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iOS 7 officially announced at WWDC; Jony Ive major UI overhaul now on full display

After countless hours of waiting and speculation, Apple has at last unveiled the next version of its mobile software: iOS 7. The highly anticipated software update brings an entirely new user-interface to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

iOS users will recognize the refreshed appearance for its characteristically light UI, something Jony Ive and his team have spent the last half year building since Craig Federighi took over iOS software development and Ive took responsibility for human interfaces.

As our own Mark Gurman previously reported, the user-experience remains familiar in the latest version of iOS, allowing users to continue using the software without having to relearn the operating system, but features all the benefits of a fundamental new coat of paint. This feels like a new iOS device.

To create something that’s genuinely new, you have to start again. And I think with great intent you disconnect from the past.

-Jony Ive

iOS 7 features an incredible new overhaul of iOS like we’ve never seen. Every visual element is rethought from the Messaging app to the system keyboard to the way the OS behaves when you move the hardware. The OS tilts in almost a three-dimensional behavior.

Folders now include multiple pages within each categorial folder. Notification Center offers a brand new “Today” view featuring birthdays, weather, and the like, which is now available from the Lock Screen.

“Installing iOS 7 on your phone is like getting a new phone, but one you already know how to use.

-Craig Federighi

We will deliver an in-depth hands-on with iOS 7 today as soon as we get it in our hands.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 12.23.48 PMA brand new Control Center features the many toggles from settings that users have long wanted easier access to simply by swiping and includes a flashlight.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 12.24.03 PMMultitasking is now available for all apps and boasts the ability to maintain great battery life. Multitasking in iOS 7 resembles WebOS with a new swiping cards-interface.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 12.24.25 PMSafari has been overhauled featuring a new “omnisearch bar” similar to the Mac, but also includes a new smart search field featuring easily tappable icons for popular sites. Safari also includes a new feature called Shared Links that pulls stories from services like Twitter that your friends have shared improving on social integration. Tabs now appear in an endless carousel view and can simply be swiped away to close, similar to Chrome for iOS.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 12.24.20 PMAirDrop is coming to iOS as well. Any app that supports a share sheet offers AirDrop sharing to other users for easy sharing and includes multiple sharing with the need to “bump your phone.” This feature requires the iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation).

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 12.24.07 PMCamera for iOS has been updated to natively support filtering and photos will be organized my “Moments.” Photos will now be organized by location and time in a brand new view that lets you manage massive photo libraries.

iCloud Photo Sharing makes sharing to Photo Stream much easier and… Shared Photo Streams now include two-way sharing! iCloud Photo Sharing in iOS 7 now includes sharing videos as well.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 12.24.13 PMiOS 7’s App Store now features automatic updates (you’re welcome, John McCain) and includes a new discovery feature called “Apps Near Me” that displays popular apps in your location.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 12.24.31 PMMusic now includes a brand new interface (noticing a pattern yet?) featuring an all new Now Playing screen and includes both iCloud purchases and on-device content. iCloud movies and TV show purchases now appear in the Videos app library. Oh, and iRadio? It exists and it’s called iTunes Radio.

FaceTime now supports audio-only calls over WiFi and supports blocking specific calls. This new blocking feature is available for iMessage and general Phone calls as well.

Flickr and possibly Vimeo appears to be integrated with iOS 7 based on a screenshot featured on the AirDrop product page.

Screen Shot 2013-06-10 at 12.38.59 PM

Developers will find over 1500 new SDKs in iOS 7 that build into iOS 7’s vast library of new features. Notably, iOS 7 beta is only available for iPhone for developers today, but developers will soon have access to iOs 7 beta for iPad as well. iOS 7 supports iPhone 4 and newer as well as iPad 2 and newer.

Current users will have to wait for the update to finish development later this year, but eager iOS users with an Apple Development Account can download and install the beta versions of the software from the iOS Dev Center, but proceed with caution as iOS betas tend to be buggy before they are finalized.

Tim Cook also offered the following data on iOS:

State of iOS – the world’s most advanced mobile operating system by the numbers

  • 600 million devices sold
  • #1 customer usage
  • 50% more usage than Android users
  • 60% mobile web share
  • 82% tablet market share (iPad)
  • 10% iPad,  8.7% iPhone Black Friday mobile shopping traffic 2012
  • J.D. Power & Associates #9 consecutive awards
  • 97% overall satisfaction for iOS
  • iOS 6 install base 93%, 33% Jelly Bean on Android (latest OS adoption)

Apple Unveils iOS 7

Completely Redesigned With Stunning User Interface & Great New Features

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apple® today unveiled iOS 7, the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone®, featuring a stunning new user interface. iOS 7 is completely redesigned with subtle motion, an elegant color palette and distinct, functional layers that make it feel more alive. The typography has been refined for a cleaner, simpler look, and the use of translucency and motion makes even simple tasks more engaging. iOS 7 has hundreds of great new features, including Control Center, Notification Center, improved Multitasking, AirDrop®, enhanced Photos, Safari®, Siri® and introduces iTunes Radio™, a free Internet radio service based on the music you listen to on iTunes®.

“iOS 7 is a clear representation of these goals. It has a whole new structure that is coherent and applied across the entire system.”

“iOS 7 is the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “To create it, we brought together a team with a broad range of expertise from design to engineering. With what we’ve been able to achieve together, we see iOS 7 as an exciting new beginning.”

“There is a profound and enduring beauty in simplicity, in clarity, in efficiency. True simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absence of clutter and ornamentation—it’s about bringing order to complexity,” said Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of Design. “iOS 7 is a clear representation of these goals. It has a whole new structure that is coherent and applied across the entire system.”

iOS 7 is completely redesigned with an entirely new user interface, but will be instantly familiar to the hundreds of millions of iPhone, iPad® and iPod touch® users around the world. The new interface actually makes your phone appear bigger because everything is designed to take advantage of the entire screen. The redesigned fonts look amazing on the Retina® display, creating even sharper text.

iOS 7 introduces Control Center. Now the controls you want to access quickly are all in one convenient place. With just one swipe from the bottom of your screen, you have access to controls for Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or Do Not Disturb, and the ability to adjust screen brightness, pause or play a song, jump to the next track and stream your music with AirPlay®. Control Center also gives you instant access to apps such as Clock, Camera, Calculator and the Flashlight.

With iOS 7, Notification Center is now available from the Lock screen so you can see all your notifications with a simple swipe, and the new Today feature in Notification Center gives you an at-a-glance view of your day with a summary of the important details such as weather, traffic, meetings and events.

With improved Multitasking in iOS 7, developers have the ability to enable any app to multitask in the background with a new API. Users have the ability to switch between their apps in a more visual and intuitive way, and iOS 7 pays attention to which apps you use most and automatically keeps your content up to date in the background.

AirDrop is an entirely new way to quickly and easily share content with people nearby. When you’ve got something you want to share, AirDrop shows you your contacts close by. Just select who you want to share with and AirDrop does the rest. AirDrop transfers are peer-to-peer so you can use it anywhere, without any network or set up required, and transfers are fully encrypted so your content is protected and private.

iPhones are used to take more photos around the world every day than any other camera, and with iOS 7 the new Camera app features filters so you can add real-time photo effects. The Camera app now includes a square camera option, and you can quickly and easily switch between your four cameras—video, photo, square and panorama—with just a swipe.

iOS 7 includes a redesigned Photos app that introduces Moments, a new way to automatically organize your photos and videos based on time and location. You can zoom out to see all your photos organized by Moments, Collections of Moments and Years. iOS 7 includes iCloud Photo Sharing, the easiest way to share just the photos you want with just the people you want. With iCloud® Photo Sharing, family and friends can contribute their own photos and videos to your shared photo streams, and the new Activity view displays updates from your shared streams all in one place.

Safari’s redesigned user interface lets you see more of your content—starting with full-screen browsing. The new smart search field helps simplify searching, and there’s a new view for your bookmarks and your Safari tabs. With iCloud Keychain®, your passwords and credit card information are securely stored and available on all your devices, so navigating password protected sites or autofilling during transactions is simple and secure. Enhanced Parental Controls allow you to automatically block access to adult websites or only allow access to a specific set of permitted websites.

Siri sounds better than ever with new male and female voices and includes Twitter search integration, so you can ask Siri what people are saying on Twitter*. Siri also now has Wikipedia integration, providing access to the world’s most popular Internet reference site. Siri offers Bing web search within the app and the ability to change device settings and play back voicemail.

The Music app has a beautiful new design and includes the new iTunes Radio, a free Internet radio service featuring over 200 stations and an incredible catalog of music from the iTunes Store®, combined with features only iTunes can deliver. iTunes Radio is the best way to discover new music. When you tune into iTunes Radio on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac®, PC or Apple TV®, you’ll have access to stations inspired by the music you already listen to, Featured Stations curated by Apple and genre-focused stations that are personalized just for you. iTunes Radio evolves based on the music you play and download. The more you use iTunes Radio and iTunes, the more it knows what you like to listen to and the more personalized your experience becomes. iTunes Radio also gives you access to exclusive “first listen” premieres from top selling artists, Siri integration plus the ability to buy anything you hear with just one tap.

With over 900,000 apps, the App Store℠ is the world’s largest app marketplace. iOS 7 now features Popular Apps Near Me, a new way to find apps based on your current location, and iOS 7 will automatically keep your apps up to date. The App Store also comes with a new Kids category, allowing teachers and parents to easily discover apps for children by age.

Additional new iOS 7 features include:

  • a new Find My iPhone Activation Lock feature that requires your Apple ID and password before you can turn off Find My iPhone, erase data or re-activate a device after it’s been remotely erased;
  • Night Mode in Maps that responds to ambient light when you use it in the dark;
  • FaceTime® audio for high quality calls over a data network;
  • Notification sync, so when you dismiss a notification on one device it is dismissed on all of your devices;
  • Phone, FaceTime and Messages blocking to prevent specific people from being able to contact you;
  • Tencent Weibo support for users in China, a Chinese-English bilingual dictionary, and improved Chinese input including handwriting recognition for multiple Chinese characters;
  • the ability for businesses to more efficiently deploy and manage iPhones and iPads; and
  • enhanced in-car integration, bringing an Apple designed experience into the car for the first time.

The iOS 7 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS Developer Program members at iOS 7 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and iPod touch (fifth generation) this fall. Some features may not be available on all products.

*US English, French and German will be available with the launch of iOS 7. Additional languages will be added over time.

Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices with iPad.

© 2013 Apple Inc. All rights reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, iPhone, AirDrop, Safari, Siri, iTunes Radio, iTunes, iPad, iPod touch, Retina, AirPlay, iCloud, Keychain, iTunes Store, Apple TV, App Store and FaceTime are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.


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Avatar for Zac Hall Zac Hall

Zac covers Apple news for 9to5Mac and hosts the 9to5Mac Happy Hour and 9to5Mac Watch Time podcasts.