iOS 7 Review: The Good, The Bad and The Motion-Sick

by Cristina Calabrese, Director of Operations

The views expressed in this blog are solely my own and do not reflect the views of The Digital Arts Experience in any way. 

As a former Apple employee, I’ve had a lot of experience in both tinkering with the iOS user interface and troubleshooting it when things weren’t working as intended. Seriously. We heard it all.

  • “My battery life drains SOOO fast”
  • “I just woke up and there was water in it. I swear”
  • “I forgot my Apple ID. And my password”
  • “Can you back up my phone for me?”

(You can find a plethora of funny things Apple Store employees find themselves saying to customers at http://frsexcuses.com/)

In the past, I’ve always been excited when a new update was released. Usually, they were to fix bugs and add a few new innovative features to the iPhone or iPad to make it easier to use. For the most part, every iOS has looked the same until iOS 7 came out, and I think  with the new look, some people are going to be put off by it.

First off, you need 3.4GB of available free space to download iOS 7. I don’t know about you, but if you have a 16GB device, you’re going to have a problem. Due to the preinstalled apps that come with your device, right out of the box, your phone does not TRULY have 16GB of free space – it has about 13.3GB. If you have taken a decent amount of pictures (I mean, who hasn’t?), downloaded some songs, have a few game apps or even the staple Facebook app (306MB), that 13.3GB of space will deplete before you know it.

iPhone Usage breakdown

iPhone Usage breakdown

And wait a minute…why are my messages taking up 5.6GB of space? Let me go through all of my old conversations and delete them…QUICKLY. This appears to be a new feature of iOS 7. Previously, my usage breakdown never displayed my messages taking up storage. This is a good new feature!

Back up your device. After you remove the majority of your selfies, pictures of your cats and food, you should now have enough space to download iOS 7. For me, it took about 45 minutes to download and install. It may take longer depending on your internet connection speed (how good of a WiFi signal you have), or whether or not your iOS was up to date.

Once installed, it will prompt you to enter in a passcode. This can be removed later on, but it shows that Apple has upped their awareness of the ever increasing cleverness of thieves. According to tomsguide.com,

“iOS 7 requires users to re-enter the phone’s Apple ID and password before turning off its “Find My iPhone” feature, which can be accessed via desktop (or another mobile device) to locate a missing device, display the missing device’s remaining battery life, and remotely lock or even wipe the device.

Devices running iOS 7 also require an Apple ID and password before they can be erased or reactivated.

All this makes it much more difficult for thieves to use or sell stolen iPhones”

Back to my comment about why I think some people may be put off by the new iOS: it LOOKS different. Upon closer inspection, the same swiping, taping, and pinching rules apply. And none of the actual “desktop” interface has changed – just the icons. In my opinion, they made all of these changes to give it a sleeker, more modern look. But, it’ll take a few moments to adjust to it. It’s very bright. And white. The font has changed. I’m not quite sure why they changed the icons. In fact, according to cnet.com: “iPhone, iPad owners complain of motion sickness due to iOS 7“. The article goes on to quote forum users saying “The zoom animations everywhere on the new iOS 7 are literally making me nauseous and giving me a headache,” and “It’s exactly how I used to get carsick if I tried to read in the car.” As someone who is highly sensitive to motion sickness, I have not encountered this, but it is a little weird how the text message bubbles bounce and the wallpapers on my phone appear to move. Are they really moving? Or am I seeing things?

My favorite new feature, which I believe is a rip-off of Android devices, is the ability to  “swipe up from the bottom” to access Airplane Mode, WiFi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, Orientation Lock, Brightness, current song selection, flashlight, compass, calculator and camera quickly. Previously, for most of those features, you had to access them individually through your Settings App.

Other cool new features I’ve noticed are filters that you can apply to your camera when snapping a photo. This saves time editing the photo and adding the filter after the fact. You can now also easily swipe between camera modes: panoramic, normal, square or put it on video mode. There are also a bunch of new ringtones, text tones, and vibrations to set to your phone. You can even CUSTOM create your own vibration patterns to set for alerts.

Overall, iOS 7 is a lot like Facebook. When they make changes, everyone complains about it but still continues to use it.  Within a few weeks, everything will go back to normal as if iOS 7 has ALWAYS been the way iPhones look. You’ll see. Everyone hated Facebook’s new Timeline feature when it first came out. Now, I bet you can’t even remember what Facebook looked like prior to the implementation of Timeline. Can you? Okay…so can I.

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