iOS 7: The highly anticipated product from the apple stable, but there are a few things that even the launch ceremony missed.
Technobaba gives a sneak in.
New Maps features
Maps will get a new interface in iOS 7 (and will be able to talk to its new OS X counterpart), but there are also a few other new features coming to the app.
Turn-by-turn walking directions: If you like to walk, but aren’t always familiar with your surroundings, Maps’s new turn-by-turn directions for walkers should be a delight. (And yes, if you’re like me, it’ll keep you from having to pull out your phone every five minutes to check that you were indeed supposed to take that right turn.)
Night mode for Maps: I am constantly adjusting my phone’s brightness when I use it as a nighttime navigator. As such, night mode for Maps sounds like it might be right up my alley; while Apple didn’t display exactly how it might be implemented, a brightness slider or black/white mode would be much appreciated.
Maps bookmark syncing: iCloud has offered bookmarks syncing with Safari since its inception, but iOS 7 marks the first time you’ll get sync for your Maps bookmarks, as well. So if you add your favorite sushi joint’s address to your iPhone, rest assured it should show up on your Mac and iPad, too.
A few cool features that they didn't talk about
No more Faces and Places: The era of face-tagging and photo-maps is over, at least for iOS. The Faces and Places tabs are no more on iOS, replaced instead with Moments and Collections. Both of these still seem to be focused around location, and Moments includes map data for individual places; unfortunately for those who loved tracking friendly faces, from the keynote it doesn’t look like Faces will have a prominent place in iOS for the future.
True photo-sharing: Shared Photo Streams has always been a little one-sided: You could send photos to your friends, and they could send photos to you, but you’d each have to make a separate stream for the process. No longer: Streams can now be collaborative instead of just read-only, and they can have video, too. This is a feature I’ve been clamoring for since Shared Photo Stream’s release last year, and am glad to see being implemented in iOS 7.
60fps video: If you love shooting high frame-rate video, you’ll love Apple’s new camera app, which purportedly shoots video at 60 frames per second. (Will there also be a 24fps and a 30fps setting? We’ll see in the fall.)
Siri’s new tricks
Now this is the most interesting part.It responds to your commands but android too has a voice dialler that supports voice commands, the new siri inderstands more commands.
What kinds of commands? Things like asking it to play back your voicemail, return your calls, control your settings, change your music (or iTunes Radio), as well as any of the queries you’re used to asking of the assistant.
In addition, if you pick up an automobile in 2014 that incorporates Apple’s iOS in the Car features, it looks like Siri might take a page from Google Now’s predictive travel book: iOS knows where you might be heading and gets you traffic info and predicted journey times.
Apple stated at Monday’s keynote that developers would gain access to over 1500 new developer APIs in iOS 7. Given that most of Macworld’s readers aren’t highly interested in this nitty-gritty, however, here are a few interesting ones we caught off the developer slide.
iBeacons: Apple’s iBeacons, in technical speak, use the Bluetooth Low Energy profile for microlocation. In plain speak, this means your iOS device may be able to use Bluetooth 4.0 devices to collect precise location data—like your location inside of a building—even though those devices don’t have a GPS system installed. That said, I don’t claim to be a Bluetooth or microlocation scholar, and Apple’s APIs are under the confidentiality agreement, so the actual implementation might be slightly different.
Background downloading: We heard mention of this during the keynote: In short, it allows your apps to download information for you at certain times of day, even if they’re not actively running. In practice, this might allow your Twitter feed to download and cache tweets for you to read before you hop on the subway or sit in an airplane, sans Internet access.
Third-party game controllers: There are a few pseudo third-party controllers for iOS games already (the iCade, for one), but it looks like Apple plans to offer more expansive support for those wishing to connect third-party controllers to their iOS devices.
More Apple Maps in your third-party apps: There are some who would prefer that Apple’s Maps stay far, far away from their third-party apps. But if you like Apple’s implementation, you may see more of it in your other apps in the form of directions and “map snapshots.”
Xcode 5: While not mentioned during the keynote, the next version of Apple’s iOS and OS X app builder, Xcode 5, is around the corner. A developer preview is available today, with the full app presumably to be released later this year. You can read about Xcode’s new features on Apple’s website.