iPhone 5S marks first transformational iOS 7 change for Apple Inc

Written by Pranay Parab | New Delhi | Updated: Oct 16 2013, 22:15pm hrs
Apple iPhone 5CSix years after Apple Inc launched the first version of iOS, it has given the OS a facelift with iPhone 5S. (Apple)
Six years after Apple Inc launched the first version of iOS, the company has given the OS a facelift with the iPhone 5S. The launch of iOS 6 last year marked Apples shift away from Google products. It removed YouTube and Google Maps, which were pre-loaded in iOS till last year. iOS 6 was a conservative upgrade. The design had been more or less the same since 2007. Since the arrival of Windows Phone 8s fresh design and Android Jelly Beans butter-smooth user interface, iOS had started looking dated. So, Apple has unveiled iOS 7, which marks the first big change in iOS.

Apple Inc supports software upgrades in products up to three years old (iPhone 4, 4S, 5; iPad 2, 3, 4; iPad Mini and iPod Touch 5th generation can be updated to iOS 7). The update process is simple: go to Settings>General>Software Update and tap Install. Youll need a WiFi connection or you can plug it to your computer and update via iTunes.

iOS 7 has more than just cosmetic changes. The most prominent addition is the Control Center. In iOS 6, users had to go to Settings>General to access options such as WiFi, 3G or brightness control. The new version gives users easy access to these with a simple swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen. But Apple doesnt allow you to customise Control Center nor does it let you switch on/off cellular data. Youll have to go to settings to turn 3G on or off.

The reverse of that gesture, swiping downwards from the top of the screen, lets you access the notification centre. It has three tabs Today, All and Missed. The first tab highlights your calendar events; the other two show notifications from various apps. But basic functions like quick reply are missing. Youll have to tap the notification to open the Messages app and send a reply.

The new design eliminates real-life-imitating icons (like a notepad for Notes and a shelf for Newsstand), replacing them with flat, two-dimensional ones. Icons for Settings (oven burner), Game Center (coloured bubbles), Safari and Newsstand dont reflect the apps functions. Some of these look good (iMessage, Mail, and Phone), while others are ugly (Safari, Newsstand, Game Center). But the user experience is excellent.

iOS 7 also supports Background App Refresh, which means your social network feeds can be updated without opening the app. The App Store is much easier to use. If you are setting up a new iPhone or iPad, the new OS lets you quickly download all apps linked to your Apple ID. Previously, you had to enter a password every time you installed an app. The new Camera app includes many filters and effects, similar to Instagram.

The OS update is much better on the iPhone than the iPad. Features such as new ringtones and the Camera app are designed for the phone and are not very useful on the tablet. However, users have reported far too many minor glitches (see box above), which Apple must fix soon. The new interface borrows the best features of other platforms (flat, 2D icons from Windows Phone and Control Center from Android) and gives them a more refined feel. Future updates should focus on making the OS feel seamless, rather than just a collection of excellent ideas.

Common bugs and fixes

This is a list of bugs encountered while reviewing iOS 7. The solutions we offer fixed the problem, but try them at your own risk and only if you cannot wait until Apple releases fixes.

Stuttering animations

Reset the iPad and set it up as a new device. Back up your data before doing this. (Settings > General > Reset > Reset all content and settings). You can also try switching off parallax view (Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduced Motion > On)

WiFi connectivity issues or iMessage bugs

Settings > General > Reset > Reset network settings

Keyboard takes time to open

Settings > iCloud > Documents & Data > Off

Battery drain

Switch off background updates (Settings > General > Background app refresh > Off; and Settings > iTunes & App Store > switch off automatic downloads)

SPOTLIGHT

Mobile Panic Button , Android

Smart 24X7 has launched a women's safety application that sends messages, pictures, videos, audio clips and your location to your emergency contacts. All you have to do is press the panic button in the app.