Apple iOS 7
Apple launched its latest and current operating system for the Ipod, Ipad and Iphone during the middle of this year to much fanfare as they promised it would be a significant leap ahead in terms of interface from the outgoing Ios 6.
The ios 7, which is the default operating system for the Iphone 5s (which was simultaneously announced at Apple's convention during the Northern summer, was available to retrofit and upgrade on previous iphones (down to the iphone 4/4s) so as an iphone 5 user since at least a year, I decided to upgrade my operating system to the ios 7 almost immediately after the Apple Store released it for download (despite it being a mammoth 1 GB affair). I have to admit, the interface was truly a remarkable upgrade from the ios 6 and I'm going to illustrate this upgrade with the help some screenshots off my phone.
The Home Screen
The ios 7's home screen has not really shown much of a difference from the ios6, with the exception when you quickly swipe your finger from the home-screen button, upwards towards the top of the screen.
A futuristic looking 'blind-screen' suddenly drags itself up which essentially serves as a shortcut to the essential functions one would use on their iphone, including displaying the previously playing (or currently playing music track), shortcuts to enabling (or disabling) your i-phone's airplane mode, bluetooth, wireless, sleep/do not disturb, airplay and torch functions apart from others.
This screen can easily be 'folded away' by simply dragging it down by your finger along the phone's screen. Once you get the hang of this, you'll barely feel the need to go into your phone's settings to seek the essential functions on it.
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The Stock Markets and Shares Listing
On all previous versions of the iOS up until the ios 6, the default stock market and share prices were listed in contrasting shades of blue.
In the ios 7, the stocks function has had a radical change in its display (while maintaining the rest of its predeceasing functionality, including sourcing stock-market data from Yahoo) with the predominant color theme being a dark grey to a black background along with green or red tabs indicating the rise or fall of the price. Hitting the side-tabs can oscillate between showing whether the share price of the particular stock has risen or fallen by a percentage or by value.
The bottom half of the stock-lists screen contains data regarding the individual company's share, including the company's market capitalization, price to earnings ratio, yield and the day's open and closing share price - Slide the bottom half of the screen one or two notches, and you'll also get to see a 12 month graphic display of the company's share price movements and breaking news stories relating to the company or its industry.
Overall, it is a concise and easy to use ios app and I like what they've done to the app's interface.
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The Face Time Icon and Call Block
The first difference one spots in the ios 7 is the visibility of the 'Face Time' icon on the home screen.
While Facetime has existed since the iOS 5 (and even worked on early models of the Iphone 4), one had to activated it while on the keypad during making or receiving a phone call, not realizing whether the number they were calling or being called was even capable of face-time.
On the home screen of the ios 7, the Face-Time button is visible on the front screen (unless the user manually moves it somewhere else) and upon opening, directly links the user to the phone's contact list - the user can then choose the relevant contact to initiate the Face Time conversation with - its that easy!
One of the newest and most unique features I've seen on the ios 7 is the ability to literally block a call, which I believe is a world first on any mobile handset. Call-blocking was available on fixed-line telephones since a long time, but mobile operators could somehow never implement it unless it was a serious case of nuisance or threatening calls to the point the police had to get involved.
Apple has truly made life much easier for its iphone users by implementing this technology on its newest operating system and has gone the extra mile by making it work for anybody! You simply go into your phone settings and choose call-block, and simply choose the person in your contact list you'd like to block - this being an ironic catch, that you can only block existing contacts and not random numbers, something I hope Apple will address on their next update.when they release the iOS 8.
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ios 7 Utilities Folder and Compass Function
As is always the case of any ios release by Apple, I've tended to notice that the utilities folder always seems to undergo some minor changes.
The release of the ios 7 saw the utilities folder containing the apps for voice memos, contacts, calculator and the refurbished compass app.
The new compass app on the ios 7 has undergone a radical change in its appearance and working (similar to what Apple did with the stocks app).
When you turn the compass app on, the user's forced to first calibrate their phone by twisting and turning it around until it gets its bearings sorted - the option to choose between True North and Magnetic North being erased (and seconded to the phone settings) and then is shown the directional orientation. Another screen within the compass also displays the incline-deviation, another first within an Apple ios and the combination of this functionality and a striking black and red color combination, making it a stunning ios 7 app indeed.
Clocks and Weather
The ios 7 has displayed a significant upgrade int the way the clock app and the weather app display themselves.
With the clock app, while still limiting the number of cities it can display, the app itself has become a bit more 'animated'. For example, when you browse the list of cities across the world in different time zones, you can now notice how far behind (or ahead) the city is in terms of the local time offset, can notice the second-hand actually moving in the analog-clock display which can now switch between digital and analog modes with a single touch on the phone's screen.
The weather-functions are even more striking. Not only does the weather app now show an 'animated' display of prevailing weather conditions over a particular city (to the point you'll see a shooting star for a city showing a 'clear night' or a bolt of lightning for a city showing its rattled by 'thunderstorms', you can also tap on the temperature to swap between Celsius and Fahrenheit modes and also toggle on the display to check for other data like dew point, pressure and humidity.
Of all the preloaded ios apps developed for the iphone, the weather app hands down remains my favorite!
So this was my brief overview of what I rate are the key differences and upgrade on the Apple ios 7.
I hope if you're an Apple enthusiast like myself, you found this article useful and we can only assume more striking features are on their way on Apple's next ios upgrade (most likely the 8 which will be released in 2014 or 2015) and I can already not wait to try it out on the more or less confirmed ios 6!