iOS 7: What You Need to Know

iOS 7: What You Need to Know

iOS 7 is ready for release. Apple says it’s “the mobile OS from a whole new perspective. We’ll take a look at the major new features in the new OS, from all perspectives and give you an overview of the new features.*


The New, Flatter Interface Design

Simplicity is often equated with minimalism. Yet true simplicity is so much more than just the absence of clutter or the removal of decoration. It’s about offering up the right things, in the right place, right when you need them. It’s about bringing order to complexity. And it’s about making something that always seems to “just work.” When you pick something up for the first time and already know how to do the things you want to do, that’s simplicity.

Love it or hate it, iOS 7 features a flatter, more simplistic design. Gone are the shiny icons and stitched leather surfaces, in their place are flat icons and plain white menus.


Apple says their purpose was “to create an experience that was simpler, more useful, and more enjoyable — while building on the things people love about iOS.”

The interface is designed to not get in the way of your content. Ornamentation has been removed, if Apple felt a bar or a button wasn’t needed, it was stripped away, so what they felt was the most important thing, the information the user is accessing, was the main focus.

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Control Center

Control Center gives you quick access to the controls and apps you always seem to need right this second. Just swipe up from any screen — including the Lock screen — to do things like switch to Airplane mode, turn Wi-Fi on or off, or adjust the brightness of your display. You can even shine a light on things with a new flashlight. Never has one swipe given you so much control.

The new Control Center is a favorite around MacTrast. The ability to access multiple features of your iOS device from one location, without even needing your device to be unlocked is a feature that should have been available for years. A quick button to turn on a flashlight. Yes please!

Control Center allows you to turn on or off Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Do Not Disturb. You can also lock your screen’s orientation or adjust its brightness. Play, pause, or skip a song. Connect to AirPlay-enabled devices. And it gives you quick access to a flashlight, timer, calculator, and camera. Yeah, you’re going to use this feature a lot.

Notification Center

Notification Center lets you know about new mail, missed calls, to-dos that need doing, and more. And a new feature called Today gives you a convenient summary of, well, today. One glance at your iPhone and you’ll know if it’s a certain someone’s birthday, if you’ll need an umbrella, or if traffic will slow down your commute. You’ll even get a heads-up on tomorrow. You can access Notification Center from any screen, including the Lock screen. Just swipe down. And get up to speed.


Everything about your day is available in the Notification Center. It will let you know about upcoming appointments, missed calls, emails, app updates, the current weather, everything at your fingertips with just a swipe down from the top of the screen.


Multitasking has always been a smart way to switch between apps. Now it’s even smarter. Because iOS 7 learns when you like to use your apps and can update your content before you launch them. So if you tend to check your favorite social app at 9:00 a.m. every day, your feed will be ready and waiting for you. That’s multitasking in iOS 7. It knows what you want to do before you do.

Just press the Home button twice and you’ll see previews of the apps you have open. Much nicer than just icons. To quit an app, just swipe it up and out of the preview screen. Totally easier to close an app that way, no more trying to hit that “-” on an icon.

Updates are initiated during power-efficient times. Such as when your device is on and it’s connected to a Wi-Fi signal. Less drain on your precious battery life.

Camera and Photos Apps

Camera in iOS 7 puts all your shooting formats — still, video, panorama, and now square — front and center. With a swipe, you can capture what you want the way you want. Fast. And new filters let you do even more with each image. Give it a retro feel. Dial up the contrast. Or go black and white. Artistic license is all yours.

You can apply filters to your photos, either before or after you take the photo. If you decide you don’t like the effect, cancel it.

Now there are faster, easier, and more delightful ways to scroll down memory lane. Introducing Years, Collections, and Moments — smart groupings of your photos and videos based on time and place. Tap Years and all your shots fill the screen. Each year holds Collections, like your trip to San Francisco. And in that Collection are distinct Moments — photos from Union Square, videos from AT&T Park. So you can find a shot from whenever, wherever, in no time.

You can view your photos in a whole new way using the Year, Collections, and Moments groupings. Work your way down through the collections to easily find the photo you’re looking for.


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. Enter AirDrop for iOS. It lets you quickly and easily share photos, videos, contacts — and anything else from any app with a Share button. Just tap Share, then select the person you want to share with. AirDrop does the rest using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. No setup required. And transfers are encrypted, so what you share is highly secure.


AirDrop allows you to share a file like a photo or a video with one person or many people. Tap the Share icon, select the user you want to share with, and let AirDrop take care of it from there.


Browsing is bigger, better, and more beautiful with Safari in iOS 7. Buttons and bars — like the unified smart search field — stay hidden until you scroll to reveal them. So you see more content than ever on your screen. And with a swipe, you can go back or forward a page. It’s all designed so nothing gets in your way or slows you down.


Type a URL or search term in the unified smart search field, and Safari will suggest the closest match to what you’re looking for.

The new tab view allows you to see your open web pages in a consolidated view that lets you scroll effortlessly from tab to tab. To close a page, just swipe it offscreen.

Shared links, reading list and iCloud keychain (coming soon) are also new features.

iTunes Radio

iTunes Radio features streaming radio stations you’ll love from day one — from the best selection of music. The more you listen, the more personalized it becomes. And it’s available on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC, and Apple TV for free. It’s radio re-imagined.


iTunes Radio gives you access to more than 300 DJ-curated and genre-focused stations — including everything from Hard Rock to Country to Rap.

Create and customize stations based on whatever you want to hear. iTunes Radio can build stations around artists, songs, or genres you choose.


iOS 7 also includes an improved Siri. She has a new look, a new sound, and new capabilities. Her redesigned interface fades into view over whatever app you’re using.  Siri has a more natural-sounding female or male voice which makes Siri even easier to understand. Siri’s faster and checks more sources, such as Bing, Wikipedia, and Twitter when you ask a question. Siri also handles new tasks, like returning calls, playing voicemail, controlling iTunes Radio, and more.

The App Store

Apps Near Me will show you a collection of popular apps relevant to your current location. The Kids category, (coming soon), will allow you to browse and buy the best apps for your children based on their age. The new App Store also keeps your apps up to date automatically. No more manual updates, no more little red “bugs” on the App Store icon.

Find My iPhone

If your device is lost or stolen, new security features in iOS 7 make it harder for anyone who’s not you to use or sell your device. If anyone tries to turn off Find My iPhone or erase your device,  they’ll need to enter your Apple ID and password. Find My iPhone can also continue to display a custom message, even after your device is erased. Also, your Apple ID and password are required before anyone can reactivate it.

So here we go! This is the day we’ve all been looking forward to! iOS 7 is being released, bringing a whole new look, and a whole load of new features to your iOS device. Make sure to check out our full iOS 7 coverage roundup for all the details regarding iOS 7, and all of our iOS 7 launch coverage for today and the near future!

Note: Quotes for each section are taken from Apple’s iOS 7 page.