Apple has unveiled iOS 7, the latest version of its mobile and tablet operating system. Designed with the aim of producing a “flatter”, more functional user experience for iPhone and iPad owners, iOS 7 is set to be released on 18 September 2013. Just two days before the launch of the iPhone 5S and 5C.
So what new features has Apple created for its refreshed operating system? Read on for our guide to iOS 7’s updated Photos app, iTunes Radio and plenty more.
Mobile phone reviews – check out our test results on the iPhone 5 and its Android rivals
1) A neon redesign – Placing a focus on bold primary colours, iOS 7 is the biggest cosmetic change to Apple’s mobile operating system since the original iPhone launched. All your apps are still arranged in a familiar grid but you’ll notice a lot more colour splashed over those icons. A new typography has been created to make emails and texts easier to read, while the traditional homescreen has been redesigned in minimalist thin lines.
2) iTunes Radio – A new ad-supported internet radio service, iTunes Radio aims to compete with Spotify and Rdio by streaming music to your iPhone and iPad. It’s incorporated directly into iOS 7’s Music app and can create stations based on your favourite songs and bands. You can listen to Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones using iTunes Radio, although a full catalogue of artists and albums is yet to be released. The service is free for iTunes Match subscribers.
We’re hoping the service will launch in the UK soon, however Apple has yet to confirm the release date outside of America at the time of writing.
3) Updated Photos – Apple’s refreshed Photos app means you no longer need to scroll down an endless stream of pictures to get to the snap you want. All the snaps you take with your iPhone are now automatically sorted into logical order, like the desktop version of iPhoto. A range filters are also included so you can add sepia tones or a black and white effects to images as you would with apps like Instagram.
4) Control Center – A much needed functional update that’s largely borrowed from Android, Control Center allows you access to your iPhone’s settings all in one place. Whether you want to play a song in iTunes, turn on airplane mode or adjust your screen’s brightness, this can now all be done with a minimum of hassle.
5) Improved gesture controls – Continuing this focus on usability, pinch and swipe gesture controls have been further incorporated into iOS 7. You can now delete or move a message between folders in Mail by running your finger across it. In Weather, a simple pinch will bring up the temperature and conditions in all your favourite locations. It’s desisgned for customers who are increasingly adept and nimble at using touchscreens.
Is iOS 7 for you?
In addition to these major changes, several additional features have also been incorporated into iOS 7 like automatic app updates and a redesigned Safari with a new tab interface and one tap access to your favourite webpages.
The new iOS will be supported on the iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, including the iPad Mini, and the iPod Touch from the 4th generation onwards. It will be rolled out on 18 September.
What do you think of the redesigned iOS 7? The radical change to the design is likely to split users. Will you be updating your iPhone immediately when the operating system launches later this year? Let us know in the comments below.