Updating my iPhone to iOS 7 feels like I got a new phone without having to purchase one. And that’s especially comforting since my iPhone 5 was stolen and I’m stuck with an iPhone 4. By the time I’m eligible for an upgrade, the iPhone 6 will probably be out.
But enough complaining about a problem I’m privileged to have – owning “only” an iPhone 4 – and on to the powerful new operating system designed specifically for the advanced iPhone 5S but intuitive enough to transform the experience of an iPhone 4 user.
I love the gorgeous, simple “flat” redesign, enhanced, intuitive flow and useful new features. Some, like fingerprint identity sensor, which replaces the “slide to unlock” feature, are available only on iterations of the iPhone 5, so I’ve limited my favorite new features to those available on the iPhone 4.
1. Control Center – The drab but useful Control Center is my favorite new feature, one that I access several times a day. Apps that took several steps to access are now a swipe away – even when the phone is locked! Quickly pull up the camera, alarm clock, or calculator, turn on or off airplane-mode, WiFi and bluetooth, adjust brightness, and more by swiping up from the bottom edge of the screen. There’s even access to a built-in flashlight. I promptly deleted my old flashlight app and trimmed the other Control Center apps from my home screen folders.
2. Organize unlimited apps into folders – Speaking of home screen folders: of course you bunch your apps into folders to avoid scrolling through endless screens or having to access the search feature to find the app you’re looking for. iOS 7 removed the limit on the number of apps each folder can hold, so organize to your heart’s content, and never scroll for apps again.
3. iPhone lock down when lost or stolen – I know what it’s like to have a new iPhone lost or stolen. It’s not a good feeling. The old “Find My iPhone” feature can be helpful, but doesn’t often get your phone back, and the not-so-nice person who has your phone can wipe it to use or sell. Now, when the bad guys try to turn off the “Find My iPhone” feature or try to wipe the phone, they’ll need your Apple ID and password. This is probably not fool proof, but every little bit helps – even the local authorities think so as cops urged iPhone and iPad users to update to iOS 7.
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4. Timestamp on every text message – Text messages have a timestamp at the beginning of each conversation but there was no way of knowing exactly what time each message within the conversation was sent. With iOS 7, timestamps are now available for each message by tapping on the screen with message bubbles and swiping to the left. Pretty cool.
I’m sure I’ll discover many more new cool, useful features as I continue to
play with use the new iPhone operating system. And if, like me, you’re not eligible for an upgrade to the iPhone 5, or don’t wish to because your phone works just fine, update to iOS 7 – you’ll feel like you just got a new phone.
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