What does iOS 7 mean for iPad, iPhone, and iPod users?


18 September 2013


iOS 7, the latest version of the mobile operating system created by Apple for its mobile devices, is finally available to download. The update can be installed on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch compatible with this operating system, either by choosing the “software update” option from your device’s configuration menu, or by using the recently released ITunes 11.1.

So what has changed with the new Apple operating system? The most obvious change is the new front-end interface and icons developed under the supervision of the company’s senior vice president of design, Sir Jonathan Ive. As he stated during this year’s WWDC event in June, the redesign was inspired by a search for “a profound and enduring beauty in simplicity, in clarity, in efficiency.” However, this new design sensibility has sparked more than a little controversy among the Apple faithful, since the new icons have completely abandoned the concept of skeuomorphism—the practice of modeling an icon’s appearance to correspond with the real-life appearance of the real-world object it represents. Even the icons for the most basic apps, like Clock and Mail, have been revamped to have a purely conceptual look and feel, and with a rainbow color palette that some users consider to be excessively garish.

All snide remarks about the visual rework of iOS 7 aside, the new operating system actually offers a number of significant new changes and additions, such as its new Control Center, which bundles the most frequently-used control settings into a single, easier-to-use location. It also updates the functionality of iTunes Radio, and perhaps most significant of all, adds wireless AirDrop sharing to iOS mobile devices—formerly a feature available only on Mac computers. As we discussed in a previous blog article, tech giant Google recently purchased Bump, an app that also offers similar wireless file transfer functionality, with very fortuitous timing. Perhaps this is a sign of both tech giants getting more serious about keeping their own mobile devices competitive with each other, feature-for-feature? We’ll see.