* helpful hints from the mavens of libtech
Finding Your Way Around iOS 7
Recently, we saw the public release of iOS 7, a new operating system for Apple's mobile devices. There was predictable ranting and raving. For most of us, there was an adjustment period and a lot of time spent Googling for various fixes for minor and major issues. For many people, this was the first major mobile update they've had to deal with, and it may not be obvious to them where to go for good information amid all the hype and listicles. It's also an unusual update in that the desktop versions of iOS are not on the same upgrade path, which will disproportionately affect people who are mobile-only technology users.
One of the things that makes Apple updates so difficult to understand for some people is the very close link between hardware and software. For many people, novice users in particular, the idea of an operating system is a little opaque in the first place. Apple's practice of only allowing authorized applications to run on its devices (unless they are hacked or "jailbroken") can be a method of compelling compliance with design and functionality. So while there are obvious and dramatic updates to the visual appearance of people's devices, there are also some changes in the location of certain functions as well as differences in how to access and interact with some common functions. The final thing that users find vexing can be the difficulty separating hype from help. Some FAQs and tips-style articles online are mainly marketing while objective guides can be less simple to track down.
This article will not be a fist of fix-it tips-the internet is full of them-but rather an explanation of where information providers can go to help people solve some of these issues on their own or with your assistance.
Why Isn't There a Manual?
This is a category of user concerns that has existed ever since computers stopped being shipped with printed manuals. Even when there were printed manuals shipped with computers, we would complain about them: The print's too small; the index is unhelpful; and it's hard to find what you are looking for. Apple still makes manuals for its devices and software, but it makes you go to its website to get them. If you want them printed, you'll have to do that yourself. They are keyword-searchable and printsize adjustable.
Nowadays, we often have a range of options for getting readable how-to guides ranging from manufacturer PDFs to For Dummies guides (helpful books, unhelpful name) to self- and nonself-published websites, pamphlets, and books.
Their Phone Does a Thing That Mine Doesn't
Some features of iOS 7 are only functional or present on newer iPhones. While the operating system update will work on all iPhones on or after iPhone 4-and on or after iPad 2 and on or after the fifth generation iPod touch-some applications such as AirDrop (for quick, localized sharing of some content) are only available to people who have the iPhone 5. The application does not appear on older phones or devices. Other applications, such as
These things can be confusing to people who may not know that there are large differences between devices that look basically the same or who don't know which model they have. Apple has a handy page for helping people identify their devices from images without having to go into the system settings to hunt for it. It's worth printing out the information and having it nearby if you work with a lot of new mobile device users. There is also a handy online iOS 7 Compatibility Chart that gives a good visual overview of which functions work and do not work with which devices.
My Phone Is Doing a New Thing
As I stated previously, some things have changed with the new operating system. Some of the design aspects (chrome-, linen-, and leather-looking backgrounds) have vanished, and there are more transparent overlays. The usual complaint when there is a new update to any phone's operating system is, "Why is my battery suddenly running down so quickly?" The default settings on iOS 7 are set to make the most of iOS 7's new features and not necessarily to preserve battery life. Nowadays, I make one-sheet handouts explaining how to check the usual suspects of battery drain: dim the screen, turn off background refresh, and watch location services. For people who are really app-based, there are many free battery-monitoring and optimizing applications available.
Other big notable changes include the following:
* The interface is simultaneously flatter and "zoomier."
* Fonts, colors, and default icons are different.
* Settings are more granular, and many new ones have been added.
When looking for online advice for interacting with many of these changes, it helps to build a thesaurus of common terminology. This will help you discover, for example, that there is a new "Reduce motion" setting hiding in the Accessibility area that you might otherwise only find when Googling, "Why is my phone making me dizzy?"
There is big news for users who use assistive devices with their iPhones or iPads. iOS 7 now comes with Switch Control, a very sophisticated adaptation for users who interact with their phones through adaptive switches connected to an interface or with head movements that can be picked up through the device's camera. While much has been made of Apple's touchscreen devices being remarkably useful for visually impaired users, this adds a new set of people who will be able to consider these devices genuine options for them.
My Phone Is Not Doing an Old Thing
As I mentioned previously, some functions have changed or moved and can no longer be accessed in the same ways they were before. The Search feature-a librarian's favorite tool-is now accessed by swiping down from the top of the screen, not by swiping to the right. Similarly, while there is still a calculator application, there is now an almost dashboard-like shortcut page called the Control Center where you can get single-click access to the calculator, the flashlight, and the airplane mode switch, among other things. Doing a Google search for "iOS 7 where is" will actually give you a good autocompleted list of what other things have changed locations or interfaces.
The upgrade will also mean that some applications may not function correctly until they get upgraded. I have a few legacy applications on my phone that revert to the old keyboard design or that have other slightly misaligned attributes. Preparing for the glut of application updates is another way to become copacetic with operating system upgrades.
Ultimately, the hardest aspect of these changes for novice users is that things are different, and they need to relearn skills that they may feel were attained with a lot of work and fumbling. No one likes feeling as if the rug has been pulled out from under him or her. At the same time, I feel that an important part of being a user of technology in this shiny century means that learning to accept these transitions is part of the skill set that modem technology users must learn. As library workers, we don't want to just point people to the newest thing and say, "Here it is; it's new and improved. You have no choice, may as well enjoy it." We want to show people the context through which to understand these changes. For example, this operating system was the first one created at a post-
How Stuff Works-Operating Systems
Identifying iPhone Models
iOS 7 Compatibility Chart
The iPhone Wiki-Jailbreaking
Scott La Counte Author Page on Amazon
Accessibility Options for iOS 7
iOS 7 Switch Control: the Missing Manual
ablenetinc.com/Po rtals/O/KnowledgeBase/ Manuals/iOS7-Use rGuide.pdf
Apple PDF Manuals
"Practicing Freedom in the
"This is Our Signature: iOS 7" by
30-Year Anniversary of the 'Free Unix!' Proclamation
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