We are sure it hasn’t escaped your notice that Apple recently released iOS 7, an updated operating system for later versions of its mobile devices – iPhone, iPad and iPod. It is the biggest upgrade of the operating system for a long time so has been greeted with huge amounts of interest and coverage.
Very soon after the release, reports surfaced of security flaws and corporate email access problems, but these have been corrected in a quickly released update.
We have evaluated the upgrade and subsequent update on the Apple devices used at Vantage because we provide IT support to many customers using them and because we develop applications for them, so we thought we would share our views on the new operating system with you.
Firstly, one of the security flaws that was noticed allowed pictures to be accessed and emailed even when the device was locked. Apple has release version 7.0.2 of the operating system which closes this loophole, plus corrects the corporate email access issue and several other problems. If you have installed iOS 7, do check in Settings, Software Updates to download iOS 7.0.2.
The new user interface is noticeably different with a ‘parallax’ effect, which means the display appears to have three dimensional depth. Although the parallax effect and the many movements and alerts are appealing to many, some have reported feeling a little nauseous. If this is the case, access ‘Settings’, ‘General’, ‘Accessibility’ and set ‘Reduce Motion’ to ‘On’. If you are having problems viewing screen text, you can adjust the text size for apps that support Apple’s Dynamic Type and make text bold.
By swiping up from the bottom of the screen, the Control Center is opened, which is even available when the device is locked. The Control Center enables you to quickly access some useful functions such as airplane mode, wireless, media controls, clock functions and camera. This was the route through which people could access the Camera Roll even when the device was locked, but this has been fixed with the later update.
The camera has been updated enabling in the iPhone 4s, 5 and 5s to take multiple shots with the push of a button – handy to catch the perfect moment. Once you have your stock of photos, they can be sorted by location and transferred to others using the AirDrop service (iPhone 5 or later only). This is a wireless way of sending images between devices.
iTunes Radio is a new service that enables users to listen to radio stations and customise them based on song types or artists. The advantage for the user is the ability to listen to a stream of music from the iTunes store that suits your taste then purchase your favourites.
One thing that still isn’t as good as it should be is Apple Maps. There have been many well publicised incidents of people being sent in the wrong direction or locations not existing. It is strange that a company that manages to produce such great products and software struggles to perfect their mapping software. The advice is still to use Google Maps until a reliable alternative is available.
When you are using your shiny Apple device, it may be viewed with envy by others. If one of these people decides to remove it from your possession, Apple offers the Find My iPhone app which enables you to trace your stolen iPhone, iPad or iPod. This has been enhanced and enables you to find out where you device is and allows you to lock it and send it a message so anyone finding it can contact you. The feature can be accessed through ‘Settings’ then ‘iCloud’.
Following the release of the new operating system, our sister company, Vantage Softech, will be releasing Mad Maths for the iPhone, iPad and iPod. This is a great little app for testing the little grey cells in an entertaining way. Mad Maths is for all ages, enabling users to select various levels of maths problems. You can even play with two players making it more like a mathematical tennis game. It’s quick, it’s all action and its maths. What’s not to like? More details on Mad Maths for Apple products can be found here – Vantage Softech Mad Maths for Apple