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Geek Girl Report: A Quick Look at Apple iOS 7

Kim White, Getty Images

June has been a pretty big month for technology, with Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all making news. But while E3 dominated most of the technology headlines that week, there was another major tech event going on at the same time: the announcement of Apple’s newest mobile operating system iOS 7. And if you haven’t seen it yet, well, let’s just say it’s very different from Apple’s usual offerings. Here’s just a few of the highlights from iOS 7.

Stunning New Design

Right off the bat, iOS 7 looks radically different from its predecessors. The interface has been completely redesigned. Built-in apps such as Photos, Game Center and Newsstand are sporting brand new looks, the rounded, weird shadow effects on the buttons have been replaced with simple, flat buttons, and the whole layout is simplified and just looks gorgeous.

One of the things I find really interesting about the new layout is the psuedo-3D effect. iOS 7 was designed in layers, and as you move your phone around, the layers also move around in a 3D space, giving the layout a real sense of depth on a flat surface. It’s a bit difficult to describe, but once you see it in action, you’ll see what I mean.

Control Center

One of the many new features on iOS 7 is the Control Center, which as the name implies, gives you control over a number of features without having to hunt them down on the Home screen. Just swipe up from the bottom of the screen, even the Lock screen, and you’ll instantly have access to your camera, calculator, music controls, flashlight, even put your phone in Airplane Mode without having to fiddle with the settings. It’s a very useful feature that gives you instant access to some of the most-used apps on the iPhone.

Multitasking

If you’re anything like me, you’ll have tons of apps open at the same time. iOS 7 makes it easier than ever to switch back and forth between apps with its new Multitasking features. You can press the Home button twice to bring up preview screens of the apps you have open, so you can check at a glance what’s updated and what hasn’t.

What’s even more impressive is that iOS 7 will actually learn which apps you use the most and at what times. So, for example, if you like to check the weather when you first wake up, or like to check out Facebook during your daily break, iOS 7 will have the feeds for those apps up and ready to go at your usual times. It’s a very cool feature, but it makes me wonder how many times Facebook and Tumblr will be popping up on my phone. I tend to spend the entire day on those apps…

AirDrop for iOS

Remember when you had to send somebody a text or an E-mail to share a picture or a video with them? AirDrop eliminates the middle man and lets you share those important files directly. Just select your file, select the contact you want to send it to, and off it goes. These files are also heavily encrypted for security, so only you and intended contact can see it. (and the NSA, apparently…)

One last thing worth mentioning, the release of a new iOS usually means the release of new iPhone as well. And sure enough, Apple has announced it will be launching two different models of the iPhone come mid-September: the iPhone 5S and a “low-cost” iPhone that people have dubbed “iPhone Light.”

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