Yesterday, iOS 7 Beta 2 was released for Apple developers and anyone with $100 bucks to drop, and features a number of pretty interesting changes.
Right from the getgo, iOS 7 was different. The Welcome Screen for iOS 7 has been revamped (again) and is different from the one we saw in iOS 7 Beta 1. It now sets up iMessage, iCloud, emails, and a password. While not a big change, its a lot cleaner and better-looking, and will give first time iOS 7 users a welcome splash screen that won't scare them off (probably).
The biggest change is Voice Memos, which was mysteriously left off the initial beta release, is back. It works like a charm and got a huge user interface change. It looks a lot like the Compass app in iOS 7 actually; black, flat, but still completely fully-functional. The weird thing is the color scheme — the black background doesn't really fit with iOS 7 (same with Compass). It seems like either those two apps are still lagging behind, or they're ahead of rest of the operating system (it was reported that iOS 7 is still being developed non-stop). It could be true, since Compass and Voice Memos are pretty basic apps, they'd be the easiest to change. We'll have to wait and see.
Find My iPhone is new too, and now features new languages and the app will now "remotely locate, lock, erase, and prevent re-activation" with lost iPhones.
Siri's faster now and now offers both male and female voices as well. To change Siri's gender, go to Settings, General, Siri, then tap Voice Gender. You'll be able to switch it there.
"Double Notifications," an issues some users were suffering from in Beta 1, seems to have been fixed. According to MacRumors, however, Apple's release notes say that some apps either get double notifications or none at all.
Reminders got a slight UI redesign, and is now more compact in list view than Beta 1. Theres a new alarm clock button next to the search button that lets you set alerts for your reminders.
You can now backup your iPhone to iCloud in this build, which wasn't available before. Spotlight is super fast (as is the rest of the operating system compared to Beta 1) and results are given "instantaneously" according to MacRumors.
Messages got some slight tweaks too. The Send button is bold now and turns green or blue when you're sending texts or iMessages. The best addition to Messages is the new feature within group chats that shows avatars next to messages.
Lastly, it's a lot faster to close apps in multitasking too.
Overall a great update overall. There have been some issues in the 24 hours I've had iOS 7 Beta 2, but they were resolved. The update is even more aesthetically pleasing but, more importantly, it's very stable and very fast.
Having any issues with iOS 7 or find any hidden features? Let us know in the comments section or send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To contact the author, email email@example.com.
Follow Ian Kar on Twitter.