Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook declared, “iOS 7: The biggest change to iOS since the iPhone,” as the company unveiled the new OS during the keynote for the Worldwide Developer Conference 2013 on Monday. The company showed off a drastically overhauled iOS 7, both cosmetically and functionally. The redesign was spearheaded by Apple’s lead designer Jony Ive, and engineering head Craig Federighi.
From the Apple iOS 7 News Release:
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®.
The radically revamped look and feel of iOS 7 includes new typography, all new icons, and dynamic color schemes.
All of the built-in apps, such as Messages, Calendar, and the Phone app are all completely rebuilt to reflect the new look. Hope you didn’t get too attached to the way Game Center looked, as Federighi joked, “Game Center: We just completely ran out of green felt, and wood as well. This has got to be good for the environment.”
Federighi demoed dynamic weather effects in the new iOS Weather app, as the effects were shown in the background, to give a visual representation of the current weather conditions.
The way wallpaper is displayed on the iPhone has even been updated, as a new parallax feature moves the wallpaper in the background as you move the device in your hand.
iOS 7 also introduces Control Center, which gives you the ability to quickly access many of the controls for the device in one convenient place. By swiping up from the bottom of your screen, you will have be able to control Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Do Not Disturb, and also the ability to adjust screen brightness, pause or play a song, jump to the next track and stream your music using AirPlay. You’ll also have instant access to apps such as Clock, Camera, Calculator and the Flashlight.
Notification Center gets a big bump in convenience and is now available from the Lock screen so you can see all your notifications with just a swipe. The new Today feature in Notification Center will give you an at-a-glance view of your day and will summarize details such as weather, traffic, meetings and events.
The improved Multitasking in iOS 7 allows developers the ability to enable their app to multitask in the background using a new API. Users will be able to switch between their apps in a more visual and intuitive way, and the OS will pay attention to which apps are used most, and will automatically keep your information up to date in the background.
Safari for iOS 7 has been updated with a new full-screen mode, and includes a smart search field that will provide one-tap access to favorite websites. The new tabbed interface is also included, and users will no longer be limited to just 8 tabs.
The new AirDrop functionality allows users to quickly and easily share content with people nearby. AirDrop will show you your nearby contacts, then just select who you want to share with and AirDrop will take care of the rest. AirDrop works as a peer-to-peer transfer so you can use it anywhere, no network or set up required, and transfers are fully encrypted to ensure your content is protected and private.
The update Camera app will include built-in filters, now includes a square camera option, and you can quickly and easily switch between your four types of cameras—video, photo, square and panorama—with just a swipe.
Also included in the revamped Photos app is “Moments.” Moments will automatically organize your photos and videos based on time and location. Using the Retina display, users can zoom out for a year-by-year view and “scrub” through yearly photos to narrow down what they are searching for. New Shared Photo Streams allow group sharing of photos and video via iCloud.
Siri has been updated with new male and female voices and includes Twitter search integration. Siri also includes Wikipedia integration. Bing web search is now available within the app and has the ability to change device settings and play back voicemail.
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.
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. For more information, and a video overview, check out Apple’s official iOS 7 preview site!
To check out all of our WWDC coverage, head on over to our official WWDC Summary!