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iOS 7 review

The iOS 7.1 update addresses many of our original concerns

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There's lots to like in iOS 7. It's fast, fluid and offers lots of improvements - not just the headline features we've discussed here but features such as the effortless Airdrop sharing, improved Find My Phone and the new Activation Lock.

iOS 7

It's nice to be able to hide Newsstand in a folder, too, although as ever you can't delete the stock Apple apps. That's particularly annoying on children's devices where space is usually at a premium and you really don't need Stocks.

We liked

The dramatic redesign hasn't delighted everybody, but I think it's better: while there are a few odd choices and it can be overly bright at times, there are fewer steps between you and what you want to do.

Control Center and the new Notifications are great, background app updates have removed what seemed like constant app maintenance, and when Siri's feeling co-operative it's a wonderful thing to have.

Many of our favourite features are relatively little ones: Photos' Collections knowing where I've been, Mail making it faster to file or trash messages, the ability to block messages from people I owe money to.

CarPlay looks interesting too, although so far it's still a demo.

We disliked

I sometimes feel like a poor relation to my American cousins: there's still no sign of iTunes Radio and the UK points of interest in Maps are absolutely hopeless, rendering it essentially useless for finding places in towns and cities.

I'm not a fan of the iOS keyboard - I've definitely noticed more errors and mis-hits compared to iOS 6 - and I also find Siri endlessly frustrating: it's great when it works, but it doesn't work all that often.

Verdict

When I reviewed iOS 7.0 I warned: "I'd recommend updating with a certain amount of caution: you will find bugs [and] you'll probably find a few apps don't work."

I was right, but if you're still waiting to jump from iOS 6 it's safe to do so now: iOS 7.1 squashes the bugs, developers have long since updated their apps and I've had plenty of time to get used to the interface - and most importantly, the motion sickness problems have been addressed.

The leap from iOS 6 to 7 is a big one, but it's a leap worth making: it genuinely does make your device feel brand new.