Apple released the latest beta versions of iOS 7 and iTunes for OS X to developers on Monday. This is the fourth beta version of Apple’s revamped mobile operating system destined for iOS devices later this fall. The mobile software was initially unveiled at WWDC 2013 last month and represents the biggest change to the OS since the release of the first iPhone.
iOS 7 beta 4 arrives with some aesthetic changes including a modified lock screen to simplify the process. Specifically, Apple added a directional arrow beside the “slide to unlock” text as well as a solid bar at the top to highlight the notification center. We are also told there are multiple visual refinements as well as some new icons throughout.
With iTunes, Apple added support for iTunes Radio, the company’s debut effort in the streaming music industry. There’s not much new here, however, as iTunes Radio on the desktop appears to operate just as it does on mobile with options to create your own stations or select from an array of pre-sets. There’s also a button that allows the user to buy the current song they are listening right from the “now playing” screen which Apple is betting will help them continue to control the digital music market over the long haul.
Apple usually releases at least four betas before launching a full version of software for the general public. If you recall, iOS 6 had four betas last year but many seem to believe we will see at least one more beta before a full launch is in order as this is a major overhaul compared to previous efforts.
The Apple iPhone 5 is the latest flagship smartphone from Apple. The iPhone 5 features a 4-inch display retains the same 326 PPI density as its predecessor with an effective resolution of 1,126 x 640, and a new Lightning connector. The new handset now features 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi with 802.11n supporting dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies. Bluetooth 4.0 is back in addition to GPS and GLONASS for location services.
The iPad mini is a smaller version of the iPad and it’s much more than just a shrunken-down iPad. The iPad Mini packs a dual-core A5 processor, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, a FaceTime HD camera, 5-megapixel rear iSight camera with 1080p recording and an optional LTE radio. The Mini sports a 7.9-inch display and 1,024 x 768 resolution. Battery life is estimated at 10 hours.
The iPhone 4S looks identical to last year's model but comes in a new 64GB flavor and upgrades the camera to include an 8-megapixel sensor with improved low-light performance and 1080p video capture. In terms of performance the new iPhone is reportedly up to 2x faster and is also capable of running on faster HSPA+ networks, reaching theoretical download speeds of up to 14.4Mbps.
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