iOS 6 was released a year ago. The software had limited new features, a flawed Apple map app, and a poor visual design- all of which contributed to a feeling of inertia. After Apple executive Scott Forstall, who led the iOS 6 release, was forced out within a month of its launch, Craig Federighi and John Ive, Senior Vice Presidents, have stepped in to fill his shoes. iOS 7 is the result of that switch and is being hailed as the biggest change to Apple’s platform since the company first launched the smartphone in 2007.
iOS 7 is being hailed as the biggest change to Apple’s platform since the company first launched the smartphone in 2007
From the moment you turn your phone on, to using applications and making calls, you’ll notice new aesthetics. It’s no secret there’s been a complete design overhaul with the user interface. Apple have been struggling to keep up with the smooth and fluid visuals of Android and Windows Phone. Stock apps are now coloured in neon greens and blues and wallpapers now have moving ‘live’ backgrounds. The Control Centre is a useful new feature, providing quick access to your most-used functions; it’s convenient to operate and there’s the ability to use it on the lock screen.
Some more new additions include the synchronisation with Airdrop for greater file sharing between iOS devices. iTunes Radio is another welcoming addition as tracks can be listened to straight out of the box, and songs purchased directly from the app.
However it’s the small, little touches which give iOS 7 its contemporary feel. For example, you can now swipe backwards in applications to go to the previous screen rather having to locate the fiddly ‘back’ button. Subtle improvements make a big difference to the user experience . However, Apple has failed to deliver any ground breaking new features.
Apple has failed to deliver any ground breaking new features
iPhone have failed to make the operating system universally compatible with previous devices. Older handsets, such as the iPhone 4, will not be able to use key features of iOS 7. A few annoying bugs exist which can easily be addressed in the new iOS update. Firstly, notifications cannot be swiped away unlike that in Android. Secondly, the share button doesn’t allow sharing to many destinations – again Android excels in this area. Thirdly, the new keyboard can only be used in conjunction with apps supporting it, otherwise it will revert to its old look.
Apple’s iOS 7 is not a paradigm shift, but rather a refinement of the user-experience
Apple’s iOS 7 is not a paradigm shift, but rather a refinement of the user-experience. It’s an upgrade that re-designs the old and dated system and brings a sleek and savvy interface. While it looks nice, Apple users will be forced to learn new ways of navigating its menus. Android is still ahead with its customisable interfaces and intuitive ‘widgets’, meaning an application’s function can be performed directly from the Home Screen. In terms of artificial intelligence, Siri trumps its Android counterpart ‘Google Now’, but the race is on – the two huge tech rivals continue to duel against each other, churning out innovation after innovation.