On iPhone 5S Launch Day Eve, I decided to reflect on iOS 7.

Waiting.

For some, it can be the hardest thing to do. We spend a good part of our lives waiting – waiting for Christmas, waiting for school busses, waiting for mom and dad to get home from work, waiting for dinner – we wait. And we wait…and we wait. But, there is a saying out there. “Good things come to those who wait.” Patience, after all, does have its rewards.

Tonight, as I write this, I am sitting outside our local Verizon store patiently awaiting the doors to open in the morning at 8:00 a.m. so that an iPhone 5S may be obtained. I am not eligible for an upgrade yet, but my better half is so he will be the lucky one this year. If you don’t remember, we actually waited in line for the iPhone 5 last year, too.

So, here I sit on Launch Day Eve anticipating the opening of a door.

While we wait, I thought I would share some of my favorite things about iOS 7 with you, dear reader. For many, yesterday was the first time they saw iOS 7. I was one of the lucky ones that was able to receive the Gold Master version of the software about a week ago. So, here’s what I think.

  1. iphone-messagesiOS 7 makes my iPhone feel like an entirely new device. This is something that Apple marketers said as a selling point at both WWDC in June and at the Apple iPhone event last week. I was skeptical, but it’s true. iOS 7 is the first BIG overhaul to iOS since it was originally released in 2007 with the original iPhone. The designers focused on clarity and depth with this upgrade and it’s a whole new world full of transparencies, Gaussian blurs and parallax. The operating system brings the devices to life.
  2. Gestures have a home in nearly every aspect of iOS 7. It’s something that Apple has been developing into iOS for quite some time and with iOS 7 you can use them in every native app in some fashion. Even though it can be hard to find sometimes, gestures do make things run a lot smoother. My favorite gesture-based feature is in Messages. When you have a conversation on the screen, you can pull the screen inward for the right side and see what time the message was sent. Something else that may not actually qualify as a gesture, but it a cool feature nonetheless is that if you hold down on a single message balloon, you can select which balloons you want to delete without deleting the entire conversation.
  3. Another feature I adore is the camera update. I admit, I haven’t delved into all of its features yet, but it is a lot more responsive then it used to be. When I start up the camera, usually it takes a few seconds for it to be ready, but now, camera is open and ready to take pictures almost instantaneously when my finger taps the icon.
  4. Control Center is another answered prayer. Instead of having to open settings to access frequently used functions like Bluetooth, wifi and airplane mode, now all you need to do is swipe up from the bottom of the screen. It makes workflow that much easier.
  5. Along with the camera, iOS Photos has a dramatic update, too. Now photos are broken into events and years based off of when they were taken. It gives the user a lot of chances to organize their photos on their devices.

These are just a few of my favorite things about iOS 7. What are some of yours?