Everything You Need to Know About iOS 7

The key details about iOS 7

When Apple introduces a new version of the iOS, iPhone owners wonder whether it is compatible with their device. The answer can lead to frustration, especially for people with older, incompatible devices or if the new OS introduces a lot of cutting-edge features, like iOS 7 did.

IOS 7 was a divisive release. While it added hundreds of new features and bug fixes, it also introduced a completely redesigned interface that caused a lot of discussions and some distress. Because it was such a big change, iOS 7 received many more initial complaints from users than most iOS updates.

In this article, you can learn all about iOS 7, its key features and controversies, its release history, and the Apple devices that are compatible with it.

iOS 7 Compatible Apple Devices

The Apple devices that are compatible with iOS 7 are:

iPhone iPod touch iPad
iPhone 5S 5th gen. iPod touch iPad Air
iPhone 5C 4th gen. iPad
iPhone 5 3rd gen. iPad3
iPhone 4S1 iPad 24
iPhone 42 2nd gen. iPad mini
1st gen. iPad mini

Not every iOS 7-compatible device supports every feature of the OS. That's because some features require certain hardware that is not present on older models. These models don't support the following features:

  • 1iPhone 4S does not support: Filters in Camera app or AirDrop.
  • 2iPhone 4 does not support: Filters in the Camera app, AirDrop, Panoramic photos, or Siri.
  • 3Third-Generation iPad does not support: Filters in the Camera app, Panoramic photos, or AirDrop.
  • 4iPad 2 does not support: Filters in the Camera app, Panoramic photos, AirDrop, Filters in Photos app, Square-format photos and videos, or Siri.

What to Do if Your Device Isn't iOS 7 Compatible

If your device isn't in the chart above, it can't run iOS 7. Many older models can run iOS 6 (though not all; find out what devices run iOS 6). If you want to get rid of an older device and move up to a newer phone, check your upgrade eligibility.

Key iOS 7 Features and Controversy

IOS 7 delivered arguably the biggest changes to the iOS since its introduction. While every version of the software adds new features and fixes bugs, this one completely changed the look of the OS and introduced new interface conventions. The changes were attributed to the influence of Apple design chief Jony Ive. He had taken over responsibility for the iOS after the departure of the previous leader, Scott Forstall, in the wake of the problems with iOS 6

Apple had previewed these changes months before iOS 7's release at its Worldwide Developers Conference. That's primarily an industry event, so many end users were not expecting such sweeping changes. As familiarity with the new design grew, resistance to the changes faded.

In addition to the new interface, some of iOS 7's key features include:

iOS 7 Motion Sickness and Accessibility Concerns

For many people, complaints about iOS 7's new design were based on aesthetics or resistance to change. For others, the problems were physical.

The OS heavily featured transitional animations and a parallax home screen, in which the icons and wallpaper appeared to exist on planes that moved independently of each other. This caused motion sickness for some users. Luckily, there are settings that can give users facing this issue some relief.

The default font used throughout the iPhone also changed in iOS 7. The new font was thinner and lighter and, for some users, harder to read. There are a number of settings that can be changed to improve font legibility in iOS 7.

Both issues were addressed in later releases of the iOS. Motion sickness and system font legibility are no longer common complaints. 

Later iOS 7 Releases

Apple released 9 updates to iOS 7. All of the models listed in the chart above are compatible with every version of iOS 7. The final iOS 7 release, version 7.1.2, was the last version of the iOS that supported the iPhone 4. All later versions of the iOS do not support that model.

For full details on the release history of the iOS, check out iPhone Firmware & iOS History.

iOS 7 Release History

  • iOS 7.1.2 release: June 30, 2014
  • iOS 7.1.1 release: April 22, 2014
  • iOS 7.1 release: March 10, 2014
  • iOS 7.0.6 release: Feb. 21, 2014
  • iOS 7.0.5 release: Jan 29, 2014
  • iOS 7.0.4 release: Nov. 14, 2013
  • iOS 7.0.3 release: Oct. 22, 2013
  • iOS 7.0.2 release: Sept. 26, 2013
  • iOS 7.0.1 release: Sept. 19, 2013
  • iOS 7 release: Sept. 18, 2013

Apple released iOS 8 on Sept. 17, 2014.

  • How do you search on your iOS 7 phone?

    You can search your iPhone using the Spotlight feature. To access Spotlight, go to the Home screen and swipe down from the middle of the screen. 

  • How do you download apps for an iOS 7 phone?

    Go to the App Store, tap the Search tab, and enter a name or keyword. As you type, suggested results appear. Select the app you want and choose Download > enter your Apple ID Password > OK.

  • How do I display my phone number on my iPhone 7?

    You can use the Phone settings to find the complete phone number in iOS 7. Go to Settings > Phone and locate the phone number at the top of the screen

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