If you are a current or would-be iPhone user, you are probably excited about Apple’s September 10th media event. No official word yet! According to most sources, however, the next generation of iPhone is due to be announced during Apple’s event upcoming in less than a week from now.
For almost three months now, the iPhone’s next-generation operating system – iOS 7 – has been available as a BETA to only developers. iOS 7 is widely expected to be released to the public with- or shortly after the unveiling of the next iPhone.
With the imminent public release of iOS 7, you must be wondering whether you should upgrade. What benefits does iOS 7 bring over iOS 6? In the following lines, we’ll have a look at major advantages and improvements of iOS 7 over its predecessor.
Does iOS 7 support my iPhone?
First and foremost, you will be able to upgrade to iOS 7 if you are using one of the following iOS devices:
iPhone 4 and later
iPod Touch 5th generation
iPad 2 and later
iOS 7 support for the iPhone 3GS as well as for iPod Touch 4th generation will be dropped. It is interesting to note that currently iPhone 3GS along with iPhone 4 are record-breakers as the only iOS devices to support four major versions of iOS.
Why upgrade to iOS 7?
Apple boast iOS 7 as “the world’s most advanced mobile OS. In its most advanced form”. Without doubt, Apple are using this appealing message for the purpose of marketing their new iPhone firmware. However, there are indeed advantages that iOS 7 brings over iOS 6. Here are the main reasons why you’d like to upgrade to iOS 7.
Easy access to settings via iOS 7’s Control Center
iOS 7 features a well thought-out way to easily access the most popular settings on the iPhone. The new feature is called Control Center. The Control Center is a unified place which features the iOS WiFi and Bluetooth settings as well as a Display Brightness slider and controls for currently playing tracks. You can access the Control Center by essentially swiping your finger from the bottom of the iPhone screen up.
AirDrop: share photos, videos, web pages and more
Another notable iOS 7 attribute, brand new for iOS is the ability to wirelessly share data between devices. AirDrop is iOS 7’s new platform which allows the sharing of photos, Camera Roll videos, even contacts and web pages between iOS devices. AirDrop is not new as it has already been available on computers running Mac OS X Lion and later.
In order to use AirDrop, all iOS devices must be running iOS 7 and in WiFi range. AirDrop is currently not available for the iPhone 4 and iPone 4S even though these two devices will be able to run iOS 7. Finally, you might be interested to know that AirDrop does not operate via Bluetooth but is rather a WiFi ad-hoc service. However, you do not need to be connected to a WiFi network in order for AirDrop to work.
iOS 7 brings smarter multitasking
The next generation iOS features live card previews of active apps. Double-click on the Home button to bring iOS7’s revamped multitasking. You can easily close running apps by swiping an app card towards the top of the screen.
If you are a Jailbreak addict, you might be familiar with a Jailbreak tweak introduced by Auxo. The new multitasking screen in iOS 7 resembles the tweak, however it comes naturally to the iPhone and there is no need to Jailbreak.
Photos and Camera apps revamped
iOS 7 introduces several new features in the new Camera and Photos apps. You can now choose the shape of the photos you take. This includes two resolutions: “Photo” and an Instagram-like “Square”. You can also apply filters to your iOS photos, another feature seemingly inspired from Instagram.
The Photos app, on the other hand, automatically organizes photos by time and geolocation using the iPhone’s in-build GPS receiver. Thus, you no longer need to manually put order to your iPhone photo albums.
Notification Center is now available from the Lock Screen
Ever wanted to have a glimpse at the weather forecast without having to swipe and unlock your iPhone? This is already possible in iOS 7 which allows you to access both the Notification Center and the Control Center. The Notification Center itself was given a make-over in-tune with the general minimalist feel of iOS 7. Some users would find the new animated weather featured in the Notification Center to be inspired by competitor operating system Android.
The new Lock Screen also brings the ability to unlock the iPhone by swiping your finger anywhere within the screen. The ability to access the Camera and Photo apps without unlocking the iPhone is retained from iOS 6.
AppStore now shows popular apps near your location
Finally, if you choose so in Settings, new app versions will install automatically once an update is available.
iOS 7 brings a complete design over-haul to Apple’s mobile operating system. All previous versions of iOS are based on a skeumorphic design approach. The new iOS 7 interface, on the other hand, is clear-cut and minimalist. It bears resemblance to the uncluttered interface which Google rolled out to its services earlier last year as well as Microsoft’s Windows’ new plain and clean look.
Having said that, iOS 7 is anything but austere and is packed with new features which are designed to please Apple users. In addition, the new interface continues to be as intuitive as ever.
If you are excited about upgrading to iOS 7, keep an eye on our blog. Over the next couple of weeks we are going to dedicate a series of articles to specific iOS 7 new features such as iTunes Radio and Siri’s new look. We will also include tips and tricks on how to backup your data before upgrading to the next generation of “the world’s most advanced mobile OS”.