The new platform is a complete design overhaul and is the biggest change to the mobile OS since the iPhone was introduced in 2007. It’s still in beta however and available only for developers, and will be released in the fall to the general public.
So what is new in iOS 7 ?
First and foremost Design: According to Apple, the new interface is purposely unobtrusive and they have done away with conspicuous ornamentation, and removed unnecessary bars and buttons.
Have a look at some of the icons.
In fact every single app from Games Centre to how folders look on iOS 7 has been redesigned. The design is definitely flat like it was rumoured, and some of Apple’s most iconic apps look very different now. For instance the Music app has a reddish-background with the music symbol on it, the wooden background is gone from NewsStand.
The weather app is animated now. In the demo, the app actually showed Thunder, and cloudy weather for the pertinent conditions and it looks very cool and pretty.
Also the familiar Messages app of iOS 6 and older versions is gone. We now have blue and Grey bubbles on a white background, so yes, the familiar blue background is also gone.
Control center. This is arguably the biggest upgrade announced Monday, because it will make the Apple device you use more than any other significantly easier to monkey with. IOS 7 will include an all-new “control center” that users swipe from the bottom to access, revealing instant access to features smartphone users tend to mess with the most: AirPlay on/off, certain apps, brightness adjustments, music play, Wi-Fi connections, even a flashlight. And it’s available from anywhere, including the lock screen.
Siri: Not only is Siri better looking in IOS 7—with an all-new voice—but she no longer has to be a woman. Users can choose a male-voiced Siri. But what’s even better than that is Siri’s “brain,” which promises to be way bigger. No longer limited to searching the Web, making calendar appointments, or answering a few routine questions, the new Siri can now sneak into several apps, playing your last voicemail, turning on Bluetooth, increasing screen brightness, and checking into Twitter.
iTunes Radio. This announcement was one of Monday’s most hotly anticipated, and it may prove stiff competition to available services like Pandora. iTunes radio will be built right into your phone’s music app, and other than nifty categories like “Songs trending on Twitter,” it works exactly like Pandora, with a couple key differences: it records a history of all the songs you’ve listened to, and, if you’re an iTunes Match subscriber, it’s ad-free.
IOS in the car. More than a dozen big car manufacturers are all building IOS integration into their next automobiles, meaning you’ll soon be able to talk to Siri through the screen and speakers in your car. All the emailing and texting and map searching you now do on the phone will one day be available with the device snugly in the console, connected to iCloud.
Better multitasking. The chief complaint of the iPhone-hater club has long been that Apple does a lousy job at letting people use more than one app at a time (at first it wasn’t allowed at all, now it’s only a few select apps). Well, it’s a new day: all apps will now allow multitasking. And they’ll do so without taxing battery life, Apple boldly claims.
Background updates. No more annoying red climbing numbers in the app store. From IOS 7 on, apps will update automatically, in the background, and will be more likely to do so when your phone senses you have good coverage.
Activation lock. With this new feature, thieves who steal your iPhone and then hope to sell it after either turning off the “Find my iPhone” function or wiping the device completely will no longer be able to do so without entering your username and password.
A better Safari. Hoping to catch up to Google and Google Chrome’s intuitive swiping between pages, the new Safari will allow users to roll through an unlimited number of tabs as if through a Rolodex-style function, and also to swipe left and right to move forward and back. No more hunting for the tiny little arrow with your big fat finger, in other words.
Airdrop. If you’d bought into that feature of some Android phones that allow users to “bump” one into the next to exchange playlists and contact information, Apple says it can do one better. With Airdrop’s “share sheets,” users will be able to pull up a list of nearby friends, tap on one or more of them, and send files, playlists, and contact information over encrypted peer-to-peer Wi-Fi. The NSA will love this one.
A better camera app. IOS 7’s camera lets users swipe at the opening screen between photo, video, square photos and panoramic camera settings, and still shots will be immediately filterable with a new set of options built into the app. Apple also revamped its photo app, using the metadata of individual pictures to better organize photos into “moments” and places, making your collection more searchable. Ditto on the NSA.
Not only is Siri better looking in IOS 7—with an all-new voice—she no longer has to be a woman.
Notifications in the lock screen. No more punching in your password for a quick peek at emails and messages you missed, friends’ birthdays, the weather, or stock prices. The notification center will all be available right from the lock screen.
A reason to come back to Safari. Apple says its newest version of Safari will not only be faster than competitors Chrome and Firefox but with cooler features. The reading list will appear in a sidebar that offers ready access to bookmarks and “shared links,” those suggested by members of whatever social networks you use; and that content will all be viewable in one long continuous scroll.
The iCloud keychain. No more sticky notes with the 18 different passwords you’re trying to remember for 18 different websites. iCloud’s new keychain option will store complex passwords, credit-card numbers, Wi-Fi access information, and your home address in the encrypted cloud. It’ll even auto-suggest crazy long passwords for you that you’ll never have to remember.
Less-annoying notifications. No more will your weary fingers be forced to slide that heavy mouse all the way from that new message or mail or Facebook update notification. Now you can delete that spammy email right at the notification itself, or reply right there to a message.
A Google Drive competitor? Apple’s newest version of iWork will allow users to create pages, spreadsheets, and keynote presentations anywhere in its iCloud, right inside browser windows and in multitouch apps on the iPhone and iPad.
What’s new in iOS 7 for Developers?
Xcode 5 Developer Preview
This pre-release version of Xcode includes the OS X 10.9 SDK and iOS 7 SDK beta. iOS Developer Program or Mac Developer Program membership is required.
Elevate the content of your apps and make your user interface come alive on iOS 7. Adopt the new design to simplify and revitalize your app with clarity, translucency, and depth. UIKit allows you to incorporate realistic motion and transitions with new APIs that enable your user interface to respond to every touch and swipe by following the behaviors and physical constraints you define. Take advantage of powerful new text layout tools and dynamic type that respect the design principles of iOS 7.
Share photos, documents, URLs and other types of data with multiple devices nearby by adding AirDrop support to your app. By simply adding the Activity sheet, all the details of sharing your content peer-to-peer is handled for you—no network or setup required. And with Wi-Fi peer-to-peer technology you can use the same underlying technology to directly connect with multiple devices nearby, and let your users easily share information with each other.
Keep the content of your app up-to-date by adopting the new multitasking APIs in iOS 7. The new services allow your app to update information and download content in the background without draining the battery unnecessarily. The updates can happen at opportunistic times and are intelligently scheduled according to usage, so your app can update content in the background just when your users need it.
Create new immersive experiences using the latest game technologies in iOS 7. Develop high-performance 2D games with the powerful new Sprite Kit framework, which combines everything you need to animate sprites, simulate physics and create beautiful particle systems all in one easy-to-use set of APIs. Hand the controls over to your users by adding support for upcoming MFi game controllers to your game. And the re-designed Game Center adds more modes for turn-based games and more leaderboards, as well as allowing you to authenticate players, and securely transmit game scores and achievements.
Camera, Photos, and Video
Let your users capture and compose photos and videos just the way they want. Capture video at 60fps, so you can replay dramatic scenes in slow motion. Get a closer look by directly controlling the zoom level of the camera. Create video effects and transitions by combining multiple video tracks using the custom video compositing APIs. Scan and recognize barcodes with the camera.
Enhance your apps with support for new types of accessories. Location beacons are a new class of low-powered, low-cost transmitters that can notify nearby iOS 7 devices of their presence. Location beacons will provide apps a whole new level of location awareness, such as trail markers in a park, exhibits in a museum or product displays in stores. Other new features include the ability to setup and configure Wi-Fi accessories, such as AirPlay speakers, directly from iOS. And iOS 7 works with more Bluetooth LE profiles, including time, notifications, keyboards, and stereo sound.
Now your apps can make beautiful music together. With Inter-App Audio, apps can register their audio streams to share with other apps. For example, a series of apps could publish audio streams of instrument tracks while another uses the combination of these streams to compose a song. Inter-App Audio also provides for MIDI control of audio rendering, remotely launching other registered Inter-App Audio apps and more.
Take your apps in new directions with the new features of Map Kit. iOS 7 introduces directions APIs, enabling you to guide users to their destinations from within your app. Allow your users to rotate and move around the map in 3D using updated views and controls. And you have even more control of overlays, making it possible to place them at different layers or replace portions of the map altogether.
Device Support for iOS 7 beta
iOS 7 beta supports iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPod touch (5th generation). Support for iPad 2, iPad with Retina display, and iPad mini is coming later this summer.