Do you own an iDevice? Things are going to look different very soon. Apple has revealed iOS 7 in its Worldwide Developer Conference, calling it “the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone”. iOS 7 brings a new interface, icons, color palette and typography to the old mobile OS, as well as new features such as Control Center, improved Notification Center, multitasking, and the much anticipated iTunes Radio.
One of iOS’s weakest points has always been its lack of multitasking. With iOS 7, developers can enable their apps to run in the background, giving users the ability to switch between running apps in a new and more meaningful way. The Notification Center has also been improved, and can now be accessed from the device’s lock screen. It also features a new Today item, with information about current weather, traffic, and upcoming items from your calendar.
iOS 7 also includes a Control Center for quick access to Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Do Not Disturb controls. It also includes controls for screen brightness and some media buttons, all available by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.
iOS 7 also includes a new version of Safari, a redesigned Photos app, new voices for Siri, and an AirDrop feature for sharing content with nearby devices. the Music app received a facelift as well, and includes a free built-in Internet radio service called iTunes Radio. iTunes Radio features over 200 stations and a music catalog from iTunes, it’s free for all to use, and it’s ad-free if you’re already an iTunes Match user.
While the new version of iOS might not look so different at first glance, the whole thing has been redesigned with translucent layers and what Apple refers to as “subtle motion”. These concepts are a little hard to understand, but the 7-minute long iOS 7 video gives a clearer picture of what these changes mean.
iOS 7 is still in beta, and is available through the iOS Developer Program. Everyone else will get the update this fall, provided they own an iPhone 4 or later, iPad 2 or later, or 5th generation and up iPod Touch.
What do you think of iOS 7? Is the change significant enough? Is it too big?