The recent release of the new operating system for Apple mobile devices (like iPads and iPhones), iOS7, has a wealth of new features and, as is typical with mass deployment of software, new problems. Many people may find their way to their local libraries for help, if they don’t live within an easy drive of an Apple genius, or know of one personally. So let’s chat for a bit about what’s good about the new iOS, and what you can anticipate from your patrons or your Apple devices.
- All Apple mobile devices now have a feature called “Control Center”, which is accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. This is a shortcut to Settings for any app, letting you quickly make helpful changes without going through the Settings app to do so. (http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/18/4741724/ios-7-review)
- For those who use their Apple devices as personal secretaries, the Today View in the Notification Center gathers all relevant pieces of information for the day in one place, such as appointments, weather, reminders, current stock prices, and so on. (http://appadvice.com/appnn/2013/09/how-to-customize-notification-center-in-ios-7)
- Multitasking is easier now with the App Manager. Pressing the home button twice used to show the icons of all running apps, and if you wanted to close them, you had to make them dance and wobble. Now, with a double-press, you see a mini-version of the running app, and a swipe of the finger scrolls through them or closes them. (http://www.pcmag.com/slideshow/story/316056/how-to-multitask-in-ios-7)
- Security is improved, especially in case of theft. Using these changes will let you lock a stolen device so that a would-be thief would need your credentials to successfully re-activate the device. Also, promises of iCloud Keychain (to be released soon) will permit your Apple device to remember your passwords and credit cards, keying them to your thumbprint. http://www.pcworld.com/article/2050765/the-7-best-crime-fighting-features-of-ios-7.html
- The new appearance of icons, use of light colors and thin fonts, and “zooming” motions have many perplexed and some nauseated. For many, the new choices of imagery for icons is not intuitive, and against many backgrounds, letters can be faint or illegible. Finally, there is a zoom effect when switching apps that can make some users motion-sick. (http://www.examiner.com/article/apple-ios-7-user-interface-causes-nausea-medical-professionals-explain-why)
- Power drain. Several new features, such as the automatic updating of apps in the background, can mean a significant drain on the power of Apple devices. Most users aren’t prepared for this when the new iOS is installed, but fortunately, many of these services can be limited or entirely removed from the picture. (http://gizmodo.com/how-to-take-care-of-your-smartphone-battery-the-right-w-513217256/1416982678)
- There’s no going back. If you’re one of those people that assumed it would be a routine update, or hoped it would have all the polish that Apple is renowned for in their products and find yourself disappointed or worse, then unfortunately you are stuck with learning to live with the change. Apple prohibits downgrading to previous iOS versions. (http://www.extremetech.com/computing/167450-downgrading-from-ios-7-to-ios-6-why-apple-wont-let-you)
Hopefully, this won’t impact our libraries all too significantly. (The Overdrive app has a new version that plays nice with iOS 7.) If so, let me know what problems you encounter!
(Sorry about the lack of a post last week, and due to the holiday, there will be no post this coming Monday.)