What I Like & Don’t Like About Apple iOS 7

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I updated to iOS 7 last night and fooled with it for a few hours. Here’s a simple rundown of what I like and don’t like about it.

What I Like About iOS 7

Speed— iOS 7 seems a lot faster and more responsive than iOS 6. I don’t know if it is faster or of I’m imagining that or if maybe my iOS 6 just felt sluggish because iOS 7 is a fresh install, fully leveraging the initial allocation of memory upon install.

Multi-App Interface– I find it easier and more intuitive to move around between apps. You just double click the home button (same as in iOS 6) but then you see the two open apps on either side of the one you’re currently using. And it assumes you want to back to the previous one you were using so if you’re toggling back and forth to cut and paste or compare things, it’s much quicker. And, now when you want to close an app, you just flip it up out of the top if the screen instead if having to click and hold, then click the little red “x”, then hit the home screen. That’s much, much easier, and I find myself already closing apps after using them instead if finding myself with 20+ apps open, which drains the battery.
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Control Center is easier to get to and easier to use, with a more intuitive layout and taxonomy after seven years of organic, iterative growth of iOS. The buttons are better, too.

AirDrop is sweet. You can now use Bluetooth or wifi to pass files/photos/etc to and from other iOS devices.

Smaller icons for signal strength, battery, etc effectively give you more screen real estate for your apps. I think Apple did this to make way for a bigger form factor iPhone, which Tim Cook alluded to in their quarterly earnings call this past spring.

Gesture controls in the iOS and email are very helpful shortcuts once you learn them. That’s also probably paving the way for a bigger iPhone.

App Store no longer launches you out into the OS when you download an app. You stay in the app and can continue browsing or downloading other apps.

Camera App is better. It’s easier to shoot in a 1:1 (square) format and you can switch to that format or panorama or video just by swiping instead of hitting those tiny, tedious buttons in iOS 6. The app also now can take four simultaneous pics and composite them for the best exposure. (And the new iPhone 5s also combines two different hued flashes to capture more natural skin tones whether you are inside or outside, or even in low light. The lens in iPhone 5s is better, too.)

New Native Apps such as Evernote, Word Press, Facebook have cleaner, simpler, more elegant design.

Brightness slowly increases when you turn the phone on or wake it up. That’s kind of glamorous, and graceful if you’re just waking up.

What I Dislike About iOS 7

Settings changed. Some of my settings didn’t carry over from iOS 6. For example, the auto-lock feature defaulted to have to enter my password every time I turned off the screen, rather than the 15 minute lock I had previously set.

Bigger Clock on the Home Page messed up the home screen image.

Keyboard— the keys seem smaller, which makes it harder to type. (Maybe it’s an optical illusion?) Also, the letters on the keys are lighter (thinner), which I don’t mind.

Grey sub folders— We’re going backwards on this one. iOS 6 allowed up to 16 apps per sub folder so you could nest apps in categories of your choosing, but now instead of four across by four down (16 apps total per sub folder), now it’s only 3×3 (9 apps total) per sub folder “page.” It’s rather annoying to now have to click then swipe to a second page within a sub folder. Here is an image of the iOS 7 & iOS 6 sub folders compared:

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I will update this post as I engage the iOS in my regular daily activity over the next few weeks. Please comment to share your favorite (& not favorite) things about iOS 7.

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