My thoughts and opinions about this presentation/demonstration as well as exciting features of iOS 7:-
- Simpler, sleek UI with a redesign of icons. Very flat, 2D and noticibly absent was the gloss effect in the current version of iOS. Does that mean app developers have to redo their icons? I doubt it, IMHO.
- New light fonts are used extensively for that clean, graceful look that Apple is known for. The light typeface may pose some difficulty in the readability with certain backgrounds but that remains to be seen. The fonts reminded me of a Windows Phone look but still a little different and cooler (of course!)
- COOLEST FEATURE (IMHO) is the feature that achieves depth in parallax which makes the icons almost move (as the background shifts ever so slightly) as the device is moved so as to giving the effect of looking under them. Very, very cool. Lets hope this feature in the future matures to the UX in general and not remain just a novelty in the top level screens.
- Unlock the phone by swiping in more than one way; a new beautiful, translucent Control Center can be swiped in from the bottom at all times; some features here a bit Android inspired but welcome nevertheless. Control center controls WiFi, Bluetooth, Airplane mode as well as music playing and more. Flashlight is included in iOS 7. Ahhhh just when I was thinking of writing my own cool flashlight app:).
- New Home screen "Today" with notification can be swiped from the top. Also, includes weather, reminders, birthdays and appointments.
- Revamped weather app shows dynamic weather animations - I have seen this on Android but still good to have it on iOS.
- iTunes improvements including new iTunes Radio (ad free for customers of iTunes Match I believe). Look out Pandora and other music streamers:)
- iCloud photo-sharing and iCloud keychain remembers sensitive data like passwords etc. improvements in photo organization and sharing with others' photo streams.
- Phone, FaceTime, and iMessage blocking from unwanted callers is quite a welcome feature that I am looking forward to using.
- Activation lock to protect against theft was really cool as even after a reset an iCloud authentication needed to use the phone.
- Showed improved Maps. Nice 3D view of Paris at the demo. More navigation support for use in cars etc.
- Push notifications from iOS apps could be received by the new OS X Mavericks. Cool option to have in some cases.
- Airdrop for peer to peer proximity sharing is quite useful. Only on Wifi I believe.
- Multitasking features as all apps run in background. Battery implications remain to be seen :).
- App updates in the background automatically. What a fantastic option this is as I will not be clicking on update all apps each time to get all latest copies of installed apps.
- More advancements and improvements in Siri, including a new male voice and search results from Bing! (No Google here).
- And many many more features...
The SKINNY: During the demo it was mentioned that there were more than 1400 new API calls for developers. While the UI is redesigned and some features appear to be improvements inspired by what is on Android and Windows Phone, IMHO iOS 7 is quite an amazing leap forward. Furthermore, I want to check under the hood as there are many new features for developers - especially Xcode 5 Preview and iOS SDK 7(Beta). Cannot wait to play with these asap.
Happy dreaming of iOS 7 until the Fall when it is released!
- Gary Saggu
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