The release of iOS 7 marked Apple’s largest mobile operating system upgrade since the original product launch in 2007. With greater numbers of smartphone users opting for both new and old versions of the popular device and more varied provider options, Apple has had some considerable growth in addition to a lot of international publicity. Today, Apple hit the news yet again as they announced their new two rounds of product launches overseas. The fact that iOS is the second most popular mobile operating system is impressive, considering the vast array of Android devices from competing manufacturers. While Google is open about allowing phone manufacturers to use Android, Apple holds their cards close to their chest. If you want to use iOS, options are slim: iPhone, iPad, iPod or Apple TV.
As with any major technology update, a flurry of opinions swarmed the internet surrounding the new operating system. Here at Talener, we took a quick poll of thoughts among iPhone-using employees around the country who took the plunge and upgraded to iOS 7.
- Rashida of our Los Angeles office plugs the significantly improved camera features. In addition to a completely new interface, picture quality has increased and new features are plentiful, including a panoramic mode and trick-burst mode, which allows for rapid picture taking by clicking and holding the volume-up button.
- Justin, the manager of our NYC UI & Mobile Development team, finds the updated application multitasking particularly useful. Switching between opens apps is more intuitive and swiping up to close allows for easier organization.
- A similar feature highlighted by Kim in our Boston office is the Swipe Up For Toggles, which gives one-click access to airplane mode, WiFi, Bluetooth and Flashlight.
- Some additional features our employees enjoy include the options to view text timestamp data by swiping left on the message, the ability to turn on automatic application updates through the App Store, and the ability to conveniently block contact’s phone calls.
- A recurring point is the adjustment period of adapting to system changes. It’s often the small changes that catch people off guard the most, but this will come with any technology update. Quick fixes that may improve battery life include:
- Dimming brightness settings
- Disabling syncing on unnecessary apps
- Manually locking your phone when it is not in use
- Turning off the standard 3D home screen
- When both listening to music and unlocking the iPhone, some users have experienced a playback bug where music skips.
- While iOS 7 was designed to run on both new and old iPhones alike, battery life seems to be a continuing issue for users of older iPhones. Some feel the old phones are not nearly powerful enough to run the heavier operating system (the update alone required 3+ gigs of free space) and additional features are all automatically turned on from the start.
The Mixed Bag:
- One of the more divisive issues surrounding the update is Jonathon Ive’s polarizing user interface marked by a simplistic flat design and bright colors. Its simplicity elicited a number of varied reactions. A few choice comments:
- “Futuristic and transparent”
- “Easy on the eyes”
- “Looking unfinished and too 2D.”
- The aesthetic choice to leave blank space around the top and bottom of the screen leaves some valuable screen space unused.
- One element of the visual redesign is the more intense zooming animation that has apps “flying in and out.” While Nhung of our San Fran office thought the animations “keep the brain stimulated and users interested,” others felt they are a dizzying waste of battery power. News reports have gone as so far to mention reported cases of motion sickness!