Now that the dust from Apple’s iOS 7 launch has settled, it’s time to take a look at the app updates that stood out. Here is a short list of updates to guide you through some of the new features.
1. Instagram got ads
You might not have noticed any changes in your Instagram feed yet, but Instagram announced a week ago that Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of the mobile photo-sharing powerhouse will include ads. Yes, part of the plan for “building Instagram into a sustainable business” will be the addition of sponsored photos and videos in your news feed. The goal is to make the ads fit in seamlessly with other content. It’s worth noting that you have the ability to hide ads you don’t like and offer feedback on how to make your ads more relevant.
2. Snapchat is telling stories
The new Snapchat Stories feature gives you the opportunity to group certain photos and videos into a single snap that friends can view by tapping your name on their friend list. Every new snap you add lives in the Story for 24 hours before it gets deleted, so it is a continuous, ever-changing narrative that your friends can keep coming back to. What’s the purpose? Snapchat is probably trying to motivate users to use the app differently. Now, if one of your friends hasn’t “Snapchatted” you in a while, you can jump on and see what the Story is.
3. Flickr goes on autopilot
Flickr introduced a new feature that auto uploads photos from your camera roll to your Flickr account. This saves users a step when sharing photos and provides a more streamlined experience. A key aspect of the auto upload feature: your photos are private until you are ready to share them. I’m sure this will save more than one person from sharing an embarrassing photo accidentally.
4. Safari syncs with Twitter
One update that went largely unnoticed was the addition of the shared Twitter links feature in Safari. In the bookmarks window, you will now find a Twitter tab (marked by the “@” symbol), which will collect all the shared links from your Twitter timeline and the tweets surrounding them. It is unclear how this is a useful feature—if you wanted to read tweets, you’d go to Twitter, right? But it is an interesting example of multi-app integration that could lead to more exciting (and useful) features down the road.
5. Evernote gets a facelift
One of the most drastic app updates after the iOS 7 rollout is Evernote’s complete redesign. According to their blog, Apple’s update allowed the Evernote team “[…] to let go, restart and build in a way that we hadn’t been able to do in years.” The result is a cleaner, more efficient interface; an enhanced Quick Note feature; the availability of image and PDF markup; and easier grouping of tags and notebooks, among others. Also introduced was the Evernote Market where you can buy branded notebooks, bags, and scanners—all part of their goal to take digital note taking to the next level.
How has the update changed the way you interact with your phone? Have you given up Twitter for Safari? Any embarrassing photos make your Flickr feed? Any significant updates not in the list above? Let us know what you think in the Comments section following this article.