Out with the old and in with the new, iOS 7 has finally come to freshen things up. Or has it? I downloaded the iOS 7 beta version for free using instructions and links from my friends over at TheUnlockr.com and you can, too. However, keep in mind that this is Apple’s beta, and it is VERY beta. It crashes quite often on my old iPhone 4 and runs about as smoothly as a car with square wheels. iOS 7′s official release later this fall should hopefully come with those beta kinks smoothed out. Here’s a look at 5 common wish list items versus what we got.
Nope, Jony Ive doesn’t like them. Despite being a widget fan myself, I might question them on an iPhone’s 4 inch screen. Certain widgets use up a lot of screen space which could render a 4 inch screen cramped and disorganized. Plus, whilst iPhones have great internal hardware, widgets might actually need more RAM and processor power than iPhones currently have in order to run smoothly.
Now we’re talking. iOS was lagging behind Android and even Windows Phone 8 on the multitasking front. Now, after double-tapping the home button, we get small windows to show us where we left off after exiting an app. It might not seem that necessary, but it does make switching between apps much easier.
Default Browser/Maps Choice
You can’t haz this quite yet. Opening links from an email, for example, will still lead you to Safari or Apple Maps. As a recent victim of Apple Maps misdirection, I find the latter somewhat exasperating, especially after Tim Cook suggested we use other maps until Apple’s is improved. Apple has surely made improvement to Maps in iOS 7, but first impressions count…a lot.
This feature has finally made it into the iOS family. By swiping up from the bottom of the of the home and lock screen we are presented with Control Center. From here, we get access to airplane mode, Wi-Fi, bluetooth, Do Not Disturb mode and lock rotation toggles. We’re also getting access to screen brightness and music/volume controls. More, you say? You got it. Apple has added their own flashlight switch, along with shortcuts to clock, calculator and camera. To top it all off, you can switch media devices with AirPlay. All this without having to unlock your iPhone.
Despite being a question of hardware, this one was actually quite a popular request. iOS 7 does not have any NFC option which might suggest the next iPhone won’t have that capability, unless it comes with iOS 7.1+.
iOS7 looks great; it is a welcome refreshment of the iOS family and we finally got some features we wanted, such as Control Center. However, it won’t encourage Android users to switch over to iPhone in a hurry. Many wish list items for iOS 7 are features that other platforms already have, such as widgets, control centers, browser choice and proper multitasking. In terms of functionality, it’s not much different than iOS 6 or what’s already out there. This really shows how Apple has recently been on a defensive streak rather than their innovative offense. Apple is playing catch up to consumer expectation and other platforms, but don’t get me wrong; iOS 7 has caught up very well.