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Stephen Green


September 23, 2013 - 5:30 pm
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Control Center

People hate iOS 7 so much, they’ve upgraded 200,000,000 devices to it since its release last Wednesday — double the upgrade pace iOS 6 enjoyed last year. I believe that makes it the most widely-used version of any mobile operating system.

Not bad for an OS that’s only five days old.

OK, it’s barking remarkable.

I’m pleased as punch with the performance improvements and enhancements over iOS 6. Nothing just appears; everything comes from or goes to some particular place as you touch or swipe the screen. That might seem a small thing, but it isn’t. You always know exactly where you are, how you got there, and what will happen with your next gesture. (Want to have fun with Android owners? Ask them what the Back button does. Almost every answer will begin with, “Well…”) In iOS 7 everything has a certain cause and a certain effect — everything is done with a purpose. The visual clues give your eyes memory, the way your fingers remember how to tie your shoes.

I was afraid my ancient iPad 3 would find its graphics co-processor — already running at Ludicrous Speed just to maintain the Retina Display — overwhelmed by all the new visual bells and whistles. But it still performs with all the speed and slickness you expect from an Apple mobile device. My son’s iPad mini handles iOS 7 just as nicely. My iPhone 5S won’t arrive until Thursday, but my two-year-old 4S feels faster, no joke.

The new Control Center (cribbed pretty shamelessly from Android, but turnabout and all that) is a great addition. I find it’s a little too easy to activate it when swiping up to scroll through web pages, but there’s a setting to disable it while you’re in apps, or also from the lock screen. Turn it off in apps/leave it on in Lock, seems to be the best combo for both me and my wife.

Siri is smarter. Last week, I could not for the life of me get her to understand that I wanted her to play Frank Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim’s recording of “One Note Samba.” “Siri, play ‘One Note Samba’,” I must have said a dozen times with perfect diction. Every time she’d reply, “I’m sorry, Stephen, but I can’t find one note somber.” And finally me shouting at my phone, “No! It’s samBA, samBA, samBA!” like a demented dance instructor.

I tried it again in the truck this morning, and instead of getting Siri’s error message, my reply was Frank singing, This is just a little samba, based upon a single note…. That’ll put a bounce in your step on a Monday morning.


iOS 7 is also more security-minded. As you go through the quick initial setup scheme, it will default to having a four-digit passcode. If you choose to turn it off, the OS will ask you if you’d like it to stop using autofill for your browser logins. Smart.

If you thought the camera was fast before, now it’s faster, and complete with HDR, Instagram-type filters, and other nifty new tricks. It’s the best camera I’ve ever used that didn’t say “Nikon” on it and pair with my shelf full of lenses. And remember, this is a two-year-old iPhone 4S we’re talking about here. I got all this new speed and functionality from a simple OS upgrade. Can’t wait to put the new 5S camera through its paces later this week.

Graphically, iOS 7 is hit or miss.

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All Comments   (4)
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I started updating my iPhone 4 with IOS 7.2 at 3:00 PM this afternoon. It's now 9:22 PM and the Dodgers are tied in the bottom of the 11th.

The phone has been "Updating iCloud Settings" for 5 hours now, and counting. I don't think I will update my wife's phone.

I think it's interesting that with the death of Steve Jobs, Apple bowed to design pressure from none other than Microsoft, who pioneered the "spare" "thin font" look of their tiles with "Metro," which is designed after the Swiss metro train system.

Jobs is spinning in his grave.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
In general, I'm satisfied, Just a couple of gripes:

1) Buttons for turning on 3G and VPN need to be on Control Center.
2) Give me the trashcan on normal view in Mail, as well as the filebox.
3) iClod (not a typo) syncing of bookmarks STILL sucks donkey balls. I had to kill it on my laptop because it was strangling Firefox, even on 8GB RAM.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It's taking me a long time to adjust to the new look. I loved the rich detail of the old design. To me, the new design looks "droid-ish" almost cheap. No a fan.

However, as I get past the surface, I'm beginning to appreciate the new "power" under the hood.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Stephen, I my daughter made me read this out loud because I kept laughing. Samba, samba, samba!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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