iOS 7: The Cool Things About This Update

Aside from the Gmail app crashing totally and rendering my unproductivity even higher, I can say that the rest of the embellishments that made it into this version of the user interface are more than just eye candy. In no particular order, here are the ones that caught my eyes:

  • Yahoo! Weather. If you have this native app configured to show different cities, there is now animation tied to whatever is going on in those cities. Beijing, for example was foggy, and fog drifted across the screen. The same is true for night vs day, or cloudy (clouds drifting), and when the rains come back to the Pacific Northwest, droplets of rain will probably be washing the augmented reality screen. A big plus: moon phases, sunrise and sunset times are in.
  • Clock. Before, you might have thought that this was a static display; and now a red seconds needle also shows.
  • Compass. The compass itself got a facelift, which looks prettier than the basic compass it used to look like. If you swipe the screen, you get a digital level which can be used if laying the smartphone flat on a table, or on its side for say, hanging a painting.
  • Camera. You can take stills, video, or panoramic -and- select the image type (e.g., monochrome, noir, instant, fade, chrome, etc) from the same camera window. No more fiddling with embedded menus. Yay!
  • Calendar. Before, it looked pretty much like blocks and arrows, right? Now you can scroll through the calendar year or quickly look at past or future years. It is a slight improvement; though I liked the simplicity of the older calendar feature.
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