Apple revealed the latest updates to its iPhone line last month.

Following the company's familiar biennial pattern, the flagship handset this year is the 5s, a subtle refresh of last year's model rather than a new phone. In fact, the only significant new feature in the 5s is fingerprint recognition technology called Touch ID.

The fingerprint scanner promises to banish the need for PIN numbers and passwords, but it isn't foolproof - within days of the launch a group of German geeks had bypassed the technology using a fake fingerprint made from wood glue and a sheet of overhead projector film.

Now the dust has settled, it seems the real advances this time are not in the phone itself, but in the software it runs. Last year Apple's hardware design guru Sir Jonathan Ive was given an extended remit to design both the hardware and software for the new model. The first software to come out of Ive's new department is iOS 7, a complete redesign of the operating system that runs the iPhone and iPad.

Public reaction to the new operating system has been mixed. Some feel the intentionally flat look of iOS 7 cheapens the experience, while others praise Ive's confidence to abandon skeumorphism - Steve Jobs' approach of making on-screen icons mimic real-world objects.

Personally, I find iOS 7 is growing on me. A new panel that flicks up from the bottom of the screen, dubbed Control Centre, makes it much easier to switch common settings such as Wi-Fi, change screen brightness or switch music tracks without using a different app. There's even a flashlight button, allowing the LED to be toggled on without the need for a third party app.

I'm not sold on the new visuals, though. An update to the six-year-old interface on the iPhone is welcome but the current iteration lacks the clarity of Windows Phone 8 or the attention to detail found in previous iPhone updates. More fundamentally, I'm frustrated by Apple's lack of support for older hardware. Useful new features such as AirDrop - a system for instantly sharing files between nearby gadgets without relying on email - is only supported by the current, fourth-generation iPad released in November 2012. Owners who paid up to £600 for an iPad this time last year have a device that is already obsolete.

I believe in taking a pragmatic approach to obsolescence - there's no point in slowing development to support ancient gadgetry - but excluding features from products that are one year old feels environmentally irresponsible.

So, should you update to iOS 7? Absolutely. Despite its flaws and Fisher Price styling, iOS 7 is the best mobile operating system yet. The advances in Siri's voice recognition alone - especially for the notoriously tricky Scottish accent - eclipse any minor niggles over features or styling.