With the announcement of iOS 7 coming in this fall, we see an enhancement to the user experience to the new incarnation of the Apple stable of mobile operating system. If you have watched the WWDC presentation 2013 recently, you will see the new UI revamp that Apple had put in place for that extra ooomph for the Apple user. New gestures are added to enable access to the most important and relevant functions in quicker time, and more intuitive features thrown in as well. Let’s take a look at some of them which I find to be more significant or interesting.
Sense of Depth – For one, the home screen is created with layers to give the sense of depth to the wallpaper. This means that as you look at the screen and move your vantage point around, you can see that the wallpaper is moving behind the icons and any other graphical elements in front. This creates a very interesting perception of depth for eyes. Nice eye-candy.
Scrollable Tabs – Some of the features which I thought was quite nice were the Safari tabs, which will no longer be limited to 8 tabs, and them will be presented in a 3D fashion to scroll through the web page (with a preview in place, which is very useful for frequent Internet surfer like myself).
Photos – Moment by Moment – Another interesting feature was the “Moments” feature in the photo gallery which contextualizes the mess of your photos into chronological order as well as by location, so that you can now organize them into “moments” for quick retrieval. You can even retrieve photos by year and preview small photos in the moments just be sliding your fingers over the small preview square. Very convenient for quick search on a photo that you are so looking for.
Airdrop was another feature which allows users of iPhone 5 and the latest iPad and iPad mini (sorry iPhone 4 folks!) to exchange photos using the Wi-Fi (adhoc Wifi, I think). I think this is probably more intuitive than the typical bluetooth sharing or bump application.
Multi-tasking will also be fully supported for all applications (instead of selected applications only). This should be a good thing for developers hoping to leverage the multi-tasking capabilities of the phone, although I am not sure whether poorly programmed codes would drain the battery faster if these multi-tasking codes were not developed properly (fingers crossed).
iTunes Radio – There was also a “iTunes Radio” feature which in essence, are radio “list of songs” that can be played and you can buy the songs if you like it. One nice thing about it, is that you can ask the player to “Play more of this type of song”, which, if intelligent enough, would be a powerful feature for anyone preferring a certain type of genre or characteristics of songs.
Auto-update – In iOS 7, the applications will no longer require updates – they will update automatically. I am not sure if this is something I would like. Being more of a control people, I would like to decide when and where I would like to update my applications. Sometimes, the newer version may not be as stable or user-friendly after a revamp or upgrade. One innovative move however was that the iOS 7 would intelligently select when to update e.g. when there are strong mobile signal, or Wi-Fi available etc.
For the Calendar application, I was hoping to see a 7-day (2 columns) calendar view, which was not available since iOS 4. Maybe it’s just me, but I like to organise my 7 days into 2 columns of days instead of a long screen of days with time bars. I hope at some point, I will see this view incorporated. I guess it dated back to the Palm era (Handspring to be specific), where I used the 7 days, 2-column view in Handspring Palm devices.
Visit Apple website, if you wish to hear the full presentation here : http://www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2013/