Instead of me getting some shuteye earlier today I did what a normal IT geek will do – upgrade his/her phone’s OS to the latest version. 🙂
And yes that’s what I did. It didn’t take long for me. I spent around 30-45 minutes with the whole process of backing up my phone, upgrading iTunes to the latest version (because that’s the only way I would be able to upgrade my phone according to iTunes itself), upgrade my phone’s OS, redo some initial setups after the iOS 7 was installed, and checking out some of the new features.
Once I was satisfied with the results that’s when I decided to catch some sleep. Told you! Typical IT geek.
Just to give everyone a background, I’m using iPhone 4S which isn’t the latest model for iPhones at this time. This combination of an old phone plus a new OS normally leads to lots of issues for the phone owner (i.e., ME) based on past experiences.
So here are what I have so far observed after upgrading to iOS 7’s production release version.
In general the look of the phone is cleaner with this version of iOS. I especially like the feel of the lock screen compared to how it looked like with iOS 6. Granted it’s only a small difference but now I can see my lock screen wallpaper much clearer than before. The small black slightly opaque bars in the old version of the OS is gone and the “slide to unlock” slider bar is gone. It’s just some text now that you have to slide. For someone like me who loves to design, drawings or graphics this change is pretty awesome.
The Passcode screen also got a reboot. Now it looks modern as well. Not 2000ish. It’s been brought into the 2010’s. I read somewhere that certain aspects of the screens adjust to your wallpaper’s colors and I guess that applies to the Passcode screen since it adjusted to my lock screen wallpaper’s orange color.
The new home screen now has the flatter icons promised by Apple. Although one feature that might not work in 4S is the one where your icons seem to move based on the angle at what you look at your screen. Some sort of 3D effect which relies on the phone’s accelerometer if I got my details correct from the WDCC keynote.
There are two wallpaper options now: Still Pictures and Dynamic. Still pictures is as what it is – just pictures. The Dynamic wallpaper is a wallpaper that moves. In my case, the one I chose has some circles moving around my screen (not sure if this eats some of the battery).
I like how they made certain aspects of the phones more accessible now. One such feature is the control center where you can turn on or off certain features like WiFi and Bluetooth. In previous versions you have to go into Settings to enable or disable these features. Somehow, Apple left out Location Services from this screen. I often turn it off to save battery life which iPhone is notoriously bad at no matter what they advertise in their videos.
One good addition to this screen is the Flashlight. This is very handy if you are walking in dark places. In previous versions, you had to download an app to get this feature.
The multitask feature got an upgrade as well. Instead of holding down on the icons and waiting for that small red icon at the corner to appear, now all you have to do is double tap on your home button and just swipe away the open apps to close them.
The problem with this is what if your home button is no longer responsive which would be the case for several old phones. People who have unresponsive home buttons will still have problems accessing the multitask feature. It would have been better if Apple added access to multitask from the Control Center. It is part of how you “control” your phone’s performance or behaviour anyway, right?
Also, STILL NO CALL BLOCKING!!! A feature that I had with my Nokia N80 back in 2006!!!
CORRECTION: I just saw that iOS 7 now has call and text blocking! Kudos for finally adding this “should be” basic feature.
To see some more new features you can check out a video from Lifehacker here.
This is the scary part for me. Like I mentioned earlier, the combination of an old iPhone model plus a new OS often result in horror stories. I personally encountered this with my iPhone 3Gs when I upgraded it to iOS 5 (if I remembered the OS version correctly).
So far my iPhone 4S is holding up. I haven’t seen any noticeable drag or drop in performance even with the new animations that Apple has put into iOS 7.
Battery life still sucked but I cannot be a fair judge on this aspect since my phone is old since my phone already had this bad issue with poor battery life for quite some time now. If you are interested in finding out how the battery performs with iOS 7 I suggest we wait for reviews from people using the OS with Apple’s new iPhone 5c and 5s phones.
One thing I noticed though which caused me to be alarmed was how fast my phone became hot when I activated Location Services to test RunKeeper even with the phone in sleep mode. Although RunKeeper performed well with the new OS I noticed that my phone is so hot that I can feel it through my jean’s pocket! I just hope when I use my iPhone to track my runs that I won’t catch fire or worse, my battery suddenly explodes! I didn’t encounter this with iOS 6 while using RunKeeper. I encountered this scenario with iOS 6 during moments I overuse my phone (e.g., reading Flipboard, looking through Instagram photos, watching YouTube videos) without locking it or putting it to sleep.
It’s still too early for me to give 100% praise to iOS 7 since I’ve only been using the new OS for a few hours but from what I’ve seen so far I am happy with the upgrade. I just hope that temperature issue I encountered is a one off thing.
Overall to me this upgrade is more of an external makeover for iOS. The old look is just that – OLD. So this new refreshing look is very welcome at the same time it’s not too big of a change to throw off us dinosaur users.
The additions of the accessibility features (Control Center) is very handy but to my personal opinion lacks some other key “control” features.
I’ll add a new post to update on this review if I find any issues with iOS 7 and my iPhone 4s.