Top Ten iOS 7 Features for Your Next iPhone Operating System

WWDC 2013 was this last Monday June 10, 2013. While I wish I could have attended, I was happy to watch it on my Apple TV after work.

During the keynote, I made a list of the top ten iOS 7 features revealed at WWDC 2013.

Top Ten iOS 7 Features

1. Photo Moments, Collections, and Years

iOS 7

iOS 7 (Photo credit: saschafiedler)

Instead of viewing your photos in a never ending list, iOS 7 allows you to view by moments, which are specific events, often organized by time and geo data. If you use iPhoto, this organization will be very familiar. Beyond photo moments, you can view photos by collections. An example of a collection might be a family vacation. The entire trip has many photo moments, all of which live inside the collection. You can also look at photos by year. In this case, the photos get really small, and you can scrub with your finger to see thumbnails of individual pictures.

Overall, the design looks beautiful while simultaneously enhancing the user experience. For anyone taking lots of pictures in iOS 7, photo moments, collections, and years will change how you interact with photos on your iPhone. Because of this, it’s one of the top ten iOS7 features.

2. Camera Modes, and Filters

In addition to the Photos app getting upgraded, the camera app has some cool new tricks bringing it into the top ten iOS 7 features list. You can swipe to change from video, photo, panorama, or square shooting modes. The square shooting mode will remind you of Instagram. Combine the square mode with the photo filters, and you’re ready to upload!

3. Control Center in iOS 7

Simply swipe up from the bottom of the iPhone screen to pull up the new Control Center. The Control Center provides access to a number of controls including playback, WIFI, and a flashlight switch to name a few. I really think it’s nice to have a quick way to get to the flashlight. Currently, my flashlight is just an app that I downloaded, and I have to find it in a folder. This makes the flashlight much more accessible, which is always nice in a pinch.

4. Airdrop

AirDrop is a feature that’s been around on Mac OS X since Lion. If you’re in the same room as someone else, who is running an AirDrop capable Mac, you can send a file to them. Now that this feature is available on the iPhone, it seems much more useful. Personally, I’ve never AirDrop’d anything to anyone else on a Mac, but I can see how it would be a much more convenient feature on the iPhone.

5. iOS 7 Notification Center

iOS 7

iOS 7 (Photo credit: suryanto_r)

There were a number of updates to the notification center, but the coolest two in my mind are that you can get to the notifications center from the lock screen and that they gave it a translucent background. There are other notification center improvements that are more practical like improved calendar support, but they don’t LOOK as cool as the translucent background looks in the notification center.

6. iOS 7 Multitasking

The multitasking looks very improved. In iOS 6, we see app icons in the app switcher, but with the new multitasking in iOS 7, we will see up to date app information. What’s more impressive is that the multitasking knows which apps you use the most, placing priority on keeping those updated while lowering priority for apps that you don’t use as often.

7. Apps Near Me

Apps near me is an improvement to the app store in iOS 7 allowing you to see apps that are popular based on where you are. The implications for local businesses is clear. You should have an app in the app store because someone could discover you with an iPhone running iOS 7 and the apps near me section in the app store.

8. Safari Tabs

Overall, Safari got a huge overhaul in iOS 7. One of the nicest looking improvements to Safari is with the new implementation for tabs. Before, you would see a picture of the site from the last time you viewed it on each tab, but you could only see one tab at a time. Now, you can scroll through your tabs in a list, and you’re no longer limited to just 8 tabs in Safari.

9. Siri is integrated with Bing, Twitter, and Wikipedia

Admittedly, I haven’t been as impressed by Siri as I hoped I would be. Often times, I feel like my speech is misunderstood, and I give up. That being said, I’m certain that Siri will continue to get better over time. Part of the reason I’m certain about this is because Siri just got upgraded to include Bing searches, tweets from twitter, and encyclopedia information from Wikipedia.

10. iTunes Radio

This is one of the most exciting features for me because I’m a huge music lover and listener. I create my own music, and it’s available for sale in iTunes, but it isn’t always easy to get people to listen to it. iTunes Radio will hopefully make this task a little bit easier. With iTunes radio, buying is integrated right into the experience. There are already so many people connected into iTunes, that it makes the music buying process flawless. Now someone can listen to radio, discover new music, and buy it all from the same app. If you’re an iTunes match subscriber, like I am, you’ll be happy to learn that iTunes Radio is completely commercial free to people with an iTunes match subscription. iTunes Radio adds tremendous value to something I’m already paying for, and I don’t need to pay one penny more than I already am.

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