Instead of having to exit your current app and launch the settings interface, users can now enable AirPlay mode, Wi-FI, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, and the screen orientation lock from Control Center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. It also provides a shortcut to screen brightness, music playback controls, and volume levels.
On iPhone, Control Center also provides a flashlight toggle that engages the rear LED flash, as well as shortcuts to the calculator and photo apps. Sadly, the selection of shortcuts cannot be personalized. So if you have more use for Twitter than, say, the Calculator app, you're out of luck. Control Center has quickly become my most used feature in iOS 7. As someone who is obsessive about battery efficiency and maximizing connection speeds, I activate and deactivate Wi-Fi throughout the day.
Control Center makes it effortless to manage. I often like to change tracks on the fly when listening to music, and while there was already quick access with a double tap of the home button or from the lock screen, Control Center provides a more consolidated view. Of course, the Control Center concept isn't new to the world of smartphones — Android users have been enjoying similar functionality for years — but iOS 7 brings the two operating systems closer to parity. In addition to taking on a new look as part of the sweeping design changes, Apple's voice assistant software, Siri, has received new functionality with iOS 7.
Siri can now pull information from Wikipedia and display the most recent tweets from a specific account with simplified commands like "Tell me about IGN" or "What's Greg Miller saying?
iOS 7, thoroughly reviewed
Performance has been improved in some areas, with Siri detecting inquiries faster and more accurately, but there are still times when it can be slow or produce erroneous results. Siri is more useful and precise with iOS 7, but it's still somewhat of a novelty function and its lack of third-party app integration remains one of its biggest limiting factors.
A double tap of the home button brings up a redesigned app switching view. In the past, the interface was limited to a small, expanded row of icons on the bottom of the screen. Now, the multitasking view takes over the entire screen and presents not only the icon, but a snapshot of the app's interface. The change makes for not only a more appealing visual experience, but actually allows for quick reference. For example, if you're drafting an email and need to refer to information on a website, you can make quick reference of the Safari window from within the multitasking view.
It may seem like a small change, but the impact on day-to-day efficiency is significant. Apple has also brought its wireless peer-to-peer file sharing feature, AirDrop, to iOS. Originally introduced on Mac OS X Photos, videos, contacts, and any other sharable data from a first or third-party app can be shared to another iOS 7 enabled device via AirDrop.
Users can make their device detectable to any nearby user, restrict visibility to only those in their contacts list, or disable the feature entirely. AirDrop can be managed easily from within Control Center.
Apple iOS 7 Review: A Major Makeover That Delivers, But Takes Some Getting Used To
When you want to transfer a file, nearby users will appear as icons within the share interface. Multiple users can be selected as recipients, though users must approve a file transfer before the process can begin. Transfers of images and contacts are near-instantaneous and I never experienced a failed transfer attempt.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of other iOS 7-enabled devices at launch, I was unable to get a sense of how truly useful the tool can be during day-to-day use, but at least in theory, it could be a handy tool with wider adoption.
Just like Pandora, users can play "stations" of music based on a specific artist, genre, or song. The service is completely free but features the occasional ad and users can only skip a select number of songs.
Its automatically generated playlists improve over time as users rate and skip songs, and any track can be purchased from iTunes from directly within the app. Audio quality and station generation are exceptional, and while it lacks some of the other bells and whistles offered by Pandora, iTunes Radio is a fairly high-quality product for Apple's first foray into "radio" streaming. While the iPhone 5S will be the only device to offer Apple's new slow-motion video and burst photography features, older devices will be getting other upgrades to the camera app.
With iOS 7, the viewfinder UI has been simplified. Now with a simple swipe to the left or right anywhere on the screen, users can switch between the photo, video, and panorama modes. The rise of Instagram has influenced iOS 7, prompting Apple to add a new square photo mode and live photo filters. Overall, the camera app is not just easier to use, but faster to operate.
The iOS 7.1 update addresses many of our original concerns
Performance and battery life will also vary between generations of devices, but of those I was able to test — the iPhone 5, iPad 4th generation , and iPhone 4 — the impact was minimal. At first, iOS 7 may seem slower, but the issue is twofold: The number of unique animations in iOS 7 — substantial or minor — has gone of up drastically. On a recent device like iPhone 5 or the 4th generation iPad, iOS 7 is snappy and responsive, whereas the iPhone 4 was expectedly slower.
While I wouldn't go as far as to say that it's unusable, the lag between gestures on the screen and the corresponding action makes loading apps and typing challenging. Battery life, on the other hand, remained largely unaffected on the iPhone 5. Read on as we delve deeper into the new features and redesigned native apps.
Pros Fresh, modern and slick Camera app is outstanding Effortlessly simple.
iOS 7 | TechRadar
Cons Few new, essential features Mainly playing catch-up to rival OSes. What is iOS 7? Next iOS 7: Notifications Center and Control Center Review. Mobile Fun. Why is this new, official Galaxy S10 case so emotional? Porn-detecting bots might not be able to tell the difference between grot and art. Photo by Pathum Danthanarayana on Unsplash Credit: Photo by Pathum Danthanarayana on Unsplash.
Android Q will have a 'back' gesture, but not as we know it.