A couple of days ago I upgraded my iPhone 5 to iOS 7. Here are my first impressions, dealing mainly with the installation process and the new look and feel.
Installation went very smoothly: I was waiting for Software Update on the phone to tell me iOS 7 was available but it was not happening. I saw that I still had an update to do for version 6.1.4, so I ran that and shortly after the install completed iOS 7 popped up.
There are a coupIe of simple tips I’d recommend. Backup your phone before you start by connecting it to iTunes. Also, run any app updates that appear. I don’t have loads of apps, but I have quite a few, and last week (just before iOS7 came out) I had 13 updates to do all at once.
The iOS 7 update on the phone said it had downloaded, so I unplugged the phone from the computer and ran the installer. It took about 20 minutes, rebooted itself, gave me a Hello screen, and asked me to put in my Apple ID. Straightforward.
One weird thing – after all the things it got right – was that the time was wrong. I had to check the time zone – at that point it corrected itself. Two good things – I seem to have gotten back about 2 GB of disk space and battery life is unaffected.
I follow Apple-related news quite closely and knew what to expect. This is a big change in appearance, especially if you update without being aware this is going to happen. If you want to be prepared, check out the iOS 7 review, which will tell you all about it. Once you’ve upgraded you can’t go back.
From what I’d read I thought I might have some reservations about the interface appearing too “flat”, things in the background moving about too much and the text being too thin. In fact, I have no initial criticism of the interface. I think it is clean and crisp, with apps like Safari, Calendar and Notes receiving big changes for the better. Safari on iOS 6 looked ancient and I used Chrome instead. Now I’m giving Safari another go…
Things are “flatter” than before but there is depth – see the image above. Some windows sit on top of the interface when they appear. I didn’t get any moving backgrounds – the update preserved my background picture and Lock screen, just how I like it. For me, certain things are now easier – for example, turning on/off wifi and Bluetooth. Turning on 3G data is no longer hidden away as it was before.
After a bit of poking around, I got used to it very quickly. More jarring were apps that have changed their appearance to fit in wih the new look-and-feel. Some look distinctly different to how they did before, although a greater risk might be that many apps in the future end up looking very similar as they try to conform to the new styling. It is clear that we are in a time of transition though, as apps that have not been updated for iOS 7 yet retain the iOS6 styling and keyboard.
At least one of my apps (my much loved Drafts) has become iOS 7 only. I understand that there is a lot of new technology behind the scenes, so I look forward to seeing what apps can do once they no longer have to support older versions of the operating system.
In conclusion this has been a very successful upgrade, but do a bit of preparation before you start and realise that things will look distinctly different once it is done.