You might have noticed that I’ve not posted here for quite a long time. That’s because I’ve been working hard on several other projects. After upgrading to iOS7, though, and reading the thousands upon thousands of complaints on Twitter (as well as some very legitimate concerns and questions deeply hidden), I decided to provide some (hopefully) useful tips.
First, iOS7 is as much about increased functionality and portability as it is about the design. That’s why it can be frustrating for power users to hear others complain about the layouts of the OS. I’m not entirely committed to the design changes myself, but they are far outweighed by the plethora of new things I can do with my iPhone.
Also, note, I am a convert from webOS. I still use a TouchPad, but my smartphone is an iPhone 5. So, yes, I’ve been in the place many of you are today. I switched from a truly multitasking webOS to iOS, and it was not a simple jump when it came to moving around the screens. But, I did it. In fact, iOS still isn’t up to the speed webOS was when everything fell apart. It might never be. Food for thought.
But, I digress…
Here are the KEY things you need to know about iOS7. Hopefully you’ll take the time to look at these before driving yourself nuts. Remember, it’s okay to read the manual first!
- The design is only part of it. While you may love or hate the design of iOS7, take note that this minimalist approach means more features and ease of use when it comes to third-party apps. It means better standards and a smaller learning curve when installing and trying new apps.
- It’s about the future. There are lots of features in iOS7 that are less talked about, including multi-path TCP (see this primer at Quartz), which means less failed data sends when changing internet connections.
- The wallpaper you choose changes many things. It changes the not only the background, but also the color of folders, the lock screen, control center and more. Tinker with images or photos until you find what you like. In other words, you don’t have to get used to just white and muted gray.
- Brightness. Contrast. Bold Text. Motion. These four things are all under Settings and Accessibility. Work with them and you’ll have less eyestrain and nausea.
- If your “already learned” swipe from left to right doesn’t do what you intended, swipe right to left. Some of the gestures have been changed, so to delete an email, you now need to swipe right to left.
- Embrace Siri. Even if you hated her in iOS6, give her another try. You can now ask her many more things. She’ll tweet for you, she’ll post to Facebook for you. Learn all the commands. Why? Because I don’t want to get back-ended by you because you’re still intent on tinkering with your device while you drive. That, and you’re going to find that Siri is not only going to help you do things faster, she’ll also help you do them better.
- If you want to improve battery life, you need to adjust many settings. By default, many functions are turned “on” when iOS7 is installed. By turning off what you don’t want or need, you can greatly reduce that constant battery drain people are screaming about. This includes turning off features like automatic app updating (save that for when you’re connected to Wi-Fi) and Background App Refresh (turn this off for apps that don’t need to constantly refresh data). There is a great walk-through on features that can suck the life out of your battery at Snapguide.
- Take time to learn. It’s amazing how many people claimed they loved or hated iOS7 within the first two days of release. On average, it takes our brain seven days to “learn” something new. Just as you grow to love your friends, you’ll need to grow to love iOS7 (or vice versa). So, instead of throwing your hands in the air and crying foul, give it time.
- Remember, not everyone is you. I use my iPhone primarily for work. Sure, I play a few games, but I’m not a “gamer”. My point is, not everyone uses their device for the same purpose. Keep that in mind when you’re getting frustrated because a feature is, by default, turned on (or off), or if something doesn’t work exactly the way you want. Because Apple did.
In the days (and weeks, and months) to come we’ll see updates, tips and tricks across the web. Some will be addressed by Apple, and many by users just like you. Until then, be patient. And, take note, what you feel today may very well change next week.