New in iOS 7 beta 4: Lock Screen redesign, New Phone Buttons and more

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As each new beta version of an iOS software is released, spotting the differences gets a little trickier. But there are some key differences between previous versions of iOS 7 beta and the one released yesterday. First of all, the phone buttons have been changed to make them more distinct. Instead of being completely right-angled rectangles, they’ve gone back to Apple’s tried and trusted rounded corners.

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As you can see from the images above, the translucency of the ‘decline’ and ‘answer’ buttons has been toned down, to make the interface more solid. The gaps between each button are bigger, and the ‘remind me’ and ‘message’ buttons have some new icons to go along with them.

There are a couple more changes too. With Spotlight in iOS 7, you’ll already know that accessing the search tool is achieved by dragging down from any part of any home screen. It stumped a few of us in the beginning, and Apple knows that, so the company opted to add in a ‘Spotlight has Moved’ popup with a short instruction on how to access it within the latest iOS beta. Spotlight also features a new ‘cancel’ option to the right of the search bar.

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Some changes to the Lock Screen eliminate the frustration of misunderstanding the relationship between the ‘slide to unlock’ text and the upward arrow for Control Center. I’m happy to admit that on occasion (even though I know how to use it) I’ve instinctively placed the two together and tried swiping upwards to unlock my phone, only to be shown the Control Center interface. Apple’s new Lock Screen replaces the upward and downward arrows for Control Center and Notification Center with flat, pill shaped icons. ‘Slide to unlock’ has a small arrow to the left pointing right, with a gradient changing from left to right swiping across the ‘slide to unlock’ text.

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More, minor changes

1. If you happen to like snoozing your alarm in the morning, you’ll be glad to know that beta 4 now counts down your snoozing time on screen so you can easily keep an eye on how long you’ve got left to sleep.

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2. New app icon gradients. Apple has toned down a few of the blue icons. Instead of having a very bright and colorful light blue blending in to dark blue, the lighter color has been toned down. Mail, App Store and Safari now look much better as a result.

3. Safari’s bookmarks, reading list and shared links have been changed to icons only, instead of text labels.

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4. Messages app now shows first name, and first initial of surname at the top of each conversation instead of the contact’s full name.

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Found anything new in beta 4, leave what you notice in the comment section.

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