Review – iOS7 Preview

A blog by @mircwalsh

Review – iOS7 Preview

Ok it has been a while since my last review but a lot has happened including preparing classes for end of year assessments and all the related duties but the App reviews will be back for the summer. I also have a new website in the works and it will be coming very soon! Before I get to that I was lucky to get my hands on a copy of iOS 7 so going to review this first.

So after the super long download due to my terrible internet connecting I finally got my copy of iOS 7 installed at 23.47 yesterday so what have the first 24 hours been like.

In short I love it. The design is simpliest but beautiful it is so much cleaner than the previous iOS and runs smoothly on my iPhone 5.

A bit of a summary on the features to begin with the lock screen is different and you no longer have the clunky swipe to unlock button it is almost invisible and I really like this. The clock on the lock screen is also larger which is great when checking the time out and about. From the lock screen you swipe from the top down to access the date, calendar info and weather info as well as notifications. Similar to before but great.

Now here is my all round favorite feature if you swipe from the bottom up you gain access to shortcuts which before required a trip to general settings. Now you can access airplane mode, do not disturb, lock screen, volume, brightness, calculator, clock and camera with just one swipe. This saves a massive amount of time and is the reason I love iOS 7 and lets not forget you can also get a flash light a feature which before required a 3rd party App.

You also have access to airplay and there is a feature called airdrop which I have yet to try out but looks like you can share content with your contacts.

iMessage works pretty much the same the colors are changed but nothing major which is good because it is my most used feature. Notes is also great again no major change but the interface is cleaner and easier to read than the traditional yellow notes paper. While Weather App works the same but the icons changed a little what is really cool though is how visual it is showing animated raindrops and clouds. It also gives a little summary in text on the lock screen for example “Fog currently, It’s 12, the high will be 15”.

Both Music and Photo Apps have received big visual changes also the traditional cover flow in music is gone and instead you see scrollable images a much nicer and easier way to browse music. Photos has the same visuals with the extras of being able to organise photos by location and date. The Photos App also stores videos in a separate folder which I like as I can access them easier again continuing on the overall theme of accessibility this iOS brings.

Camera has received some of what I would consider big changes as the Camera has pretty much always been the same as well as having the latest addition of panoramic images you can now select square images. There is also an option to add color filters as you are taking the photos these include noir, instant, transfer, tonal, fade, process and mono. I usually prefer to add filters after but have found these to work really well.

Safari has probably received the biggest overall right now I admit I am still adapting to it as it is very different but it has cool features include homepage tabs and a cover flow style view of open pages. I can see where they are going with this but I haven’t quite adjusted so trying to decide whether I like this or not.

There are many more features but these are my most notable few. So how did my device adapt to iOS 7? Well the transition from download to install went smoothly. When I installed it took a while to gather my photos etc I have heard comments on peoples devices running slow and yes mine did but I decided that since it was then past midnight to sleep and once rested this morning my device was much faster.

My main concern was battery life and my iPhone 5 has a terrible battery as it was and my fears were near confirmed my battery went from 100% to 76% in under an hour of minor use which just included checking facebook, surfing a few sites and finding my way around the phone. No music was played or phone calls taken etc. A few hours later after a few emails and just one call my phone was dead but after charging it a second time it is holding it’s battery much longer and after 5 hours is only down to 84% I think this may time to improve but so far so good.

There are bugs that come with the iPhone but I have to stress that this is a pre-public release BETA so they will likely be fixed before public release. The main issues I have found is commands not working for example I was unable to select the delete button in alarms or post button in Facebook App was both icons were present tapping the screen produced no results. I also discovered the same with adding locations in Weather App.

Overall I am very impressed and while for a short period my reaction was ‘oh no what did I do’ I now couldn’t be convinced to switch back to iOS 6 and look forward to the OS becoming more stable as it is developed. iOS 7 is currently only available for developers but should be publicly released later this year.