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iOS7 - At last some real usability improvements.

Don't worry, I'm not going to write a review of iOS7. I lack the time and the patience to do so, but I wanted to share with you some usability improvements that really make the platform more usable for me. And saved me two spots on my home screen.

The first one is with the flashlight. You're not discovering anything here as it's been all over the news already, but having the flashlight two taps away from the lock screen realy comes in handy. And gone is the flashlight app from my home screen.

Then comes the alarm clock and timer. I used an alarm app called Touch LCD, mostly because you didn't have to think to figure out when you're going to wake up. When launching the app, you see the time of the next alarm and the time between now and the next alarm, which gives you the hint of whether the next alarm is set for tomorrow or for another day. On the stock alarm clock, you have to hunt through your alarms that are on, check the time, check the day of week they're supposed to ring and figure it out for yourself. The problem is that sometimes when going to bed, part of my brain is already sleeping (or drunk for that matter). These times, it is painful.

Now, in the notification center, you see instantly the next alarm setup for either today or tomorrow. No need to hunt in settings.

The snooze has also been improved. Again, whenever the alarm clock rings, part of my brain is sleeping (actually all of it) and sometimes I'll hit snooze and sometimes I'll unlock thinking I hit snooze. Then I wake up and I have no way of knowing if a snooze is in progress or not. Maddening.

Now, right in the lock screen, you see the time remaining from the last snooze, with seconds counting down. Really helpful.

There is also the timer. When cooking something, my iPhone has become my new countdown device of choice. I have it in my pocket so wherever I am when it goes off, I hear it. The problem is: how much times remain? Get your phone out of your pocket, unlock it, hunt for the clock app, see the time remaining.

Now, also right in the lock screen, you see the time remaining for the current timer, with seconds counting down. Really helpful.

The last item is the Messages app. Whenever sending an SMS to anyone, you kind of never know if it got through or not. If it fails to get delivered, you see a nice "!" icon on the SMS app. That is, if you think about looking at it. If your phone sits in your pocket, you will never be notified.

In iOS7, the failure to send an SMS sends you a notification, just as if you'd just received an SMS. Much smoother.

 

Well, all in all, all these are small things, but they add up to the overall usability of the entire device.

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Categories : iPhone and iOS

Re: iOS7 - At last some real usability improvements.

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