Now that the iOS 7 Beta has been in the hands of developers for a few weeks (and has even received its first update), we’ve had time to examine most of its new features and secrets. The new OS is full of great stuff, but after using it as our primary platform for two weeks, we’ve found that the absolute best new features are relatively small additions: the flashlight and the built-in level.
In Apple’s quest to quash the developers of certain single-function third party iOS utilities, the company has integrated both a flashlight and level into iOS 7. Flashlight apps in particular were among the most popular utilities on the App Store and, while some of these apps still offer unique capabilities, it’s safe to say that most iOS 7 users will stick with the simple flashlight function built in to the new Control Center.
We wouldn’t blame them. The flashlight function is accessible with a quick swipe and tap, and works flawlessly on our iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, even in these early betas.
As mentioned above, the new level function, found in the Compass app, is also very cool. Using Venn Diagram-like graphical guides for aligning and measuring (along with a traditional-looking level when position perpendicular to a measured object), the app reports a level orientation by turning green, which can be very helpful when balancing multiple tasks at once.
We’ve already used the level a dozen times while setting up the new TekRevue offices; leveling desks, hanging pictures, and even leveling the office refrigerator. Like flashlight apps, level apps were also very popular on the App Store. Many developers likely moaned in agony upon learning of Apple’s decision to include the functionality in iOS 7.
And so it is among the most significant change to iOS since the platform’s inception that we find ourselves admiring these two relatively small additions. Make no mistake, iOS 7 offers excellent new features and we’re excited to see it develop and grow, but it’s likely that a built-in flashlight and level will be the most-used and perhaps most-appreciated new features come the software’s public release this fall.
What do you think will be your most-used feature in iOS 7? Let us know in the comments!