At the risk of sounding like an Apple "fanboy", I shall begin my review by first disclosing my bias.
As a kid, I grew up using Macintosh computers at home and at school. When the first iPhone was released, I traded my measly Blackjack II to a friend for his original iPhone with a completely shattered screen.
I have been in the iOS ecosystem since version 1.1.1. During my junior year of high school, I decided that I didn't want a boring lawn mowing or data entry job so I applied to the Apple Store at the The Fashion Mall at Keystone in Indianapolis. After graduating from high school, I left my job selling Apple's famous toys out of an overcrowded metal box-type store and came to DePauw University to pursue higher education.
When I first heard of the upcoming iOS 7 software, I was very excited because I am a registered Apple Developer and could get the software immediately after it was announced at Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. Upon downloading the beta software, it was clear to me how big of a change this update would be compared to the previous software releases that we have experienced from Apple.
Apple CEO Tim Cook stated at WWDC that this software was "the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone." Tim, I completely agree with you. When I first unlocked my phone with the new software, I was astounded by the vast change in the aesthetics of the home screen. The stock application icons have been redesigned to provide the user with a more flat and transparent feel. The most noticeable change (besides the new icons) is that the home screen wallpaper now responds to gyroscopic data. This means that if you tilt your device, the background will respond by moving. There are also new dynamic background options in which shapes will grow and change their visual elements. Some users say that the new aesthetic changes mirror those of the Windows phone software. However, I believe that the ease of use of iOS has been kept and not copied from a competitor.
In terms of functionality, iOS 7 is teeming with new features. The most notable is Control Center. The user will notice that when sliding up from the bottom of the screen, several new options appear. You can now toggle important system options via this new glass-like panel. I am most excited about the ability to turn on the LED flash from this panel, much like a flashlight. No more opening the camera app and tricking the iPhone into thinking that you are about to take a video while simply turning the flash on. Also, the Mac feature named "AirDrop" has now been ported to the iOS software and users can share files right from the Control Center.
I believe that Apple has taken a step in the right direction by redesigning the iOS software. However, they have not gone far enough. iOS 7 is great but it is mainly aesthetic changes. I'd like to see more functionality added to iOS even though I love the new design. Hey Apple, prove to us why we should love your shiny devices so much and please don't save my fingerprint data on your servers while you are at it.
-Mote is a sophomore from Indianapolis, Ind. whose major is undecided.