Beyond the Hype: 7 Key New Features in iOS 7


Even with the negative publicity surrounding Apple's iOS 7, there seems to be more promise than initially predicted, as it continues to grow on users with the discovery of new features.

Apple made a big move recently by launching the highly controversial iOS 7. The near instant feedback from social networks users was less than positive. Although some didn’t mind the new operating system, others passionately disliked it, and some even became physically sick trying to navigate to their favorite apps.

There may be a few nice upgrades, but for the most part many Apple users wonder if the new features are worth the hassle. (Learn more about iOS 7 in What to Expect from iOS 7.)

Here are some of the key differences in iOS 7:

1. The Design

The design is the first immediately noticeable difference after the update. Filled with new colors, a smaller keyboard and new icons, users instantly see a dramatic change in the operating system before feeling the updates.

Then, the user puts the operating system in motion – literally. The new design includes distinct animated characteristics. For example, the icons appear to be floating on the background. As the user moves the phone around, the background moves with it. Another example of the new animated design is the way apps fly around the screen. Although they may not seem like a big deal, many people claim that while using the newlydesigned operating system, these small animations make them nauseous.

2. Swipe Down for the Spotlight

In the past, Apple users had to click to a unique page to search their iPhone or iPad for information. iOS 7 changes this by making it easier to swipe down for the search bar. To access, users simply swipe down from the middle of the home screen.


The spotlight feature searches the phone for contacts, emails and apps. It does not, however, search the Internet, as it did in the past.

3. Toggles are Easier to Access

On the last operating system, Apple made it somewhat tricky to toggle to essential functions, such as Airplane mode, Bluetooth settings, media controls and more. Those used to be hidden deep inside the settings button.

Apple discovered how frequently people used these features and designed an exclusive screen just for them. This is called the Control Panel, which is accessible by swiping up from the home screen. In addition to Airplane mode and Bluetooth, the Control Panel screen allows you to adjust your phone’s brightness, find a Wi-Fi signal, lock the orientation, play music, adjust the speaker and more. It even has a flashlight and calculator.

There are times when this screen is difficult to access. Other times, it may suddenly appear whe navigating an app and accidentally swipe up from the bottom of the screen. To make it less bulky, there are adjustments that can be made in settings.

4. Easier Leveling Abilities

Remember those new motions everyone has complained about? It turns out Apple has used the motion detection abilities to a small advantage.

Apple has built in the ability to use your iPhone or iPad as a level, which is accessed in the compass app. Once in the compass app, swipe to the left and you’ll see the bubble-leveling tool appear. Although not an essential app, many people have been surprised by its handiness.

5. New Internet Interface

The entire design of Safari in iOS 7 has changed. First, the bottom navigation bar that takes you forward, back and allows you to access your bookmarks is now easier to use. It hides itself when a user is on a Web page to avoid distraction.

What has also changed is the way tabs are viewed. The new scrolling interface allows you to view more open tabs. There is a small x in the top corner to close out any tabs that are no longer required or used. Sometimes, this can be tricky to push, so Apple’s new operating system also allows users to close tabs by swiping to the left. This is much faster and easier for users, allowing them to quickly move about their business.

6. Closing Apps is Easier

Closing apps isn’t a huge necessity, that is, until they crash and refus to resolve themselves. Many people also like to keep their apps closed to save battery life. Whatever the reason, closing apps or switching between open apps has become easier and more straightforward.

To close or switch apps in iOS 7, double click on the home screen to pull up a list of open apps. Scroll from side to side to see the apps. Click on an app to switch to it. To close it out, swipe it up and off the screen.

7. Siri Got an Upgrade

One of Apple’s most noticeable and loved features just got an upgrade. Siri, Apple’s version of a personal assistant, now comes with male and female voices.

Siri also has more built-in services. It can now understand a broader range of commands, making it even more useful. Some of the new commands and services Siri can access include Wikipedia and Twitter – two essential tools used regularly by many iPhone users.

Although iOS 7 has received much hype and negative publicity, many users are beginning to settle in and discover new key features that they did not realize they missed in the previous operating system. To make this operating system user friendly, Apple still has a few kinks to work out, but overall, there seems to be more promise than initially predicted.

What’s your favorite new iOS 7 feature?


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Kimberly Crossland

Kimberly Crossland graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in international business and marketing. She started her career overseas for one of the leading computer security software companies. Then, she returned to the United States and worked with a cloud collaboration startup firm. Now, she works as a writer offering important information for people in IT on the most current trends and how they can employ those trends to give their business legs to succeed.