Software // Operating Systems
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9/18/2013
06:18 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
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Apple iOS 7: Visual Tour

Vivid graphics and better navigation in Apple's iOS 7 mobile operating system give Apple devices new appeal.
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The iOS 7 version of Apple's Maps app is an improvement over the last iteration and will probably win new fans if only because of its ubiquity. It adds support for turn-by-turn walking directions and looks better. Apple hasn't said much about it, which suggests the company is continuing its renovation in quiet after iOS 6 Maps bombed. Interestingly, the app now includes a link that explicitly mentions all the data sources used in the app, as if to suggest blame for errors should be directed somewhere other than Apple.

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Martin Mannlein
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Martin Mannlein,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/21/2013 | 4:33:44 PM
re: Apple iOS 7: Visual Tour
Where must I go to learn the proper format to use with iOS7 siri?
Becca L
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Becca L,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/19/2013 | 8:46:03 PM
re: Apple iOS 7: Visual Tour
I'm excited about a lot of these changes to the interface. I didn't even know I wanted this until going through the slideshow. (A flashlight on the lock screen? Holy cow!) That's Apple innovation for you... My phone is downloading iOS 7 as I write this.
Michael Endler
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Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
9/19/2013 | 7:32:58 PM
re: Apple iOS 7: Visual Tour
I haven't had a chance to use iOS 7 yet, since I don't currently have an iPhone. But here's what I find important so far: Before the new iPhones reached reviewers, the consensus was very "meh," with more than a few commentators claiming that Apple no longer innovates; after reviewers received their phones, and after iOS 7 was released to the public, the tone changed dramatically.

Now, almost everyone is praising both the OS and the new hardware, and after some initial concerns about pre-sale numbers, analysts now expect an opening week sales figure that should exceed the iPhone 5's. Could iOS 7 be better? Yes, I think so, and I think Tom raises good points, as did Eric Zeman in another IW story today. But given what people are now saying, I think Apple has reasserted its smartphone leadership in several respects. Moreover, once gaming and fitness developers start playing with the new A7/M7 processors, I also suspect the iOS app ecosystem will only grow stronger. That said, some of the OS's weak points might grow more glaring in coming weeks, as more and more users weigh in.

Have any of you who've already downloaded it developed any strong opinions, one way or the other? It will be interesting to see how iOS 7 satisfaction varies with hardware.
embeetee
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embeetee,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/19/2013 | 5:49:43 PM
re: Apple iOS 7: Visual Tour
iOS 7 look is IMO a poor change. By getting rid of borders on icons, they fair more poorly against custom backgrounds. Font changes on icon names make them extremely hard to read against many backgrounds. Progress bars (loading a page in Safari, for example) are now very narrow, less visible. The toolbar at the bottom of Safari and other similar toolbars now use, again, very narrow lines and are less visible.
The whole effect is to render the UI much harder to use in low light conditions and especially when you're giving the phone a quick glance for info. You're going to find lots of 50-60-70 year olds whose prespyopia, which we all face as we age, makes this UI a real step back in usability. Prettier but less usable is a poor trade.
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