I posted last week a summary of my initial thoughts about iOS 7 and now I want to share a few more that I hadn’t done so previously.
The Lock Screen.
I have both the Notification Center and Control Center enabled for my Lock Screen. I really like having access to both without having to unlock the device. But what I like even more than that, over iOS 6, is when playing music, running a timer or an alarm the level of control and information is so much better.
One thing about iOS 6 that was nice, was the ability to swipe open directly to an app from its alert on the Lock Screen. However, if an alert came in on the Lock Screen and you didn’t want to go to that app when swiping to unlock, you had to put it to sleep and wake it back up, then swipe to unlock. Swiping anywhere on the Lock Screen when an alert came in, before going back to sleep, took you to the app.
iOS 7 has made this feature a little nicer. If you’re on the Lock Screen and an alert comes in, you can still swipe the alert itself and go to the app. But if you don’t want to go directly to the app, you can swipe anywhere but the alert and it will take you to your Home Screen instead. I find that I want to do that more often than I’d think.
Whether it be from the native music app, (iTunes Match, iPod, or iTunes Radio) or a third-party app, the controls are available to use simply by pressing the sleep/wake button or the Home button. You can play/pause, skip songs and see album art. You no longer have to double-tap the Home button to bring up the music controls.
I like the tap to sleep button being more of the whole screen instead of just a small button which is difficult to tap when you’re too tired to be awake in the first place.
Now you can just ‘tap to stop’ the timer from the lock screen without having to ‘slide to unlock’ in order to stop it. Plus you can see the time remaining from the lock screen without having to unlock and view the app directly.
Phone (Reply with message)
When a call is coming in you have the ability to not answer it and reply with a [text] message without having to use the pull up menu in the corner to get to it. Honestly, I never remembered that feature on iOS 6 because it wasn’t readily visible. Usually, when I’m too busy to take a call, I’m also too busy to think to remember that feature and pull it up. Now when a call comes in, the reply with a message button is right there and instead of just hitting ignore or stop, I can press that button and send a message. I actually used it in the real world for the first time between iOS 6 and iOS 7 today and it worked great.
Inside the Home Screen and Apps
Another subtle feature I noticed is the banner apps have a slide up arrow. It’s incredible how often an alert from another app will appear as a banner (banners being my choice of alert over the pop-up alerts) while I am in another app. The incredible part being that the banner covers just a sliver of the top of the screen and how often I have to wait for it to go away before I can use that area. Whether it be for the Safari address bar or to tap to scroll to the top, the notification banner would be in the way for several seconds and touching it would take me to the other app when I didn’t want to just yet. Now it has an arrow where I can swipe away the alert and stay in the app I am using. This is a great and hardly noticeable feature that I find myself using often now.