Apple has announced the new version of its mobile operating system, iOS 7, at its Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco today (10 June 2013), confirming rumours that it has overhauled the look of the new OS.
“iOS 7 is the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of iPhone,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said.
As rumoured, the skeuomorphic design in apps such as Game Centre and iBooks is gone, with the green felt and wooden texture replaced with a simpler design.
Apple has also changed the typography used across the system.
Taking a leaf from the books of smartphone makers such as Nokia and BlackBerry, Apple has introduced a gesture where swiping from the left edge of the device lets the user step back in the application flow.
Craig Federighi, senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple, said that iOS 7 is not just a design change, but a major feature release as well.
Along with Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, Federighi highlighted the following features in iOS 7:
- Control Centre: providing frequently used controls and settings by swiping up from the bottom of the device from anywhere, including the lock screen.
- Multitasking: revamped app switcher, background update scheduling learns from usage; apps are already updated when you tap on its notification.
- Safari: updates to the interface and Reading List.
- AirDrop: share files between devices.
- Photos: revamped interface, automatically organises images into “Moments”.
- Siri: new interface, male voice, adjust settings like brightness, search Wikipedia and Twitter.
- iOS in the car: iOS will be integrating with a number of car manufacturers, including Honda, Mercedes, Chevrolet, Kia, Hyundai, and Ferrari.
- Auto-updating apps: App store updates apps automatically in the background.
- Music app: revamped user interface.
- iTunes Radio: music streaming service.
iOS 7 is available to developers today, with its released scheduled for “this fall,” Federighi said.
In its press release accompanying the announcement, Apple said that the update to iOS 7 would be available for free for the iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and iPod touch (fifth generation), warning that some features may not be available on all products.