19 September 2013

iOS 7 – Apple’s latest o/s.


Apple has released iOS 7, the biggest update to its iPhone and iPad operating system since they launched in 2008.


The new software brings a whole new look and feel to Apple’s mobile devices and comes with over 200 new features.  Improvements include quick access to key settings through the so-called control centre, improvements to multitasking, as well as an entirely refreshed design and user interface.


“It’s like getting a brand new device, but one that will be instantly familiar to our users,” said Apple vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi.


The release comes just ahead of the launch of Apple’s new iPhones 5S and 5C, which go on sale tomorrow.  Apple chief executive Tim Cook said last week that the company will pass 700m iOS devices shipped later this month.


iOS 7 is a free update for all users of Apple’s iPhone 4 or newer, iPad 2 or newer, iPad mini and fifth generation iPod touch.



Key features:


Cleaner, flatter, whiter

The new icons are designed to make the phone look bigger and less cluttered.  They are no longer mounted on a grey drop shadow, but sit flat against your wallpaper on a white background.  The effect is a crisper, sharper-looking interface.


Lock-screen life

Users can now access a torch and make alterations to wi-fi, bluetooth, brightness, and volume through the lock screen without entering their password.  And if you can’t remember your password, Apple will now store it on iCloud so you can retrieve it.  The much-improved control centre has also escaped the labyrinthine settings menu and is now accessible via the lock screen.


Siri voice control

The voice command tool now uses softer tones and one can choose between a male or a female voice.  He/she now understands US English, French, and German.  You can also tell Siri to search on Bing, Wikipedia and Twitter.


Back button blues

The back button on the left bevel is a long overdue addition to Apple’s operating system. Long gone are the days where you’d make a mistake and have to pound the home button in a blind panic to navigate back to where you were.


Stateside FM

iTunes Radio, a free internet radio service featuring over 200 stations, is currently only available in the US but is sure to cross the Atlantic in time for the next upgrade.


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