As the first beta version of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS 7 is being tested by registered developers, new tips and tricks inside the overhauled platform, which were missing in the keynote at the WWDC 2013, are being revealed.
Apple showed off a set of key features of iOS 7 on the first day of the annual developer conference earlier this week that included “Control Center,” “AirDrop for iOS,” “Multitasking,” “iTunes Radio,” “Activation Lock” and “iOS in the Car” among others. It was subsequently reported that Apple did not bring attention to at least two dozen other features in the redesigned iOS version.
With the iOS 7 beta now in developers’ hands over the past few days, it appears that the new operating system is capable of doing more things than what we have known so far.
Let’s look at five newly discovered features of the iOS 7:
1. iPhone’s iSight Camera Can Scan iTunes Gift Card
The FaceTime camera on the Mac can redeem a code found on iTunes Gift Cards by scanning the printed card. With iOS 7, Apple is bringing the same functionality to iOS devices with a back camera, revealed Beau Giles, a tech enthusiast who has tested iOS 7 beta.
Users can use the feature by opening the Apple Store storefront app or the iTunes Store app on their iPhone and tapping the “Redeem” button. Users can redeem an iTunes gift card using the iPhone’s iSight camera as well as by entering the code manually.
Scanning an iTunes card requires a gift card with a box around the code. After tapping the “Use Camera” link, the iPhone’s back camera gets activated in portrait mode and the system starts searching for an iTunes gift card code and scans it.
2. You Can Zoom While Recording Video
The iOS 7 allows users to access the camera’s zoom function while recording videos, a feature that was missing in the native camera application, prior to iOS 7.
After hitting the red button on the app interface to start recording, users can pinch the screen anywhere to zoom in and out during the video capture. Users can also use the slider at the bottom of the interface.
“The video zoom doesn’t pan in as close as the still image zoom, but it still manages to work up to about 2-3x or so,” 9to5Mac reported.
Take a look at the video here to see the new feature in action.
3. Notification Center Gets Google Now-Like Feature
The Notification Center in iOS 7 has a feature called “Today,” which functions like Google Now. The feature uses information from the user’s calendar and keeps an eye on their frequently-visited locations to automatically offer relevant information.
Today also shows the current weather forecast for the user’s location and gives live traffic updates. It also collects information on where the user lives and works, and uses the information to predicts how long it will take to get there.
4. Siri Gets More System Controls
Siri will be more useful with iOS 7 as it will have access to more system controls such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Airplane Mode, brightness and flashlight. Users can use commands like “turn on/off Bluetooth” or “increase/decrease the brightness” to operate Siri.
In addition, the voice-driven virtual personal assistant can play new voicemails and return missed calls. It also supports the new iTunes Radio feature in Apple's official music application.
5. Integration of Bluetooth Technology
Bluetooth SIG praised Apple for “unprecedented integration of Bluetooth technology” in iOS 7 and said that two Bluetooth-related features hold the key -- Apple Notification Center Service (ANCS) and the State Preservation and Restoration service.
“ANCS pushes notifications from the iOS device to the Bluetooth Smart peripheral. This sets the table for some incredible innovation developers can bring to market,” said Bluetooth SIG in a blog post.
“By implementing the State Preservation and Restoration APIs for Bluetooth, iOS 7 will automatically remember the state the app was in when the system shut the app down. iOS 7 then allows that state to be loaded back into memory (along with the app) when your device needs the app again,” said another blog post.