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Review: Apple's iOS 7 is much more than a pretty face

Michael deAgonia | Sept. 19, 2013
More than a superficial coat of paint, iOS 7 represents a new direction for Apples mobile OS.

As before, you can check weather for multiple locations by swiping right or left. With a pinch or by tapping the lower right graphic, you can call up quick views of your saved weather locations; they all display city, local time, temperature, the current weather animation and night/day status.

Camera and Photos apps
The Camera app gets a variety of new features. You can now swipe between the different shooting modes using a sideswipe gesture, toggling through still shots, video, panorama and the new square mode. There are live filters built in (if your device supports them), and you can hold down the shutter (either the virtual button onscreen or the physical volume-up button on the side of the iPhone) to get a continuous burst of shots.

Photos has also picked up some very cool tricks. There are now three tabs to choose from, located at the bottom of the screen: Photos, Shared and Albums.

The Photos tab uses GPS and time-stamp data in every photo to organize your pictures by Years, Collections and Moments. Moments represents individual photos, and you can swipe through them as before. But if you tap the upper left part of the screen, you're brought to the Collections screen, in which the thumbnails of your photos are grouped by date/time and location. If you tap the upper left again, you're brought to the Years screen, which displays thumbnails based on the year the picture was taken.

In the Years and Collections screens, you can tap and hold on a photo, and a larger preview appears above your finger. You can also drag your finger through the photos to find the one you're looking for, and the photo preview will cycle through your photos as you drag. Guiding your fingers over photos is actually useful if your iDevice has a Retina display; it's sharp enough to show the differences in the preview popup between normal and HDR photos.

The Shared tab displays your Shared Photo Streams, those you subscribe to as well as those you host. There is a new Activity section that organizes Photo Streams based on recent activity such as posts, comments and Likes; it's like the Facebook wall in that it shows all of the activity across your shared and hosted Streams.

Photo Stream now allows subscribers to share their own photos on your stream — and videos can be shared.

The Albums tab gives you separate listings for Camera Roll, iCloud Photo Stream, Panoramas and videos, and it's where you store your own, customized collections of photos.

Although the default theme for photos sports a white background, if you tap your photo once, you can replace the white background with black and hide the on-screen information overlay.


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