The Time Is Now
You’ll either love it or hate it, but there’s no doubt that the newest Apple operating system for mobile devices (iOS 7) is making its presence felt as the latest and greatest iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone update.
Unlike many of my friends I waited a few days to attempt to update my iPad 3, iPad mini, and iPhone 4S with iOS 7.
The primary reason was that with any new operating system there are a few glitches to be worked out, and I didn’t feel like being a guinea pig with this one. Second, to try and get this update off the servers which were being bombarded by eager Apple addicts would have led to a great deal of frustration, and who needs that?
With the launch over and the weekend here, I began the process of updating to iOS 7. This is my review of the process and the outcome.
How To Update To iOS 7
On each Apple mobile device (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) you have an app icon called ‘Settings’. Touch it and then within Settings touch ‘General’ and finally ‘Software Update’ to begin a process than can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending upon your WiFi connection and the number of users seeking the update off the Apple servers at the same time as you.
Your device will restart at least twice and then a Welcome screen will guide you through the rest of set-up. Data (apps and settings) should remain the same as when you left it.
For me, this process worked flawlessly on all of my devices. I did run into one issue with my iPad 3 when I was told that the update would take up 3.3GB when installed (despite saying 700MB for the download), and that I needed to lose a few apps on my 16GB iPad before it could install. (Yet another reason I wish iPads had microSD slots!)
NOTE: If you want to back-up your device to iCloud following your update (previous back-ups using iOS 6 or earlier won’t work so you’ll want to do this immediately after upgrading), you’ll need to make sure you have the current version of iTunes (11.1) installed on your PC.
First Use iOS 7: The Good
I didn’t want to be overly impressed based upon a new look. What’s under the hood has always been more important to me, but I was pleasantly surprised when I began using iOS 7.
Faster app performance, smoother transitions when opening and closing apps, and the addition of fun features, most notably – iTunes Radio.
To keep new features from zapping battery life I immediately turned off Location Services, and nixed a few items in the Notification Center. In General I turned off ‘Background App Refresh’ too. Brightness settings were at about 30% and stayed that way when the iOS updated.
A cool feature that allows for automatic updates of music, apps and updates can be found in Settings, iTunes & App Store. Sort of a ‘set it and forget it’ solution to those annoying update reminders for apps.
TIP: I highly recommend playing in Settings every now and then. It’s a great way to figure out tweaks that help you to customize your device so that it’s most useful to you.
First Use iOS 7: The Bugs
Ok, so it’s not all good. I did note that some apps shut down unexpectedly and that tapping on the screen sometimes resulted in nothing happening. Frustrating when using the camera, but I expect those bugs will be resolved with future iOS 7 and app updates.
I also noted that on my PC when I went to view the Photo Stream (now in iCloud Photos), I couldn’t view the file name to grab a file. I had to open My Pictures on my Windows PC to get them from there.
Would I Recommend It?
Yes, I’d recommend updating your Apple devices to IOS 7. Despite the bugs, iOS 7’s look is brighter and it offers fun, useful additions. It’s also the one that Apple is currently working diligently on so you know any quirks will be quickly addressed.
Being able to put an unlimited number of apps in a folder, enjoying moving wallpapers, changing up how you hear your notifications with additional sounds, and pull up menu for easy access to your camera and often used settings are my favorite new features, with more to come I’m sure.
As mentioned before, iTunes Radio is a sweet addition that works like Pandora Radio, but better! It’s free and saves your customized stations, to be listened to on all your devices – including Apple TV with a new software update, found on your Apple TV Settings menu.
I find that for me, there’s far more to like about iOS 7 than to grouse about. I’m glad I chose to install the update on all my Apple iOS devices, and I look forward to enjoy new features and zippy performance with iOS 7 under the hood.