iOS 7, What you should know

It’s been a few months now since Apple unveiled the new iPhone 5S, as well as a brand new mobile operating system, iOS 7. Even if you’re not planning on getting the 5S (or it’s cheaper cousin, 5C) any time soon, the new OS still runs on many older Apple devices, starting from iPad2, fifth-generation iPod Touch or iPhone4 or later (goodbye, 3GS, you served us well). So let’s take a look at what the new system has to offer, and whether it’s actually going to be able to fortify Apple’s position as the world’s most valued brand, or be seen as more of a liability instead.

First, the interface received quite an overhaul. You will soon notice that the system is sporting a brand new font, most stock OS app icons have been redesigned, and the entire interface is flatter and more layered than in any of the previous models. There are a few new gestures added when using the interface, so for example, now you’re able to swipe from the bottom up to activate Control Center, or swipe an app upward while Multitasking in order to quit using it.

So, new features. Control Center is supposed to finally solve the anxiety users get when they have to scroll through countless lists and settings before accomplishing some pretty regular and mundane tasks, like turning off Bluetooth, or exiting airplane mode. Now, one flick of a finger and you access the Center, which integrates most of the common settings you often interact with, like adjusting the volume and brightness of the screen, or using your camera light as a flashlight.

Some features are not entirely new, but have either migrated from other Apple’s devices or been sufficiently modified. AirDrop, the protocol Apple uses for sharing files wirelessly between devices is now finally added to the iPhone. On the other hand, Multitasking’s not a newcomer, but has been extensively revamped, now allowing the apps to take full charge of background multitasking, as well as replacing the previous running apps grid with a series of screen that reflect all the apps you are currently using, which can be manipulated with fairly easily.

If you’re concerned about security, some comfort is to be found in Activation Lock, an update to Find my iPhone setting. Thieves developed a habit of just degrading a stolen device to its factory defaults, so that it can then be set up from scratch, but Activation Lock now requires the user’s Apple ID password in order to make any changes, such as restoring or reactivating the device. Just make sure to turn on Find my iPhone in the iCloud settings.

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