iOS 7 on iPad 3 Review

Earlier this month, Apple rolled out the iOS 7 update for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, an update that replaced the iOS 6 update that arrived last September with the iPhone 5. And after spending quite a bit of time with software and the subsequent iOS 7.0.2 update, it’s time to offer our final thoughts on the iOS 7 update for Apple’s iPad third-generation, also known as the iPad 3.

Back in June, Apple announced the iOS 7 update, an update that it said would be coming to many of its older mobile devices later on in the year. Specifically, in the fall. The company delivered on that promise, pegging the iOS 7 release date for both iPhone and iPad for September 18th. On September 18th, the iOS 7 update rolled out and the iOS software that arrived back with the original iPhone, changed forever.

iOS 7 represents a big change from the previous iOS updates in that it delivers a brand new look to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners around the world. Like past iOS updates, it brings new features along with it, chief among them a new Camera app, Control Center and new Notifications, but it also brings a new look with it as well.

Read: iOS 7.0.2 Problems Frustrate iPhone & iPad Users.

The iPad 3 is now running iOS 7.

The iPad 3 is now running iOS 7.

The user interface is now much flatter, the colors more vibrant and the icons vastly different than the ones that were found within Apple’s older iOS software. The icons aren’t the only thing that has changed either. The core Apple features have also changed, some for the better, and they offer up a brand new experience for iPhone and iPad owners.

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After a bit of a rocky start, thanks to a sever meltdown on Apple’s end, we were able to get iOS 7 up and running on the iPad 3, Apple’s third-generation iPad. Our initial thoughts on the iOS 7 update for iPad 3 were, overall, positive. But has that changed?

Here, we take a final look at the iOS 7 update as a whole, including the iOS 7.0.2 update that just arrived a few short days ago.

Overall Performance

There is lag all over iOS 7 for iPad.

There is lag all over iOS 7 for iPad.

While iOS 7 has been performing rather admirably on the iPhone 5, the performance on the iPad 3 is a notch below that thanks to user interface lag that dilutes the experience. The lag doesn’t make the entire operating system choke up every time it happens, though that has happened more than a few times particularly within iMessage, it is an annoyance that really hinders the overall experience with iOS 7.

When opening up a folder, iOS 7 often skips and struggles to open the folder. The lag is more prominent in the new multitasking where the UI often fails to keep up with my swipes. Sometimes, when in iMessage, tapping around causes the UI to lock up for a few seconds before it’s able to snap out of it and carry on.

Applications often stammer open as well. These are seconds of lag that we are talking about here, sometimes milliseconds, but the experience is just not as smooth as iOS 6. I know of several other iPad 3 owners who are experiencing these issues so it’s not just my iPad that is suffering from slow down.

My hope is that Apple is able to iron out these issues and better optimize iOS 7 for iPad with future updates. Remember, iOS 7 for iPad didn’t spend as much time as iOS 7 for iPhone did in beta. Perhaps Apple just needs some more time to work out the kinks.

Battery Life

One of the bright spots of iOS 7 has been the battery life. I’ve had good luck with iOS updates over the years in that they haven’t delivered major battery drain to my device. The same can’t be said for others, even with iOS 7, which apparently is draining the battery life of some iPhones and iPads owners.

Bugs

For whatever reason, I was never able to replicate the security flaw issue that caused Apple to roll out iOS 7.0.2. I have also been unable to replicate the security flaw issue found in iOS 7.0.2. Those represent the two biggest bugs found in iOS 7 thus far, but they aren’t the only bugs that users have discovered.

There is an ongoing list of iOS 7 problems that users are dealing with and the list continues to grow. Fortunately, I haven’t run into any major or minor issues with the iOS 7 update on the iPad.

No random reboots, no iMessage issues – that seems limited to the iPhone, no Wi-Fi problems, no app crashes though Netflix continues to under perform and act wonky, nothing that screams out “this needs to be fixed immediately.” Well, except those lag problems.

iOS 7 Features

+ UI Changes

It’s going to take some time before iPad 3 users, myself included, get used to the new look and layout of the iOS 7 update. However, after spending a great deal of time with the software, I’m becoming more adept and I’m growing to like it even more than I already did.

The iOS 7 interface is a nice change.

The iOS 7 interface is a nice change.

Simply put, I think it looks better than iOS 6 and below. iOS 6 just started to look and feel outdated and iOS 7 injects fresh air into the software. It’s not perfect, software rarely is, but the new icons and new colors are an improvement. I personally like how things like the color of the passcode screen change depending on the background color. It’s a nice little touch and one that I, like many others, will take for granted soon.

And no, the parallax effect of iOS 7 has yet to make me sick. In fact, I rather like it.

+ Control Center

While I’ve only had access to it for a few weeks, Control Center has quickly become my most used feature within iOS 7. Had it arrived with iOS 6, it would have been my most used feature in iOS 6.

photocontrol

Control Center is the menu that is accessed with a swipe up from the bottom of the screen, offering up a handful of useful toggles like Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. More importantly, it has quick access to Screen Brightness, something that we are often adjusting on the iPad when watching shows in bed at night. I also use the flashlight and calculator on occasion.

It’s been extremely easy to work into my daily routine with the iPad and it’s a feature that should have been inside iOS a long time ago. I’m just glad that it’s here now with iOS 7.

+ Multitasking

Multitasking is vastly improved in iOS 7. The lag is there, as I mentioned, but it’s still much better than the functionality in iOS 6. Now, instead of holding down icons to close them out, I can simply double tap the home button and see a collection of cards depicting what I have open. Then, I can very easily swipe them away to get rid of them.

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It would be nice to have those cards update in real time to show what I saw last, but that’s for another day. For now, I am thrilled with how much more efficient, how much cleaner this experience is particularly on the 9.7-inch screen of the iPad.

+/- Camera App

I absolutely love the new Camera application in iOS 7. It’s a much improved experience over the one found in iOS 6. However, the best camera application on earth couldn’t drive me to start taking photos and video on my full-sized iPad. It’s awkward, it’s inconvenient, and I’ll never grow accustomed to it. So I love that I have the option to use it, but I’ll probably never open it again.

+ /- FaceTime Audio

Another feature that impresses me is FaceTime Audio, Apple’s calling feature that allows users to make audio calls over Wi-Fi or cellular connection provided the other person has an internet connection and FaceTime and iOS 7. Those who can place calls over Wi-Fi can avoid data charges and eating into minutes.

photoft

Often times, the service will work as advertised. Conversations go interrupted and audio quality is solid. Others, audio quality suffers from stuttering and static. The issues occur while on a known Wi-Fi network, right next to the router so there is no excuse.

Great feature, I just wish the execution was a little better.

+ /- iTunes Radio

The few times I’ve used iTunes Radio, I’ve enjoyed it. It’s basically Apple’s version of Pandora and it does a great job recommending music to me. Problem is, while it may have replaced Pandora, it hasn’t replaced Spotify. And I don’t think that it will.

- Siri

With iOS 7, Apple added a handful of new features for Siri, the company’s heavily promoted personal assistant. And while some of the features are nice, the service still has trouble figuring out what I am saying and it still isn’t as quick or practical as performing some of the functions myself. Until it’s one hundred percent accurate, one hundred percent of the time, until there is a killer feature or two, I can’t see myself using Siri.

Yes, the new interface is nice too but cosmetic changes aren’t going to win me over.

- UI Lag

For me, this is the worst part about iOS 7. I haven’t been able to escape the UI lag on the iPad 3 and the iOS 7.0.2 update brought zero relief. I’m hoping that Apple makes it a point to address this issue in future iOS updates.

Final Verdict

iOS 7 is a solid upgrade for iPad 3 owners. The new look and the new features, particularly Control Center, make it easy to overlook the lag issues that are affecting my iPad, and the iPads of others, around the world.

ipad-review-3-new-1-620x479

Some of the new features like iTunes Radio and FaceTime Audio may have a hard time finding their way into your daily use, but with iOS 7 being a free update, it’s worth finding out.

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It’s a highly recommended upgrade but remember, once iOS 7 is on board the iPad 3, there is no going back to iOS 6 or below.

Comments

  1. Tim Oliver (@TimOliverAU) says

    I own a third gen iPad as well, and one thing I’ve noticed with iOS 7 on it is that Apple decided that it’s not powerful enough to support dynamic translucency.
    For example, in your screenshot of Control Center, the bar is a flat grey colour instead of the ‘frosted glass’ effect that most of the later devices enjoy.

    I find this quite disappointing, especially when the device isn’t even 2 years old yet.

    • SKR Imaging (@skrimaging) says

      Same here..I contacted Apple support regarding this issue. They sent the case to engineering. I am awaiting a response from them.. All iPad 3 users should do the same and contact support to let them know your disappointment.

  2. Paddler says

    iOS 7 is the worst update yet, the new look is terrible. The icons are changed and hard to read. Drains battery five times faster. Battery percentage gage is also very hard to see. The simplicity of Safari is gone, I really dislike the set up of safari. Safari is so awkward to use that I opened a google app so that I can keep several pages open at the same time to compete my research. I seriously dislike the update. Changing the icons was a bad choice. Apple should give you an option to stay with new look or offer a free and simple way of changing icons to the look that suites the user. The lag time is so slow with a constraint failure of an app where you have to constantly restart the app. Please get rid of iOS 7.

    • Ray Farnsworth says

      I agree completely. Safari is now awful and I can’t use it. I use google ap instead.

    • Lisa mullins says

      HATE IT! Does anyone know if we will be able to undo 7.0? I will be very careful in the future before I “UPGRADE” software.
      Dear Apple, thanks for slowing down my Ipad and making it complicated!

      • Robyn aldrich says

        Hi Lisa. I asked Apple if I could go back to the original before this “upgrade” and they said no. :(

  3. hamsami says

    In camera roll, reviewing a photo the trash button is in the lower right corner. Photo can be easily be trash, not recoverable and lost, unless you use some kind of cloud service. It is a dumb place to put it, in ios6 the delete is on top.

  4. Robyn Aldrich says

    I agree the new upgrade is awful. I wish I could go back to the other version. I prefer google app to safari. I don’t like the colours which we should have the option of changing. I’m loosing emails. Screen is freezing. The delete in text swipes the wrong way. Don’t like the way the photos are layed out. Dislike the white calendar background and layout. Preferred old version. Just dislike the whole thing – on my iPad as well. Horrible.Thinking of getting another phone I dislike it so much.

  5. Kathi Colman says

    My iPad has stopped working entirely. All I get is a black blank screen. I am assuming that the download is causing the problem, because it was working fineuntil I downloaded the iOS7 upgrade. Now what?
    .

  6. Dennis says

    This IOS design looks like the prequel of the iPad. By this I mean that it looks like the prototype for what was the previous IOS…the finished product. Tell me, why would anyone want to go backwards when they already had a winning design that people talked about and loved for years. Listen if you can’t make anything different in the way of new products, don’t mess with your star player. This is a recipe for disaster. Anyone thinking of a seance to scare up you know who?

  7. Dennis says

    After using this new IOS for a bit, I realize that many of the apps and functions are not even finished. There are many things that need fixing. Aside from going in the wrong direction completely, the functionality of this software is really bad. It’s almost as if they were running out of time to get something new out and they said to all their designers, never mind if it works just get it to me. Welcome to Microsoft. Poor Apple soon to be left on the cutting room floor. Hey you still have a chance Apple…just fix your mistake. We’ll forgive you, just hurry up. Ever heard of Coke classic? That’s what they did and it worked.

  8. Tom says

    Just Updated my Ipad worse mistake I could have ever made. Screen size has shrined, picture’s don’t fit the screen any more. Lose the transperancy on the bottom, now has a solid bar across the screen

  9. jtcruz says

    i lost Siri in iOS7. just couldn’t find it in the settings or anywhere in my iPad 3. other than that, my iPad turned into a turtle, often restarts/lags while i’m using an app, and the interface is just so slow with that ugly thick bar at the bottom of the screen. just hate it! wish i didn’t upgrade!

  10. Kikitalinda says

    Ive been hesitant to doing the Update on my Ipad3. reading this article, it might have convinced me to do it, but after reading all these reviews, i think im going to continue waiting until they fix the issues, if not then im staying with iOS 6 forever

  11. Wendy Mosier says

    how do you close open icons. I can’t close them anymore. I could use to dbl click the on off button and they would shake for me..that doesn’t work anymore..

  12. Reg2ski says

    Hate the new update on my iPad 2. I especially hate the look and functionality of Safari. They just made everything so complicated and now have to re-learn how everything works. But the worst part of this is how slow everything is, especially Safari. Pages take FOREVER to load, even the key pad is lagging. Hate it, hate it hate it! Please fix or let us switch back to 6 until all these things are fixed. Will never update again in the future until I check reviews.

  13. Bored197272 says

    Why does everyone always want to fix something that isn’t broken. My iPhone wont hold a charge for a day, and I had to relearn everything on it. Quite frankly, I am getting rid of my iPhone tomorrow. I bought something that worked, that I knew how to use, and they (apple) changed everything. It may seem simple to those at apple, or petty to others, but to me, I bought this for business, I knew how to use it, and I just needed it to work, and it did quite well. Even for quick reference looking at things to navigate, I have to relearn it. If I have to relearn, I’d rather do it on a Blackberry just on the principle of it.

  14. Reg2ski says

    Still can’t get used to the new look of the IOS7 update on my iPad. Looks like it was designed to appeal to kindergartners instead of adults.

  15. Pamela says

    Is anybody going to mention that the whole Movie/Video experience is not even working right?!?!?! Video file names are gone and scrubbing bounces around. Very bad… I cant even get my control center to come up. Whats wid dat?
    And to Jony Ive.’s ….Sometimes making things “simplistic” is like taking a couple of steps back and losing the tech feeling we had that made Apple so unique. You just cheapen Apple with your design!

  16. Mr Mike says

    I hate it, regret upgrading, feel tricked, deceived by Apples UPGRADE ANNOUNCEMENT with no Return to iOS 6 option
    as a curtsey to those Apple Uses that wish to, or a Warning Before Hand so We can decide which one We want.
    I miss Steve Jobs.
    Wake up Apple the people are not Happy.

  17. Dennis says

    Okay, I am not jumping ship here because my motto in life is “If you’re not complaining, you’re not living ” but, I discovered something about this new software. Apparently it has feelings built in and it knows you’re PO’d with it. Firstly, it’s biggest problem is that it runs about 20-30% slower than ios6. I decided to change my wallpaper background to a dark grey and the icons didn’t look so different than before. In doing so I was trying to rush things by tapping twice and three times all the while thinking nothing was happening. Well, it was just way slower, sort of like your computer (MS) when it used to feel like it had a virus. As I kept changing to different backgrounds it started to recognize what I was doing and moved along a bit quicker. Only thing we can do now is wait until Apple makes this software compatible with our chips to make it run faster. My guess is the look is here to stay so we’ll have to get used to it even though we hate they took away the look we liked. In the meantime, apologize to your iPad, it wasn’t its fault. You may even get a hug.

  18. Leo Scott says

    Why are the reviewers saying it is a great update? Have they been forced to drink the KOOLAID? Most “users” are saying how sucky it is. I lost all my saved sites on my screen and safari icon dissappeared.

  19. David says

    Thanks for everyone’s comments. I decided to wait on the initial release and continue running iOS 6 on my iphone 4s and ipad 3. Doesn’t help the rest who upgraded and aren’t happy, but reading these posts is a good reminder whenever I start considering the upgrade. Long live iOS 6!

  20. Carlos says

    Well, sounds like if I decide to sell my iPad 3 loaded with iOS6 I’d get more $$ than I would have before the iOS7 release. Thank you to all who expressed their comments here, as they have persuaded me to stay on iOS6.

  21. Minnie Mouse says

    Please, please, please apple, let me have the option of swoping back to ios6. HATE HATE HATE HATE IOS7. It’s the worst error I have ever made. Even just trying to type this review is taking FOREVER! Safari is terrible, lost the search box and having the ability to look back on drop down box for history. Whoever developed IOS7 needs sacking!

    • Dennis says

      I understand how you feel Minnie. One thing we have to realize is that Apple is not the same company without Steve Jobs. No one in that company has the vision and the ability to make great things. Unfortunately, people disliked him because he was such a perfectionist. The first opportunity they could to get rid of anyone who was part of his team they did. Look what happened to Apple the first time Steve left Apple, it was a disaster of a company. I expect we will see more of the same. Get prepared for the idiots who are now in charge to ruin everything he created. I mean they just fired the person who created IOS, FORSTALL. IDIOTS!!! Every competitor is probably doing high fives in their boardroom right now. This is only the beginning. They think nothing of putting out an unfinished product in the hopes no one will notice. Now I say again IDIOTS!!!!

  22. Jacob says

    My iPad all sound is gone do not update I can’t hear music I tried looking in settings I can’t hear anything not even keyboard clicks would be welcome

  23. Sue says

    I bought an iPad 3 that hadn’t been activated, so it still has IOS 5.1 on it. I missed getting IOS 6.1.3, and my only ‘update’ option is 7.0.3. Some of my app purchases won’t download because the IOS is too old, but I to am reluctant to go to IOS 7. Weird predicament?

    • Eric says

      That REALLY suh-diddly- ucks, Flanders. No ios6 available… I’d be mad as hell about that !

  24. Xinjiang says

    Made a big mistake in upgrading my ipad3 to ios7; couldn’t agree more with the above negative comments on ios7. It sucks big time.

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