WWDC 2013: Apple’s new iOS 7 vastly redesigned, more features
As expected, Apple delivered a new, vastly redesigned version of iOS, its mobile operating system.
CEO Tim Cook called it the biggest change to the platform since the iPhone was introduced in 2007.
From a brand-new lock screen, to a redesigned music player and a Game Center that no longer features a casino-like green felt, iOS 7 looks vastly different from its predecessors. For the most part, however, the system continues to function the same as before.
The redesign was led by Jony Ive, the company’s design chief. Ive has led the design of the company’s hardware since the ‘90s but was also put in charge of the company’s software interface last year.
The new platform represents the company’s shift away from skeuomorphic design, which aims to make objects look like they do in real life. Ive has instead introduced flat design, which focuses on simplicity.
“We see iOS 7 as defining an important new direction and in many ways a beginning,” Ive said in a video Apple showed introducing the new platform.
Among the new features in iOS 7 is an improved Safari browser that lets users open more tabs than before and scroll through them in a new interface. Users now also have a feature called Control Center that gives them quick access to multiple settings by simply swiping up from any screen they are on. From Control Center, users can quickly turn on a flashlight, adjust their brightness or turn on and off Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and other settings.
Multi-tasking has also been changed in iOS 7. Now, when users jump from one app to the next, they can see a full preview of the app before they click on it, not just an icon as they see in iOS 6.
Apple also is introducing AirDrop, a feature that lets them quickly send files to other devices and users that are in their vicinity.
The company has improved the camera app in iOS 7, adding filters that can be used on pictures and a new square mode so users can take pictures that come cropped into the square shape used on Instagram, the popular photo-sharing app.The Photos app has also been improved to automatically organize pictures by when and where they were taken.
Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, has been redesigned as well. The company said Siri now has a new voice and users can also choose a male voice if they’d prefer. Of course, Siri has also been updated with more voice commands, such as “Turn on Bluetooth” or “Increase my brightness.”
The company also introduced iOS in the Car, giving users an improved way to control their device while they drive without having to look at their iPhone. The feature will work with a number of new 2014 cars.
Users who hate having to update their apps will also be happy to hear that the App Store in iOS 7 will now update apps automatically.
Apple said the iOS 7 will launch this fall, which is when the next generation iPhone is widely expected to be released.