Apple has overhauled its operating system, with a new cleaner and translucent approach to its iOS.
The eagerly awaited iOS7 was finally unveiled last night and Apple owners of devices from the iPhone 4 onwards will be able to use it from the autumn. The new version of iOS represents the biggest change to Apple's smartphone system since the iPhone first launched in 2007. Apple had been criticised for not pushing the boundaries with subsequent versions of its smartphone. The manufacturer's marketing chief Phil Schiller denied it had lost its reputation. 'Can't innovate any more my ass!,' he said.
Nevertheless, many of the features will be familar to Android users. A control centre can be accessed by swiping up from the screen, allowing a consumer to control the likes of brightness, Wi-Fi and music. Developers will be given the opportunity to allow an app to mulitask in the background and apps can now update automatically. A notification centre can be accessed from the lock screen.
Owners of the iPhone can share content with others through its Airdrop feature. The camera has been updated, allowing consumers to view photos according to time and location and add filters to shots. Safari and Siri have been tweaked, with the web browser offering full-screen browsing and an updated search function. In an apparent snub to Google, Apple has placed Bing's web search into the voice activation software.
Visually, iOS7 is a much cleaner and fresh spin on the Apple operating system. Jony Ive, Apple's senior vice-president of design and the man who spearheaded the iOS 7 project, said: '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. iOS 7 is a clear representation of these goals. It has a whole new structure that is coherent and applied across the entire system.'
Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice-president of software engineering, said: 'iOS 7 is the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone. 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.'
Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at Ovum, said the new look could be polarising because it was so unrecognisable. He said: 'Many of the new features Apple added to iOS 7 are fixes to problems rather than dramatic or clever new ideas – Notifications, Siri, and Multitasking enhancements and the introduction of Control Center all deal with deficiencies rather than providing surprising new features no-one would have thought of.'
Ernest Doku, from price comparison site uSwitch.com, said: 'Jony Ive and his team have really brought the design ethos that have made Apple products so iconic on the outside, and seem to have revamped the innards just as drastically too. A gorgeous, modern design brings an all-new look to the iOS experience, and lends yet more life to earlier models of Apple’s hardware with gadgets as far back as the iPhone 4 and iPad 2 continuing to be supported.'
Author: Graeme Neill