the opinions and musings behind the expertise
Woes and Joys of the New iOS 7
Posted: October 10, 2013
So, the new iOS 7 has been out for a while, and I had finally installed it after much hesitation and delay. Am I happy about it? For the most part, yes, I am. I don’t live on my phone like many people do, but the features I rely on, I rely on them big time. Here are some of the things that I learned I hate, and love about iOS 7:
Not So Cool
Minimalistic Aesthetics (to the Point of Disappearance?)
I was definitely put off by the amateurish look of the new iOS 7 – and that is to put it mildly. Modern, maybe, but I miss that sleek, clean elegance that was everything Apple. Now it just looks more like a replica of Window's Metro with ‘stick-figured’ icons, particularly the ‘Safari’ and ‘Settings’ icons. I'm sure many others love it, but I'm not one of them. Granted, the animated background is cool, though is appears to cause motion sickness in some people and it is a drain on battery power.
Weather Icon, Anyone?
The other thing I hate about the new iOS 7 is the loss of the current weather graphics within the notification area. As kooky as it may sound, I’m the kind of person who demanded cable TV for one channel: the Weather Network. Ask me to read a full paragraph just to extract the temperature and current condition is simply outrageous in this day and age. In my book, a second saved is a second gained.
As to the notification centre itself, hmmm… I’m reserving judgement on that one. Customization of the kind of alert (or banner) that comes up is nice; the display of tomorrow’s summary without event titles or the ability to find out more when I tap on it is an oversight. A display stating that I have a 10AM event tomorrow means I have to quit notification, fire up my calendar, navigate to tomorrow and find out what I have scheduled for 10AM. A little less than intuitive, I think. And blasphemy from a company like Apple.
Calendar at a glance
Due to my relatively small brain capacity for memory (and given that I have my work and 5 kids’ chauffeuring schedules to keep), I rely extensively on calendars and reminders. To my biggest disappointment, my iOS 7 calendar no longer offers me the at-a-glance listing on the bottom of the calendar’s monthly view. I don’t know about you, but pretty well every day on my calendar has a dot underneath it. To see the event(s), I must tap on the day, and then scroll down, if I am unfortunate enough to have the event happening at 11PM. To top it off, the default ‘landing’ spot on the calendar is the current time, not the set start time of my day, or the first event’s time for the day in question. So, what did I do? I downloaded Mynd. Google it. It’s a lifesaver.
Like all new operating systems, glitches are just part of the deal. I managed to Google and solve most of my iOS 7 glitches within minutes. But, every now and then, Siri will respond to my voice request with, “I'm sorry, but I can’t take any request right now…”, just often enough to annoy the heck out of me when driving and desperately in need of talking to my significant other.
Major Improvement on the Control Center
Now that we’re done with my pet peeves, there is much that I love about the new iOS 7. On the top of the list is the Do Not Disturb feature, conveniently tucked into the readily accessible control center. One flick and a tap, and I’m set for my meetings. Other features included in the control center, such as the flashlight and clock control makes it so much easier to get ready for bed without waking up my dear husband with harsh sounds of me tripping up on my dog in the dark. I simply LOVE it!
Swipe to Go Back
Switching from an Android phone to an iPhone took some getting used to, in particular, the way I must hit the back button on the top to go back to the previous screen. iOS 7 took that back, and instead, allows me to swipe from left to right to go back to the last screen. Nicely done. Now only if I can swipe to go forward as well…
Multi-tasking and Quitting Applications
The way iOS 7 handles switching and quitting applications is definitely a significant improvement. Not that I mind long-presses, but anything that speeds things up is nice. The new iOS 7 also allows you to preview the application where you left off before killing it, or jumping right back to it. For people with short memory spans like me, this is priceless.
Block that Caller!
Have you ever had a telemarketer somehow getting a hold to your cell phone number and pester you with sales pitches? Have no fear, iOS 7 now allows the blocking of not only annoying phone calls, but texts as well. So, whether it is the sales agent you are running from, or your ex-boyfriend that you're trying to avoid, iOS 7 has you covered.
All in all, I think I like the iOS 7. For all the things that I despise, there are more important things that I like. Although, there are times I wish the Canadian Siri doesn’t talk with such ‘Canadian’ accent to the point that I thought the dictation is wrong, I do enjoy the Siri’s ability to do as I wish. And as a friendly request, if any of you find the command for ‘repeat the last text message received’ or “substituting an incorrect word for a correct one in Siri’s dictation”, please let me know, and I will be most grateful.