Jason Shapiro
September 22, 2013 8:00 am

On September 18th, Apple officially released iOS7, the new iPhone operating system, and people across the globe were forced to shut down their phones for 15-20 grueling minutes to install. I can still remember where I was – sitting in my office in sunny California, just hundreds of miles away from Palo Alto, where the minds that set this whole crazy process in motion dwell. Why are they taking away my i0S6 that I’ve grown so attached to? Like a security blanket, its look and sounds lulled me in the night, and eased me out of the deep darkness of sleep come morning. I didn’t know if I could update, and let all of this go. I didn’t know if I had the strength.

Every time an Apple product gets a makeover, I start to freak out. The panic of my precious things looking different than they always have sets in, and no amount of deep breathing or meditation can bring me back from the brinks of digital distress. So I held off.

But when September 19th rolled around, I was already feeling left out. So I did it. When I booted up iOS7, all the familiar feelings set in, but as I began to navigate through this strange new digital landscape, I actually didn’t feel like I was about to die. The new features and designs filled me with excitement and wonder. And with bravery, I took note.

Here are some pros and cons of the new iOS7:

The Look

Cons: It looks different! There’s really no way to get around this one. Even if it’s the most beautiful look in the world, I’m still going to list it as a con because I don’t like change. I miss my old icons! I mean, I did take screenshots of all of my screens and icons so that I would never forget them, but I’m still sad that they’ve been replaced. Also, the new look has been simplified, and the icons are flat. Fundamentally the flatness is less than its textured predecessor, so I’m obligated to list it as a con.

Pros: With this flatter new look comes a beautiful array of colors that pop out of the screen. I have to admit that the whole thing is really fun to look at. Apple has done away with the boxy, textured look of yesteryear, and given us a timeless, classic, simple look that is easy to get on board with. When you swipe your lock screen, the apps come flying in like new friends who are eager to hang out. I’m excited to hang out with my new apps.

The Calendar

Cons: This has to be my least favorite update. The calendar app is way more confusing than it used to be. It looks less like a calendar and more like just a lot of numbers.  Swing and a miss.

Pros: I guess it’s cool that there’s a red circle over the current day. It kind of reminds me of Target, which is my favorite place in the world. 

iTunes

Cons: Again, it looks different. This is always going to be a con for me, so I promise I won’t mention it again. My main beef is that iTunes automatically adds your music from the cloud into your library, and sometimes you didn’t even buy/download that music. I swear I didn’t purchase Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream,” and if I did, I was drunk. What if someone sees that in there? Not cool, Apple.

Pros: The biggest pro has to be iTunes Radio. This is a new feature that’s exactly like Pandora, except it has “i” in the name, and is an Apple product, so it instantly has more credibility. Also, now I don’t have to go to a different app for this kind of service. I like all of my things in one place, so this is very comforting. The album cover art is also much more prominent after the update. Remember how important CD covers used to be? Smashing Pumpkins’ Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen as a kid (and I had been to plenty of art museums). Now we can appreciate the album art from the Drakes and Lady Gagas of the world much easier.

The Camera

Cons: Honestly, I don’t really know yet. Either I’m not smart enough to understand the changes, or I haven’t been to enough brunches/pool parties/beaches to have the opportunity to use my camera and figure it out. I can think of one big con, but I promised earlier that I wouldn’t mention it again.

Pros: The font on the different features is pretty cool. Also, there are a number of new filters within the app, so you can get that puppy all ready to go before even going into the Instagram app. Last but not least, there’s the Square feature. Don’t know what this is yet, but I’d imagine it’s a great feature.

The Command Center

Cons: None whatsoever.

Pros: Umm… I have a COMMAND CENTER. Want to turn on Wi-Fi? Cool, it will just take one second now. How about airplane mode? Great, you don’t even have to open Settings. And there’s a flashlight! Not to mention a compass, calculator and camera, all in one place. It’s like having Batman’s utility belt. My command center makes me feel powerful. With one finger swipe up, I’m in full control of my digital fortress. The command center alone justifies the update for me. It’s Apple’s crowning achievement.

After using iOS7 for a few days, I can report that I’m no longer in a constant state of panic. I haven’t had to epi-pen myself or breathe into brown paper bag (yet). I’m actually enjoying it/ It may not be perfect, but it’s also not out to kill me. While I’m left with hints of nostalgia for my digital past, I look forward to a bright new digital future. A future where iTunes radio knows just what a like. A future where I look at my apps and feel comfort. A future where I understand the icon for the new Voice Memo app. A future where I grow to love my iOS7 even more than I loved my iOS6.1.4.

But a dark cloud of dread swirls deep in the distance. iOS8. Please pray for me.

Featured Image via iOS7JailBreaker.com (Please don’t jailbreak your phone). All other images via my very personal collection.

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