At WWDC 2013 today, Apple just announced iOS 7, a new update to their mobile OS that they are calling ‘the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of iPhone.”
As you can see in the image above, iOS 7 brings along new flat iconography along with a complete redesign and general tweaks to features and built-in apps.
There’s a new focus on simplicity, and as such the icons are flat and generally cleaner, while individual Apple apps all got a bit of a facelift to have a “look of precision and a sense of purpose.” Apple’s CEO Tim Cook stated that Apple has sold 600 Million devices running iOS so far, and that they spend 50 percent more time using their iPhones than Android users, with a 97 percent approval rating.
There are still some fancy things around, like the menus use a translucent overlay over the menu, and the weather app shows animated backgrounds based on the weather forecast.
There’s also now a reworked notification center where you can review past notifications as well as current ones, straight from your lockscreen. There’s also now a new ‘Control Center’ that is accessible throughout the platform by swiping up, allowing users to perform basic tasks like set connectivity options, adjust screen brightness, playback controls and more.
iOS 7 can also now update your apps in the background thanks to a new ‘smart background updates’ feature where the OS keeps track of what apps you use the most, then checks for any updates and automatically installs them during a time where you’re not using the app.
Apple’s mobile browser for iOS, Safari also got some tweaks, like the ability to open more than 8 tabs, fullscreen browsing, parental controls, support for iCloud keychain, and a smart search field.
Apple also announced Air Drop for iOS, as a new way to share data with other iOS users over peer-to-peer Wifi. Only works with the iPhone 5, iPad Mini and the new iPad and iPod Touch though.
The camera app also got an update, and can now display photo effects in real time, along with improved image management tools, and the gallery will not sort your pictures based on when and where you took the pictures. Similar to what HTC does with Sense 5.
Siri also got a bit of an update with a new UI and the ability to interact with more web services and device settings, though they have shifted to Microsoft’s Bing as their search engine of choice.
Apart from that, Time Cook also revealed other new iOS 7 features, such as cross-device notification sync, Facetime Audio calls, App-Specific VPN controls, and a new “Activation Lock” that helps you keep your iOS device protected from thieves by requiring your Apple ID details to activate said device, if it’s stolen and erased, even without the SIM card.
Lastly, Apple also announced iTunes Radio, a US-exclusive (for now?) free but ad-supported, music streaming radio service that will allow you to steam music, skip tracks, build custom playlists and ‘stations’ and ofcourse buy tunes you like. Ofcourse if you are paying for iTunes Match, you’ll have an ad-free experience.
Coming to the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2, iPad Mini, the new iPad (3 and 4), and the iPod Touch 5th generation, sometime this fall. Unfortunately this means iPhone 3GS owners, and iPod Touch 4th generation users are out of luck. Developers get access to the Beta today, over at Developer.Apple.com.
Check it out, right over at the Apple iOS 7 Product Page. Full Press Release below.
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Apple Unveils iOS 7
Completely Redesigned With Stunning User Interface & Great New Features
SAN FRANCISCO?June 10, 2013?Apple today unveiled iOS 7, the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone, featuring a stunning new user interface. iOS 7 is completely redesigned with subtle motion, an elegant color palette and distinct, functional layers that make it feel more alive. The typography has been refined for a cleaner, simpler look, and the use of translucency and motion makes even simple tasks more engaging. iOS 7 has hundreds of great new features, including Control Center, Notification Center, improved Multitasking, AirDrop, enhanced Photos, Safari, Siri and introduces iTunes Radio, a free Internet radio service based on the music you listen to on iTunes.
“iOS 7 is the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “To create it, we brought together a team with a broad range of expertise from design to engineering. With what we’ve been able to achieve together, we see iOS 7 as an exciting new beginning.”
“There is a profound and enduring beauty in simplicity, in clarity, in efficiency. True simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absence of clutter and ornamentation—it’s about bringing order to complexity,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of Design. “iOS 7 is a clear representation of these goals. It has a whole new structure that is coherent and applied across the entire system.”
iOS 7 is completely redesigned with an entirely new user interface, but will be instantly familiar to the hundreds of millions of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users around the world. The new interface actually makes your phone appear bigger because everything is designed to take advantage of the entire screen. The redesigned fonts look amazing on the Retina display, creating even sharper text.
iOS 7 introduces Control Center. Now the controls you want to access quickly are all in one convenient place. With just one swipe from the bottom of your screen, you have access to controls for Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Do Not Disturb, and the ability to adjust screen brightness, pause or play a song, jump to the next track and stream your music with AirPlay. Control Center also gives you instant access to apps such as Clock, Camera, Calculator and the Flashlight.
With iOS 7, Notification Center is now available from the Lock screen so you can see all your notifications with a simple swipe, and the new Today feature in Notification Center gives you an at-a-glance view of your day with a summary of the important details such as weather, traffic, meetings and events.
With improved Multitasking in iOS 7, developers have the ability to enable any app to multitask in the background with a new API. Users have the ability to switch between their apps in a more visual and intuitive way, and iOS 7 pays attention to which apps you use most and automatically keeps your content up to date in the background.
AirDrop is an entirely new way to quickly and easily share content with people nearby. When you’ve got something you want to share, AirDrop shows you your contacts close by. Just select who you want to share with and AirDrop does the rest. AirDrop transfers are peer-to-peer so you can use it anywhere, without any network or set up required, and transfers are fully encrypted so your content is protected and private.
iPhones are used to take more photos around the world every day than any other camera, and with iOS 7 the new Camera app features filters so you can add real-time photo effects. The Camera app now includes a square camera option, and you can quickly and easily switch between your four cameras—video, photo, square and panorama—with just a swipe.
iOS 7 includes a redesigned Photos app that introduces Moments, a new way to automatically organise your photos and videos based on time and location. You can zoom out to see all your photos organised by Moments, Collections of Moments and Years. iOS 7 includes iCloud Photo Sharing, the easiest way to share just the photos you want with just the people you want. With iCloud Photo Sharing, family and friends can contribute their own photos and videos to your shared photo streams, and the new Activity view displays updates from your shared streams all in one place.
Safari’s redesigned user interface lets you see more of your content—starting with full-screen browsing. The new smart search field helps simplify searching, and there’s a new view for your bookmarks and your Safari tabs. With iCloud Keychain, your passwords and credit card information are securely stored and available on all your devices, so navigating password protected sites or autofilling during transactions is simple and secure. Enhanced Parental Controls allow you to automatically block access to adult websites or only allow access to a specific set of permitted websites.
Siri sounds better than ever with new male and female voices and includes Twitter search integration, so you can ask Siri what people are saying on Twitter*. Siri also now has Wikipedia integration, providing access to the world’s most popular Internet reference site. Siri offers Bing web search within the app and the ability to change device settings and play back voicemail.
The Music app has a beautiful new design and includes the new iTunes Radio, a free Internet radio service featuring over 200 stations and an incredible catalog of music from the iTunes Store, combined with features only iTunes can deliver. iTunes Radio is the best way to discover new music. When you tune into iTunes Radio on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC or Apple TV, you’ll have access to stations inspired by the music you already listen to, Featured Stations curated by Apple and genre-focused stations that are personalised just for you. iTunes Radio evolves based on the music you play and download. The more you use iTunes Radio and iTunes, the more it knows what you like to listen to and the more personalised your experience becomes. iTunes Radio also gives you access to exclusive “first listen” premieres from top selling artists, Siri integration plus the ability to buy anything you hear with just one tap.
With over 900,000 apps, the App Store is the world’s largest app marketplace. iOS 7 now features Popular Apps Near Me, a new way to find apps based on your current location, and iOS 7 will automatically keep your apps up to date. The App Store also comes with a new Kids category, allowing teachers and parents to easily discover apps for children by age.
Additional new iOS 7 features include:
• a new Find My iPhone Activation Lock feature that requires your Apple ID and password before you can turn off Find My iPhone, erase data or re-activate a device after it’s been remotely erased;
• Night Mode in Maps that responds to ambient light when you use it in the dark;
• FaceTime audio for high quality calls over a data network;
• Notification sync, so when you dismiss a notification on one device it is dismissed on all of your devices;
• Phone, FaceTime and Messages blocking to prevent specific people from being able to contact you;
• Tencent Weibo support for users in China, a Chinese-English bilingual dictionary, and improved Chinese input including handwriting recognition for multiple Chinese characters;
• the ability for businesses to more efficiently deploy and manage iPhones and iPads; and
• enhanced in-car integration, bringing an Apple designed experience into the car for the first time.
The iOS 7 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members at developer.apple.com. iOS 7 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and iPod touch (fifth generation) this fall. Some features may not be available on all products.
*US English, French and German will be available with the launch of iOS 7. Additional languages will be added over time.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.