At Apple’s developer conference in San Francisco, the latest update to the iPhone and iPad operating system, iOS 7, has finally been revealed. The massively redesigned interface completely blew away expectations leading up to the event with a simpler and more stylised graphical design and brand new features.
Jony Ive described iOS 7 as “Defining an important new direction” for iOS in a demo video of the operating system, with the key feature being layers. Rather than being a ‘flat’ design as some had predicted, iOS 7 is certainly simpler and cleaner. Motion sensing in the phone means that the background on your iPhone will tilt in response to your movement making it a dynamic display. Layers mean that a hint of what exists beneath some menus shows through.
All of the app icons for iOS 7 have been redesigned as expected, with gradients and layers dominating here too. the Game Center icon for instance is a major new change, as is Newsstand which looks more like a standard app than a bookshelf.
Multi-tasking is a gorgeous new addition too giving you screen previews of all of the apps you have open as well as their icons. You can see some images of that in the gallery below.
Another important addition is Control center, available from anywhere giving you access to connectivity options and a new flashlight by simply swiping up from the bottom. Do not disturb and music are also available. This was a feature many users had long been asking for and looks stunning with the new layered effects.
Airdrop, long a popular feature on Mac, is now on iOS 7 with a share sheet showing all your friends who are close by. This includes sharing with multiple people. No need to bump your phone according to Apple.
The camera now includes filters, which was an idea floated last week as a possibility. Photos are now organised into moments so that they aren’t an endless stream of images, giving dates and places for the photos you’ve taken. They’re geotagged and time tagged.
You can zoom right out on the interface to see all images quickly, then drag and scrub to get a preview of those images when they’re too small to see that small. You can now share Photo Streams where others can also add images, not just you, which is an excellent new addition. Video has been added to this functionality too.
If you hate those little red indicators on the App Store when you need to update then worry no more. Automatic updates will now be available with the App Store in iOS 7.
One last addition is Activation Lock; if a thief tries to wipe your device or switch off Find My iPhone they won’t be able to without your username and password. It’s another great layer of security.
The new operating system for iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later and 5th gen iPod touch will be launched this fall.