Review: Apple's iOS 7 is much more than a pretty face

More than a superficial coat of paint, iOS 7 represents a new direction for Apples mobile OS

Apple has officially released iOS 7, the latest update to the software that powers the iPhone, iPad and the newest iPod touch. The free upgrade packs many new and improved features, including a visual style that forgoes heavy-handed graphics for bright colors and a text-centric layout. The new user interface is thoroughly modern, while still referencing the less serious days of multicolored iMacs and the original candy-colored Aqua interface of OS X.

The iOS 7 home screen shows off the new color palette used for app icons.

While the updated look is the most noticeable feature, there are plenty of other changes deserving attention. There's the new Control Center (which gives you quick access to a handful of settings and apps); the revamped Notification Center (sporting at-a-glance details about your day -- like weather, appointments, missed notifications and more); a new multitasking interface and background processing for apps; and an easy way to exchange data between iOS devices using AirDrop. There's also iTunes Radio -- the new streaming music service tied to the iTunes Store that's aimed at other streaming services like Pandora -- and an enhanced Siri.

The other big change with iOS 7 is that the OS itself is 64-bit, meaning it can take advantage of the 64-bit A7 chip in the iPhone 5s, which arrives on Friday.

Device compatibility

iOS 7 represents a massive overhaul of the classic iOS interface in favor of a simpler design. But many of those "simple" on-screen effects (like transparencies) and built-in features (like AirDrop, Siri, and live photo filters) actually require pretty modern hardware.

As a result, iOS 7 is compatible with the recently announced iPhones, the iPhone 4, the 4S and last year's iPhone 5. The only supported iPods are the 5th-generation touch models; iPads are supported going back to the iPad 2, including the 2012 iPad mini.

But not all features will work on every device. For instance, Siri is still only available on the devices that shipped with support, so don't expect Apple's virtual assistant on anything before the iPhone 4S, 2012's iPad 3 (with Retina display), and the aforementioned fifth-gen iPod touch. Other features have been scaled back, dialed down or removed entirely on less powerful devices; and still other features -- such as the 3D Flyover in Maps -- aren't available in all regions.

If you're curious about which model supports what features, scroll to the bottom of this page for details. Apple also has a feature compatibility page so you can check to see what features are supported in your area.

Installation

For this review, I tested iOS 7 on an iPhone 5, an iPad mini and an iPad 2, with a focus on features for the U.S. market.

Before updating to iOS 7, I highly recommend that you navigate to Settings > iCloud > Storage & Backup > Back Up Now and do a backup of your data. If you're upgrading by installing the update through iTunes, update to the latest version of iTunes first (In OS X, go to the Apple Menu > Software Update and check for updates), and then make sure to initiate a backup in Tunes under File > Devices > Back up.

Take this step seriously. It's easy to do and if something goes wrong in the update, your data is preserved.

To install iOS 7, there are a few options. From an iOS device, you can navigate to Settings > General > Software Update and run the update from there. After the download is complete, your device will update in place, leaving all of your settings, data and apps intact.

If you upgrade by connecting your device to a computer running iTunes, you'll have the option to either Restore or Upgrade. The Upgrade option leaves your settings, data and apps in place; the Restore option deletes everything on the device first before installing a fresh operating system. If you've been having issues with your device, or if you've modified the OS in ways Apple hasn't sanctioned (such as Jailbreak), then a Restore may be the best bet.

The Lock Screen shows very little except the time and date, and the slide to unlock message.

Welcome to Apple's future

After the installation is done and your device has restarted, you get a multi-language welcome screen. Right off the bat, the brighter interface is noticeable; the white screen and new fonts are a hint of what's to come.

With a Slide to Unlock swipe, you're launched into a Set Up Assistant that walks you through the process of configuring basic settings such as connecting to a local Wi-Fi network, toggling on/off Location Services and, if you're starting from scratch due to a Restore, options to set up your device as new or restore from backup via iCloud or iTunes. Restoring from backup brings all settings, contacts, mail accounts, iTunes purchases, etc. to your iPhone. That way, when the restore is finished, your device is just as it was.

After a few simple setup questions, you'll be dropped off into the new Home Screen. Welcome to iOS 7.

A new home (screen)

At this point, as you scan iOS 7's new look, you're either smiling or frowning.

When this new design was first revealed in June at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, various Mac techies debated whether it was a good idea. My take now is the same as in June: iOS 7's color scheme looks as if the folks behind Flower Power iMac and the new iPod touch models had stormed Apple's design office, raised their minimalist, multicolored pirate flag and looted all things shiny in the old iOS.

If you think back to 2007, the first iteration of the iPhone operating software was leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. Since then, Apple has continued to improve the iPhone experience, each year releasing a major new version featuring hundreds of changes, tweaks and additions, both large and small. Even as features were added, the overall interface remained consistent: drop shadows, detailed textures, and app designs based on digital equivalents of real-world elements (called skeuomorphism . The original goal of skeuomorphic element design was to ease iPhone customers into using and navigating a touch screen.

However, this approach was clearly more suited to the iPhone audience of six years ago; since then, nearly all mobile devices have built-in touch screens, and most of today's device-buying population understands the concept and basic navigation principles of multi-touch screens. That has allowed Apple design guru Jony Ive and his team of designers to break free of an interface built around digital metaphors for real-life objects. The result is an OS that, instead of doubling down on showy graphics, actually shows restraint.

The new Control Center at the bottom of an iPad Lock Screen gives quick access to basic controls. The translucent look allows colors "under" the Center to show through.

While iPhones and iPods have always been somewhat immersive, it's clear that Apple's designers hope to make iOS even more immersive by downplaying overly elaborate interface pizzazz and prioritizing content.

Different, yet familiar

iOS 7 may look and behave a little differently from its predecessors, but if you look past the new fonts, brighter color scheme and new animations, iOS is still pretty much the mobile OS you already know.

The Home Screen still sports the same number of apps and folders, and you still navigate by tapping and swiping. The main difference is in theme and behavior. Basic animations accompany navigation: icons zoom onto the Home screen after the device is unlocked; tapping a folder zooms again; tapping an application zooms into the app. The system apps and folder icons sport a brighter, more vibrant 2D look, but the use of multiple visual planes in iOS 7 gives everything a subtle 3D feel.

The Home Screen also offers a more layered feel, as if the applications float just underneath the device's glass screen; this layered look is emphasized by the parallax effect Apple applies, where the background shifts subtly based on how the phone is held. It's a neat effect, and it's subtle enough to not be obnoxious. (You can turn it off, if you want, under Settings > General > Accessibility > Reduce Motion, or you can double-down on animations by choosing backgrounds that move under Settings > Wallpaper > Dynamic.)

iOS 7, as a whole, is structured in layers, with zooms, overlays and, of course, the parallax effect that highlights the new design direction. Your choice of background even influences how some portions of the OS and apps look. Some spots in iOS -- including the Notification and Control Center, phone dialer and passcode unlock screens -- reveal whatever color is beneath the current layer, using a diffused and translucent frosted glass effect.

The translucent look of iOS 7 allows background colors and images to affect layers "above" them, such as this Lock Screen password entry keypad.

The all-important Lock Screen

The Lock screen features a less cluttered look that will still feel familiar to anyone who's used iOS. There is still the requisite time display at the top of the screen and the date underneath that. As before, Swipe to Unlock is located at the bottom. The camera icon on the lower right offers quick access to the camera, and there are a couple of matching graphical slits at the top and bottom of the screenthat point to the Notifications and Control Center. More about those two in a minute.

There are differences from iOS 6, mostly in the realization that graphic elements -- like the top and bottom borders that framed the time/date and Swipe to Unlock -- have been stripped away; the words just float in the same visual plane as the time, date and other interface elements, providing a largely unblocked view of your background.

Another change between the iOS 6 and iOS 7 Lock Screens is that you can log in by swiping anywhere on the screen; you're no longer limited to the Swipe to Unlock slider. I'm not sure about this feature; I found this change problematic. On more than one occasion, I found my iPhone open and running apps in my pocket, a problem I never had until the entire screen became an unlock zone. This hasn't happened in the final release of iOS 7, but I don't know for sure if Apple tweaked the design just before release or if I've simply been lucky so far.

The iOS 7 Lock Screen is more useful, too. If you play tunes a lot, you'll notice that when music is playing you no longer have to tap the Home button twice to bring up the Lock Screen music display. Album art, title and music controls automatically show up once the screen is active, making it easy to change songs or turn off your music altogether.

Notifications

Another Lock Screen staple: app notifications, which now fade into view after you swipe down from the top of the screen. If there is more than one notification already on display, the others fade away, becoming mostly transparent for a few seconds to emphasize the newest notification. As before, swiping a notification takes you directly to the app.

The Notification Center can now be accessed from the Lock Screen. Note: Your background image will change how the Notifications screen looks.

The Notification Center is still activated by swiping down from the top of the screen, and in iOS 7 you can now access this feature from the Lock Screen. It's also been refined to sport the frosted glass look and has been divided into three separate sections: Today, All and Missed. They deliver exactly what you'd expect: today's notifications, all notifications that have been pushed to your phone or iPad, and any you may have missed in the last 24 hours. You can use side-to-side swipe gestures to quickly navigate between the three sections, and up and down gestures to scroll through the lists.

The Today section contains virtually everything you need to know about your day. iOS 7 learns where you spend time -- such as work or home -- and gives you information about how long it would take to get, say, back home from your current location, automatically accounting for current traffic conditions. The Today view displays the date, current weather and expected forecast, birthday information of friends due that day or coming up soon, your calendar info, reminders, stock quotes and even a sneak peak about your next day.

One welcome change is that once you've viewed something in Notifications and dismissed it, you've effectively dismissed it on other iDevices.

Control Center and Airdrop

New to iOS 7 is the Control Center, a centralized location for quick access to basic settings, apps and features. Using a bottom-to-top swipe gesture -- the exact opposite of the Notification Center gesture -- gives you access to Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, the Do Not Disturb option, Rotation Lock toggles, brightness, music controls, AirDrop and AirPlay settings, and, finally, Flashlight. (Until now you had to use a third-party app to turn on the camera's LED flash for use as an ad hoc flashlight.) The Control Center also gives you easy access via shortcuts to the Clock/Timer/Alarms/Stopwatch, Calculator and Camera.

This feature is well-implemented, with the quick access to Music and AirPlay feeling more natural here then on the Multitasking tray. Moving the AirPlay function here means that the Music and Video apps are a little less cluttered, and since Control Center is system-wide, beaming content to an AppleTV via AirPlay is just a bottom-up swipe and a tap away.

Another new feature that arrives with iOS 7 is AirDrop. It's a dead-simple way to securely share files from your iDevice to anyone else with an iDevice running iOS 7. AirDrop is located in the Share Sheets screen in supported apps, above iMessage, Mail, Cloud and social media sharing options.

Anyone with a device running iOS 7 (with AirDrop turned on) will show up in the AirDrop section of the Sharing sheet. To send a file, tap on the recipient's image and, after the recipient is alerted and accepts the transfer, the data is beamed over using Wi-Fi. For security, the point-to-point transfer is encrypted between the two devices.

AirDrop allows for easy file swaps between iOS 7 devices -- when it works. It's still a bit flakey.

AirDrop settings are located in the Control Center, so turning it on/off and selecting whether to accept files from everyone or only people in your Contacts is easy. Also note: To use AirDrop, both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi must be on, although you don't actually need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network.

When it works, AirDrop works well. The recipient device avatars are supposed to show up automatically in the Sharing Sheets, but there were several times during testing that devices didn't show up until I toggled AirDrop on and off. Once the devices could "see" each other, AirDrop proved to be a fast and easy way to transfer files. It seems if you're relatively close to the other device -- within about 15 feet -- the transfer will begin reliably begin. Further away than that and you may have problems. Apple engineers need to improve the reliability, and make it possible to transfer files between Macs and iOS devices. The concept is already killer; it's the implementation that needs more polish.

Multitasking

Multitasking is greatly improved, as is the interface for switching between apps. Previously, when you pressed the home button twice, a small row of icons appeared at the bottom of the screen so you could quickly jump to recently-used apps. Depending on the direction of the swipe, you could also access other functions like music and brightness controls. In iOS 7, you still press the home button twice to switch between recent apps. But now the interface seems to zoom out to show you application previews above each app's icon. This makes it even easier to find what you're looking for.

Manually quitting an app is easier, too. You simply swipe up on the app when it appears in the multitasking bar. That's a lot better than having to double-tap Home, press and hold your finger on the app, and tap the X for the app.

Double-clicking the home button brings up the new multitasking view, showing which apps have been launched. To quit an app, just swipe up toward the top of the screen.

Background multitasking has been expanded, making iOS 7 the first version to allow full-on background processes for third-party apps that can take advantage of the new features. System apps that shipped with the device were always allowed more leeway than third-party apps, and Apple engineers had to craft APIs that allowed common functions to occur in the background.

iOS 7 can now intelligently track when and how often you use an app, and if you're consistent, it'll update any data before you launch the app.Let's say you check Facebook or a news app every morning during breakfast; iOS 7 will spot that pattern and update that app's content so it's ready before you even open it. The same thing happens when you get a notification -- say, a breaking news alert from your favorite news source. The notification triggers the app to update with the latest info, so it's available immediately.

There are also silent notifications that can trigger an app to download information such as the latest magazine or book you subscribed to or bought.

iOS 7 also has some networking tricks that helps ease the burden of multitasking on a resource-limited device like an iPhone or iPad. For instance, even though apps are capable of silent background downloads and updates, iOS 7 will smartly update data whenever the device is activated by a Swipe to Unlock and connected to a strong network signal. Because updates are intelligently queued together and run in groups -- instead of done sporadically throughout the day -- battery life won't take as big a hit.

And if you're worried about using up your monthly data allotment, you can restrict which apps use cellular data for updates or turn that option off all together. That's done in Settings>Cellular. (You can also disable automatic downloads of purchased music, apps, books, and updates in Settings>iTunes and App Store.)

On a final note, apps can update their preview state in the multitasking switcher, so you get an updated view without having to launch the app; a glance at the multitasking switch screen should tell you what you need to know at a glance.

Users who rely on the system-wide Spotlight search will find that it's now accessible via a pulldown swipe from the Home Screen; just use your thumb to swipe down anywhere on the screen and a keyboard will slide up, allowing you to type your search query. As before, Spotlight can search for apps and contacts, look through email and media like music, podcasts, videos and audiobooks, and search for events, reminders and messages.

Music and iTunes radio

In keeping with the new look, Music now sports a white theme with a bright reddish-pink text. Although the functions are more or less as they were before, there are a couple of notable exceptions. First, Coverflow is gone. In its place is a new view that shows you about 15 or so album cover thumbnails, and you can swipe side-to-side to browse through your library. When you find the album you want, tap on it to zoom into that album, where you can browse track listings and start listening.

The biggest addition -- and this will be huge -- is iTunes Radio. Like other streaming music services, iTunes Radio can build stations of similar music based around any artist, genre or song you choose. To get started, there are more than 300 stations based on genres, Twitter trends and even a bunch of stations put together by guest DJs.

To add a station, just click on the Radio toggle located at the bottom of the Music app. Doing so drops you into a screen where you can play one of the Featured Stations, pick one of your own stations or create a new one.

Once the station is set up, the interface looks just like the music player except there's no skip back control. In iTunes Radio, there is instead a star icon. Pressing that brings up a list of options: Play More Like This, Never Play This Song and Add to iTunes Wish List.

The upper part of the Now Playing screen displays the iTunes price of the current song -- with a tap or two, you can purchase it without leaving the music player. There's also an "i" button you can tap for more information. Here, you can see album information on the iTunes store (which opens via an in-app sliding sheet); create a new station from the current artist or song; tune the station for songs based on Hits, Variety or Discovery; toggle explicit tracks on or off and share the station.

iTunes Radio allows you to create your own "station" based on artist, genre or even a single song.

iTunes Radio plays an occasional ad, but if you're an iTunes Match subscriber ($24.99 a year) and Match is enabled on your device, iTunes Radio is ad-free.

The Phone app

The Phone application picks up the lighter, brighter theme and details of iOS 7, but for the most part, it has stayed pretty much the same. The dial screen gets a frosted glass translucence that dynamically changes depending on your background. Otherwise, there are only a couple of significant updates.

First, the Phone app now supports FaceTime audio over Wi-Fi. That means you can make free calls to anyone with an iOS device using FaceTime audio -- something I'm sure wireless carriers must love.

And second, tapping the More Information icon to the right of listed numbers in Favorites, Recents and Voicemail -- or just selecting a contact -- gives you access to the redesigned Contacts.

If you scroll to the bottom, you can select individual callers to block. Whenever blocked numbers call your phone, they're pushed to voicemail. You can see a list of blocked callers under Settings > Phone > Blocked. Blocked numbers aren't just limited to the Phone app, though; you can also block contacts from making FaceTime calls and messaging attempts. Messages, FaceTime, and the aforementioned Phone Settings all have the Blocked feature.

Finally, while you can still activate FaceTime from within a contact, iPhones now have a separate FaceTime app.

Safari and browsing

Safari has gone through an interface overhaul, too. Tapping on the text entry section at the top of a browser window displays bookmarks (or bookmark folders) between the virtual keyboard and the text box. The text entry area is now a unified smart field and supports both search and URL entries. Safari displays live results as you're typing; it gathers and displays data from your search provider, Safari history and bookmarks, and text located on the current page.

Safari embraces the idea of iOS 7's unobtrusive nature: Once you begin scrolling on a website, the Safari UI slips away, allowing you to browse using the full screen. Need the browser controls back? Just scroll to the top of a page or tap the area where they would be at the top or bottom of the screen; the UI elements slowly come back into view.

Safari has supported multiple browsing sessions before, but now they're stacked so that a page preview is displayed, like a vertical Coverflow. No longer limited to eight open tabs, you can quickly close out of any listed Safari session by swiping that session to the side, or you can rearrange their order by tapping and holding a page for a second, and then dragging and dropping the tab to the spot you like. If you continue to scroll down through Web page previews, you'll find a list of iCloud tabs that lists what you've been browsing on other devices.

Safari embraces iOS 7's minimalist nature.

Tapping the bookmark icon in Safari brings up your bookmarks, Reading List and Shared Links screens -- the last displays links from Twitter and Linked In. Saved articles in Reading List scroll continuously from one story to the next, so you can catch up without needing to continually access the list.

The Weather app

The Weather app has been redesigned, with white text and basic graphics providing forecast details like hourly conditions and daily highs and lows, while an animated example of the current weather plays in the background. Tapping the location and temperature info at the top of the screen brings up info on humidity, rain chances, wind and direction, and what the temp outside feels like. Tapping this area again brings you back to the default view.

The Weather app offers much more detailed information, along with animated weather previews of your saved locations.

Below that is a strip showcasing an hour-by-hour listing of temperature and a little icon representing the forecast. You can swipe sideways to see what the forecast will be for the next 12 hours.

As before, you can check weather for multiple locations by swiping right or left. With a pinch or by tapping the lower right graphic, you can call up quick views of your saved weather locations; they all display city, local time, temperature, the current weather animation and night/day status.

Camera and Photos apps

The Camera app gets a variety of new features. You can now swipe between the different shooting modes using a sideswipe gesture, toggling through still shots, video, panorama and the new square mode. There are live filters built in (if your device supports them), and you can hold down the shutter (either the virtual button onscreen or the physical volume-up button on the side of the iPhone) to get a continuous burst of shots.

Photos has also picked up some very cool tricks. There are now three tabs to choose from, located at the bottom of the screen: Photos, Shared and Albums.

The Photos tab uses GPS and time-stamp data in every photo to organize your pictures by Years, Collections and Moments. Moments represents individual photos, and you can swipe through them as before. But if you tap the upper left part of the screen, you're brought to the Collections screen, in which the thumbnails of your photos are grouped by date/time and location. If you tap the upper left again, you're brought to the Years screen, which displays thumbnails based on the year the picture was taken.

In the Years and Collections screens, you can tap and hold on a photo, and a larger preview appears above your finger. You can also drag your finger through the photos to find the one you're looking for, and the photo preview will cycle through your photos as you drag. Guiding your fingers over photos is actually useful if your iDevice has a Retina display; it's sharp enough to show the differences in the preview popup between normal and HDR photos.

The Shared tab displays your Shared Photo Streams, those you subscribe to as well as those you host. There is a new Activity section that organizes Photo Streams based on recent activity such as posts, comments and Likes; it's like the Facebook wall in that it shows all of the activity across your shared and hosted Streams.

Photo Stream now allows subscribers to share their own photos on your stream -- and videos can be shared.

The Albums tab gives you separate listings for Camera Roll, iCloud Photo Stream, Panoramas and videos, and it's where you store your own, customized collections of photos.

Although the default theme for photos sports a white background, if you tap your photo once, you can replace the white background with black and hide the on-screen information overlay.

App updates, security and Siri

One great new feature in iOS 7 is the arrival of Auto Updates for apps. Any apps downloaded from the App Store can now update themselves in the background. If you're like me, there are some apps you like to keep track of to see what features have been added or changed. The Notification Bar lets you know when an app has been updated so you can tap and view the change logs. This one feature has effectively cured my OCD regarding app updates, while still allowing me to keep track of the apps I want to know more about.

Siri now features in line results.

Device security has also been beefed up in iOS 7. Find My iPhone has been a popular service, allowing you to see where your iPhone is at all times on a map. If it got lost, you could send messages to the phone, activate sounds and even remotely wipe it. Unfortunately, doing so would restore the device to factory defaults, saving your data from falling into a stranger's hands, but practically gift-wrapping it for the new owner to start anew.

With iOS 7, turning off Find My iPhone requires your Apple ID and password, as does reactivating the device, even if you erase it. Custom messages also remain on display the Lock Screen -- again, even after you wipe your data.

Unless someone comes up with a workaround, this should act as a deterrent for iDevice theft. If enough people use the feature, thieves may realize that stealing an iPhone is a waste of time.

Siri has been given a makeover -- audibly, visually,and in terms of functionality. Apple's virtual assistant now displays over frosted glass -- once again emphasizing the layered look of the OS -- and has a pair of smoother male and female voices. They can be toggled under Settings > General > Siri.

Siri gets an optional new male voice and shows a waveform animation that moves as you speak.

When Siri is active, there is a waveform animation at the bottom of the screen, showing that the virtual assistant is in listening mode. Many answers are now displayed inline instead of dumping you off into another app. Siri can also now toggle settings like Bluetooth or Do Not Disturb on and off, and it can adjust screen brightness and play voice mails.

While Siri is more capable and faster at processing commands, you still have to be connected to a network for it to work. I look forward to the day where this is no longer an issue.

There's a handy guide showing examples of what Siri can perform located to the bottom left of Siri's screen. But the best way to see what Siri can do is still to ask. You never know what she may say.

Final thoughts

After a few months of using iOS 7, I grew accustomed to the changes, even the ones I didn't like such as the look of the Music app and the overly bright white theme of the OS overall. The only giveaway that there was something different about my iPhone was the looks I'd get from friends or coworkers if they happened to glance at my screen. In other words, the UI changes are initially dramatic, but they don't really force you to change existing workflows too much.

The biggest surprise for me came when I had to briefly use an iOS 6 device after I had been using iOS 7 for a while. At first, I thought the new design felt more modern and elegant, but at the expense of the warmth that seemed prevalent in earlier versions. Somewhere along the way, iOS 7 grew on me, and now the look and feel of anything that came before it triggers the same nostalgic waves that the Platinum interface in MacOS 9 does.

That's when I realized that Apple needed the UI rewrite iOS 7 delivers. From admittedly anecdotal discussions with friends, colleagues and in online forums -- as well as my own curiosity about rival OS interfaces -- it now feels to me that the look of iOS had become stale. Clearly Apple thought so, and under the guidance of Jony Ive, took steps to change that.

If color and design can convey a feeling, then iOS 6 was grown-up, solid, staid. In contrast, iOS 7 feels more cheerful, optimistic and fun. I do miss some of the old graphics and I would much prefer a black theme in Music and Photo apps, but I generally appreciate the changes that arrive with this new OS.

Among some iDevice users, the move to iOS 7 from iOS 6 will be a source of contention. I expect more heated debates about the new look...even as most users update and move on. But any nerd-rage about the interface changes will quiet down as millions buy new iPhones and iPads loaded with iOS 7. The vibrant color scheme diffused across the frosted glass interface should work well with the new iPhone 5c and 5s.

There are a few caveats, which is usually the case with the first version of any new OS. In addition to the inconsistent behavior of AirDrop, I've seen a minor decrease in battery life. But, for the most part, iOS 7 is a solid OS with no show-stoppers; I'm actually surprised I haven't run into more bugs, considering the radical changes this update delivers, both in terms of looks and functions.

As I always advise, if you're leery about updating to iOS 7 when it's released Wednesday, wait a few weeks for Apple's inevitable bug-fix update. (That will also give laggard developers more time to update their apps to take advantage of the new features in iOS 7.) But who am I kidding? Most users will update immediately, if for no other reason than a chance to weigh in on the changes and try iOS 7 out for themselves.

When Apple unveiled iOS 7 in June, I was both curious and hesitant about all of the changes included with this update. After some time with it, however, I find that I'm really liking the new design direction. Other than the obligatory warning about running a 1.0 release of software, I very much recommend iOS 7.

Michael deAgonia, a frequent contributor to Computerworld, is a writer, computer consultant and technology geek who has been working on computers since 1993. You can find him on Twitter ( @mdeagonia).

Read more about ios in Computerworld's iOS Topic Center.

Join the Computerworld newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags iTunes StoreAppleconsumer electronicsPandoraiossmartphonessoftwareoperating systems

More about AppleCustomFacebookFaceTimeLike ThisMacsMotionTopic

4 Comments

claire

1

Just update software to 7.0 ios on my iphone 4 how do i delete last used stuff before i used to tap home button twice then hold my finger at the bottom of screen till symbols shake then just tap each one to delete, since update this do'nt work no more please help.

Bob

2

Can you forward a message in ios 7? I could on the old system by hitting edit in a message. If so, how do you do it?

Lad

3

I am trying to do the same Close all used apps and cannot find out how if you get any info please send it on
Thanks

Avril

4

After downloading the new ios 7 on my i pad 2, it has left me with Safari all in Chinese!!!!! Any suggestions please

Comments are now closed

Fake traffic infringement emails doing the rounds in NSW

READ THIS ARTICLE
MORE IN Partner Zones
DO NOT SHOW THIS BOX AGAIN [ x ]