24 Hours with iOS 7

Although I’ve been playing with the beta version of iOS 7 for a while now, it’s always good to get the final product. Beta software can be buggy (sometimes the experience is so buggy you have to wonder if beta is used as in “beta than nothing”), and there are often changes at the last minute. Overall, my experience with the beta of iOS 7 was positive—although I did not install it on my iPad since that device is far more mission-critical on a daily basis.

Having had the golden master release installed on my iPhone 4S and my 3rd generation iPad, I can share a few thoughts.

First, the design overhaul is an improvement. It’s clear, crisp, and beyond the time to say goodbye to the silly “leather pad” look to the Calendar. Oddly enough, though, there are some apps that still don’t use the new user interface, notably in the keyboard. I wouldn’t remark on this if it wasn’t for the fact that these are Apple apps. (Find My iPhone, I’m talking about you.) The Google+ app also is stuck in iOS 6 user interface mode.

Second, I haven’t noticed any significant hits against the performance of my two iDevices. There are times when the keyboard input seems a little slow to catch up, but it’s not enough to make me head back toward iOS 6. Apps launch just fine, and I’m more than satisfied with the performance.

Third, Siri is finally ready for prime time. Siri can do a lot more for users now than she used to (the “she” part will inevitably become the subject of debate as there is now an option for a male voice). The only downside is that I suspect Apple’s servers are getting hammered with Siri requests as people try out the improvements. This should get resolved soon enough.

There are plenty of opinions and reviews of iOS 7 (such as Ars Technica, and David Pogue had a great one, but hell if I can find it on the New York Times web site now) that I refer you to. TechCrunch also has a nice article with iOS 7 tricks. (Did you realize there’s a built-in level in iOS 7?)

With iOS 7 going into general release, I’m sure we’ll see plenty of bug reports (like this one) that Apple will be inclined to fix quickly. Word has it Apple is already testing iOS 7.0.1. Stay tuned!

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