A little while back I wrote a “7 things I want to see in iOS 7” article. Nothing in there was particularly earth shattering, it was a handful of features I felt were necessary to improve the overall experience. So, since Apple made iOS 7 official, I thought I’d take time out to revisit that post and see if I got what I wanted. Spoiler: Apple did not disappoint.
My notifications wishes spanned a couple of different and specific areas. Firstly, there was the issue of the obtrusive banner that – while less ‘in your face’ than the old school blue popup – still gets in the way. Thankfully, it’s been replaced, but not by a thinner, scrolling message along the status bar like I wanted. Instead a dark, translucent banner pops down from the top and swiftly disappears. Since you can almost see through it, it doesn’t feel as obstructive as the old method, but it’s not perfect.
Secondly, there was an issue of notifications syncing across devices. Thankfully, it’s been fixed. When the public release arrives, if you view a message or tweet or any notification on your iPhone, it’ll automatically disappear from your iPad or Mac. It’s fantastic, and I’ve already seen it working with Messages.
2. Keyboard with smarter auto-correct
Sadly, this wasn’t addressed at all. Looks like Apple is going to stick with its tried and tested auto-correct. Granted, the design of the keyboard has changed a lot, but it’s no more functional than any of the previous versions. There have been rumors of third party keyboards being allowed, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up on that.
3. Bigger Folders and Better App Management
A big, fat yes to both. iOS 7 has brand new folders with pages. So, if you have a bazillion games, you can have them all in one folder and you can scroll through them. It’s beautiful and means I only need to have to Home Screens. I’ve been using my jailbroken iPhone with the InfiniFolders tweak to enable an infinite number of apps in folders. It’s nice to finally have that ability in an official iOS release.
4. All about apps – Co-operaton and Defaults
This one was another virtually unaddressed by Apple. As far as I can tell, Safari is the only default browser, Mail is the default email client and you can’t change those to anything else. And, third party apps don’t talk to each other that well either.
However, Apple did address my desire for wanting to set third party apps as defaults by completely revamping the default iOS apps like Weather, Maps, Mail, Calendar and Reminders to look much more unified and making them a lot more appealing. So, in essence my problems were solved, but in a way I didn’t expect. It’s also worth noting that there are more sharing options than there used to be. Not a lot more, but just having the choice for sharing via Flickr is an important step in the right direction.
5. Quick Access Toggles
Yes, yes, yes! Apple’s new, stunning, translucent Control Center fits my needs perfectly. There are toggles for Bluetooth, Airplane mode, Do Not Disturb, Orientation Lock, music and brightness controls as well as a flashlight and quick access to apps like Calculator, Camera and Timer. It’s incredibly convenient and the user interface is beautiful.
6. Auto Updating Apps
Again, a huge yes! With iOS you’ll no longer get an annoying badge on the App Store icon telling you how many dozens of apps you have ready to update. Instead, it updates them all automatically. A choice Android owners will gloat and tell you they’ve had for ages… Which they have. But I don’t care, we have it on iOS now.
Yet again, Apple surpassed my expectations. The new multitasking user interface is fantastic and reminds me a lot of the cards system in webOS on the Palm/HP Pre. It was possibly webOS’ best feature, and now switching between apps is full screen, with preview cards above the app icon. Scrolling between apps is a simple swipe to the side, and dismissing apps is a quick flick up and out of the screen. It’s fantastic.
If I’m harsh and don’t include numbers 1,2 and 4 on my list since they weren’t entirely met, I’m left with 4 out of 7 wanted features from my wish list included. And – if I’m completely honest – they were the 4 most important ones to me. As you can imagine, I’m delighted with the changes. If I’m not harsh, and include half of my notifications complaints (syncing across devices) I make that 4.5 out of 7.
What about you? Did you get all the improvements you expected in iOS 7, or are you left feeling a little let down? Use the comments section to sound off or tweet me: @TiP_Cam