Apple’s 2013 Worldwide Developer Conference began early yesterday in California, which converted over to early yesterday evening here in the UK, and during a packed keynote presentation, the company announced the next version of its iOS mobile operating system – iOS 7.
Introduced by Apple CEO Tim Cook, who described it as being, “The biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone,” it has been treated to a complete visual overhaul. As expected, Apple’s hardware designer Jony Ive has been a driving force behind iOS 7′s new look, as it has lost all of its more quirky design elements, and taken on a minimalist, flat design which favours black and white over leather-look books and green felt.
All the app icons have been redesigned, every panel has been changed, and gesture controls are utilized extensively. The iPhone‘s lock screen wallpaper now responds to the movement of the phone, the weather app has been animated, the calendar has a smart new vertical scrolling mode, and several new apps and features are being introduced.
These include the Control Centre, which is reminiscent of Android, as a swipe upward from the bottom of the screen reveals a translucent panel with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Airplane mode activations, plus music controls, a brightness slider and quick access to the camera.
Siri now has Bing search and Wikipedia at his or her disposal (that’s right, you can now choose Siri’s sex), while a new file sharing feature named AirDrop has been added, which enables quick and easy sharing with friends around you. In the U.S, iOS 7 will get iTunes Radio, a Spotify-like music streaming service, but this won’t be coming to the UK at launch.
There’s not one part of iOS which hasn’t been overhauled, tweaked or redesigned. Cook said that once it’s installed, your phone will feel brand new, however the team has worked hard to make sure it hasn’t lost any of its familiarity, or ease of use.