iOS 7 Released

As a district with over 400 iPads in circulation, I try to keep tabs on developments concerning new iPad software and hardware.  Yesterday at noon, Apple released a long-awaited major update to its iPhone/iPad operating system, iOS 7.

While many of the iOS updates in the past have added features and fixed bugs while keeping the same basic look, the design aesthetic of iOS 7 is significantly different than its predecessors, as you can see in the screenshots below.  In addition to design changes for the operating system and most of Apple’s iPad apps, Apple also added several new features to iOS.

photoControl Center: allows you to swipe up from the bottom of your screen to display a control center (see pic).  From here, you can toggle airplane mode, bluetooth, and wireless, sound, brightness, and control current audio, among other things.  This will probably look familiar to Android users, who have been able to access similar controls by swiping down from the top of their screens for years.

AirDrop for iOS: allows you to quickly share items with nearby iOS devices.

Automatic App Updates: this is a huge feature for us; apps can now be updated automatically.

Unified URL/Search Bar in Safari: Apple has FINALLY gotten rid of the separate URL and Search bars in Safari in iOS, so – like just about every other browser has allowed for years – you can type a search term or a URL in the address bar and it will take you to either your page or to the best results for your search term.

Male Siri Option: I’m sure that this is exciting to someone.  🙂

So should you upgrade?  I always recommend waiting at least a week or two to install major updates, as there are generally bugs discovered shortly after release.  The iPad Mini onto which I installed iOS, for instance, saw its battery drain from 80% to 0% in just one night while idling, which is abnormal.  That said, I’d expect Apple to be quick in terms of releasing updates to address bugs that crop up.  Almost all of the iOS devices owned by the district are iOS 7 compatible.  The following is a list of devices that will allow an upgrade to iOS 7:

iPad 2, iPad with Retina Display, iPad Mini
iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5C, 5S
iPod Touch 5th Generation

To update, enter the “Settings” menu on your iOS device, tap “General”, and then “Software Update”

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