1. It’ll look better
With version 7 of its mobile operating system, Apple has given i0S a brand new look. It’s flatter, brighter and considerably more colourful than before. But the new interface isn’t just pointless eye candy: the emphasis is on making i0S a better place to spend time
in, with interface elements disappearing when you don’t need them. The whole look is simpler and more logical than before, and as Apple puts it, “conspicuous ornamentation has been stripped away.”
2. It’ll do things without asking
Many of the improvements in iOS 7 are under the hood, but you’ll notice the difference: the improved multitasking learns what you like to do and gets on with common tasks. For example, if you tend to check a particular social network or newsreader first thing in the morning i0S 7 will download the latest stuff before you even launch the app. i0S also gets background updating of installed apps, saving you the hassle of performing minor updates manually.
3. Safari is slicker
Safari gets a brand new look, a unified search/address field, iCloud keychain integration for access to passwords, Wi-Fi logins and even credit card details, new ways of showing tabs and a new bookmark system. It gets parental controls too, which is a much needed feature for those of us whose iPads are family iPads: until now the choice was no internet or all internet, without the ability to filter what the kids can and can’t see.
4. Sharing is effortless
Ifyou’ve got a fourth-gen iPad or an iPad mini you can take advantage of the new Airdrop feature, which enables you to share content with other iOS users without having to bump devices together or jump through various software hoops. It’s just a matter
of choosing what you want to share and picking the person you want to share with; AirDrop then sends it wirelessly. You can set AirDrop to be contacts-only or share with the whole world.
5. Photos are fantastic
Of all the iOS 7 apps, Camera is the one with the most dramatically different interface: it’s black, flat and very sparse. You can swipe between photo and video modes, capture square shots for Instagram-style photos, and once the image is captured you’ll find a host of new filters in among the familiar editing tools. Ifyou decide later that you don’t really want the image to be in mono or look like an old Polaroid you can revert to the original capture.
6. It invents and remembers passwords
The new iCloud Keychain offers cloud-based synchronisation of bookmarks and passwords, but it has two other tricks up its sleeve: it can remember your credit card details too (but not the security code – you still need to enter that bit yourself) and it can generate new, complex passwords on your behalf, storing them in the cloud and making them available to any of your iCloud devices. The data’s encrypted so you needn’t worry about villains getting hold of it.
7. 1t has its Moments
If you’re anything like us, your photostream is a giant block of images – and that means finding a particular photo can be a pain. With iOS 7, your device uses the date and location of each photo to create Collections, Moments and Years.This means that if you’re on holiday, it’ll keep your holiday snaps in a separate Collection, with those snaps organised into specific Moments according to where they were taken. It’s quick, clever and genuinely useful.
8. Siri is smarter
Siri’s been smartened up, not just in the way it looks, but in the way it sounds and works. There are new voices – please, Apple, let UK users get a female voice this time – and more importantly it can now perform tasks such as switching Bluetooth on and off, checking Twitter, looking up things in Wikipedia and getting search results from Bing. Search results and Tweets appear within Siri rather than launching Safari or Twitter to answer your questions.
9. It’s got a radio
The new iTunes Radio is free to everyone, and if you’re an iTunes Match subscriber it’s ad-free too. Apple says it’s “radio reimagined”, which it isn’t really: it’s Apple’s take on Last.fm or Pandora, a streaming music service with pre-defined stations as well as personalised ones based on the tunes you listen to and/or buy from iTunes. It’s tied into Siri too, so you can say things such as “play more like this” or ask it to skip tracks.
10. You’re in control
Are you fed up with wading through endless folders and menus to turn on Airplane Mode, switch off Bluetooth or set an alarm? Say hello to Control Centre, which you can swipe up from the bottom of the screen. It gives you access to key settings, brightness, music, AirDrop and AirPlay. Notification Center has been improved too, enabling you to see more useful information without unlocking your iPad.