iOS 7: Very iCatching

Liana Pickrell, Author

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Caption: (L-R) Apple’s new operating system, iOS 7 was released on Sept. 18 and unveiled many new features. The camera app adds nine filters and a more intuitive design. The weather app is now just one place where Apple vastly improved its graphics. Last, but not least, the new homescreen with the redesigned icons. Screenshots by Liana Pickrell.

Caption: (L-R) Apple’s new operating system, iOS 7 was released on Sept. 18 and unveiled many new features. The camera app adds nine filters and a more intuitive design. The weather app is now just one place where Apple vastly improved its graphics. Last, but not least, the new homescreen with the redesigned icons. Screenshots by Liana Pickrell.

Slide to unlock. Well, no surprises there. Apple has kept its trademark.

Yet after close to two hours of waiting for Apple to revamp my phone with its latest operating system, iOS 7, that was released on the Sept. 18, I’m greeted by an entirely new and improved design that includes icons that are simple yet elegant.

Overall, I have found iOS 7 to be a useful upgrade that has made iPhones suited for the present with a more modern and even a slightly Android-esque look.

The new color scheme of the download brought much needed pizzazz to the iOS because not much has changed regarding the aesthetics of iOS since it was released in 2007 along with the first iPhone. Everything looks cleaner and clearer on the screen thanks to a thinner font and the larger, vibrant icons that make good use of the Retina display.

Besides the suave new look, the iOS has added many small features that equate to a significantly better system. To use Spotlight Search, you no longer have to slide through pages of apps. All it takes is a quick vertical swipe and there it is! Also, the eyesore “new” banner that would appear on any new or updated app is now replaced by a more subtle blue dot. Also, dynamic (moving) backgrounds are available!

My one complaint is that Siri is still as useless as ever. I do not understand why you would hold a button down to ask your phone to open an app for you when you could manually do it in a fraction of a second. Although Siri can be nice for searching, many times it does not properly understand what you are saying and is awkward to use in public locations.

Even if you are not upgrading to the iPhone 5s or 5c, you can still enjoy a higher quality camera app. Now with a few swipes you can switch between video, photo, square (makes the frame a square), and panorama modes instead of having to use various inconveniently placed switches and menus. Another bonus is the built-in filters that can be used in square and photo modes and can be applied to photos that have already been taken.

I really like the Control Center, which can be accessed from any page with an upwards swipe from the bottom of the screen. This allows you to manage airplane mode, Wi-Fi, brightness, music, and more at anytime. It is very helpful to be able change basic settings while using any app. The Control Center also sports icons for the timer, calculator, camera and flashlight. Goodbye external flashlight apps!

Apple is also taking a shot at a music app similar to Pandora and Spotify called iTunes Radio. Personally, it seems very similar, including the ability to create genre, song and artist stations. Boasting good graphics and the fact that it is included with the iOS 7 upgrade, iTunes radio should find success.

The innovative design and posh features make iOS 7 Apple’s most substantial upgrade yet and a must-have for Apple users, connoisseurs and novices alike.

iOS 7 is available as a free download for iPhones 4 and newer, iPads 2 and newer, and the iTouch 5th generation (16, 32, and 64 GB)