iOS 7 Impressions

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iOS-7 I installed iOS 7 on my iPad last Wednesday, along with everyone else, and then went away over the weekend, which gave me plenty of time to try it out without a lot of time to read blog posts, reviews and other articles about the upgrade. This puts me in a similar position to the average person who doesn’t read every article published about the new operating system. So, is it worth the upgrade? I say yes. Is it revolutionary? I’m not ready to go that far.

One of the things I did read before I left town was that upgrading would make me feel like I had a new device. Well, no. It does run well on my 4th generation iPad, and it even runs smooth and fast on my iPhone 4S. But they are still an iPad and an iPhone. It doesn’t feel like I have new devices.

I find the new look to be pleasing. The crisp narrow font looks sharp on a Retina display. I do wonder if it looks as good on a mini or iPad 2, but I haven’t seen it yet on either of those devices.

iOS 7 Notifications
All that white does take some getting used to. Menus are white. The keyboard is white. Sometimes it seems like everything is white. After a couple of days, I grew used to it, but it took some time. Now when I open an app that isn’t optimized for iOS 7, and I see the old color scheme, it looks weird.

Of course I love the new Control Center. Not every app works smoothly with it yet, however, and I find myself getting impatient with swiping up and nothing happens. Control Center is particularly nice for getting to my iTunes controls. I get picky and like to change tracks while reading or writing. And yes, I had way too much fun with the flashlight option right after I upgraded my phone. I had never purchased a third-party flashlight app, so it was my first exposure to that. I also expect I’ll get quite a bit of use out of the easy access to the calculator. Now if Apple would just add a calculator app to the iPad.

Let me note that while I do like the Control Center, it’s not “revolutionary.” I’ve been using Android tablets for a while, and they’ve had a similar (and in my opinion better) solution for some time now. Apple really needs to add widgets.

I think I will like the background app updates. However, right now I’m impatient to upgrade my apps to be fully iOS 7 compatible, so I still manually check for updates in the App Store. If you don’t have an unlimited data plan and were concerned, the default is to only update over WiFi.

So what do I not like, if anything? Well, this morning I discovered that setting my Wallpaper doesn’t work like it used to. When using a Camera Roll picture, which is what I use most of the time, you can’t scale the image to display properly. Thinking that perhaps I was missing a setting, I did a quick Google search and discovered lots of other people are similarly frustrated. Changing the Setting to Reduce Motion didn’t fix it for me, and that was the only potential fix I could find. I’m hoping it’s a bug that will be corrected soon.

My other gripe is with iTunes. When opening the app, it defaults to iTunes Radio, which I don’t care about or intend to use. I would prefer it default to the same view I’d been using when I closed the app. I can live with it, however.

What about battery life? I’m not seeing any impact yet, not even on my iPhone 4S. I upgraded it later than my iPad, so I haven’t had as much time to evaluate, but so far, it seems fine. My iPad battery life is every bit as good as it ever was. Yes, I’m reading about people who are seeing a significant decrease, but I’m not one of them.

So my gripes are minor. I like almost everything I’ve seen so far. My recommendation is to upgrade unless there’s a mission critical app for you that doesn’t yet work well on iOS 7. It’s not (quite) revolutionary, and I don’t think you’ll feel like you have a brand new device, but I do think you’ll enjoy it.

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