Apple officially announced the next version of their mobile device operating system at the Worldwide Developer Conference on June 10th. The rumors of a redesigned interface proved to be true, as iOS 7 showed off a completely reskinned interface that features a more muted color scheme with “flattened” elements, a marked departure from the infamous “lickable” buttons and widgets of previous iterations. The new look was also backed by many updates to interface mechanics, expanded multitasking, redesigns of some of the built-in apps, and the launch of Apple’s own streaming music service, a direct competitor of similar services like Spotify, Pandora, and Google’s Music All Access.
What this means for you:
If you have an iPhone 4 or iPad 2 or newer, then the OS update will be automatically pushed out to you when it is released this Fall. Aside from the new look, iPhone users will enjoy the new “control center” function – a slide-up widget that allows you to access commonly used iPhone settings like toggles for Wifi, Bluetooth, Airplane Mode. The expanded multi-tasking capabilities will now grant the ability to all apps to work in the background (iOS 6 restricted this capability to a handful Apple apps only) without significant drains on the battery, so content-based apps can grab content as it becomes available (push-based) versus when requested by the user (pull-based).
If you are an Android user, you may be scratching your head and wondering why it’s taken Apple so long to bring features like the above to the iPhone. To be fair, Apple has been focusing their energy on a foolproof OS, which sometimes means making compromises on capabilities, but with an eroding marketshare and Samsung hot on their heels, the gloves have come off in the smartphone wars. For a full list of features, you can visit Apple’s iOS 7 website.