15 feel-good features in iOS 7 to make you love your iPhone again

Here's a look at just a few of the best and most noticeable features of iOS 7 that will reignite your love for your Apple-branded smartphone again.
1 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Spotlight changes

Spotlight, the iPhone and iPad's search engine, has moved from the very left-hand swipe menu to just above the top row of icons on the main screen. The logic behind this remains unclear. Search results are categorized simpler and are easier to read. 

2 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

FaceTime audio

Users who aren't available to video call one another are now able to voice call instead for free using Apple's own messaging system, piggybacking off the idea of BlackBerry Messenger and Facebook Messaging.

3 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Siri 2.0: Aesthetic overhaul, improvements

The voice-activated intelligent assistant has a brand new, cleaner and fresher look. Siri now supports a whole variety of new features, functionality, questions and queries that vastly broadens its range of intellect (...but only with an cellular or Internet connection.)

4 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Instagram-like filters

Filters à la Instagram now feature as part of the iPhone's camera software. Hot on the tails of the popular photo snapping and sharing service, iOS 7 now includes nine different temperature-based filters that modify images to suit the mood. As of later betas of the next-generation mobile software, camera filters are now available for the iPhone 4S.

5 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Dedicated privacy settings

Amid a number of controversies and data breaches in 2012 during the reign of iOS 6, the previous iteration of the software, Apple installed a number of privacy-minded controls right into the heart of the settings menu. These features relate to photo sharing, location settings, and which apps can access hardware functions of the device, such as the microphone.

6 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Live tiles on deck

Some tiles on the iPhone and iPad home screen are live-updating. While the calendar icon has always updated day-by-day, the clock icon now includes a moving second-hand dial. It's hoped that in future iterations, the weather application will also update to include a lie preview of the upcoming forecast.

7 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Private browsing on the fly

Users can now switch to private browsing mode on their iPhone and iPad with the touch of a button. In previous iterations of the software, it was difficult to access and required multiple taps of the screen. Tabs are conveniently noted as in "incognito mode" when their tab titles are darkened.

8 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Automatic app updating

Apps will now automatically update behind the scenes. iPhone and iPad users still have the choice to switch on cellular downloading, though this can churn up a user's data bill. Apps can still be downloaded manually one by one.

9 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

iCloud content streaming

Gone are the days where it was necessary to download a copy of that 'thing' to watch, to then synchronize it to your iDevice and watch it on the go. Now with a stable cellular or Wi-Fi connection you can stream television and video content directly from iCloud should it be in the iTunes Store.

10 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Adaptive user interface aesthetic

One of the little known or seen features of the new user interface is its ability to adapt to its surroundings, such as its colorations and fonts based on the device's dominant wallpaper. The edges of buttons will glow a s similar, lighter shade of the wallpaper's dominant color, assisted by a thick blurring of the display for additional effect, and the fonts will adapt and thicken when needed to make it easier to read text on screen.

11 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Hide the Newsstand

The bane of many iPhone and iPad users' lives: Newsstand, the e-book and magazine service embedded in iPhone and iPads in the latest iteration of the mobile software, can now be tucked away in a folder out of sight. It's a small thing but it's Apple rolling back a major revenue turner.

12 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Native PDF support

iOS 7 users can now access PDF files straight from their inboxes; something not seen before now. This adds significant weight to the business use case -- as simple as it may seem -- allowing iPhone and iPad owners to view documents on the go without the need for a third-party client. 

13 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Quick access to core features

In a bid to catch up with other mobile platforms -- notably Android and Windows Phone, which already offer this -- Apple now includes a quick-access panel to core features of the device. From airplane mode and radio functions, the Control Center also gives users quick access to a flashlight and other applications. Swapping out these apps for others is not yet supported in the beta.

14 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Live switching and multitasking

When switching between apps -- a feature that has been reworked from the ground up -- apps are no longer in stasis. Apps now update live, meaning you can flick through and see exactly what is going on over each app as it's happening -- from videos to clocks and stopwatches.

15 of 15 Zack Whittaker/ZDNet

Photo 'collections'

Despite being designed around the camera, the iPhone's in-built photo app has always been sub-par compared to rival platforms. One had to scroll through hundreds of photos at a time. Now photos are organized by date and time, and are easily searchable by hovering over each thumbnail. Panoramas and videos are also grouped together making it easier to search for different kinds of photo content.

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