iOS 7 isn't available yet. It won't go public until this Fall. But the beta version was released to registered Apple developers nearly 3 weeks ago. I downloaded it. And I love it! Here's why:
- New Design: The new UI and UX is refreshing. I love the pastel, translucent design. I love the new fonts. And I love the redesigned native app icons.
- Control Center: Easy access to Bluetooth, WiFi, airplane mode, and other settings is long overdue. Just swipe up from the bottom of any screen.
- Flashlight: Control Center also includes quick access to your calculator app and a built-in flashlight on/off switch that controls your camera's LED flash -- one of the handiest apps I had in iOS 6 that I can now delete in iOS 7.
- Photo Moments: The photos app now automagically gathers all your camera roll pictures into "moments" based off time and location.
- Safari: Safari has been updated to include swipe navigation, bookmark icons on new browser windows, and new browser tabs that look like your flipping through a filing cabinet -- you can even tilt your phone to look down the page to get a better view of each tab.
- AirDrop: I guess it's pretty cool functionality -- being able to share things with other iOS 7 users in your vicinity -- but the best part about AirDrop is stuffing a sock in the mouth of all those Galaxy S4 fanboys who think sharing playlists with friends is the "coolest thing ever!"
- Group iMessages: A few subtle updates in iMessage, like photos of those involved, make group chats better than ever.
- Integrated YouTube / Vimeo: I take tons of photos, but I always wish I shot more videos. With system-wide YouTube and Vimeo integration, hopefully I will.
- Auto-Update Apps: Apps automatically update in the background so you never have to open up the AppStore again -- which should save you some money too.
- Camera App: The camera app has been updated with built-in filters and an Instagram-like square lens. I'm one of those people who take photos outside the social network then import it into the app later, so being able to frame the photos correctly on my first attempt is a big deal.
- iTunes Radio: I've honestly never been a huge fan of Pandora Radio, but Apple always outdoes the competition, so I have no doubt I'll become an avid iTunes Radio user. Plus, it's integrated with your Music app which means it already knows what songs & artists you like, making it an immediately more powerful music discovery tool.
- Notification Center Today: The new Notification Center includes a "Today" tab that gives you a personalized overview of your day, including appointments, weather, stocks, tasks, and more. And it's accessible from the lock screen!
- Unread Mail Folder: The mail app now includes smart inbox folders including an "unread" folder of just new email messages.
- New Siri Voices: Siri has been updated with a more natural sounding woman's voice as well as a brand new male voice.
Have you downloaded iOS and found other cool features I've missed? Add them in the comments below: