinker with Apple’s new software before it arrives on shelves for consumers later in the year. Because of that, yesterday’s beta has offered a glimpse at some of the smallest changes that Apple has made to the iOS operating system in iOS 7.
Here, we take a look at five of the smaller iOS 7 features that while smaller should still be extremely exciting to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners.
Newsstand quickly became the bane of many device owners existences after its introduction many months ago. And not because the feature was useless or bad. No, instead, it captured the ire of iDevice owners around the globe because Apple, for whatever reason, made it an impossible icon to move.
The icon, in iOS 6 and iOS 5, is impossible to move into a folder. That means that it always will have a spot on the home screen, whether users use the feature or not.
In the iOS 7 beta, users are now free to move the Newsstand application wherever they choose. Whether it be on the home screen, or in a folder, buried in the dark corners of the operating system.
For those that use a lot of applications, receive a ton of email and communicate with a long list of contracts, Spotlight search is an invaluable resource and one that many iPhone owners use on a very consistent basis.
At first glance, Spotlight may appear to be missing in iOS 7. The usual swipe to the left on the home screen does not take iOS 7 users to Spotlight. We ourselves had trouble finding it in the iOS 7 beta yesterday. However, after snooping around a bit, Spotlight reappeared.
In iOS 7, Spotlight can be accessed by pulling down from the top of the home screen. It’s a quick, easy and effective way to access Spotlight and it’s something that we think heavy users will come to appreciate.
For years now, iPhone fans and critics alike have been campaigning for Apple to employ live icons for core applications. And while Apple hasn’t added the function in for all of its stock apps, it has included it for one that iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners likely look at quite often.
iOS 7 delivers a new clock icon that now shows the actual time instead of a static 10:15. And not only do the larger hands move, but the seconds hand moves as well.
For those that don’t utilize the analog clock, this won’t make a difference, but those that shun the digital clock or simply want another easy way to tell time will get one in iOS 7.
The lock screen that iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners have grown to know and love (or hate) is no more. Apple has replaced the original iOS lock screen with a completely new look to go along with new functionality. And while the focus will likely be on the fact that users can now access Notifications from the lock screen, there is also a new subtle feature at work here.
Instead of having to slide along a narrow corridor to unlock the phone, users can now perform a full swipe anywhere on the lock screen to unlock the phone and head into the home screen.
Simple yes, but a nice little addition from Apple.
Multitasking in Landscape
Finally, Apple introduced new Multitasking functionality in iOS 7. Before it was just a simple way to move between applications. In iOS 7, it has grown up, with even more functionality and a new look that gives users a preview of the applications that they have open.
While multitasking between apps was limited to portrait mode in iOS 6 and below, Apple is allowing users to multitask in landscape mode in iOS 7. As can be seen in the photo below, it’s not perfect just yet, but once developers start tinkering with their applications for iOS 7, it will look much better.
The ability to do this is obviously a small but still a nice addition, particularly on the larger screened iPhone 5.