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New lock screen in iOS 7
I read through many of the iPhone 5s/5c reviews and saw what iOS 7 looks like on those small screen devices. I didn't think I would like the new pastel colors and light fonts, but went ahead and updated my 3rd generation retina display iPad to check out iOS 7 and after several hours of use I have to say I am impressed by what Apple has done with this OS refresh.
Apple is the only company who seems to tell the carriers how it is going to be and I am amazed that even today they are the only ones who can roll out a worldwide OS update on a single day. You can get the iOS 7 update now for most iPhones, recent iPads, and the latest iPod touch and that update is free. The process went smoothly for me and even without a backup security blanket everything went without a hitch and my iPad was up and running with the same settings and apps as before on iOS 6.
I tried to capture screenshots from most of the places where I have found changes so far, but for a very comprehensive review and analysis of iOS 7 I highly recommend you read the full review at iMore.
The first thing you will likely notice is the change in icons, colors, and font weights on the home screen. I am still tripping out over the home screen effect where you can tilt your screen and see "under" icons. The effect can't be captured in a screenshot, but it is pretty cool to see "depth" on the home screen.
Icons for Apple's applications, such as Newsstand, Mail, Safari, and more are all changed and I like the look. There is some Windows Vista opaqueness going on with the bottom launch bar on the home screen, but I think it looks great. When you tap on a folder of shortcuts you will see the folder fly to the front with spaces for up to nine apps. You can then swipe side-to-side if you have more apps in that folder. Tapping outside the folder minimizes it back to the home screen. You may also notice that your background image moves with the folder flyout and a bit of image zooming takes place. It is a nice visual effect that is not distracting.
Don't go looking for the Spotlight search by swiping from left to right. I always forgot about Spotlight and think the way it is implemented may be more useful, but not easy for initial discovery. You slide down from a home screen panel, but not from the top. Tap and slide down anywhere on the home screen, even if you have your finger on an app or folder. The Spotlight search box appears near the top.
When you do swipe from the top down, you will see the notifications area that includes your calendar, weather, and application notifications. You can manage the details of what appears here in your settings. Weather appears as text rather than an image too.
One very nice addition appears when you swipe up from the bottom of the display. The Control Center launches with connectivity shortcuts (airplane mode, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc), music player, brightness, and volume controls, and quick launch buttons to the clock and camera appearing on the lower part of your screen. I HATED having to dive deep into settings to control my connections and am already a big fan of this time-saving utility.
Another new function that I absolutely love so far is the multi-tasking control that functions much like WebOS. A double press of the home button pops you into the task manager where the application icon appears below the currently active screen, in a smaller view. You can easily swipe both left and right to select an app to jump into and if you are done with an app you can simply drag it up and away to close it. I haven't yet found a way to close all apps at once, which was something I did with my jailbroken iPhone 5.
It looks like all of Apple's apps have been redone including Photos with a cool years, collections, and moments organization structure, Safari with better viewing options, and others with new colors and fonts. I am not necessarily a huge fan of some of the neon/pastel colors, but so far I like the refresh and personally think it was time for some visual changes in iOS.
I enjoy listening to different music genres and am a fan of a few different services. You get iTunes Radio with iOS 7 and so far I am enjoying the experience on my iPad. I tried using Siri to initiate a radio "station", but it just tried looking in my own music collection so I need to test that out more. Siri was also improved and it is working well for sports news and other quick searches.
iOS 7 is quite a visual change over iOS 6 and developers are actively working to get their apps updated to match the design. Evernote launched a new version that looks great. So far I haven't found any issues with my apps. I like what Apple has done with iOS 7 and look forward to more testing on my iPad. As I explained yesterday there is too much in Android that I enjoy so I am not planning to pick up a new iPhone 5s and will wait for the iPhone 6.
Home screen with opaque bottom launch bar
Folder of apps with nine shortcut limit