Jul 03

Apple’s new mobile operating system, iOS 7, will be released to the public in the fall of 2013. Meanwhile, the company has released beta versions for developers. The first beta version for the iPhone and iPod touch made its debut June 10, 2013, at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC). Now Apple has released a second developer beta, which runs on the iPad, notes PC Mag.

Apple observers, including Rasertech.com, who had hoped to find out more at the WWDC about Apple’s new role in TV, will have to wait a little longer. The excitement at the conference focused on iOS 7, with new announcements about Apple’s future in TV held till a later date.

‘Hidden’ Features

Reporters and bloggers who have access to iOS 7 beta have found new hidden features that Apple presenters didn’t mention at the WWDC. Here are some of the most intriguing of the secret features, discovered in the beta version by Rob LeFebvre at Cult of Mac and Kevin Smith at Business Insider.

  • Call blocking — iOS 7 beta lets users put people on a block list, which blocks their phone calls, messages and FaceTime.
  • Turn-by-turn walking directions — Maps on iOS7 beta gives you walking routes with spoken directions, so users can navigate down the street without having to look down at their screens.
  • Timer countdown — The timer countdown and the time left after hitting the snooze button appear on the iOS 7 beta lock screen.
  • Dynamic wallpaper — Put a panoramic picture on the screen’s background, and even though only a portion of the picture will show at any one moment, users can see all of the picture by moving their devices.
  • Accessibility features — Beta features that make it easier to read text include options to enhance text legibility, increase text size, reduce motion and enhance contrast. There is also a “hearing aid” option to make the audio more accessible.

Already Announced Features

In addition to excitement about the hidden features, Apple fans are also looking forward to the iOS 7 features that Apple has already announced. These include a time-saving Control Center that users can access by swiping up from any screen. From the Control Center, users can adjust screen brightness, use the new flashlight, turn Wi-Fi on and off, and more.

A new feature called “Today” tells users everything they most need to know for the day at a single glance. A smart multitasking feature updates apps at a time most convenient for each user, based on when the user is most likely to want to use the apps. The camera will have new filters, and shooting formats will be easily accessible with a swipe. There are new ways to organize photos by time or place and to share them via iCloud and AirDrop. Safari has also been improved to let more content show on the screen.

iTunes Radio Challenges Pandora

Perhaps most exciting, the debut of iTunes streaming radio will give users a Pandora-like experience. The more someone listens, the more personalized the song selection will become. Listeners can use 200 genre-based stations or build their own, and they can even set the balance between familiar and unfamiliar songs. iTunes Radio will be available for all devices.

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