Apple ended a 230 day silence today with the WWDC Keynote. WWDC is a software related event and so most of the announcements were software related. The Mac is getting a new software version and the iPhone, iPad (Mini), and iPod Touch devices will be getting a major operating system overhaul with iOS 7.
iOS 7 is the most dramatic design changes and improvements made to the operating system since the original iPhone was introduced in 2007. Here is a quick summary, with images from Apple’s iOS 7 site, of some of the most significant features that will arrive this fall when iOS 7 is released:
- Control Center – this is an all new way to access many settings toggles as well as control music. To access control center, all you will need to do is swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
- Airdrop – this will be an incredible and much needed feature that will allow users to transfer photos, contacts, and other important files between two Apple devices. The process looks to be extremely simple to use and will eliminate the need for numerous third-party apps for the same functionality.
- Brand new Calendar App, Weather App, Stocks App, iTunes App, App Store App, Mail App, and more – all of the standard apps that come preloaded on iOS devices are getting significant overhauls including helpful swipe in from left and right features that allow for simpler navigation.
- Multitasking – this has been expanded so that all apps can take advantage of multitasking. Apple engineers have also designed advanced memory management to learn which apps you use the most in order to ensure that those apps have updated content ready to use when you need to access it. The multitasking tray has been expanded to show mini previews of each open app.
- Safari – the built-in mobile browser on iOS devices got a huge design upgrade with added functionality and ease of use. There is a new tab switcher for open tabs and there is no limit to how many tabs you can have open. The URL field is now a smart search field eliminating the divided URL and Search fields seen at the top of the current Safari browser in iOS 6. Navigating back and forth between web pages is as easy as swiping in from the left or right.
- Camera App – the camera app has been redesigned and now includes live filters so you can see what your photo will look like if you apply one of the new built-in camera filters.
- Siri – the all new and improved Siri features new voices, smarter responses, and access to settings controls on your device. You will be able to say things like, “Lower the brightness of my screen to 75%” or “Turn on Airplane Mode”. The look and feel of Siri has also received a major overhaul.
- iTunes Radio – this new music streaming service will be built in to the Music app that comes preloaded with iOS 7. You will be able to create playlists built on a song, artist or genre. As you listen to more music, the app learns more about what you like and continues to improve the personalization. You can also choose from featured stations. The service is free but contains ads unless you subscribe to iTunes Match which will eliminate all ads.
- Activation Lock – this feature will help you retrieve your iOS device even if you lose it or it gets stolen. With the current Find My iPhone or iPad app, you can locate your iPhone and even remotely erase it. But, if your iPhone or iPad is erased and restored, you will no longer be able to track it. This all changes with Activation Lock. Now, you can continue to track your device even if it is erased and restored. No one will be able to activate the device without the iCloud account information you used to set the device up.
Well, that’s a little summary of some of the best features coming to iOS 7 this fall. Now, all we need is some new and improved hardware to go along with the beautiful new software. Follow this link to see more features of iOS 7 on Apple’s site: iOS 7 Features