30+ iOS 7 Beta 2 Changes

IOS 7 logoApple seeded iOS 7 beta 2 to developers for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch on Monday, two weeks following the initial release of the pre-release software during WWDC. The software is available OTA (over-the-air) through Software Update, with direct download links posted in the iOS Developer Center.

iFans has rounded up all of the new features, minor tweaks and other changes in iOS 7 beta 2 ahead, compiled from the iFans forums, Reddit and various tech blogs. If you come across any new changes that aren’t listed below, be sure to post them in the comments section and we’ll add them. 

1. Voice Memos Returns

VM1 VM2

Voice Memos was notably absent from the first beta, but makes its return with an all-new design — including a brand new icon — in iOS 7 beta 2. The app allows you to make voice recordings by pressing the large red circular button, which bears a close resemblance to Instagram Video, and save them for later playback.

2. Messages: Individual Timestamps, Avatars and New Animation

Messages Group Individual Timestamps Messages

A number of changes have been made to the Messages app in the second beta, including the addition of names and avatars for group conversations. Moreover, timestamps can be revealed for any particular message by swiping left on an individual chat bubble. Messages will now display nicknames if you have any set for your contacts. The “send” label is now bold, and still changes to green or blue for when sending an SMS or iMessage respectively. Last, a new shrinking animation is present when sending messages.

Image Source: Reddit, 9to5Mac

3. Siri: Voice Genders, Smoother Performance

Male Female Siri

You can now choose between a male or female voice for Siri, although this is limited to the following regional languages: English (United States), English (Canada), French (France), German (Germany) and German (Switzerland). Siri also launches and performs smoother in this second beta compared to the initial release.

Image Source: MacRumors

4. Reminders: Tweaked Design, New Clock Icon

Reminders 1 Reminders 2

Apple updated the Reminders app with a slightly more compact user interface, and added a new clock icon to the right of the search bar that lists scheduled reminders.

5. Weather: New List View

Weather iOS 7

An icon has been added to the bottom-right corner of the Weather app, which when tapped displays a list view of the temperature and weather conditions in the cities that you follow. The information is still powered by Yahoo.

Image Source: MacRumors

6. iPad support

The second beta brings iOS 7 to the larger screen, with support for both iPad and iPad mini in the latest build. We’re curious to hear your first impressions of iOS 7 on the iPad so far.

iOS 7 on iPad 1 iOS 7 on iPad 2

7. Tweaked Lock Screen Music Controls

iOS 7 lock screen music

Image Source: 9to5Mac

8. Redesigned Nike+ App

redesigned nike plus app iOS 7

Image Source: 9to5Mac

9. Google Contact Syncing

iOS 7 beta 2 supports direct Google Contact syncing without the need for CardDav.

google contact syncing iOS 7

Image Source: 9to5Mac

Other Minor Changes

  1. Control Center has received a minor aesthetic redesign, with a new clock icon (MacRumors)
  2. A bug that was sending double notifications to some users appears to have been resolved (MacRumors)
  3. A bug in Safari that would hide text fields — such as the Google search bar — behind the address bar has been fixed (MacRumors)
  4. The new card-based multitasking performs smoother, notably when swiping up to close an app (MacRumors)
  5. The pulldown Spotlight search performs smoother, delivers results with less lag (MacRumors)
  6. iCloud automatic backups are now enabled, something that wasn’t possible in the first beta (MacRumors)
  7. The Find My iPhone setting within iCloud now describes the service as able to “remotely locate, lock, erase, and prevent re-activation” of an iPhone (MacRumors)
  8. Find My iPhone icon in Settings is redesigned (9to5Mac)
  9. The Music app has received a number of user interface bug fixes and performance enhancements (9to5Mac)
  10. “Now Playing” label is now shortened in Music (iFans)
  11. Lock screen album art has been fixed for the iPhone 4/4S (MacRumors)
  12. “In this seed, GPS-based location is nonfunctional on iPhone 4. This includes AGPS call flows used for 911 emergency services location requests. Wi-Fi and cellular-based location remain functional.” (iOS Dev Center)
  13. Shared Photo Stream notification (9to5Mac)
  14. Improved transparency systemwide (9to5Mac)
  15. The media player has been slightly redesigned, for viewing videos and so forth (9to5Mac)
  16. Newsstand has a slightly redesigned user interface (9to5Mac)
  17. HDR photography mode in Camera on iPad (9to5Mac)
  18. The panorama user interface in Camera was slightly tweaked (9to5Mac)
  19. FaceTime has a darker user interface (9to5Mac)
  20. New icons for certain email providers within Mail (9to5Mac)
  21. Safari Bookmarks/Reading List/Shared Links tabs re-ordered (9to5Mac)
  22. Google+ does not function well on an iPad mini running iOS 7 beta 2 (Robert Scoble)
  23. Screenshot interruptions are disabled, i.e. in Snapchat (MacRumors)
  24. The default, bright purple wallpaper has been removed (Reddit)
  25. Siri speaks slower in Maps for turn-by-turn directions and so forth (Reddit)
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