Top 18 features in iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks

iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks are packed full of new features. A lot of the them are highlighted in Apple’s WWDC keynote on Monday. Many small changes are now trickling out as developers got their hands on the beta version of the next generation OSs. Here are our pick of the top 18 features in iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks.

Control Center

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iOS 7 has a new Control Center panel for quick access to control settings such as Wi-Fi, brightness, music playback, Do Not Disturb, AirPlay and there is even a build-in flashlight. Control Panel is activated by swiping up from bottom at any screen.

Automatic app update

App Store in iOS 7 will automatically update apps in the background. There is an option to disable this in Settings.

Improved multitasking

Apple has released more APIs in iOS 7 for app to multitask in the background. Apps that take advantage of these APIs can deliver a better user experience. For example your activities in your social networking app can be downloaded to your iPhone in the background, content will be refreshed and ready before you run the app.

AirDrop

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AirDrop finally landed on iOS. AirDrop in iOS 7 allows you to quickly share pictures, contacts and file with nearby friends.

Call, message and FaceTime blocking 

iOS 7 includes built-in support to block calls, messages and FaceTime call from anyone, including your ex-girlfriends/boyfriends.

Audio only FaceTime call

This essentially turns FaceTime into an alternative to expensive telco telephone, Skype call or  Google Voice.

iTunes Radio

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iTunes Radio is Apple’s streaming music answer to Pandora and Spotify. It’s available first for US and is free with Ads support. If you have iTunes Match subscription then its ads free. iTunes Radio is available via Music app in iOS 7 and iTunes on the Mac.

Activation lock

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This is bad news for black market of stolen iPhones. If you wipe your phone from Find My iPhone when it is lost, your Apple ID sign in is required in order to activate the phone again. This security measure is in place even after the content is erased by whoever has taken your iPhone.

Notification sync

Notifications will now sync between iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks devices to make sure you don’t see the same notifications twice.

iCloud photo sharing 

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In iOS 7, Apple greatly improved the shared photo stream by allowing members to post photos  to the same photo stream. It is unlike the half-baked implementation in iOS 6 where posting is one-directional. This makes photo stream sharing an alternative to Instagram, Facebook etc if you want to create private photo sharing group. And you can post videos too. 

iCloud Keychain

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Safari has an option to auto-fill your site passwords, contact info and credit card number. With iCloud Keychain enabled, your secrets will be stored with 256-bit encryption in iCloud to enable sharing across all your iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks device. This is essentially the functionality of third party app such as 1Password.

Built in API support for game controller
 
For the first time, there is now a standard way for third party hardware game controllers to interface to iOS 7. This could be a game changer by making it easier for controller manufacturer to build their hardware, and developers will benefit greatly as their games will work with any compatible controllers. With AirPlay on AppleTV and a game controller, you can reconsider buying the next console from Microsoft or Sony.

Tags

OS X Mavericks comes with tagging support for files and documents. You can add one or more tags to associate with a file. And then you can search or filter based on tags. Finder in OS X Mavericks is enhanced to make it easy to work with tags. Tags is system wide, and you can key in tags in the system save dialog.

Multiple display support

OS X Mavericks has a proper implementation of multiple display support. Dock and menu bar will appear on either display as you move between them. Each display can be panned independently. You can also use AirPlay to an AppleTV as a wireless third display in exactly the same way.

Enhancement in Safari

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Safari in iOS 7 has a revamped interface with a unified URL and search bar. Mobile Safari comes with a new tab view and you can now have more than 8 tabs. Shared Links is new in Safari for iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks which will list the links in your Twitter timeline.

Maps and iBook for OS X

Maps and iBook finally makes it to OS X. You can now have a decent ePub reader in OS X. With Maps for OS X Mavericks, you can send location pin info directly from your Mac to your iOS devices.

Website push notifications for OS X

User can sign up for notifications from website supporting this new feature. Website can then send out news and alerts to your Mac, even if Safari is not running. This allows sites that do not have a native Mac app to alert you via push notification.

Performance and energy saving technologies in OS X Mavericks

One of the main emphasis for OS X Mavericks is fast performance and long battery life.Under the hood, Apple utilises advanced technologies such as timer coalescing, app nap, compressed memory to make the Mac more efficient and responsive.

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