In addition to new iPhones, yesterday’s much anticipated Apple ‘Special Event’ provided more details on what Tim Cook described as the OS that will “soon be the world’s most popular operating system.” We first got a peek at iOS 7 back in June and it appears the early buzz was pretty much on the money. The shiny (or should we say flatter) new mobile OS delivers a complete visual overhaul with an all-new user interface, Control Center, smarter multi-tasking and an improved Siri now available in male or female voices . Users in the USA will also get iTunes Radio, Apple’s music streaming response to Spotify and Pandora.
iOS 7 is the first significant design change to iOS since the original iPhone, and existing users will immediately notice an all-new style. Adjustments have been made throughout, including a slightly translucent-looking keyboard, redesigned icons and new buttons. It’s a clear move away from the textured “skeumorphic” approach in previous iOS versions, where graphics elements were designed to emulate the ‘real world’ (gone are the felt ‘table cover’ in game center and the ‘leather stitching’ in Calendar). It’s clearly going to have implications for developers, many of whom will likely update their apps to avoid a jarring design clash.
iOS 7′s new Control Center adds the highly requested (and presently offered by rivals) quick access toggle bars to control brightness, switch-on flashlight, turn on airplane mode and do not disturb. It also brings new ways to discover apps and allows automatic app updates. Our opinion is slightly divided about automatic app updates: one the one hand it means that CoPilot users will be able to download our latest app updates without any intervention. On the other, by doing so people won’t see the ‘what’s new’ info that we publish to explains what we’ve improved or changed. Ultimately auto updates can be switched on or off, so we’ll leave you to decide.
iOS 7 will be available as a free download for iPhone 4, 4s and 5 from September 18th. It will also be available for iPad (iPad 2 or later), iPad Mini and iPod Touch (5th generation.)
In yesterday’s event we were also formally introduced to the iPhone 5S and 5C. Both new devices will be available on September 20th with pre-orders for 5C starting this Friday, Sept. 13th. We’ve been excited to see (and get our hands on) both devices up close and personal for some time and will report more on them later this week.
Our verdict? As you can imagine here at CoPilot, we love Apple and so it’s great to see iOS get a full make-over. For many existing iOS iPhone, iPad and iPod owners, it’s going to feel a bit like getting a new device. To celebrate its arrival, we’ve got a few cool things in store for you. So stay tuned over the next few weeks!