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Rediff.com  » Business » iOS 7 readies Apple for a bigger bite

iOS 7 readies Apple for a bigger bite

September 23, 2013 17:10 IST

Apple“It will brighten your day,” was the message Apple sent out a day before it launched its two new phones and latest software for iPhones and iPad -- the iOS 7 -- on September 12.

While the phones -- 5C certainly -- did add a lot of colour to Apple, it’s iOS 7 which actually brightens the lives of iPhone users.

It took just 90 minutes to upgrade to iOS 7, and while the waiting was frustrating, it’s actually worth it. On the first glance, it looks like it is a much bolder, brighter and colourful interface and it certainly looks more vibrant.

The signal bars have been replaced by five dots, the keypad has a funky retro look and feel to it and the contacts too appear more neatly than the old block-letter eyesore.

Even the lock screen ‘swipe to unlock’ message has a more animated feel to it.

Earlier, you had to swipe on the unlock message only to get to the main menu, now you can swipe anywhere on the screen.

Apple users had gotten used to the more sober look and feel compared to Android, and frankly there were a few envious glances cast towards Android in the last couple of years.

With iOS 7, however, Apple has tried its best to give a more lively interface and provide a better experience to the users.

New wallpapers, colour schemes have been added and there are newer -- not better though -- ringtones.

So you can finally hear anything but ‘Marimba’ or ‘Strum’ tones ringing from an iPhone nearby.

There aren’t many functional changes as such and at the core it still remains the same software but has added a lot of utilitarian value.

For instance, the Control Centre is an excellent addition to iOS 7.

Earlier you had to go all the way into the Settings option to turn on Bluetooth, Wi-fi or the Do Not Disturb feature. Now all of it is just a swipe away in the Control Centre.

It also gives you easy access to a flashlight, calculator and the camera. Flashlight is now a standard feature on the iPhone (earlier you had to install an app).

The Air Drop is another great feature about the iOS 7.

It allows users to transfer data -- photos, videos, contacts -- to other iPhone users seamlessly.

This function, however, isn’t available on the iPhone 4 and 4S.

All you need to do is select recipients from your contact list and the data gets transferred within seconds.

iPhone users have often bemoaned about the absence of a good camera app but iOS 7 rectifies that as well.

There are nine different modes of clicking pictures now -- very Androidish -- but much needed.

The camera has become much more faster and even the photo stream looks better organised and categories pictures according to location and date.

For instance, you clicked photos in January 2013 in Uttarakhand, so all those photos will be grouped together.

The notification centre also sees a facelift -- earlier it was a basic messages informing if you had received a Tweet or someone liked your photo on Instagram.

Now it’s classified into three categories, Today, All and Missed.

For those who love browsing on their iPhones or the iPad will love the new Safari.

In the earlier iOS versions you had to painstakingly press the pages option to switch between links, now all the pages are neatly stacked on top of each other.

It looks much better and it’s extremely simple to use.

Safari is excellent on the iPad and really makes Google Chrome look pretty average.

Siri, many iPhone users’ best friend now comes in an even more useful avatar.

It can help you open apps, send tweets and texts and more importantly understands your accent much better.

Talking to a machine still looks and sounds funny but a more efficient Siri makes it looks less silly.

The iOS7 doesn’t redefine mobile software in general but it is an excellent upgrade on an already very good platform.

There are changes which can still be made and many will feel that Android still remains the better platform when compared to Apple.

But for Apple users, the iOS 7 is a welcome and much-needed change.

It’s like having a new wine in a vintage bottle.

Aabhas Sharma in New Delhi
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