iOS 7 Gets A Complete Redesign And Some New Features
Before getting to that, though, Tim Cook took us through some stats about iOS. First and foremost, there have been 600 million iOS devices sold since the first iPhone was introduced. Compare that to Android’s 900 million Android device activations, and it becomes pretty impressive for just two device lines.
Cook then decided to take a few swipes at Android with stats like iPhone users use their device 50 percent more than Android users use theirs. iOS also has 60 percent of the mobile Web share and iOS users took advantage of mobile shopping more than anybody else on Black Friday in 2012.
On a final stat note, Cook noted that 93 percent of iOS users were on iOS 6. He used that to take a dig at Android and its well-publicized fragmentation.
After all of that, Cook announced iOS 7 and showed off its logo. He then introduced it with a video narrated by Jon Ive. He says that iOS 7 is completely redesigned with all new colors, layers that establish hierarchy, and live backgrounds for the lock screen and apps.
Apple then spent the rest of their time with iOS 7 talking about 10 specific updated features:
The first is Control Center. The new Control Center is accessed by swiping up from the bottom. It includes everything you need for basic control of your phone and your music player.
With multitasking, Apple is bringing the feature to every app on iOS 7. It also notices when you use apps and then predicts when you’re going to use those apps. Before you use those apps, it will update them with new info in the background.
Safari gets full screen browsing, a smart search field and a new tab interface. In even bigger news, Safari on iOS is no longer limited to 8 tabs.
AirDrop is a new feature that’s obviously an answer to Google’s Hangouts app. It picks up friends who are close by, and lets you share photos and other information with those friends. It delivers all this information securely over encrypted signals.
The camera has been updated with four cameras in one. One of those is a live photo filter.
Siri receives a substantial update that features a new interface, newly updated voice with a male voice option. It also integrates with your photos and Bing search.
Speaking of Siri, Apple is bringing it to the car with iOS in the car. The app will integrate with cars that support the feature by bringing Siri voice commands to a number of applications.
The App Store will receive a a new design. It will also alert you to popular apps in your area and you can sort apps by age ranges. The App Store will also update all of your apps automatically.
After months of rumors, the Music app will get iTunes Radio in iOS 7. It’s a free ad-supported radio service that’s integrated into the music app. The Music app also includes a redesign that includes artist pictures.
The final major feature is called Activation Lock. It will hopefully deter would be iPhone thieves by requiring a thief to know your AppleID when trying to activate your phone. Activation Lock will remain active even if the phone is wiped.
iOS 7 will be available in beta to developers today. It will initially only be available on the iPhone 4 and later. It will be coming to iPad 2 and later, and the iPad Mini in the coming weeks. It will also be available on the 5th generation iPod Touch.
The latest generation of iOS will be available to iPhone owners this fall. The iPhone 5S, or iPhone 6, is expected to launch at that time as well.