The Top 11 New Features in iOS 7

iOS Security – iCloud Keychain

Keeping your iDevice secure is a task that iOS 7 is becoming more and more suited to. Password wallets are a big deal on mobile devices, and now, iCloud can keep track of all of your passwords as well as all of your credit card numbers. iCloud Keychain is also integrated with Safari and will automatically enter in the appropriate information while you’re making purchases on iOS or OS X Mavericks. iCloud Keychain can generate unique, secure passwords and will automatically store and recall your data with 256-bit encryption.

IMG_0022Safari

One of Apple’s goals for iOS 7 is an improved on-device browsing experience. Apple wants web browsing in iOS 7 to be “bigger, better, and more beautiful.” Their vision includes full-screen browsing and a new tab view, which looks a lot like a cover flow display. With it, you can scroll through open tabs and view the ones you want and dismiss those you’re done with, with a simple swipe.

There’s finally a unified search/URL bar, which auto-suggests websites and search terms. Safari’s Shared Links view shows a list of URLs from your Twitter timeline; while the Reading List section lets you scroll through items you’ve saved for later.

 

AirDropIMG_0023

Sending a photo or a document to someone via text or email is fine; but if that someone is right next to you, a text or an email suddenly feels like too many steps. AirDrop for iOS lets you quickly and easily share photos, videos, or contacts — or anything else from any app with a Share button. All you have to do is tap Share and then select the person you want to share the file with. AirDrop communicates with compatible iDevices around you. There’s no setup required; and transfers are encrypted, so what you share is highly secure.

 

IMG_0024Camera

The camera app in iOS 7 is new and improved with new shooting formats and filters. You can capture stills or video, change the look and feel of your shot, all with a quick swipe. You can apply filters to still and square photos, and you can see the filter’s effect on the shot before you take the picture. Filters can also be applied post processing. The camera in general is more attentive in iOS 7. It’s very easy to quickly snap tens of pictures in just a few moments.

 

Bugs and Issues

Please understand that this is the first in what is likely to be a long line of beta releases for iOS 7. The software is buggy and crash prone, and is NOT ready for general consumption by the average user. TUAW recently ran a GREAT article on its site. The gist of it is this – if you’re not a developer or someone who has a professional need to run beta releases of Apple’s mobile operating system, please don’t install it. You’re not ready for it, its not ready for you, and all its going to do is cause you grief.

For example, below is a small list of issues and defects that I have informally discovered while running iOS 7 Beta 1 and Beta 2 over the past couple of weeks. This is NOT an exhaustive list; and I don’t have a full or even a partial set of requirements in order to determine what may or may not be a defect. I do NOT expect all of these issues to be resolved with the next beta release of iOS 7.

  • Touch Screen Insensitivity – You touch it, it ignores you. You touch it again, it still ignores you. You touch it again, it begrudgingly acknowledges that it’s been touched. This should get better as the beta program progresses.
  • Gmail Push Notifications are continuously sent and resent, Consuming GIGABYTES of Data – My phone buzzes more than a bee hive. I’ve had to turn most notifications from 3rd party apps off in order to keep the phone from vibrating my leg off or the battery from dying, or both. I also almost ran out of data on a 10GB plan… All in less than 2 weeks. Yeah… Not good.
  • Audio and Video Podcasts won’t play consistently – I’m not certain what the issue is, but there’s something wrong here. Podcasts often freezes and force quits. I’ve restored iOS 7 Beta 2 more than once and set the device up as a new iPhone and it still won’t play podcasts consistently. It sorta feels like there’s an issue with the app reading the library file, but I don’t know for certain.
  • Settings Don’t Refresh & Display Chosen Options – You have to back out of a menu or submenu and come back in before your choice registers and shows.
  • Bluetooth Audio Pairing with Headsets/Car Kits/ Car Radios is Inconsistent and Problematic – Beta 1 gave me tons of issues when trying to make calls on my car stereo head unit. I kept getting a submarine “ping” when MAKING calls, but not consistently. So far with Beta 2, things are a bit better.
  • PIM Data (Mail/Contacts/Calendar) doesn’t Sync as Expected or with ConsistencySync services are a core function of your iDevice. The fact that data doesn’t
  • Many 3rd party apps Force Quit after Install or during Operation – So much for Navigon in Betas 1 & 2. It and other apps are going to be a crap shoot. They may or may not run. Don’t be surprised, though, if your favorite app(s) don’t run. They may need to be updated for iOS 7.
  • Screen/Video Artifacts – Screen content often leaves dirty pixels from functions turning on or off, screen rotations, etc. These should get cleaned up as the beta progresses, but right now, it can make things difficult to read.
  • Calendar Events don’t Sync or Snooze Consistently – I’m clearly missing events from my Google maintained calendar on my phone. I’m not sure why some events don’t sync. It’s very frustrating.Sometimes you tap Snooze, and the event never wakes up. This obviously needs to change; and change quickly.
  • Notification Center Displays events from Yesterday on your Agenda – It’s not helpful today to have yesterday’s events appear on the Agenda. I’d like today’s events, please. And I’d like all of them, too…
  • Music Displays Incorrect Song Info/Album Art – It’s strange to turn the display on after its slept, and see the wrong artist and album art displayed for the song that’s playing, or the right artist, but wrong song, or the right song name, but wrong artist. You can mix and match as you feel necessary…Its apparently the same thing that Music is doing on my iPhone…
  • Wi-Fi Network Names Don’t Display in Popup – Wi-Fi networks are supposed to show up in the network popup with an option to join. That doesn’t happen. Network names also don’t correctly enumerate or take quite a bit of time to show up in the list. There are a number of things that could be causing this…
  • Wallpaper Chooser Doesn’t Display Thumbnail of Chosen Wallpaper – This is the same issue as Settings not displaying correctly. You have to exit the options page and then come back in to see the choice that you’ve made.
  • Wallpaper Chooser Won’t Display Stock Wallpaper if Camera Roll or Albums are Empty – Yeah… this one was strange. Obviously a bug from beta 1 that will get squashed before GM release.

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