iOS 7: hate it or love it, live with it

iOS 7 logo

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.

Good:

  • 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

Bad:

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.)

Putting your library on the map

Totius Mundi 1775

It seems like there’s a new exploration race occurring, except now instead of topography and geography, it’s about the businesses and places of interest throughout the nation and the world.

Some efforts are tackling this for all businesses. If you haven’t tried Google Maps, you’re in for a very neat experience. They’ve been building its functionality for some time, and owners or representatives of establishments are encouraged to refine the information already provided by Google. Street View lets you see panoramic “photo spheres” of locations on the street.

Not many people know that there is an Indoor version of both Google Maps and Google Street View, however. In this article, the Chelmsford Public Library is one such place that has taken advantage of this service (the Indoor Google Maps service is free: a team from Google will come to your facility and map / label the interior, making a basic floor plan visible from Google Maps). The Indoor Street View allows a facility to present its interior like a virtual tour, showing full-360-degree views of rooms. This is a spectacular way for libraries who wish to offer meeting rooms for public use, or have unusual and interesting spaces they want to highlight.

For reviews and other information, Yelp is another service that’s been extended to libraries. Yelp is most commonly used to find restaurants (and see how they are rated by previous customers), but is being applied to all businesses, including libraries. You can describe your services and respond to feedback placed on Yelp. Treat it like another avenue of social media for your library!

Anyone attending the digital literacy sessions held throughout the state from late November 2012 into January 2013 will remember an initiative called Connect2Compete, as well as the fact that this initiative would be pushing people interested in technology training toward libraries. Sadly, the database of libraries used there may not have survived the transition to its sister initiative, EveryoneOn. Instructions for making changes to your library’s information on that site can be found here.

Another national effort to put libraries on a map is the IMLS iMapLibraries page. This is meant to help libraries serve increasingly diverse populations, according to their June 2013 ALA presentation. Yet another is being implemented by OCLC, called Spotlight. This is a service meant to broaden the library reach to mobile users, and is free to libraries. (OCLC has another free service for libraries, called WorldCat Registry, mainly used by developers and other libraries.)

How are you putting your library on the map?