iOS

The first 24 hours with iOS 7

Will Kelly gives his first impressions about updating to iOS 7.

apple_ios7_iphone_ipad_c.jpg

I took the plunge on Wednesday, September 18th, to update both my iPad and iPhone 5 to iOS 7. I set an alarm for 1:00 PM EST and ran the update while I continued working on other things.

It took me around an hour to download the update, and then I spent some time exploring iOS 7 between other projects.

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Making the update

Quite a few users reported problems upgrading to iOS 7, but the update on my iPhone 5 and iPad went rather smoothly. There was a temporary hiccup in bandwidth, but I attribute that to updating two devices at once over my Wi-Fi network and/or lots of bored geeks in my area with the same idea. Figure A shows the update in progress.

Figure A

Figure A

The iOS 7 update in progress.

My first reaction was to find a way to turn off how the icons “fly into the screen” after you enter your security code. In an email that I dashed off to my editor, Sonja Thompson, I also remarked that the iOS 7 UI looks a “bit cartoonish.”

There is a tooltip (Figure B) for the Spotlight change, but this still might take the longest for me to adjust to. You have to swipe down from the middle of the screen to pull it up. 

Figure B

Figure B

The Spotlight tooltip.

Another nuisance was that iOS 7 repositions the Facetime icon on the iPhone’s home page. This knocked off all my carefully setup icons and folders.

Folders now also have group pages. So, if you update to iOS 7 and think you’ve lost an app, just open the group and swipe. Figure C shows an example of an open folder in iOS 7.

Figure C

Figure C

An open folder in iOS 7.

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Do my apps work?

The app updates ran in the background while I was reviewing an Android app, of all things, for TechRepublic. I spent my breaks checking out the following core iPhone apps:

  • Evernote, the app that holds many of my article ideas and research, required an update on my iPhone. The opening screen displayed a synchronization fail error, and then two random notes and two seemingly unrelated folders appeared (none were recent folders or notes). My issues around this app were by far the worst during this experience.
  • Mailbox opened up and worked well. I was able to send and receive email just fine. In fact, I think iOS 7 makes the app look better. Mailbox even dropped an iOS 7 update when I was finishing this post.
  • Mynd Calendar opened up just fine and worked perfectly for me.
  • Omni Group released OmniFocus 2 for iPhone to take advantage of iOS 7’s new features. So far, this is the only app I use regularly that's offering a paid iOS 7-specific update. Since sync issues I had with the previous Omnifocus version still persist with iOS 7, I’m currently not sure if I’m going to update it.

The biggest test for me was call quality, and that seemed fine on two business and personal calls. Answering calls is a bit different because of UI changes, and I still need to try the new answering a call with a text message feature.

Another big test was text messaging. I found the black text in gray bubbles on a white background to be very flat. It reminded me of newsprint. Figure D shows text messaging in iOS 7.

Figure D

Figure D

Text messages show up bland and flat.

4:00 PM - 6:00 PM: Out and about with iOS 7

When I went out to hit the gym and run errands, Mailbox choked up on me. I tried to force close the app the old way, but it didn’t work. With iOS 7, I had to select the app and then swipe up to force close it.

Also, while retrieving voice mail, I found the voice mail controls (Figure E) to be difficult to use one-handed. 

Figure E

Figure E

New voice mail controls.

7:00 PM - 9:00 PM: Exploring iOS 7

It’s not an enterprise feature, but I gave iTunes Radio a try, because I listen to a lot of music -- whether I’m sitting in a cubicle, an office, or working in my home office or café. While it probably won’t replace  my Spotify app, iTunes Radio might be the next new listening experience for users who need to have ear buds.

I also thought that the default iOS email client made better use of swiping to archive and delete emails. Apple could be taking some lessons from the Mailbox and Boxer apps playbooks with this latest release.

On the down side, the background animations are a neat parlor trick, but I'll have to turn them off to quell the annoyance factor.

9:00 PM - 5:00 AM: Recharging batteries 

Even early adopters and TechRepublic contributors take a break from iOS 7.

5:30 AM - 12:00 PM: Getting control over iOS 7

The alarm clock on my iPhone rang this morning as usual. The more time I spend with iOS 7, the more familiar it feels to me.

The Control Center (Figure F) is a huge improvement, in my opinion, because it centralizes controls for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, music, calculator, and Airplane mode. 

Figure F

Figure F

The iOS 7 Control Center.

The Notification Center (Figure G) is also an improvement, because it makes it easier to calendar events, the weather, and email alerts. 

Figure G 

Figure G

The iOS 7 Notification Center.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM:  Lunch with a side order of iOS 7

I had a conversation at lunch with my friend and former co-worker Phil about iOS 7. Phil’s an early adopter and a very visual person (he’s a photographer). He said that OS updates are fine as long as they bring him technology benefits. He has a personal iPhone and his office doesn’t have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program, so enterprise features don’t register with him.

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Final thoughts

I was on the fence about upgrading my iPhone, because I had a poor experience upgrading my old iPhone 4 to a new iOS version. And based on other users' difficulties, I feel fortunate that this update went smoothly for me. There are some significant changes with iOS 7, but I’m sure that I’ll get used to them over time. Tim Williams, director of project management for Absolute Software, offered some tips for supporting iOS 7 in the enterprise, and I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how iOS 7 helps promote the enterprise and BYOD initiatives.

Have you updated to iOS 7? If so, what are your first impressions? Share your opinion in the discussion thread below. 

About

Will Kelly is a freelance technical writer and analyst currently focusing on enterprise mobility, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), and the consumerization of IT. He has also written about cloud computing, Big Data, virtualization, project management ap...

24 comments
salvatorecomi
salvatorecomi

iOS 7 turns Iphone into a Windows phone or even an Android one. iPhone lost that special look that had so far. 3D vision has gone down the drain. I don't think Steve Jobbs would have been very happy..

mbair8246
mbair8246

I like all the updates other than the fact that I cannot access the archived text messages and it is taking up almost a full gig of space on my phone. But I have looked everywhere and I cannot seem to get to it to delete the text messages to free up space on my phone's memory. Help!

ronaldsauve
ronaldsauve

I updated to IOS 7 as soon as it was available, and am very pleased with the new OS! But . . .

I'm not sure why, because around the same time I updated to IOS 7, I loaded Battery Saver on both, and I did all the things they suggest to save power, but ironically, on both my iPad 3 and my iPhone 5 I am running out of battery Very Quickly! Much more quickly than before the update! This is very disturbing, as I cannot even begin to get through the day on either device without recharging, whereas before, I never even had to think about it!

I've checked and rechecked all of my settings, without any success. Any ideas?

FortBragg_Surfgoddess
FortBragg_Surfgoddess

iOs7 is just as bad as Windows 8.  Alas all the smart IT innovators are gone and we are stuck with this junk?

jparias1969
jparias1969

Many features in iOS7 was present in WebOS1.0 4 years ago, another was present in PalmOS 10 years ago, another basics are not yet available. No new innovations

artur.yarosh
artur.yarosh

Honestly, I was extremely disappointed the new version of the platform. Compared with the previous, the new iOS 7 looks very shabby; monotonous icons resemble hastily slope a Windows 8 than the original thought and exquisite design.
Steve is gone, and his creation is dying again, only this time permanently. Sorry.

bernard.fischel
bernard.fischel

Hi, Will

As you did I do the upgrade last week-end. 

I'm really disappointed: New visual interface is quite unreadable (worse than Windows or Android) . 

The new IOS is a battery exhauster: 2 full reload in 24 hours having only 2 phone calls of about 2 minutes each.

My favorite "weather information" disappeared from notification center.

Fortunately IOS 7 is free. 

keithhud
keithhud

I don't like how the upgrade now makes you setup a passcode. I have a couple of users that have had me turn off the passcode feature. I have passcodes set on my iPad and Droid, but I think Apple should have left it a opt out or opt in option.

mvedwar
mvedwar

I upgraded Saturday to iOS7 on my iPhone 5.   Seems a bit cartoonish I agree but not that bad to look at.   The color scheme is too pastel.  Not enough contrast (just like Win8).   I was most annoyed that all my custom ringtones assigned to contacts were set back to iPhone defaults (which I did not notice until Sunday when a got a few calls and texts).   Calendar looks bad also. The email actually looks pretty good.   My battery life seems unchanged after 3 days compared to iOS6.   All in all I consider it a very average upgrade and I can live with or without it.   My advice is if you have a iPhone older than 5 then stick with iOS6.

I came from Android to iOS about 2 years ago.  When my contract is up in 3 months I am going back to Android.    Apple is all hype and just a status symbol to have.  Overpriced and not any better.

NthDegree
NthDegree

It has a couple of nice new features like the up swipe to get to some settings. I agree it looks too cartoonish or as I call it, IOS by Play Skool.

Give me the new functions but turn off the cartoon.

elangomatt
elangomatt

One minor but really annoying thing to me is how the screen background color flips from white to black and back to white again when you're cropping photos. I still hate the iOS keyboard too but nothing has really changed with that except for them flattening it out and flipping back and forth willy nilly between white and black. I really want a Swype style keyboard for iOS. I still surprised they haven't done it yet.

heldemanpieter
heldemanpieter

IOS 7 Must have been design by Micky Mouse. For a comic inter face not bad but for a phone, not professional at all. What a buggy system, do yourself a favour, DO NOT UPGRADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jasondlnd
jasondlnd

I tried iOS 7 for a few days on the iPhone 5.  Despite turning off all of the new effects and features (that is, reducing Parallax, turning off Siri, turning off all push notifications, turning off the control center access from within apps, etc.), the battery life on the phone took a MAJOR hit.  I would open an app and watch the battery meter drop 1-2 percent.  This NEVER occured in previous versions of iOS.  

With iOS 6.1.4, I would recharge my phone every other day.  With iOS 7, I found myself charging my phone daily, using it in the same exact way.


Battery life aside, the entire OS has a non-unified look and feel to it.  The keyboard, for example will appear in different colors, depending on what you are doing with the OS...search has a keyboard with a black background while mail has a keyboard with a white background.  Apps can set the color of the keyboard all on their own.


Sad to say, but the Apple apps are a nightmare to use.  Calendar has lost its simplicity as you can no longer see just a list of events on a given day.  Notes has become harder to use, given that the UI in this app is yellow-on-white (basic design principles can tell you that this is NOT a good thing!).  The camera app has become very difficult to use, with the small "effects switcher" that gets in the way of zooming in and out.

I was fortunate enough to find a copy of iOS 6.1.4 for download and have since restored that OS to my phone using iTunes.  (it is very easy to restore your phone, but make sure you back up ALL of your documents and data before you do!).  I have most of my important documents backed up using iCloud, so it only took about 3 hours to restore all of my apps and data.  The battery life on my phone has greatly improved, too since the downgrade.


It seems like every company has their share of "bad" releases.  Ford had the Edsel, Microsoft had Vista, and now Apple has iOS 7.

tulaipaul
tulaipaul

Wonderful. Both the concept and the description need to be specially greeted. But we are yet to know, whether you have played any mobile apps or games of admob, revmob, chartboost or appnext

Andrew Houghton
Andrew Houghton

Mail has an annoying bugs that were not present in iOS6. The first has to do with archiving messages. If Mail has threaded a group of message and you start archiving them into a folder, it continuously moves the folder down one line in the folder list. To reproduce, go to a threaded group of messages, click archive, move the folder to the top, place your other finger, piece of tape, sticky note, whatever to keep track of where you placed the folder in the folder list, then tap the folder to archive the message. Click the next message in the threaded group of messages, click archive and note the folder you archived the last message has moved down a line. Essentially you get to play whack the mole with the folder you are trying to archive to. The second issue is when you are archiving messages that are not threaded. In iOS6 it placed you at the bottom most unread message, same in iOS7, however as you archive messages, you sometimes hit some odd positioning bug that will place you at the top most unread message after archiving messages from the bottom most unread message. These bugs are really annoying, don't see how they were missed in testing...

burdickc
burdickc

After doing the upgrade on my Ipone 4 . . I can't TEXT . . it lets me type ONE character every 30 seconds . . has anyone else had this problem . . it won't stop . . no matter what I TRY . . HELP

kcCata
kcCata

Bought iPhone 5s Friday morning. Now seem to be experiencing poor phone reception. No service and dropped calls in places I never had an issue before.

wtkelly
wtkelly

Update on Mailbox. I tweeted about an issue I encountered with iOS 7 and Mailbox on Saturday. It looked like I lost my email credentials but I continued to see mail alerts. Mailbox responded to my tweets and is working on an update of their app.

annlukey
annlukey

Were you able to find out how to change how the apps fly in?  I don't care for this either...seems to be a time waster.

elangomatt
elangomatt

@keithhud The upgrade does NOT force the user to setup a passcode. It just highly encourages it, since it really is a good idea. I don't remember how it was presented during the upgrade wrap-up but there it can definitely be opted out of.

wtkelly
wtkelly

@annlukey I researched the matter of the apps fly in.  The only references I could find were  complaints or attempts to sell it as a good thing I have yet to find a solution. If I find one, I'll post it here.