I’m at a conference this week (speaking tomorrow, in fact) and so I thought I’d write a puff piece on something new. I don’t have the iPhone 5S yet…I am not willing to wait in line to have something first. Here’s a decent review of it, though, that a friend of mine linked to.
But I do have iOS 7 on my iPhone 5 and my iPad already. I was a little nervous about whether I’d like it because of some of the developer (advanced copies) comments I’d seen and the initial impression when I first started using it. And my initial impression was a little bit awkward because it was new and a bigger shift than any of the previous iOS upgrades.
But I love it. A lot.
Here’s just a few of the many great upgrades in the OS:
- Perhaps in my top 3 annoyances with the iPhone was a clunky thing in iMessage that irked me every single time I composed a new message to somebody that wasn’t on my top few most recent messages list. I’d start typing the name “j, a, m, e,…” and the name I’d be looking for, the person who I’d messaged pretty recently but not in the last 2 days, would be way down the list behind people that I wasn’t even sure were in my contacts sometimes because I could barely remember who they were. It felt stupid. I love iMessage but that little thing annoyed me. It’s gone. People you messaged recently are at the top of the search results, and if you SMS’d them the name is green and if it was iMessage the name is blue. FANTASTIC FIX.
- The video app, to watch something not on the phone/iPad that you’d purchased before required going to the iTunes store, finding the purchased item, downloading it, and then watching it. In iOS 7, when I open the video app, all of my purchased movies come up on the screen available to stream without ever looking at the store. HUGE UPGRADE in usability for me. Plus a space saver on the device. I rarely buy DVDs of late, and love having my movies in the iCloud for easy storage, and so this was a great improvement for me.
- The pop up from bottom drag. There may be a name for it, or a better way to describe, but if you grab the bottom of the home screen and drag up, you get a new pop-up screen. It includes button access to airplane mode, wi-fi on/of, bluetooth on/off, do not disturb on/off, sound on/off, volume, music controls, A BUILT IN FLASHLIGHT app, access to the clock app, access to the calculator app, and a button for camera. On the old OS the easy way to get to the camera was to TURN THE PHONE OFF first and use the easy access through the lock screen. No more for that workaround. And I use the flashlight and calculator so often that those buttons are a big bonus for me. This part is a borrowed idea from Android OS, of course, but I think the look is clean and very Apple-like in its adoption, and gives us something new to iOS that is a great improvement.
- The “double tap” application switcher is much cooler now. You see screen shots of the apps you’re scrolling through, and closing apps doesn’t require the press and hold anymore, just flip the app up towards the top of the screen and it’s gone. Much more user-friendly now, and much nicer looking in the process. Bravo, Apple.
I know the culture at Apple is very much “start early” so I have no idea if iOS7 was conceptualized pre-Jobs’ death or since Jobs’ death. If it is all post-Jobs, then it signals that Apple has not in any way lost its creative edge or its game changing idea culture, and even though I am not at all an Android hater (we have mostly Android devices in my family, I’m the lone iOS user in the house) I think Apple and Samsung competing for users brings out the best in both platforms and the consumers are big winners in that process.
iOS7 is beautiful and easy to use, and is a great upgrade for any device that will run it. Go download it now. We watched several videos and talked about several events related to Steve Jobs in the Developing Strategy class last weekend, and it was great to have all of that discussion about that business leader surrounded by my beginning to enjoy the new OS for my Apple devices. It was a nice providential coinciding of events.
I have a bunch of friends who are much bigger Apple fans than I am and I hope they’ll have even more to add about the great joys of iOS7 here in the comments!