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iOS 7: What Does It Add?

Putting aside all the arguments about iOS 7 being derivative in its look and feel, as well as some (most?) of its features, let's consider what it does give iPhone users.

The two biggest additions are Control Centre and Activation Lock.

After having to put up with a tortuous path to change settings in the past this will be something of a relief for users. A quick swipe up from the bottom and you have access to function toggles, a music player and even the flashlight function. The new Control Centre is a great addition to iOS and certainly addresses one common complaint about the iPhone.

Whereas Control Centre replicates Android functionality, Activation Lock actually advances device security and makes iPhone theft quite pointless. By keeping the device locked even after a hard reset it has no resale or inherent value to a thief. Its a brilliant advance in system security and hopefully will be something that other platforms pick up quickly.

The replacement of the back key with a swipe in from the left sounds good - its a more natural action. However many iPhone cases make it difficult to do this and the iPad Mini, in particular, has very slim bezels which may make this difficult.

Apple has already got a hefty lead in Car integration through its existing 'Made for iPod' scheme. Extending that will be useful for those who own or purchase compatible vehicles.

Hopefully features like read back of messages and voice controlled replies will work in any Bluetooth enabled car - Windows Phone already has this functionality so I see no technical reasons for it not to happen.

Finally the parallax wallpaper sounds like exactly the sort of pointless bloat that Apple has ribbed its competitors about for years. It may look good (I remain unconvinced) but Live Wallpapers in Android can be used to add functionality to phones and that would have been a far better result for iPhone owners.

With a five month wait before iOS 7 arrives there's some time to refine and re-imagine some features.

In the mean time I'd say that Apple has caught back up to the competition in a lot of areas where it was lagging. Which must be a positive for everyone who will get this update later this year.