New in iOS 7 beta 4: Lock Screen redesign, New Phone Buttons and more

As each new beta version of an iOS software is released, spotting the differences gets a little trickier. But there are some key differences between previous versions of iOS 7 beta and the one released yesterday. First of all, the phone buttons have been changed to make them more distinct. Instead of being completely right-angled rectangles, they’ve gone back to Apple’s tried and trusted rounded corners.

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As you can see from the images above, the translucency of the ‘decline’ and ‘answer’ buttons has been toned down, to make the interface more solid. The gaps between each button are bigger, and the ‘remind me’ and ‘message’ buttons have some new icons to go along with them.

There are a couple more changes too. With Spotlight in iOS 7, you’ll already know that accessing the search tool is achieved by dragging down from any part of any home screen. It stumped a few of us in the beginning, and Apple knows that, so the company opted to add in a ‘Spotlight has Moved’ popup with a short instruction on how to access it within the latest iOS beta. Spotlight also features a new ‘cancel’ option to the right of the search bar.

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Some changes to the Lock Screen eliminate the frustration of misunderstanding the relationship between the ‘slide to unlock’ text and the upward arrow for Control Center. I’m happy to admit that on occasion (even though I know how to use it) I’ve instinctively placed the two together and tried swiping upwards to unlock my phone, only to be shown the Control Center interface. Apple’s new Lock Screen replaces the upward and downward arrows for Control Center and Notification Center with flat, pill shaped icons. ‘Slide to unlock’ has a small arrow to the left pointing right, with a gradient changing from left to right swiping across the ‘slide to unlock’ text.

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More, minor changes

1. If you happen to like snoozing your alarm in the morning, you’ll be glad to know that beta 4 now counts down your snoozing time on screen so you can easily keep an eye on how long you’ve got left to sleep. (UPDATE: I’ve been reliably informed that this has existed since the previous beta… Sorry. I missed that one.)

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2. New app icon gradients. Apple has toned down a few of the blue icons. Instead of having a very bright and colorful light blue blending in to dark blue, the lighter color has been toned down. Mail, App Store and Safari now look much better as a result.

3. Safari’s bookmarks, reading list and shared links have been changed to icons only, instead of text labels.

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4. Messages app now shows first name, and first initial of surname at the top of each conversation instead of the contact’s full name.

Photo 30-07-2013 13 57 57As always, we’d love to hear from you if you spot anything new in beta 4. Either leave what you notice in the comments section or tweet me @TiP_Cam.

 

 

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  • dancorona27

    Great post, thanks for filling my early morning work days with some good news!

  • DrewPage

    Looks great, Cam.  Makes me want to load iOS 7 even more.  iOS 7 will really enhance the functionality of all iPhones that can run it.  Apple has basically taken the best of not only its own OS, but also the best of Android JB and a dash of Windows Phone, and combined it all to make the best mobile OS out there.

  • Batulo

    Also, if a contact has an assigned nickname, it will replace the name in messages for the nickname.

  • Kavok

    In Music, when listening to music on your device, the speaker icon to indicate which song is currently being played has been changed to an animated 3-bar “equalizer”. I don’t recall seeing this in the previous beta.

  • DarrenButz

    Back buttons now say “Back” if the title is too long (works in messages and maybe other apps too).
    Live camera filters on iPhone 4S.

  • DarrenButz

    @Kavok I noticed that change in beta 3.

  • DarrenButz

    Also, shuffling of artists is back and so is downloading entire playlists with one click (for iTunes Match).

  • AlexSanders

    I wonder how many more betas are about to come before the final release of the new iOS in the fall?Wanna start using it as soon as possible.

  • jamescharley22

    This makes me wish I didn’t restore iOS 6.1.3 back onto my iPhone.

  • ChrisSamuelson

    The Countdown Snoozing has been there since Beta 3 as fare as i can remember

  • BrandanZ

    Also in notification center you can swipe left to right or vice versa to switch between “today” “all” and “missed” views! Don’t remember seeing this in previous updates. Goes along well with apples new gesture introduction. You can also swipe out of messages, and out of the “now playing” view in music. Which you could do in iOS 6 and previous but wasn’t there for earlier versions of iOS 7.

  • Sherlock Homie

    @AlexSanders
     2-3

  • kalelrules

    @Batulo how do you assign a nickname to a contact? Been trying but there’s no option for nickname. Do you just add the nickname to the first name field separated by a comma or a semi-colon?

  • Sherlock Homie

    @kalelrules  @Batulo Just fill out the first name field and leave the last name blank.  That’s how I did it, anyway.

  • PeterBentson

    hope that they will bring back the tap to post and tap to tweet buttons in the notification center, those were fun and handy. The more and more i get use to ios 7 it doesnt feel that new or different. Idk what need to be done to make it a wow big change but something needs to be done. maybe widgets on a home screen with a cool way to access the rest of the apps or something. maybe a color changing apple to access the other apps. lol. Well and of course it be nice to see more customization, never can get to much of that. The lockscreen changes in beta 4 make it look like ios 6 without the annoy black bars. Well and I know its beta but signal strength has been poor. One minute i have 4 dots the next minute i have one or two. I see it alot when traveling. So i think its good there is 2 more betas coming before the final version, there is alot to fix yet…