Apple on Monday officially unveiled iOS 7 at WWDC 2013, calling it the biggest change since the first iPhone hit in 2007. As expected, it looks much different than how you and I know iOS to be right now. There is a quick settings menu, new camera, new card multitasking, icons, weather—an all-new experience that ditches the skueomorphic look for something more simple, sleek and cool. The company is going over the new features right now so we’ll be updating this post in the coming minutes and hour.
Everything has been stripped of its real-world mimicry. Instead, Apple is focusing on simplicity and functionality—this is a reimagining of the highest order. Apple said it’s completely comprehensive. The past iOS is no longer there; everything looks fresh, functional, and the features many people have been asking for are finally there. Calendar is clean, weather is much more beautiful, and even messages looks new.
Apple said iOS 7 is focused on layering and transparency. There’s a new Control Center that is available from anywhere in the phone, even the lock screen, that lets you quickly toggle settings—there’s even a built-in flashlight option.
Apple is currently focusing heavily on Safari, which comes with a new tab interface and redesign. Everything in iOS 7 is focused on layering, and that’s immediately apparent in Safari for iOS (check out the top). There’s a new tab interface, which is more like a rolodex-style than the previous cards. You get one-tap access to all your favorites—everything looks super smooth and fluid. Each page has its own preview, and you’re no longer limited to just eight pages.
AirDrop is also coming to the platform, making it even easier to share with friends and others, right there from any app that supports iOS 7’s new Share Sheet.
Photos is completely new, too. Rather than having one big interface that endlessly scrolls, the new app organizes photos by dates and locations—and there’s iCloud photo sharing as well.Apple said the new camera is “four cameras in one,” with photo filters built right in. It was bound to happen. The company didn’t share much about the interface, but it didn’t look too much different. Now, however, you can swipe between camera, video, a square crop mode ostensibly for Instagram and filters.
Siri is getting a huge revamp, with an all-new interface—Apple promises the experience will be much smarter than she is now. Apple briefly demonstrated the upcoming update, and the voice assistant sounds much more life-like—you can even toggle between a man or woman, if that’s what you prefer. Siri also seamlessly integrates with supported vehicles, with iMessage, maps, and Siri right there in your indash display.
One new feature that got huge cheers during Apple’s announcement is that apps now update automatically in the background, so you no longer need to go directly into the App Store manually and update every single one.
Apple said it didn’t have time to talk about all the new features, but there are things such as FaceTime audio for free Wi-Fi calling, Notification sync, Long MMS support, phone, FaceTime and message blocking, and many, many more.
iOS 7 will be available in beta for developers starting today, with a consumer release expected later this fall.