Apple’s iOS 7 is a game-changer for the smart phone. While many doubted that it was possible, Tim Cook and his crew over in Cupertino breathed new life into
In mid-June, Apple officially announced iOS 7, the refresh of the iPhone operating system. While previous iPhone operating system updates have only seen incremental changes to phone operation, the seventh iteration is the most radically different system update thus far.
What sets iOS 7 apart from previous releases is that it delivers more of a visually appealing display, while making it easier and more intuitive for the user. When you are on the home screen, swiping up from the bottom of the screen will bring up “Control Center,” which allows the user to toggle on or off a multitude of settings. Control Center also has brightness and volume sliders, as well as a dedicated camera button and a flashlight application. When you tilt the home screen, the background moves as a separate layer from your apps, giving a three-dimensional view.
Adding to the new visuals is a slimmer font and newly redesigned application icons. Jony Ive, the head of hardware and software design at Apple, worked with the Apple marketing team in redesigning the application icons, which seemed to be more congruent with the visual language of Apple’s advertising campaigns. Apple has also done away with the “skeuomorphism” that Steve Jobs loved, which is where applications mimic the appearance of real world objects such as a notepad or rolodex.
Outside of the visual refresh, Apple has also added minor changes to the operating system, making the user experience less tedious. Among these changes is the ability to automatically update your applications in the background, which is a refreshing change. You no longer have to go into the Application Store and press “update all” every day. Another addition is the ability to have an unlimited amount of apps in a folder. While this seems like a no-brainer, Apple had previously capped the folders at 12 applications.
Apple also launched “iTunes Radio” with iOS 7, which is its version of Pandora Radio. With it, you are able to purchase any song through iTunes directly on your phone.
Can Apple take back some of the mobile phone market share with iOS 7? Only time will tell. The changes Apple decides to make with the inevitable iPhone 5S will determine whether or not they can truly compete with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 or the HTC One, which both run their own unique, skinned versions of the Android operating system.