iPhone 5S marks first transformational iOS 7 change for Apple Inc

Oct 16 2013, 16:45 IST
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Six years after Apple Inc launched the first version of iOS, it has given the OS a facelift with iPhone 5S. (Apple) Six years after Apple Inc launched the first version of iOS, it has given the OS a facelift with iPhone 5S. (Apple)
SummaryWith the iPhone 5S, Apple Inc brings out a radical upgrade in iOS 7.

Six years after Apple Inc launched the first version of iOS, the company has given the OS a facelift with the iPhone 5S. The launch of iOS 6 last year marked Apple’s shift away from Google products. It removed YouTube and Google Maps, which were pre-loaded in iOS till last year. iOS 6 was a conservative upgrade. The design had been more or less the same since 2007. Since the arrival of Windows Phone 8’s fresh design and Android Jelly Bean’s butter-smooth user interface, iOS had started looking dated. So, Apple has unveiled iOS 7, which marks the first big change in iOS.

Apple Inc supports software upgrades in products up to three years old (iPhone 4, 4S, 5; iPad 2, 3, 4; iPad Mini and iPod Touch 5th generation can be updated to iOS 7). The update process is simple: go to Settings>General>Software Update and tap Install. You’ll need a WiFi connection or you can plug it to your computer and update via iTunes.

iOS 7 has more than just cosmetic changes. The most prominent addition is the Control Center. In iOS 6, users had to go to Settings>General to access options such as WiFi, 3G or brightness control. The new version gives users easy access to these with a simple swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen. But Apple doesn’t allow you to customise Control Center nor does it let you switch on/off cellular data. You’ll have to go to settings to turn 3G on or off.

The reverse of that gesture, swiping downwards from the top of the screen, lets you access the notification centre. It has three tabs — Today, All and Missed. The first tab highlights your calendar events; the other two show notifications from various apps. But basic functions like quick reply are missing. You’ll have to tap the notification to open the Messages app and send a reply.

The new design eliminates real-life-imitating icons (like a notepad for Notes and a shelf for Newsstand), replacing them with flat, two-dimensional ones. Icons for Settings (oven burner), Game Center (coloured bubbles), Safari and Newsstand don’t reflect the apps’ functions. Some of these look good (iMessage, Mail, and Phone), while others are ugly (Safari, Newsstand, Game Center). But the user experience is excellent.

iOS 7 also supports Background App Refresh, which means your social network feeds can be updated without opening the app. The App Store is much easier to

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