Now that the new iPhones 5S and 5C have been released, it’s time to talk about the operating system which comes installed out of the box.
iOS 7, which debuted two days before the latest Apple devices hit stores, boasts many improvements to the previous operating system, iOS 6.
First, the look of the OS is completely overhauled. Icons are more two-dimensional and flat, colors more vibrant, and many apps have changed face, which could cause early-adopters to search for their Photos, Game Center or Newsstand apps unsuccessfully at first. Other app icons look fairly similar to their iOS 6 counterparts and will be easier to find.
Another major update is Siri, which can now understand and execute more commands such as checking the score of your favorite sports team’s game, searching the web for photos of a particular subject, and more. Apple’s personal assistant also includes a new male voice, which can be toggled through the phone’s settings.
Native apps received new features as well, most notably the camera. Video, photo and panorama modes are accessed by a simple swipe to the left or right. Debuting with this update is a square mode, which makes it easier to take Instagram-ready photos. Nine filters were also added to the app.
While iOS 7 brings major updates to other pre-installed apps such as Messages, Voice Memos, Phone, Calendar, Safari and others, it also is introducing new features.
Apple is debuting Control Center, which can be accessed by swiping upwards from just above the home button. Here, users will find icons for their Bluetooth, Wifi, Camera, Calendar, Calculator, Airplane Mode, and a native flashlight, which is another new addition. Gone are the cumbersome days of having to go through the Settings apps of an iPhone or iPad to locate these heavily-used functions.
Music lovers now have a new option for discovering new artists in iTunes Radio. The feature lets users pick from radio stations based on popular artists or decades, or they can create their own, mimicking what can be done on Pandora.
The Notification Center is also receiving a new view called Today. The feature gives a summary of the weather, what is on a person’s calendar, the day’s stocks, and any reminders that a user has set. Viewing other notifications can be accessed by pressing the All option, which is right next to the Today and Missed options.
Not all iDevices are eligible for this new operating system. The iPhone 5S, 5C and 5 all have full iOS 7 functionality, as well as the third generation, fourth generation and mini iPads. Older devices, like the iPhone 4 or iPad 2, will be shorted certain features, such as the camera’s new features or Airdrop, which allows users to send files over the air to other nearby devices.
iOS can be downloaded by going to the iPhone or iPad’s settings, choosing Software Update, and following the steps. At least three gigabytes of space is needed for the OS to download and install.
The latest iPhones come with iOS version 7.0.1. All other devices that upgrade to the new iOS will receive version 7.0.