Review: iOS 7 is radically different

iOS 7 is the free software update for iPhones (iPhone 4 and later), iPads (iPad 2 and later) and iPod Touches (fifth generation). It’s a radical, huge redesign. The look is sparse, white — almost plain in spots. No more fake leather, fake woodgrain, fake green felt, fake yellow note paper. It’s all blue Helvetica Neue against white.
The complete absence of graphic embellishments makes it especially utilitarian — in both senses of the word. That’s good, because whatever button or function you need is easier to find; it’s bad, because, well, it can look a little boring.
Then again, the new look is primarily visible at the Home screen, where a jarringly different colour palette greets you on the Apple app icons, and on the options screen. The rest of the time, you’ll be using your regular apps, many of which will look no different than before.
You no longer have to burrow into infinitely nested Settings screens to adjust your control panels. Now you can just speak what you want, using Siri: “Open Wi-Fi settings,” for example , or “Open brightness settings.
Or, when speaking to your phone isn’t socially appropriate, you can swipe upward from the bottom of the screen to open the Control Center: a compact, visual palette of controls for the settings and functions you’re most likely to need: brightness, volume, Bluetooth, WiFi, Airplane Mode, Play/Pause Music, calculator, camera, Flashlight. This panel slides in over whatever app you’re using, so you don’t lose your place.
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