iOS 7: The biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone

By on June 10, 2013, 3:07 PM
apple, iphone, ipad, ios, update, siri, ipad mini, refresh, redesign, jony ive, ios 7

Apple on Monday unveiled the latest iteration of their mobile operating system during the company’s keynote speech to kick off WWDC 2013. As anticipated, iOS 7 delivers a massive overhaul led by Jony Ive, senior vice president of industrial design at Apple.

The software does away with the "green felt and wood textures" from past releases in favor of a simple and flat design. CEO Tim Cook described iOS 7 as the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone, packed with new features and an all-new user interface.

For starters, there are all new icons, a new color palette, revised fonts and subtle use of translucency throughout iOS 7. It’s immediate right away via the new animated unlock screen which you simply slide up to unlock.

At the home screen, users will notice a new 3D interface that reacts to the way the phone is positioned, allowing you to see the wallpaper “behind” icons. The Weather app with animated background now allows you to swipe through locations and pinch to see all of your notifications at once. In mail, photos are shown edge-to-edge with the ability to swipe to see messages and swipe on an individual e-mail to delete it much like Gmail.

Other system-wide changes include a new slide-up control center to access switches like brightness, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and even a flashlight. This function works within apps as well as at the home screen, we’re told. Folders now feature multiple pages which you can scroll through by swiping.

Those unhappy with Apple’s implementation of “multitasking” up to this point will likely appreciate the new approach in iOS7. Moving forward, all apps will support multitasking with updates taking place automatically in the background. “Smart” features built into multitasking monitor app activity and can issue updates at the most opportunistic times and adapt to specific network conditions. Users can now swipe between apps via a card-style UI reminiscent of webOS.

Safari has been updated with automatic full-screen browsing, smart search fields, an all-new tab interface, parental controls and iCloud keychain support. Safari users will be able to navigate through browser history via swipes and can access a list of shared links and reading lists with ease. The visual tabs are especially interesting as they improve greatly on the current system and allow for more than eight simultaneous tabs.

A new camera and photo app includes integrated filters, swiping between photo and video controls as well as a new sorting feature known as “moments.” With moments, iOS 7 can automatically organize images based on when or where they were taken. Users can zoom in and out to different levels, meaning you could zoom out and see all of the photos you took in a given year at a single glance.

Siri has been updated in iOS 7 with a new voice that’s said to sound much more lifelike. Furthermore, the automated voice can now be changed to a male tone but it doesn’t stop there. Siri also has a lot more functionality in iOS 7 such as the ability to adjust system settings and search Twitter and Wikipedia for information.

AirDrop for iOS allows iPhone 5, iPad 4th generation, iPad mini and 5th generation iPod touch users to share content with other iOS users via the Control Center. As Apple put it, there’s no need to wander around bumping phones together to share content – an obvious jab at Samsung.

Apple unveiled a new music player that will ship as part of iOS 7 that comes with iTunes Radio integrated in it. This is the music streaming and discovery app (iRadio) that everyone has been talking about over the past few weeks. It works a lot like Pandora and allows users to create custom radio stations based on a specific song and share stations with friends.

iTunes Radio will allow users to buy any song they like from iTunes on the fly and even check out an entire history of all songs they’ve streamed. It will be available for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, iTunes on Mac and PC as well as on Apple TV in the US initially. It’ll be free with ads or completely free for iTunes match subscribers.

FaceTime Audio will allow iOS 7 users to carry out high-quality audio-only conversations over Wi-Fi while separate functions enable users to block phone, FaceTime and messages from those they no longer wish to communicate with.

Activation Lock is a new security feature that prevents a thief from reactivating your phone, even if they turn off Find My iPhone or wipe the device. That’s because it requires them to know your Apple ID and password – information a random thief isn’t likely to know.

iOS 7 is available to developers in beta form for iPhone starting today. The general public will have to wait until this fall to download the update, however. When it drops, it’ll be compatible with iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and the 5th generation iPod touch.

The list of changes is extensive as Apple said they weren’t able to cover everything during the presentation. To that end, we likely won’t know much more about the new operating system until developers begin to leak out information in the coming days / weeks.




User Comments: 31

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JC713 JC713 said:

Looks awesome. Too bad the iRadio service isnt ad free. I guess I will be subscribing to Spotify now instead. Also it stinks that they are cutting support for the 4th generation iPod touch while still maintaining iPhone 4 support. They both have the same specs.

1 person liked this | KG363 KG363 said:

The interface reminds me of my WP7 phone interface and I'm really liking this iOS 7. I might change back to the iPhone camp

JC713 JC713 said:

The interface reminds me of my WP7 phone interface and I'm really liking this iOS 7. I might change back to the iPhone camp

Yeah, the flatness of WP8 is what I like, and it is finally on iPhone.

Guest said:

Looks nice and clean. Can't wait to give it a try.

2 people like this | roxxas2 said:

The interface reminds me of my WP7 phone interface and I'm really liking this iOS 7. I might change back to the iPhone camp

OR, you can just get a WP8. It's best to get the original and not a copy.

3 people like this | roxxas2 said:

Man, Apple sure did do a good job of stealing yet again more interface designs from Windows Phone. And this time even Android. The iSheep will just eat this up!

1 person liked this | m4a4 m4a4 said:

Ugh. That notifications picture looks horrible. Something about the colors makes me want to barf.

Otherwise It looks like MS got it right by going for the Flat look, as even apple is taking it...

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

Looks awesome. Too bad the iRadio service isnt ad free. I guess I will be subscribing to Spotify now instead. Also it stinks that they are cutting support for the 4th generation iPod touch while still maintaining iPhone 4 support. They both have the same specs.

If you pay $25 a year for iTunes Match you'll get an ad-free iTunes Radio. Cheaper than $5-10/month Spotify.

3 people like this | Guest said:

That looks like android with a skin.

JC713 JC713 said:

If you pay $25 a year for iTunes Match you'll get an ad-free iTunes Radio. Cheaper than $5-10/month Spotify.

Oh it is per year? Wow, I may look into that. But with Spotify, it isnt just Radio, it is basically a iTunes library in the cloud.

Guest said:

I absolutely HATE it. I've always been a big fan of skeuomorphism and always will be. That trend to simplify design is ridiculous and ugly.

1 person liked this | p51d007 said:

WOW!!! Background behind the icons! Swipe UP to access the menu controls!!!

Such innovation LOL.

Looks more and more like android every day.

Guest said:

OR, you can just get a WP8. It's best to get the original and not a copy. ;)

Given the current dearth of app selection on WP8, It's best to go with the copy than an original. At least you don't have to worry about whether or not your favorite apps are available for WP8.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

"Activation Lock is a new security feature that prevents a thief from reactivating your phone, even if they turn off Find My iPhone or wipe the device. That?s because it requires them to know your Apple ID and password..."

I wanna see how long it takes for this to get bypassed.

1 person liked this | Lionvibez said:

Looks like a rip off of BB10 on the Z10 :P

Surprised not really.

hwangsta said:

Pretty much took the look of WP8 and tweaks from Android/Cydia apps.

I"m glad they are finally implementing some obvious tweaks but I hate how they pass it off as their own original ideas.

Elian Elian said:

Looks nice. I like it.

Hasbean said:

Gentlemen, Let the lawsuits begin!

Another example of Apple's ability to innovate.

Guest said:

Looks like an improvement all round. Took the very best features of all the mobile os's ever made and Cydia and blended them elegantly into the core functionality the way only Apple can. Apple Phone fans should like the results. And as usual, Apple will make it simple and painless for all owners of semi-recent models to get the 'new iPhone' for free.

Guest said:

Hmm, looks like Android meets Ubuntu. Maybe this will help Apple users be more comfortable switching to Android.

Guest said:

Totally agree!

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

Pretty much took the look of WP8 and tweaks from Android/Cydia apps.

I"m glad they are finally implementing some obvious tweaks but I hate how they pass it off as their own original ideas.

That's called progress in the business world most of the time

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

It looks like they took everything from Cydia and Android. They even took things from the App Store like a flashlight. They didn't innovate ANYTHING...they just put in features everyone already could add. Lazy lazy lazy!

MonsterZero MonsterZero said:

Looks like a WP interface to me.

captainawesome captainawesome said:

Actually for me, iOS7 appears to look a lot more like KDE than Windows. Even the transparency is around the same amount as standard KDE. The bluish colour scheme is very KDE inspired from what I can tell

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

It looks like they took everything from Cydia and Android. They even took things from the App Store like a flashlight. They didn't innovate ANYTHING...they just put in features everyone already could add. Lazy lazy lazy!

People wanted something different, and this was what they got. No point in looking back now lol

Guest said:

This pisses me off because I actually want apple to innovate not just steal from android and when this update does come out it won't let customers with the iphone 4 and earlier versions have access to the "upgraded siri" because of the flippin microphone

Guest said:

Don't know why you have to change when you have something good going. This "flat" look is stupid. It looks like a cheap android phone. I have an Ipad and an Android tablet and the Ipad just provides a much more enjoyable experience because of its polished look. Now you're gonna take that away? Apple is apple because it is different and "hip." Why become a follower when you've led for so long. I don't think Jobs would approve if he was still alive.

Guest said:

If you pay $25 a year for iTunes Match you'll get an ad-free iTunes Radio. Cheaper than $5-10/month Spotify.

JC713 said: Oh it is per year? Wow, I may look into that. But with Spotify, it isnt just Radio, it is basically a iTunes library in the cloud.

Thats what "iTunes Match" is (plus lot more)

Guest said:

People have come to expect too much from "innovation"... look to Androids example... was big new stuff each release... and now, S3 -> S4 is only minor differences. Why do people expect more from an iphone who is actually OLDER then Android. Only so much can be done and it has reached its "slow zone"until some new major tech comes out. Android Fan-boys HAVE GOT to quit crying and whining all the time, geez

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