By JP Mangalindan
July 1, 2013

Motion-sensing controls

Soon, starting Siri could be as simple as turning one’s head. One new iOS 7 feature buried in the Accessibility settings enables an iDevice to recognize users’ head movements, according to blog 9to5Mac. Swiveling your noggin to the right for instance, can activate the home button, as well as cycle through rows of apps. These movements can also be used to perform other tasks, like adjust volume or open the Notifications Center.

*Note: These third-party iOS 7 observations are based on developer builds and as such, are subject to change when the official consumer version arrives this fall.

A panorama that spins

Alongside iOS 6 last fall, Apple introduced panorama mode, which captures stills far wider than standard shots. iOS 7 now lets users view those entire paroramas on their iPhone’s lock screen. Using the built-in gyroscope, the iPhone pans across the photo as the user moves and turns.

Messages subject to gravity

Messages are now subject to the laws of gravity — or at least Apple’s version. Text bubbles have been assigned their own sort of virtual weight, so when users scroll through them, they pull pull apart. When users stop scrolling, messages merge closer together again. Minor, but neat.

A subtle homage to Steve?

The “Add to Reading List” icon has been tweaked, too, from a pair of squared-off frames to circular eyewear. Some think it’s a subtle nod to Steve Jobs, who favored the style.

A pervasive parallax effect

Though things are looking decidedly flatter for icons and apps, depth won’t be an issue. This June, Apple offered a peek at how the iPhone’s built-in accelerometer will be used to create a “parallax effect,” manipulating several visual layers on screen to create a sensation of 3-D. Tilt that iPhone in different directions, for instance, and the home screen will shift perspectives.

Dial a number, see the background

Taking “transparency” to the next level, users will see their part of their iPhone’s wallpaper as they dial a number.

All-new icons and design

London-born Jony Ive, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, was reportedly not a fan of “skeuomorphism,” the design philosophy that led to digital representations of real-world items in earlier version of iOS. So he skewed flatter and more translucent with iOS 7. That means new icons, including one for Voice Memos and a new look inside the app, too, shirking the vintage microphone imagery for a cleaner, minimal-looking graph.

You May Like