BYU students react to iOS 7

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Craig Federighi, senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple, speaks about the new iOS 7 release in Cupertino, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Craig Federighi, senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple, speaks about the new iOS 7 release in Cupertino, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Apple released iOS 7, the new version of the operating system that powers the iPhone and the iPad, on Sept. 18 and students are sharing their opinions.

“You’ll feel 80 years old for the first day or so (using) iOS 7 because it has a learning curve, but overall it’s really nice,” said Melissa Howland, a first-year BYU law student from Blountstown, Fla.

Howland said you can get the new update and then use Google search as a guide on how to use it.

Many of the changes made in iOS 7 are aesthetic. The typography is thinner, menus are translucent, there are new color schemes, apps are now more flat and the wallpaper now moves as the screen is moved.

“The look kind of reminds me of Samsung,” McKay Miles, a senior from Henderson, Nev., said. “One thing that can influence what people buy is the way the phone looks. I think this is Apple’s way of competing. It makes the iPhone look much more desirable and more appealing. This is Apple’s way of showing its colors and it promotes the product better.”

Some of the aesthetic changes also offer additional functionality.

“From the main screen, when you swipe down from the top, it now has a screen where it tells you the weather and shows calendar events and app notifications. I like that,” said Warren Chatwin, a senior studying genetics and biotechnology.

Some of the aesthetic changes can result in inconvenience.

“I don’t like the wallpaper, though, because I can’t use my old wallpapers because of the way they scale it now,” Howland said.

Another new feature noticed by students like Howland and Miles is a built-in flashlight app. There is no longer a need to download a separate app to enable that functionality.

An updated Siri, including an option for a male voice, is available on iOS 7.

“Updated Siri is nice — sounds better,” Chatwin said. “The tone is a little more smooth around. The voice isn’t as choppy.”

Siri’s voice may not be all that has changed.

“It’s definitely much more responsive,” Miles said. “It seems more personified and it picks up on random questions better.”

Other changes to Siri may be seen as more disappointing.

“I do know that she won’t advise you where to bury bodies anymore,” Howland said, referring to how Siri used to suggest hiding places for bodies.

A new Pandora-like service called iTunes Radio is also available on devices running iOS 7.

“I think it’s really neat that they added that in there,” Howland said. “They have a Wishlist feature in there so you could mark songs to buy them later. They basically replaced Pandora and Spotify.”

Some technical glitches do occur during the update process. Matt Woolley, a student from Gilbert, Ariz. studying exercise science, tried downloading the software update to his iPhone 4S. It took an hour and a half to download before failing to install due to an unknown error. The update still has not been successfully installed.

Those who do install the update generally have positive experiences.

Chatwin described having problems with certain apps on his third-generation iPad.

“But, yeah, it runs fine,” he said. “All the apps I use all the time—the ones that are important—work.”

For others, iOS 7 seems to improve phone performance.

“It does seem like it flows a little bit better,” Miles, who uses an iPhone 4S, said. “For example, when I push the button to turn the screen off, it seems to recognize that I pushed the button more quickly than it used to.”

iOS 7 is a free upgrade for compatible devices and comes standard on new devices like the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

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