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Review: New iOS software has features to discover

September 17, 2013 • Business


The iPhone 5C screen, displayed, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 in New York, is available in green, blue, yellow, pink or white. On the 5C, the background wallpaper on the screen matches the color chosen. If sunny yellow for the yellow model gets annoying, you can change it to Apple’s standard wallpaper, or any photo of your choosing. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — The changes to Apple’s iOS software became apparent as I drove to the headquarters of the company’s rival, Google. As I navigated using Apple’s mapping app, I noticed one of my favorite attributes was missing: the directions for each next turn presented in green boxes that resemble highway signs.

Many of the changes in Apple’s operating system for mobile devices are cosmetic. Gone are three-dimensional icons that mimic real-world counterparts, such as a magazine rack for the Newsstand app. They are replaced by larger, two-dimensional icons sporting abstract designs and pastel colors. Apple also extended that new look to many of its apps. In Maps, the green boxes are replaced with solid white across the top.

It didn’t take long to realize that deeper down, the new iOS 7 software is the same as the one I’ve come to know.

The new software does have several functional improvements, but those could take time to stumble upon. The good news is that even if you never discover them, you can still use your device the way you did before. The free update is available starting Wednesday.

I’m covering the features specific to Apple’s new iPhone 5S and 5C in a separate review. This one is about whether it makes sense to upgrade to iOS 7 on your existing iPhone or iPad.

The biggest functional change is the use of swipes instead of taps to access key functions. You can already swipe up from the bottom right side of the screen to quickly access the camera Login to read more

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