Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Apple seeds third beta of iOS 7 to developers

Apple has seeded the third beta of iOS 7 to developers who're testing the new operating system.

The update comes two weeks after Apple released the second beta of iOS 7. It is a 214MB download on iPhone 5 and is available for download, over the air. The update mentions that it contains bug fixes and improvements.

However, it reportedly also brings several cosmetic and usability related changes. The UI related changes that it brings include a larger Status Bar on the lock screen, new fonts in the Weather app and Settings app, events marked on the Calendar next to days, more transparent folders, a tweaked Notification Center, improvements in tabs, Bookmarks and other UI elements in Safari, revamped controls in Music app, and a new  graphic animation when an app is getting installed, among others. Usability wise, it now allows you to use apps even when they're updating in the background, in addition to adding a new control for turning silent mode in Control Center for the iPad, improved Siri, a new Wi-Fi diagnostic mode and a dictionary, among other tweaks.

Apple will release several beta versions of iOS 7 before it seeds the final release in Fall (September/ October), which will be available to everyone and not just registered developers. It's worth pointing out that each successive beta will make the OS closer to the most stable release of the OS, and will add stability and fix bugs.

Apple unveiled iOS 7 on June 10th at the WWDC keynote, with a brand new interface, and a slew of new features. In Apple's words this is "the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone." Not only does the next iteration of the OS bring a completely overhauled user interface design, it also adds many missing features that were being offered by rival mobile platforms.

While the overall reception of the revamped design has been good, a large number of people have criticised the bright coloured icons and some inconsistent UI elements.