Apple has launched the all-new iOS 7, featuring a radically overhauled interface, new Control Center, transparent animations and more.
Apple’s iOS 7 has finally been announced with much fanfare, and it’s the most radical update to the OS since 2007. The feature set is robust and the UI is refreshed, so let’s check out the biggest new features…
The new system will be available for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, the iPad 2, iPad Apple packed in so many badly needed updates and improvements, it's hard to know where to tap first. With that in mind, I've put together a poll spotlighting some of the most noteworthy new features, and would love to know your pick for the single most exciting one.
For example, are you most jazzed about Control Center? The new Safari browser? A higher-IQ Siri? Vote in the poll, then hit the comments to talk about what you like -- and don't like -- about iOS 7. (I'll kick-start the latter conversation: No update to Maps?! Are you kidding me?)
Of course, if there's something else you find especially exciting about the new OS, something not listed in the poll, let's hear about that as well.Apple's mobile devices was mostly hit, but there was a big Maps-shaped miss.
Music is obviously a big thing over at Apple and the Cupertino-based firm reckons the player it's chucked into in iOS 7 is "the best music player we have ever done".
Instead of showing just the music stored on your iDevice, the Music app on iOS 7 also adds in your library stored on iCloud, allowing you to view all your tracks in one place.
If there has been one consistent criticism of iOS in recent years, it was the outdated nature of the UI. The new version of the software seems to take care of that with a wide-ranging update of the old, largely skeuomorphic design. The stitching and green felt are gone for good. In their place are frosted glass effects, flatter icons, and more white-space in the UI. It is still recognizable as iOS, though.
The interface uses the frosted glass look in a variety of apps to give a feeling of context and depth — Apple even used it in the background of the keyboard. Siri also gets a cleaner look with a semi-transparent UI.
Anyone that has ever wanted to go into airplane mode, or simply turn off WiFi knows how painful it can be to dig through the iOS menus searching for a toggle. The new Control Center is accessed with a swipe up from the bottom of the screen and contains a number of extremely useful shortcuts.
There are toggles for WiFi, screen brightness, Bluetooth, and more. Also in Control Center are media controls, AirPlay, and some app shortcuts. It should have happened a long time ago, but at least Apple got it right this time.
A few years ago, Apple enabled limited multitasking in iOS, but now it’s taking a more Android-style approach by allowing all apps to run in the background. The system will actually try to determine which apps you need in the background all the time, and which can be closed. This is an attempt to save battery life, but to be truly useful it will have to be very good at figuring out usage patterns. Multitasking in iOS 7 also implements a card-style screen for app switching.
This isn’t the kind of change that requires users to learn a new way of using the device, but it still improves the experience. That’s the best kind of change, when you think about it.
This is an important feature mainly because Apple really needed to get a streaming service figured out to match the competition. Pandora, Spotify, and even Google beat Apple to the punch. Apple’s iTunes Radio will be free with ads for all iOS 7 users. Anyone with an iTunes Match subscription will get the experience ad-free.
It will be built into the redesigned Music app and will support station creation, buying individual songs, and sharing stations. There don’t appear to be any defining features just yet. It’s not clear how much control users will have over tracks. For example, will iPhone users be able to cache songs offline? The service will roll out this fall in the US after years of anticipation.
Camera in iOS 7 puts all your shooting formats — still, video, panorama, and now square — front and center. With a swipe, you can capture what you want the way you want.1 Fast. And new filters let you do even more with each image. Give it a retro feel. Dial up the contrast.
Or go black and white. Artistic license is all yours.
Now there are faster, easier, and more delightful ways to scroll down memory lane. Introducing Collections, Moments, and Years — smart groupings of your photos and videos based on time and place. Tap Years and all your shots fill the screen. Each year holds Collections, like your trip to San Francisco. And in that Collection are distinct Moments — photos from Union Square, videos from AT&T Park. So you can find a shot from whenever, wherever, in no time.
Multitasking has always been a smart way to switch between apps. Now it’s even smarter. Because iOS 7 learns when you like to use your apps and can update your content before you launch them. So if you tend to check your favorite social app at 9:00 a.m. every day, your feed will be ready and waiting for you. That’s multitasking in iOS 7. It knows what you want to do before you do.
Apps Near Me — a new feature of the App Store in iOS 7 — shows you a collection of popular apps relevant to your current location. And a new Kids category spotlights the best apps for children based on age. iOS 7 also keeps your apps up to date automatically, so you don’t have to bother. Another bonus of automatic updates: no more little red badge begging for your attention.
What’s popular near me?
Wherever you find yourself — the Louvre, for instance — tap Near Me and you’ll see a list of apps you might find useful.
Losing your iPhone feels lousy. Thankfully, Find My iPhone can help you get it back. But if it looks like that’s not going to happen, new security features in iOS 7 make it harder for anyone who’s not you to use or sell your device. Now turning off Find My iPhone or erasing your device requires your Apple ID and password. Find My iPhone can also continue to display a custom message, even after your device is erased. And your Apple ID and password are required before anyone can reactivate it. Which means your iPhone is still your iPhone. No matter where it is
This is far from everything Apple changed in iOS 7, but these are the highlights. Sharing, photos, FaceTime, the App Store, and other features saw updates too. Developers will get access to the new beta software today, but regular users will have to wait for the official fall release.
How To Download iOS 7 Download Beta:
Be sure to backup your devices using iTunes 11 or through iCloud backup prior to installing iOS 7 beta. After installing iOS 7 beta, you can restore your device using either iTunes 10.6.3 or through your iCloud backup.
This version of iOS 7 is intended only for installation on development devices registered with Apple’s Developer Program. Attempting to install this version of iOS in an unauthorized manner could put your device in an unusable state, which could necessitate an out of warranty repair.
Devices updated to iOS 7 beta can not be restored to earlier versions of iOS. Registered development devices will be able to upgrade to future beta releases and the final iOS 7 software.