The first thing that pops out at you from all the iOS clutter on the internet is how disappointing its new facelift is! People have called it “flat” and even gone as far as to call it “childish”. I can understand the latter comment as it does look a bit cartoonish with the near florescent color scheme; but let’s take a closer look at the new mobile OS.
The iOS Facelift
There were huge expectations from Jonnathan Ive when Apple announced a refresh of the iOS. Everyone was eagerly waiting for Apple to reveal a fresh, clean take on iOS. Unfortunately, the new iOS look does not live up to its immense hype. The icons feel rushed and the color scheme on some icons are plain cartoonish. The feel of the iOS lacks the class and elegance one has come to expect from Apple products. It almost gives the impression that due to a lack of time the first sketch was approved and thrown into production.
Follow the Leader?
There are some good additions that apple has made to the iOS 7. Topping this list is swiping up the control panel from the bottom of the screen. This control toggle gives you a one-touch switch to Bluetooth, AirDrop, AirPlay, Wifi, Airplane mode and more. Another exciting new update is improved multitasking. Apple claims that applications in iOS 7 will be able to pull data even when they are not running. This means that the spinner that you had to look at while waiting for an app to update might now become extinct and as soon as you open up an app you’ll get immediate fresh data.
The multitasking will also make use of intelligent algorithms, Apple says. For example, apps used frequently will be allocated more time to work in the background as compared to less used apps. This is quite exciting because according to Apple this will not only enhance the iPhone’s multitasking capabilities but also optimize battery usage.
However, the thing is that the swiping control toggle and multitasking are all things Andriod users are used to having as standard. So the question to ask is, is Apple playing catch up? Is this just another sign of Apple losing its innovative edge to Android?
One feature of the iOS 7 is actually quite interesting, i.e. the one they call AirDrop. This feature has the potential to revolutionize sharing between users. AirDrop leverages the core strengths of Apple’s unified ecosystem and has been available on Macs for some time now. Using AirDrop, people can easily share photos, videos, web pages, contacts and anything else from any app with a Share button. This makes many, many things possible, including:
- A retail coupon being “Airdropped” into your Passbook app
- Multi-player games between unknown people who are traveling together
- Sharing of meeting notes at office
iOS 7 for Business
With iOS 7, Apple has also enhanced its business features. With these new features Apple is trying to get company IT departments to adopt Apple’s iOS as their OS of choice. This is important because both Samsung and BlackBerry are also adapting their operating systems to cater better to businesses.
One of the features of the iOS 7 includes enterprise single sign on (SSO) where users enter their details only once and use them across apps. Apple has also enhanced its support for Microsoft Exchange. Now iOS 7 users can sync notes with Outlook on their Mac or PC.
iOS 7 can also be customized to control which app and account can open documents and email attachments thus increasing security by letting administrators configure apps with “Per App VPN.” With this kind of VPN apps will connect to a company’s private network automatically when launched.
The Final Verdict
Although iOS 7’s fresh look is not one to write home about, it does have some meatier features that Apple users will embrace with open arms; features that they were looking forward to for some time now. My advice for iOS fans: when you talk to your friends and colleagues about the iOS 7, steer clear of its cosmetic upgrade!