If you have an iPhone, it probably looks and works quite a bit differently now that you've installed iOS 7.
The brand new operating system — the software that presents you with all those apps, photos and music — dropped Thursday for iPhones as well as iPads and iPods, and it's a complete overhaul.
We spent several hours playing with the new system (after a few hours actually installing the thing) trying to get our heads and thumbs around the new design and all of its new features. We loved a few (Control Center, marry us?) and we're still playing with all the photo filters, but some of the updates are giving us a tough time and may continue to for awhile.
What we absolutely love …
Control Center: Turn wifi on and off with a swipe and a tap? Quick access to the flashlight and camera? Perfection. It works so simply we wonder why it took so long to show up.
The new design: Everything in iOS 7 looks pretty slick. The “flat” design makes most everything easy to use and it's easy on the eyes. Everything is much, much easier to read.
Text time stamps: It seems like a hidden feature because we found it by accident, but all text messages have a specific time stamp. In the Messages, swipe your texts in the left to see them. No more wondering exactly when that last message came in.
You have to try …
Photo filters: We're still gonna keep Instagram, but the Camera app now has photo filters built in. Just stay away from the “noir” filter unless “grainy, is your camera broken?” is what you're going for.
Twitter links in Safari: Give your iDevice access to your Twitter account, and Safari will collect tweets with links in them so you don't have to scour through random updates and photos of your friend's new dog on your feed looking for that one thing you were gonna read. Find it under the @ symbol in Safari's bookmarks menu.
Swipe to go back: Another one we found on accident. When in Safari and Mail (and a few other apps), there's no need to hit the back button to get to the previous page. Just swipe from the far left edge of the screen and it will flip you right back. Nice.
Not sure about …
AirDrop: It's been lauded as this life-changing thing, but we haven't gotten the opportunity to share a photo or contact with someone via AirDrop. Basically, it allows you to share all kinds of items via wi-fi or Bluetooth. But what we don't get is this: Was it that hard before to just text or email it?
iTunes Radio: Like Pandora and Spotify (and other apps) before it, iOS 7 has iTunes Radio! It's, well, exactly the same as the others. Forgive our lack of excitement. Pick an artist or genre and iTunes Radio will play you tunes from that genre or music by and similar to that artist.
We sorta hate …
Change: Yeah, all the updates are nice, but it's gonna take us a month to figure out where everything is now and how it now takes two taps to jump back to the top of a website instead of one. We know the change is a good one, but we'll be a bit frustrated until we have our hands on iOS 7 for a month or more.
The animations everywhere: Every time you close an app, open an app, switch between apps or, well, do just about anything with your apps, messages or photos, your device will animate that action. Apps zoom in, zoom out and fall from the sky into your home screen, which was pretty slick the first few times, but is now so grating that it feels like rubbing sand in our eyes. We wish there was a way to turn the transition animations off, or at least calm them down.
Not everything was updated: iOS 7 looked pretty in the demo video, but it looks quite different on our phones since Apple only updated some of their apps. iBooks still looks like a bookshelf and it's kinda weird next to the pretty Notes app that used to look like a legal pad and now has a fresh, clean, bright design. And why did apps like Compass get a redesign, but things we actually use, say, Podcasts, were left out?