It hasn’t been 24 hours yet and reams have already been written about iOS 7. About how Apple has lifted UI elements from Android, Windows Phone, webOS, even Jolla, among others. There has been a lot of chatter around the new flatter icons, the fonts, the color palette, the translucent screens, the parallax effect and everything in between. Amid all the “headlining”/”controversial” features, many have missed out why iOS is so popular and why iPhone users continue to love their phones even if it might not be able to do many things that others, especially Android, offers. It has never been about the ability to do many things but about doing some of the most important things right.
Before you “re”-brand me as an Apple fanboy, this is not a post about dissing Android over iOS or why iOS is better than Android. It’s about some key features that only iOS users can appreciate and value. For me, iOS 7 is not about new icons or UI features – people would continue to buy iPhones nevertheless, existing users will update their iPhones to iOS 7 and even those who currently claim on Twitter wanting to wash their eyes with acid right now after seeing the psychedelic colors, will start liking them once they use it on their iPhones. Or Jony Ive might mellow things down a bit when the final version is released later this fall.
What really matters to me are a couple of key features that Apple has introduced, which are of true value to users. Rather than concentrating on headlining features, there are two key features that really excite me about iOS 7.
Apple’s Find my iPhone feature was already a killer one and it has enhanced it further with Activation lock. Now in case your iPhone is stolen and the thief tries to disable Find my iPhone or wipe the phone clean, he will have to enter your iCloud credentials. In essence, the phone would be unusable till the iCloud credentials are entered.
The next feature, which was mentioned in passing at last night’s keynote, is the new multitasking feature in iOS 7. If I understood it correctly, iOS would monitor which apps you use frequently and keep refreshing them in the background. It would do this intelligently, updating when the radio is turned on – for instance if you are browsing the Internet or using any other app that’s connected to the Internet – which means it would not drain the battery for the heck of it. Remember, Apple has always maintained it would not offer true multitasking where apps run aimlessly in the background draining battery and at times even the user’s wireless data limit and the new implementation is an improvement.
Yes, I would have loved if iOS 7 enabled third party apps to talk to each other and enables users to share stuff across apps rather than the handful few right now like Twitter and Facebook. That is something I really miss in iOS. But I agree with Ive when he says it is about getting a few things perfect than doing everything and not getting anything right. After all, that’s what brings delight to the users and I am reminded of that every time I see my two-year-old play with her iPod touch and my iPad. And every time I see the excitement on her face, I agree with Apple – There are a thousand no’s for every yes!