If there’s one thing we know Apple for, it’s creating nearly unbearable suspense between the preview and release of a product, but you can rest easy now, iPhone and iPad users — the touted iOS 7 operating system you’ve all been waiting for is now available.
In June of this year, Apple CEO Tim Cook made an announcement regarding the update, and what he said was nothing short of the truth. iOS 7, or operating system 7, is “The biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone.” Considering that the bulk of changes we’ve seen to the iPhone to date have been made primarily to its hardware and shape, iOS 7 is a pretty significant departure from the chrome lines, high-definition app icons and super-intuitive operations of iOS 6 and before. Saying that, this update has drawn about as many critics as it has enthusiasts.
The new iOS 7 features icons unlike any other seen on Apple devices — instead of representative, bijou images for each app, iOS 7 features simpler, vibrantly colored, block-like app icons that function at breakneck speed and precision.
iOS 7 gives prominence to clean white text that is pervasive throughout the device and makes the iPhone feel even more pristine and elegant than the previous operating systems ever did.
iOS 7, however, is also a bit less intuitive than previous operating systems, and for a good reason. Since its inception in 2007, over six years have passed since iPhones, or really any smartphone, have become essential to the lifestyle of people worldwide. The idea behind the augmented sophistication of iOS 7 stems from the reality that most of us already know how to use a smartphone. With iOS 7, Apple capitalized on the reality that we no longer need them to hold our hands as we navigate their devices.
Along with significant modifications to the notification shade (the drop-down screen of the iPhone that displays general updates), an entirely new iTunes layout (including the new iTunes Radio, which operates similarly to Pandora and conveniently connects directly to the iTunes Music Store), some of the most awesome and significant updates can be found in the new Camera app.
The iPhone Camera now offers different virtual lenses through which a picture can be taken. Similar to, yet slightly less comprehensive than the Instagram app, which allows a user to place a filter over an image, the new camera updates allow you to take and edit photos with one of nine different filters.
If there’s a good note to end on regarding iOS 7, it’s the introduction of the Control Center and the new, more human Siri.
Apple isolated some of the most managed iPhone settings and consolidated them into the Control Center for the convenience of the user. Control Center consists of a smart dock that can be swiped up from the bottom of any screen. It allows the user to access Flashlight, Clock, Calculator and Camera; change iPhone settings and manage iTunes and Wi-Fi/connectivity settings all in one place.
Additionally, Siri has become a new woman (or man, totally up to you). Smarter, quicker and much better at communicating like a human being than in pre-iOS 7 operating systems, Siri is quickly becoming something out of science fiction — and hopefully he/she doesn’t try to take over the planet someday.
When all is said and done, Apple has “done it again.” They’ve remade and remodeled their own system in such a way that resets the expectation for the smartphone and tablet industry. While some of us may loathe the changes and others may prance with joy over them, Apple has done what it does best with iOS 7: set the industry standard for the next generation of handheld devices.
Apple iOS 7 is an easy download — open the Settings app, tap General, then tap Software Update and the iPhone offers education about all of the iOS 7 perks in addition to a download option. Enjoy!
EMILY SEFEROVICH can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.