The new platform is a complete design overhaul and is the biggest change to the mobile OS since the iPhone was introduced in 2007. It’s still in beta however and available only for developers, and will be released in the fall to the general public.
So what is new in iOS 7 ?
First and foremost Design: According to Apple, the new interface is purposely unobtrusive and they have done away with conspicuous ornamentation, and removed unnecessary bars and buttons.
In fact every single app from Games Centre to how folders look on iOS 7 has been redesigned. The design is definitely flat like it was rumoured, and some of Apple’s most iconic apps look very different now. For instance the Music app has a reddish-background with the music symbol on it, the wooden background is gone from NewsStand.
The weather app is animated now. In the demo, the app actually showed Thunder, and cloudy weather for the pertinent conditions and it looks very cool and pretty.
Also the familiar Messages app of iOS 6 and older versions is gone. We now have blue and Grey bubbles on a white background, so yes, the familiar blue background is also gone.
In a sense the new iOS 7 is drastic and for a lot of Apple users it won’t feel the same ever again. Some might whisper the dreaded A-word and point out that Apple is just trying to catch up to Google, but we feel that Apple’s design change was much needed and looks refreshing.
Notification Centre: The Notification Centre is still on top but its much less clunky than in the previous versions of iOS. And yes, the centre will give details about new mail, missed calls, etc. It also has a new feature called Today which will give you a summary of everything you have lined up for the day. Users can also access the Notification Center from any screen, including the Lock screen.
Control Panel: There’s now a control panel at the bottom and users can just slide upwards to access the settings. You can turn on or off Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Do Not Disturb, volume settings etc from here. Also adjust screen brightness from the Control Panel. This works even in Lock Screen mode. Access to the flashlight, timer, calculator, and camera is also available from the Control Panel.
For a lot of users, this might seems like Apple is trying to copy Android but there’s no doubt that the new Control Panel seems much more convenient and we’re glad Apple introduced it.
Multitasking: If you have an app that you’re always using, iOS 7 will make note of that and make sure its updating in the background. According to Apple, 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.
Camera:The Camera now comes with inbuilt new features and you can edit photos as you shoot them. Filters in Camera are coming only to iPhone 5, iPod Touch 5th generation, while Filters in Photos app will be available on iPhone 4 and above, iPad (3rd generation or later), iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation).
Photos app: Instead of unorganised mess of photos, this will now store photos according to the time, place they were clicked. Photos will be stored in albums. You can tap years and all your shots for that year will fill the screen.
Air Drop: Apple’s answer to NFC, this will let users shares videos, email, photos, etc with their friends on iOS. You can just click on the Share button on any app that supports AirDrop, tap to share, select the person you want to share with and it will be done. AirDrop uses Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. All transfers are encrypted, so what you share is highly secure.
Apple’s Craig Federighi had joked during the keynote that users won’t have to go around bumping phones to share files and photos. AirDrop is available on iPhone 5, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation) and requires an iCloud account.
Siri in iOS 7 has a new voice. Also a new interface. And sound wave at the bottom.
Find My iPhone The new feature ensures that if your phone is stolen and somebody tries to turn off Find My iPhone, they will require your Apple ID and password. Also the Apple ID and password are will be required before anyone can reactivate the phone.