Apple iOS7 Beta: My First Look

I sat up late into the night waiting for America to get off the internet enough to allow me to download my Dev copy of iOS7 Beta.  The threatened two-hour download quickly evaporated, and ended up in my hands within about 45 minutes.  All went swimmingly – no error messages at all – not surprising, really, since this is the first Beta I’ve installed since switching back to a Mac (remember the nightmare with the Dell and iOS6 – sheesh!)

Anyhoo, suffice to say, the juddery video from the Apple keynote does no justice whatsoever to the beauty of seeing iOS running on your device.  “Can’t innovate anymore, my ass!”  Right on, Phil.  (Sir) Jony Ive’s influence has leaked all over iOS7.  From the new font to the flat icons to the pastel coloured panels announcing that the battery is charging to that of an incoming call.  It ekes quality.  More than ever.

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Home screen. Swipe anywhere on it from left to right to open the home page.
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The Control Centre. Airplane/wifi modes, bluetooth, do not disturb and orientation lock, plus brightness controls, audio control, AirDrop, torch (handy), clocks, calculator and camera controls – swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
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My home screen. Not very interesting, but just noticed how good the res is. When you tilt the device, the wallpaper ‘moves’ – I can make the sun in the picture hide behind the icons if I tilt it enough!
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One of the new folders. Love the opaque finish.
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The phone dialler screen. Understated, but then you don’t need it to be fussy, do you?
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New Message Compose window. Again, neat and understated – not being too cluttered and fussy lets you get on with what you opened the app for in the first place without being distracted.
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Photo app. Now has live effect previews. Not too many, but there are after-shot tools like red-eye removal, cropping etc.
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The calculator. Nice big buttons, and still goes all scientific when you tip the phone into landscape position.
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The Calendar. Not surprisingly I have NOTHING on for the rest of the month. Or year. Or …
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The song play window in the Music app. Stark but functional. And that’s just the Pet Shop Boys …
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Siri. A waveform appears to wobble at the bottom of the screen when you give it a voice command. Bit gimmicky but you’ll ignore it after a while.

From what I’ve seen of iOS7 so far, it’s pretty damn good.  It looks nice, and by God, if the iPhone 6 has a bigger screen than the current flagship phone, iOS7 will rule over it like the big kid in the playground.  Seriously.

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