I see lots of people talking about how they hate iOS7. I get it. People hate it when Facebook makes changes too. Most of those changes have been improvements, though some of them have been a tad creepy, but along with those things have come some badly needed streamlining. Now, Facebook is something not only usable, but useful. The cost of that, was a few interface changes that some people didn’t like at first, but they got used to the idea and after a while, it became part of their workflow. Not that Facebook is actually about work, at all, but you get my drift. I bring these things up, to point out that any time a tech company does something that is a major game changer, there are going to be people who don’t like it. It’s not that they have a particular love or hate for the appearance of the new operating system, because that’s not really the problem. It’s that they hate change.
Maybe some early adopters of iOS are having buyer’s remorse as it pertains to iOS 7, but in a year, when iOS 8 releases, I think you can guess what these same people will be doing. So if you’re on the fence about an iOS 7 update, I’m here to tell you that if you’re listening to those scared people, who are afraid to take a risk and dive in and embrace something that could change the way they use their device, if they just opened up their minds to the possibilities, you’re missing out on a whole lot of fun.
The update to the Music app was badly needed. It looks fantastic. It’s much easier to read song titles when you’re driving down the road, and a lot easier to flip tracks. iTunes Radio kicks ass. It’s what I listen to when I’m writing. I need something not repetitive, but not in a genre that’s going to annoy the snot out of me and iTunes Radio knows what I like! I’m so cool with that, not to mention, if I hear something new that I want to buy, I can purchase it right there, right then. Instant gratification, baby. It’s a good thing.
The new Siri, quite simply, rocks. Speech recognition is more accurate. The voice is more upbeat and the speech is more fluid. Working with Siri was cool before, it would be cooler if I could make Siri sound like Jarvis, or Jeremy Clarkson, but it’s elegant now. I use Siri to maintain my appointments, keep track of what’s going on in the world around me and I even use it to remind me to water my plants. This was more difficult with the older version because I have one of those voices that voice recognition software has trouble with, now, I’m not having issues with Siri understanding what I say to it anymore and it feels good to be able to improve the workflow I had with Siri before.
The new version of Safari for iOS 7 is amazingly solid. I’ve only had a few website crashes and those were due to problems existing between the chair and the keyboard and were not Safari’s fault. It’s fast. It’s stable. Tabbed browsing is really cool now and has no limits to the number of web pages it will keep open, so if you viewed something on your phone last week and can’t remember the name of the site you saw it on, you can just leave all your tabs open and scroll right back to it.
I also cannot say enough about font rendering under iOS 7. When you spend as much time reading as I do, having clean font rendering is not just important. It’s crucial. I can actually sit and read an entire novel on my iPhone now, something I could not do a a month ago. Eye strain is just so minimized now that it makes putting up with having to play a few less games of candy crush, so I can save some battery life, so worth it.
Have you SEEN the weather app? Also, I have found the weather predictions to be much more accurate. The hour by hour run down of when it might rain later in the day is handy for knowing when to take your umbrella. I used to be a die hard fan of a weather app called Swackett, because it told you what to wear when you got up that morning, but I have to say, I haven’t opened Swackett since I installed iOS 7 on my phone. I don’t need to it anymore.
Then there’s just the fact that the interfaces as a whole are cleaner, easier to read and easier to use.
There are some issues. Battery life on the 4S isn’t all that, but if you aren’t spending hours playing games on your phone, it’s not a problem, that’s the major drawback to the iOS7 update. Overall though, it’s faster than iOS6. It’s cleaner and yes, maybe it is a bit more crayola, but why on earth would you not want to use an OS on your iPhone that is more cheerful?