iOS 7: Worth Upgrading?

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iOS 7 multitasking
Tip: swipe along the bottom row of icons for faster scrolling momentum

Many complain this multitasking feature is a rip-off of WebOS. It looks more like Exposé on a Mac or the way tabs are displayed on Safari for the iPhone. Critics who complain that Apple copied iOS 7 from fill-in-the-blank OS, typically don’t use Macs. The reality is that other operating systems copied from the Mac before Apple coalesced these features into iOS. Apple does borrow from other operating systems, but they mostly copy from themselves, incorporating features of OS X into iOS and vice-versa.

Slow Performance?

Reports that the beta version performed as well as iOS 6.1.3 seem to be reasonably accurate. iOS 7 is a little slower than iOS 6.1.3 on the same device. Almost every aspect of the user interface is smooth. When you unlock the home screen, the icons zoom into place quickly and smoothly. Scrolling is smooth. Notification Center and Control Center gracefully slide into place.

Immediately after installing iOS 7, your device may be a bit sluggish. There seems to be an optimization process running in the background. When I first started using iOS 7, I was annoyed. It was really slow and I couldn’t revert back to 6.1.3! When I pressed the home button to unlock the device, it would take 2 seconds for the “slide to unlock” message to appear. It took 3 seconds for the settings to show up after tapping on Settings. I scrolled down the list of app icons in Settings, and they weren’t filled in. As I scrolled down, generic icons were gradually filling in with the proper graphics. The keyboard was lagging. It was upsetting. I put down my device and started writing this article. After 20 minutes, I picked up my iPad to look up some information, and the sluggishness was gone! It’s quite fast now. Occasionally, when I launch Settings it can take up to 2 seconds to display. Hopefully, they will fix this in a future update, but it is a reasonable expectation that iOS 7 will perform a little slower than 6.1.3. It’s barely noticeable and the new OS is still very usable.

The other minor issue is that the parallax effect is slightly jittery. This is on an iPad 2. It was released 2 1/2 years ago. Many companies would force you to buy a new device to get the latest OS. I can’t complain too much about a slightly jittery parallax effect. The dynamic wallpaper is also a bit sluggish, and does not offer the parallax effect. To enjoy the parallax effect, use one of the new still backgrounds or a background from your Camera Roll. The parallax effect works better with a simple background image. The stock geometric patterns work well. The jitter is more noticeable with a rich background, such as a landscape or cosmic photo. Of course, if you have something better than an A5 processor, it should be smooth as silk. (continue…)

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