Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Glance At iOS7 - Here's What's New!

Welcome to my very first blog post. My name is Adil Sheikh (@TheSheikh) and I am a certified Tech Nut or iNerd. I have owned every single iPhone on day of release. This may make you think all my blog post will be about Apple stuff. Not quite, I am also a big Android OS fan. Their partnership with Samsung has created some of the most amazing smartphones out there. I also have a small tiny part of my heart that likes Windows OS. Now what do I do in real life. I work for a pharmaceutical company supporting their Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution. What is MDM? It is a tool that is used to lock down, control, encrypt, and enforce policies on mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones. I am also a video game geek.

Lets take a look at iOS7- 
(Picture from PCMAG)

This is the second major iOS release since the passing of Mr. Steve Jobs. Things have changed in Apple land as most of us can tell. The 'WOW' factor seems to be missing with Apple. But that may not be a bad thing. Apple has proven to consumers that they make great reliable products. iOS is the most stable smartphone OS out there and there is no denying that. Android makes a GREAT OS and has some amazing features, but the OS is not as stable as Apple's.

iOS7 brings us some great new features and a much needed touch up. I will cover some of the new features below.

Control Center -
How to access it - Swipe from the bottom and go up
What is it - It lets you access the most used setting quickly.

  • Airplane mode - Turns off all network connections on your device
  • Wi-Fi - If I need to explain what Wi-Fi is then umm you don't need to own a smartphone
  • Bluetooth - Lets you connect to already paired devices. Anything new you will have to still go through the settings menu.
  • Do Not Disturb - Unlike airplane mode its keeps your network connections on but puts your phone into a silent assassin mode. You can customize Do Not Disturb mode in the Settings menu.
  • Rotation Lock - My favorite feature (yes I know that is sad). It locks your display in portrait mode.   
  • Brightness
  • Music Control - Lets you control your music. This no longer is in the double tap home button screen. 
  • Airdrop - Sharing files. Will cover this later on
  • Flashlight - Clock\Alarm\Timer - Calculator – Camera

Notification Center -
How to access it - Swipe from the top and go down
What is it - Notification Center lets you know about new mail, missed calls, calendar events, and more.

Notification center no longer lets you post Tweets or Facebook messages, but it does give you a more organized look to check your daily activities. Also gives you a Missed tab for a quick glance of missed messages, calls, etc.
(Picture from Apple)

Multitasking -
How to access it - Double tap the Home button
What is it - It lets you access all the applications running in the background.

Multitasking has been refined and works great. It reminds us of WebOS. You can quickly switch through applications by tapping on them. To close apps just swipe them up.

This is Apple's take on NFC which Android users LOVE.  "It lets you quickly and easily share photos, videos, contacts — and anything else from any app with a Share button. Just tap Share, then select the person you want to share with. AirDrop does the rest using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. No setup required. And transfers are encrypted, so what you share is highly secure." via
(Picture from Apple)

Folders - 
Folders support multiple pages now and can hold more apps then before. You can FINALLY put Newsstand in a folder.

Siri -
Siri received a pretty nice makeover and has learned a lot of new commands. It checks more sources to answer your questions. Siri also opens on top of whatever is on your screen. You can also change the voice from the default Female to Male (Settings - General - Siri - Voice Gender).

Maps automatically switch from day to night mode. This is done by the light sensors on the device and the time of day. (Picture from MacRumors)

Block Phone Numbers –
You can now block those annoying people from calling you. Go to Settings – Phone - Blocked to add contacts. The call will be transferred straight to voice mail. This will also block FaceTime and messages. 

Safari -
Safari received a nice shiny makeover as well. It offers private browsing and a handful of new tools. 

Search -
No more swiping all the way to the left to get to the Search menu .. THANK GOD!!!! Now you can just place your finger in the middle of the screen and swipe down to bring the search menu.

iTunes Radio –
Apple takes a jab at Pandora with iTunes Radio. It is located in the Music app and is only available for users with a US iTunes account.

App Updates –
iOS7 brings a great feature to help me be more lazy. Auto App updates automatically installs updates without you having to go into the App Store and pressing update. This feature can be turned on and off by going into Settings – iTunes & App Store.

Get ready for a massive app updates coming in the next few days. Facebook and Twitter have already updated their apps to take advantage of iOS7. They look and feel great now.

Apple offers a video walk through of some key features here.

Most of you may say "Hey, I have had these features for a long time now on my Android device." Great.. Good.. I am glad you had them..  I have them now as well. Some of the features may not wow you now. But they will grow on you in the next few months.This is a nice step for Apple and I am excited to see how the company evolves moving forward.

If you have any questions – comment below. You can reach me via email or via Twitter @TheSheikh

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