iOS7 Upgrade: Changes, Worth it?

iOS7 Upgrade

The questions I ask myself when a new update is available, or even a new piece of hardware, or tool for that matter, are:

  1. What are the changes with the update?
  2. How will these changes improve my usage / Is it worth the update?
  3. How will this update effect my hardware / software / system?

With the iPhone 5C available for pre-order last Friday and the iPhone 5S available for pre-order tomorrow, everyone is interested in the new features of the phone, the hardware. So far it seems there are some good iPhone 5 reviews but pre-order signs might spell disaster for the iPhone 5C. But let’s talk about the iOS7 software. Sure if you’re pre-ordering the new phone it will come with iOS7 installed. But if you plan on waiting should you upgrade your iPhone (or other Apple device) to iOS7?

[Update: 10/31/2013] I have since updated to iOS7 (and the 2 updates that followed to version 7.0.3). I haven’t noticed any major glitches though I have not tested extensively on all apps (Who uses all their apps anyways?). It is definitely the biggest re-design iOS has seen yet. It’s really like getting a new phone. But after a while that wears off any its just your iOS. There are some great features that get used quite a bit, such as the Control Center.

Native Instruments recently release a statement that most of its Traktor hardware and software are now either compatible or working reliably with iOS7 though some options are currently disabled with iOS7 and some new hardware is still not compatible.

Basically if you have an app, software or hardware you use consistently with iOS, check with the manufacturer for compatibility prior to updating.

iOS7 Upgrade Changes

Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS7, officially debut just days ago. You can only update with iPhone 4 and up, iPad 2 and up, iPad Mini, and iPod Touch fifth generation and up. Here are some of the major changes in iOS7.

  • New iOS design
  • New Control Center  – Quick access to common apps and controls with a swipe up from the bottom of the screen. Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb, screen brightness, flashlight, timer, calculator, camera and music controls.
  • Siri – Officially out of beta with new more ‘natural’ sounding voices. Integrating Wikipedia, Twitter and get this… Bing is the iOS7 default web search engine, not Google.
  • Airdrop – Quickly share content with people nearby (iPhone 5, iPad 4th gen, iPad mini, iPod Touch 5th gen)
  • Camera improvements – Swipe through different camera modes and real-time photo filters (iPhone 4S or later,  iPod Touch 5th gen)
  • Photo improvements – Automatically organizes your photos and videos based on time and location into Moments
  • App Store improvements – See apps relevant to your current location with Popular Near Me
  • Safari improvements – New iPhone tab view (about time, right Chrome?)
  • iTunes Radio – A streaming radio service
  • Notification Center improvements
  • Multitasking improvements
  • Block unwanted Phone, Messages and FaceTime callers
  • And a list of other less important features and bug fixes

iOS7 Upgrade Worth It?

So are the features worth upgrading to iOS7? Well most of those features do sound nice (depending on the device you have). This is claimed to be the biggest platform shift since the original iPhone. So what are the risks? These all seem to be improvements, naturally. Yes there’s going to be an army of comments slurring about the web with switching Siri’s web search engine from Google to Bing. Will most people care or even notice? Probably not. Chances are Apple won’t see nearly as much of a backlash as the Maps debacle.

Now, you can still use Google within Siri as long as you say “Google” at the beginning of your query. Or start with “Yahoo” and Siri will use Yahoo (but who’s gonna do that?). Another interesting aspect to this update is that Google is still the default search engine in Safari, BUT if you click on a Bing-provided result that launches Safari from Siri you may get a popup asking if you’d like to change your default Safari search engine to Bing. One more dagger in the side of the Google – Apple relationship.

With the introduction of Google Now the Google Search App could become a direct replacement / competitor for Siri. Yes it still lacks the ability to make calendar appointments, send a Tweet, update your Facebook status and doesn’t have internal device search  – but it has proven more effective and faster when it comes to web search.

None of this will (or should) keep most people from upgrading to iOS7. In fact the majority of eligible device owners will upgrade within a week. Some of them will more than likely get a surprise and be left with a bad taste in their mouth, “90% of iPhone and iPad apps designed to run on Apple’s previous iOS 6 perform improperly or crash on iOS 7“, mobile app testing firm uTest Inc. says.

Testing has found three common problems when trying to run an iOS 6 app on iOS 7:

  1. Interface rendering issues – text running off of the screen and not fitting in buttons
  2. Gesture confusion –  with the Command Center swipe and Back swipe, Apps with buttons or calls to action very close to the bottom edge or left edge of the screen are creating conflicts and not performing as intended
  3. Crashing

It seems there may be some other issues as well. On the day iOS7 rolled out I received an email from a major audio software provider I use for Djing both on a laptop and Apple mobile devices. The email from Native Instruments stated there are “serious issues concerning audio” and recommended not to upgrade to iOS7 just yet.

iOS7 Upgrade Audio Issues

It’s clear there are some great advancements with upgrading to iOS7 but there are also some big downfalls. You can make your own decision from the information provided but I think I’ll take my time updating (as usual). I put trust into the major audio software providers I use and if an update, be it for mobile, mac or PC, is having hiccups with their software it usually means there’s quite a few bugs to work out. One of two things will happen for me to upgrade to iOS7. 1) I Get a new iPhone or 2) I use a new feature on a friends device and realize I just cannot go on without it.

Are you going to update to iOS7? Interested to hear your comments.

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