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Apple’s new iOS 7 will be great for travelers

September 10, 2013

Apple announced the iOS 7 in June this year and new iPhone today. So how does this new operating system compel the travelers to buy this new gadget or even upgrade their existing ones (note: iOS 7 will be available to iPhone 5S, 5C, 5, 4S and 4 on September 18, while iOS 7 will be available for the second-, third- and fourth-generation iPads plus the iPad Mini later in the year)?

Apart from the Android-style multi-tasking ability and an improved battery life (which is still questionable to developers using the OS), one of the new features on iOS 7 is the assortment of photos in to Collections, Moments and Years, which is essentially a smart-grouping of your photos and videos based on time and date. Collections is a grouping of trips, say, Bolivia trip; Moments represent those based on time and date, and Years are, well, groupings based on years.

The more pictures you have, the more clustered your groupings will be, but it’s just Apple’s way of finding and sorting your memories in an easy way! Then there’s the Shared Photo Stream that allows you to share pictures with others while they can add their photos too.

Apple Maps

We all know Apple Maps sucked big time at launch with iOS 6, and with some major improvements like voice turn-by-turn navigation for pedestrians. Instead of watching the maps while walking that consumes a lot of battery, you can now plug in the earbuds, put the phone in your pocket and hear the directions, while listening to your favorite music.

Local apps
The App Store on iPhones with iOS 7 will also incorporate GPS location to suggest locally popular apps, which is potentially useful for first-time visits to an area. For example, tapping the App Store in Hong Kong’s Sheung Wan district shows two bus schedule apps and a “taxi translator” that gives the names of streets and places in phonetically spelled Chinese.

Better camera options

iPhone5CameraThe camera on the iPhone has some fabulous features like vintage filters and a square viewfinder mode making it better to share those holiday snaps on Instagram.

Swapping between different modes like video, photo and panorama is easy and fast with a swipe of the finger.


Improved Passbook

iPhone5PassbookPassbook is a travel wallet app that launched with iOS 6 and holds digital boarding passes, hotel confirmations and other booking tickets. The notification center will keep these confirmations up on the lock screen for you to quickly swipe through and access them at ease, all while using the iPhone’s GPS sensor to pop up the required boarding pass around the location of use.

Though it launched with relatively few airlines and hotels on-board, the app now supports boarding passes for dozens of airlines and travel companies, including Airbnb and Of course, boarding pass apps, trip organizers and other travel helpers are readily available on Android (and to a lesser extent, BlackBerry and Windows Phones). For now, Passbook is an advantage only for multi-stop trips where travelers are likely to be carrying more than a couple of boarding passes or hotel bookings at a time.

Great travel apps for iPhone such as Skyscanner flight booking and TripAdvisor guides are usually also available for Android, while major apps such as TripIt travel organizer and Skype calling will also support Windows Phone and BlackBerry.

For current iPhone owners, iOS 7 will make photo organization simpler, but it won’t revolutionize their next trip away – the next generation of iOS 7 apps could.

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