The Top 11 New Features in iOS 7

Audio-only FaceTime calls.IMG_0019

VoIP has been a big issue for smartphones as its something that most smartphones can do and should be able to do well. Unfortunately, it also bypasses one of the key, traditional offerings of wireless carriers – actual phone service.

Starting with iOS 7, iDevice users will be able to make audio-only FaceTime calls, similar to the VoIP audio calls they can currently make with other clients, such as Skype. While the service will be limited to Wi-Fi and not cellular internet connections, its still something that will help Apple iPhone users reduce the number of plan minutes they consume every month.

How this impacts the market as well as if and when it might be allowed to be used over cellular connections is still unknown at this time, but its something most everyone will be watching for.

 

IMG_0020Multi-Tasking

iOS 7’s new multi-tasking process provides users with a better experience and a better understanding of what apps are open and running on their iDevice. Double clicking the Home button still brings up multi-tasking, but instead of just a row of icons, you get the icon and a full screen view of each running app.

This feature is very similar to what WebOS provided its users. You can dismiss the display with a swipe up. Swiping left or right scrolls you through the list of running apps. Screens are updated real-time, when you’re connected to Wi-Fi or are plugged in.

 

 

SiriIMG_0021

Big updates are coming to Siri in iOS 7. The digital assistant has a new wave form display; and is getting a smoother sounding female voice, as well as a male voice. Performance improvements in beta 2 have been widely reported, and my own, personal experience with Siri shows that the feature is GREATLY improved from iOS 6 and iOS 7 beta 1.

Please also remember that Bing is the new search default for iOS 7, and as such, Siri uses it instead of Google out of the box.

 

iOS Security – Anti-Theft Activation Lock

One of the biggest problems with owning an iPhone is kinda silly – holding on to it. Device theft, or what’s become know as “Apple Picking” has become a serious problem. People are having iDevices stolen out of bags, pockets and even right out of their hands as they’re speaking with someone. With the introduction of iOS 7, Apple is fighting this growing trend of device theft head on. If someone steals an iDevice with iOS 7 on it, you can still use Find my iPhone to secure and wipe the device. What’s new is that now, the device won’t activate with your or ANY other SIM card in it until YOUR Apple ID password is entered. Your Apple ID and password will also be required to reactivate a device that has been remote wiped.

I think this is one of the coolest features in the entire OS. Living and working near and in the city of Chicago, I try not to pull my iPhone out of my coat or shirt pocket while walking to or from the office. There are too many people on the streets, and too many opportunities to have the device stolen.

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