Apple’s iOS has undergone a huge visual overhaul, the biggest change the platform has seen since the iPhone’s launch in 2007. iOS 7 has a cleaner interface that extends across iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. These new standards aim to make iOS 7 into a stronger competitor against Android and Windows Phone. We’ll showcase the main innovations in the new iOS.
A beautiful revolution
iOS 7 introduces a completely new interface, the design is a far departure from what Apple has previously done. There are no more pseudo-realistic textures, such as the leather Calendar and carpeted Game Center. Apple’s designers are aiming to simplify the mobile OS to make it clean, elegant, and easier to read.
As we previously assumed, icons for Apple apps are now flat and give reflections and other transparencies; a much more modern display. The flattening is also found elsewhere in iOS 7, from the menus to the notification center that replaces the old gray fabric with a semi-transparent background.
Additional visual features include a so-called parallax effect, which simulates a three-dimensional home screen. Animated wallpapers also appear on the lock screen, similar to Android.
Game Center: The biggest visual changes are found in Game Center, which previously had an often-mocked and outdated look. The new iOS 7 loses the goofy green baize texture, replacing it with a colored bubble interface.
Weather: The weather app’s makeover combines styles found in other popular weather apps, such as Weathercube, Haze, and Yahoo! Weather.
Calendar: The new scheduler drops the faux leather and adopts a minimalist, uncluttered, and easier to read interface.
Safari: The web browser for iOS 7 is has minimal buttons, but still uses the full screen. Open tabs are displayed in a 3D presentation, similar to what is seen on Google Chrome. Swiping a tab left or right will close it. It’s worth noting that iCloud tabs are still available in iOS 7.
Music: the iOS music player now includes songs, TV shows, and movies stored on your device, along with content hosted on iCloud. The interface is clean, enhanced with vibrant colors. iOS 7 has removed Coverflow, which is replaced with a mosaic of album covers.
Photos: iOS 7 Photos intends to rethink how users organize their photo collections. iOS 7 extracts information such as shooting location and special dates to classify photos. With a pinch gesture you can review photos by year, while a long press shows you to choose any photo.
App Store: The App Store in iOS 7 adopts the clean look and incorporates two new features. The first is the ability to search for apps related to geographic locations, such as guide books for particular cities. The second feature is a section dedicated to children, allowing quick access to apps designed for youths. The real novelty of the App Store is automatic updates in the background, a feature that was lacking in older version of the operating system.
A smarter OS
Many key apps on iOS 7 include improved, initiative navigation. For example you can use gestures from Mail to sort emails in competing apps such as MailBox or Gmail. There are also new notifications that show directly on the lock screen, which are synced with all of your devices (iPhone, iPad, and Mac). Better yet, files can contain hundreds of apps over several pages.
Siri has a redesigned interface, along with a more fluid and human voice, rather than the robotic tone of earlier versions. iOS 7 allows Siri to speak in English, German, and French, and adds new voice assistance to change phone settings, read messages, and search in apps such as Twitter and Bing.
Brand new features
Control Center: The Control Center includes shortcuts to some of the most common iOS settings. Pulling up from the bottom of the screen will reveal a new menu to activate a series of switches. These include options for brightness, switching on the flashlight, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, music controls, and AirDrop functions.
Multitasking: iOS 7 introduces a new way to move from one app to another, enriching the traditional row of icons for a large preview of currently running apps. Similar to the system on WebOS, multitasking on iOS 7 will be easy to handle with new gestures.
iTunes Radio: this service is available free of charge from the Music app. It allows users to create and listen to Radio Stations, lists automatically populated with songs from an artist or genre. While it has similarities to Pandora and Spotify, iTunes Radio lacks an option to select individual titles or the order in which lists are arranged.
AirDrop: A new system that allows wireless sharing arrives on iOS 7. This will let users to simply exchange files between iOS devices without the use of cables.
Out now in Beta, iOS 7 will be available this Fall on iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini, and iPod Touch 5th generation. In the meantime, we’ll continue to update the latest Apple software news. We leave you with one last question: what do you think of iOS 7?