Jun 10

The biggest thing practically everyone was waiting for during the WWDC 2013 keynote was iOS 7. Apple previewed the newest version of its mobile operation system and showed the audience the new look and many new features. Jony Ive is not only good at designing hardware, he has now proven he can perform the same trick with software as well. The standing ovation was well deserved.

Jony Ive: “We see iOS 7 as defining a whole new direction, and in many ways, a beginning.” 

iOS 7 is the biggest update since the first iPhone. All the skuomorphism is gone and replaced by a simplified, unified and flat design. I like it a lot, but can understand if some people don’t like it. It’s a whole new design. But the most important things are the many many new features. Craig Federighi took the stage to talk about these many new things in iOS 7.

Control Center

This new screen is available from anywhere, even the lock screen. It’s the Control Center. Just swipe up from the bottom of the screen to access this new feature. From here you can change Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, brightness and volume. You can use Airplay from here and even have the music controls available. There’s also a flashlight option.


Apple added select multitasking in iOS 4. In iOS7, multitasking is for all apps and it still delivers great battery life. The system notices your patterns of use to keep frequently used apps up to date. If you use an app only in the morning or at night, apps get cycles so they’re up to date when you use them. Apps will now get updated in the background. To make it complete, iOS 7 has a new multitasking screen that can be accessed by double clicking the home button.


Safari on the iPhone has a new full screen mode with smart search and new interface for tabs. Users are no longer limited to 8 tabs in Safari and the tabs have a cover flow-esque feel. The iCloud Keychain feature from OS X Mavericks will also be embedded in Safari in iOS 7. And there are better parental controls. 


This is a feature that has been (and still is) available on the Mac for a few years and now comes to iOS devices as well with iOS 7. Any app that supports a share sheet, your friends that are around you show up right there. Tap on them, and they can accept the sharing right on their device. It’s system wide for any app that supports a share sheet and uses peer-to-peer Wi-Fi. Supported by iPhone 5, 4th-gen iPad, iPad mini and 5th-gen iPod Touch.


 The all new Camera app has a few different modes. With a swipe you go from photo to video to panoramic to square. The app also contains live photo filters.


In iOS 6 the Photos app is just a display of an endless stream of images. But the iPhone knows where and when you took photos. So in iOS 7 the Photos app has been redesigned. It now organizes photos into ‘moments’ based on location and time. It lets users view by location, month, or even year and it shows locations as well. 

New ways to share photos, AirDrop, iCloud Photo Sharing — photo picker for sharing is similar to Facebook’s picker. Other people can share into Photo Streams as well for better collaborative sharing. And you can even share videos via iCloud Photo Sharing.


Like any other part of iOS 7, Siri has been given a make-over too. When Siri speaks a soundwave is displayed. Whene Siri talks you will here a clear and natural sounding voice. There’s a female and male voice option.

Siri is also a lot smarter. You can now use your voice turn on Bluetooth for example. Or Siri can increase brightness or play the last voicemail. Twitter and Wikipedia are also integrated into Siri to provide you with more information without the need of a separate web search. You’ll also be able to ask Siri to show pictures of birds for example. And the speech recognition software is able to display web search results form Bing.

App Store

The App Store as a few additional features too. You can now select apps based on age range. And there’s an entirely new Kids category. You can also find the most popular app based on your current location. So when you are at a stadium or museum, the App Store can show popular local apps. And new app updates are installed automatically.


Apple claims the new music player in iOS 7 is “the best music player we have ever done”. It displays beautiful artist images right in the library. You can tap an artist, see the songs on the device, your purchased music and iTunes Match. Also iTunes Radio built right into the music app. 

iTunes Radio

The iTunes Radio is a free music streaming service built right into the music app. It’s ad supported for normal users, but ad-free for iTunes Match subscribers. You’ll have access to Featured Stations and more than 200 genre-focused stations. You can start your own station by searching for your favorite artist or songs. Press skip to go to the next song. There’s a buy button right next to every song. The service is built into iOS 7 and works on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, all Macs and the AppleTV. iTunes Radio will be available in the U.S. first, but will arrive in more countries over time.

More details

iOS 7 adds 1500 new APIs to the SDK and is available in Beta to developers now. Unfortunately Apple needs a few more weeks to release a beta for iPad, so the first iOS 7 beta will only be available for iPhone and iPod touch.

iOS 7 will have a final release this fall. iPhone 4 or later, iPad 2 or later, iPad mini and 5th-generation iPod touch are all supported.

For a more in-depth look of iOS 7, go to the Apple website.

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