For those with iPhones, updating to the latest operating system can be a difficult decision. Is the new version more unstable than the last? What functionality may I lose? Will it slow down my phone?
This article takes a look at my own personal journey with an iPhone 5 and IOS6 through 7.1 with Voice Over (screen reader).
The bottom line? IOS 7.1 is the best so far. Is it perfect? Of course not, but it's great to see improvements in every version of the operating system.
I rate each operating system by keeping an eye on everyday functioning and identifying where the issues are. I would consider myself an intermediate user as I do not use refreshable braille displays, Bluetooth keyboards or advanced apps.
Version 6 is perhaps my favorite version because of its interface with Siri and how it displays lists. If you ask Siri to find "restaurants near here," Siri will list them for you and will allow you to flick through them one at a time. The command of "movies playing today" also works fantastically well, as well as the voice recognition for your address book when using commands like "Call John". The drawbacks of version 6 are significant though, with no settings commands available through voice recognition (for example, telling Siri "turn Bluetooth Off").
The next version of operating system I experienced was version 7.0. This added the feature of being able to control settings through Siri; however they changed the interface for listings. Due to the latter, this is my least favorite version. A Siri command of "restaurants near here" yields the phone telling you the number it found then going through each one, one at a time, with different versions of "did you mean that one?" with no option to flick through the list. Also, the phone seemed to lose focus more often with voice over and flicking.
The next upgrade I ventured for was version 7.1. This version seems to have it all: the flick through list ability of version 6 and the setting commands of version 7. It also seemed much quicker. However I’m finding the platform less stable. The phone seems to lose focus rather quickly with voice over gestures and I’ve had to re-start more than once. Also, the fantastic voice recognition from version 6 and 7 seem to have dwindled somewhat. Names in my address book - which the phone never had issues with versions 6 and 7 - are now impossible to use with 7.1. I hear there are ways to increase SIRI’s ability to understand better, but I'm still doing the research on that one.