Apple has debuted the newest iteration of iOS at its annual developers conference in San Francisco today. iOS 7, which releases in beta for iPhone today, will receive an official release for current iOS devices in the fall.
With iOS 7, Apple has done a major overhaul both in design and feature set. The updated mobile operating system boasts a completely new look which highlights a flatter design; a new color palette; different, hybrid font; and updated stock app icons. The lockscreen also has a new look, where the slide to unlock bar is now transparent and the notifications center is accessible without unlocking the device. From a functionality standpoint, all of the stock applications have also been updated with new gesture-based, sliding navigation.
App Store Updates Automatically
Apple has said that in iOS 7, all apps will update automatically without having to access the app store. It is unclear how this will impact the process of submitting new versions of an application to Apple, but it may inspire developers to opt for more official releases rather than sporadic updates. Developers will need to be more careful to only release stable builds of their applications.
App Popularity By Location
With a new app store in iOS 7, Apple has introduced a new discoverability tool where users can see which applications are most popular based on their current location. For example, a user may be accessing the app store at a conference and now the accompanying application is easier to find. This could be helpful for developers looking to gain traction in a specific location.
Apple has introduced Airdrop, a new feature that allows users to share content with other iOS users. Users can share things such as photos, video and specific sheets in specific applications. It is unclear if there is anything in place if one of the users does not have the application, but the improved sharing capabilities may help in assisting viral growth for apps.
Upgraded Photo Sharing
Apple has also updated its Photos application with new organization and sharing features. It has also introduced photo filters similar to Instagram and other camera apps. iOS users can now share their photos and videos with friends through iCloud and Photo Stream.
Apple has said that it has updated multitasking, allowing applications to update in the background. It says it has enabled smart features that will update certain apps at certain parts of the day or depending on the wireless coverage.
Apple has also introduced other upgrades such as Control Center which will now allow users to flip off airplane mode, wifi and bluetooth capabilities, brightness and flashlight on the fly. It also sports an upgraded Safari application, smarter Siri and a new radio service entitled iTunes Radio.
Apple has called the update to iOS 7, “the biggest update since the introduction of the iPhone.” That is easily apparent. With the mobile operating system receiving updates on all facets, it looks to empower its users with more flexibility and a stronger feature set.