iOS 7: A Fresh Approach

Kriti Jindal, Staff Writer

The new iPhone 5s with its IO S 7 operating system.
The new gold iPhone 5s with its IO S 7 operating system.

Apple’s newest operating system has caused quite a buzz among loyal i-Product users.  While annual software updates in the past have been substantial, none have delivered quite the impact iOS 7 has.  Upon its inception, most consumers quickly developed strong feelings either for or against it; there weren’t many people who were ambivalent about the update.  However, as time went on, most people grew to like Apple’s newest endeavor.  Ultimately, several key new features succeeded in dissipating most people’s initial skepticism:

1.  iTunes Radio:  This feature is the most useful feature Apple has included in its new operating system.  iTunes Radio is an internet radio, similar Pandora or Grooveshark, included directly within iTunes.  It is comparable in quality to Pandora, but much more convenient.  Apple users now have the ease of use of a built-in radio, rather than adding more apps to an already-cluttered screen. Like other internet radios, iTunes radio allows the user to input any artist or song, and then creates a station based off of it.  The complex algorithms locate songs with similar beats and singers with similar styles.  Several pre-made genre-based stations or top 100-lists are also available.  iTunes radio also has a station history to browse through recently played songs.  This feature allows users to go back and locate favorites.

2.  Pull-Up Menu:  Apple has always included a pull-down menu from the top for notifications, but there was never before a way to access some other basic features. A new pull-up menu, which one can access from swiping up on any screen, is a good solution. Ostensibly, the menu consists of a haphazard array of items which can initially be visually unappealing. However, the immense improvement in functionality quickly outweighs its appearance.  Quick access to brightness, flashlight, wi-fi and the calculator are a tremendous time saver.

3.  Automatic App Updates:  Purchased apps from the Apple App store now automatically update.  This is a bit of a double-edged sword.  It is very useful because users no longer have to go to the App store periodically to check for updates.  However, it also means that the user must make sure all the apps downloaded to the iPhone are ones used frequently.  Sometimes, app collections can get a bit cluttered and automatic updating of useless apps seems to be to be a waste of storage and data. As long as apps are useful, automatic updating is doubly useful.

4.  Appearance:  While many are not thrilled with all of the changes in appearance brought about by iOS 7, the overall feel is fresher.  One main gripe is that the new operating system has lost a lot of its distinctive “Apple-y” feel. Of course, this feeling largely stems from a sort of comfort from years and years of subtle aesthetic changes.  The new look is cleaner and “whiter”.  The text is now slimmer and characters do not have as much weight as before.  The color scheme includes more white, and secondary colors are brighter (for example, a bright pink in the Music app), rather than gray or black.  These alterations contribute to an overall lighter and more open feel, but at the expense of the traditional Apple look.

All in all, Apple’s new system boasts several noteworthy features, which make up for the loss of the traditional Apple look. Even those against the new changes cannot argue that the technology giant has once again made a splash.