Apple announces iOS 7 with overhauled interface, AirDrop support and more

Daniel Bader

June 10, 2013 2:21pm

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Apple is launching iOS 7 today, having announced 600 million iOS devices sold since 2007. Buoyed by a brand new user interface, the update will be the biggest change to the operating system since the iPhone was announced six years ago.

Tim Cook also announced that iOS mobile web share is 60% on iOS compared, to 24% on Android. iPad is 82% web share. iOS users also tend to be more satisfied compared to Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry users.

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Apple’s newest version brings an overhauled colour palette, new icons and UI with a flatter design, and lots of nips and tucks.

There’s also a new camera interface with Instagram-like filters.

And the biggest deal is that all the previous textures and skeumorphism is gone. The phone, working with various sensors, detects how you’re holding the phone and responds to your movement in parallax.

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The app icons have been simplified and flattened, with an emphasis on popping colours and gorgeous moving backgrounds.

Notification Centre is now available from the lockscreen, too. NC has also been overhauled, with larger spaces between messages. There is a “Today” tab to filter what’s happening at the moment, and an “All” tab for everything else.

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Control Centre is a new app that lets you swipe from the bottom of the screen to show quick toggles for WiFi, Airplane Mode and more. This gesture is available from throughout the OS.

Folders also have page support, so there’s no longer an app number limit on a per-folder basis.

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There are also new multitasking features, allowing non-system apps like Facebook and Twitter the opportunity to update in the background. The more you use an app, the more often it will update in the background. Push notifications are also triggers for updating the app in the background.

The iPhone won’t update in the background when network conditions are not favourable, either, so it won’t deplete your battery life.

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Apple has also added AirDrop, a feature that debuted on OS X two years ago. It allows users to share documents, files, music and apps between users on the same WiFi connection. Due to the speed requirements, it will only support iPhone 5, iPad 4th gen, iPad mini and iPod 5th gen.

Fullscreen_2013-06-10_2_41_PMThere’s a new Photos app, too, along with an overhauled camera interface that adds four tabs — photo, video, square and pano — all with a gorgeous, flat new interface.

Photos also automatically filters your albums into “Moments,” which is an automated organizational method.

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Siri is also getting an overhaul, gaining system controls and a new interface. You can say, “Play last voicemail,” or “Turn on Bluetooth,” in addition to integrating with new services like Twitter, Wikipedia and Bing.

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Apple is integrating “Popular Near Me” in the App Store. Apps will also update in the background, something that Android users have enjoyed for some time.

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Apple has announced iTunes Radio that will be integrated into the new Music app. iTunes Radio will allow users to create a Pandora-like radio station from favourite artists, and all the history is stored in iCloud.

It will be available on iTunes on Apple TV, Mac and iOS 7. It’s free with ads and ad-free with an iTunes Match subscription. Starting in the United States with other countries coming over time.

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Other new features include notifications sync between devices — dismiss it on iPhone and it will no longer be there on iPad — and FaceTime Audio, a VoIP solution over WiFi.

iOS 7 is coming to iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPod 4th Gen and higher in the fall. Beta is available today.

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That’s it, folks! Thanks for following!

  • nekkidtruth

    So horribly unimpressed.

    • EvanKrosney

      I won’t say that it’s bad per se, it’s a MASSIVE improvement over previous versions of iOS both in the design and functionality department. However, there are still many glaring omissions like true multitasking control, widget support, or that openness that we love about Android (but tough luck ever seeing that last one). Not to mention, even though we have this new design, all apps will still have that skeumorphistic look to them.

    • nekkidtruth

      I don’t see anything here as a “MASSIVE improvement”. I see a company who may have tripped and fallen into an innovation back with the first iPhone, but has repeatedly failed to impress/innovate since. This “refresh” is a step backwards on so many levels. Either way, Apple sheep will flock.

    • beyond

      and Android geeks will gawk ;)

    • nekkidtruth

      At what? Your frankenphone because Apple is incapable of bringing anything to the table? Never been jealous of an iPhone. From day one an iPhone has never been on my list of things I have to have. Besides, I’ll be too busy shielding my eyes due to the i***t who doesn’t know how to balance Brightness/Contrast in Photoshop. Worst…color choices…ever.

    • Kamal

      and you need to GTFO in 2013…..ibaahhhhhhh

    • Britney C

      Now you want to say that Apple has never been innovative? You may not enjoy Apple/iOS but to say something so ridiculous …you sound like an Android fanboy kicking and screaming.

    • nekkidtruth

      Except at no point did I say Apple has *never* been innovative. So your opinion of what I sound like doesn’t really good any water.

    • HatInTheRing

      I love how almost every single update was stolen from Android. This from a company (and legion of users) who are convinced everyone else rips off Apple.

      Quick toggles, Android (for years)
      Multitasking, Android (for years)
      Sharing over wifi, Android (for years + NFC + Sbeam)
      Folders with page support, Android (for years)
      Apps updating in background, Android (for years)

      Moving backgrounds aka Live Wallpapers on Android for years.

      Not to mention other huge breakthroughs lately like panorama photos (android for years) and blocking mode (android for years). Both of which they thought were such huge breakthroughs they warranted multimillion dollar marketing campaigns.

      Congratulations on bringing your phone up to date aka like a 2 year old Android phone.

      Keep “innovating”.

    • Mike Gill

      wasn’t quick toggle taken from Palm? I use android but the OS from Microsoft, Apple and Google seem to borrow from each other. Do you own stock in Google? if not why care about which company came up with the idea “first”

    • HatInTheRing

      I think what really annoys me is Apples approach to the mobile competitive environment. That they sue everyone and are trying to convince the world every good idea/feature they introduce is there’s and every good idea/feature any other company comes out with is some weak iteration of iOS. I think it’s ridiculous a company would sue for something as trivial as “rubberbanding” in the navigation of a list, a simple UI aesthetic, but will then blatantly build an OS full of clearly Android features. Drives me nuts.

      Personally I’d love to see it all open right up. Every company use every feature they can think of, steal, modify or otherwise. But for Apple it’s not a two way street.

      Further to this I am frustrated by Apple users ignorance to what other phones can do and how they actually believe every single thing Apple does is an Apple innovation (see my comment above for a short list of recent things iPhone users truly believe Apple invented). I still talk to iPhone owners that think you can’t use Facebook from an Android. That’s how clueless they are.

      Then to make matters worse, when Apple screws up, they pass the buck. Zero accountability. Like when iOS maps was the laughing stock of the planet so they blamed it on TomTom for their map data. Or when their antennae didn’t work if you held the phone like people normally hold a phone and the problem was the consumer because you should hold it differently.

      So here’s my tip to Apple: Make your phone well, take accountability for mistakes, create your own experience, stop marketing other phones ideas like they’re you’re own and blow some minds aka bring something exciting to the table for the first time since 2007. Then when you rip off other companies I’ll respect you enough to not care who came up with which idea first.

  • apowerranger

    That keyboard looks like the Z10 keyboard.

    • S2556

      It is the fleksy keyboard found in google play and now the app store

    • Mack

      humm slide bezel to the left to see messages.. bb10 hub anyone ?

    • Philosoraptor

      Not like BB10 was the first. My Nokia N9 had a form of this a year before BB10 but I can’t claim for sure that it was the 1st.

    • GQDRU

      You took the words right out of my mouth.

  • Samuel Gomez Recuero

    Looks to me like same all lame icons but with more vivid colors

  • Collin Lewis

    Ugly and underwhelming, as expected from the post steve jobs apple.

  • EAK47

    Is that you Symbian?

  • EvanKrosney

    Woah, that pic of the black iPhone with the custom keyboard looks freakishly like a Z10. Now who’s “copying design”, Apple?

    • S2556

      technically the iphone 5 came out before the Z10…
      It is just the flesky keyboard from the app store that give is the look I think.

  • gabby ybanez

    looks like a lovechild of Windows Phone and Android… who’s copying who now?

  • Erik T.

    So we’ve got equal parts Windows Phone and Palm WebOS smushed together, huh.

  • canuck07

    the background of messenging is all white? that’s gonna kill my eyes

  • Matt Z10

    they finally made the iPhone look like a toy…goes well with its uses now

  • AM Radio

    Apple still doesn’t believe widgets are useful, eh?

    • Garrett Cooper

      lol no kidding. I don’t use many widgets, but the one I do use is extremely handy (weather).

  • BlackBerryBlink

    I like the look of the refresh.. it’s nothing spectacular but this is the first time i’ve been intrigued to update instead of wait. I’ll check it out on my 4S. That keyboard does look oddly similar to the BB10 keyboard tho (not that it’s a bad thing) just a very close resemblance.

  • Garrett Cooper

    Wow, I think it’s safe to say I’ll never go back to iOS. This is the overhaul they were talking about? Embarrassing.

    • nekkidtruth

      Obnoxiously high contrasted and overly saturated colors. Who did they pay to do this?

    • Garrett Cooper

      Some high school students is my guess lol. The light background with the white font under the icons doesn’t work well together IMHO.

    • nekkidtruth

      Not at all. And the colors underneath bleed through and give the illusion of illuminated icons which is kind of confusing since they’re suppose to be controls.

    • Garrett Cooper

      Yup. Looks like more of the same to me, lipstick on a pig. I’ll still with Android. Years ago iOS was more fluid, but that had to do with Android having limited hardware making it feel clunky. Phone tech has gotten so good that my Nexus 4 will easily keep up with an iphone 5, if not be faster, while offering a significantly better user experience.

    • Conception

      The Windows 8 folks who have been out of work since their sales have been in the dumpster.

  • qu3becker

    Those icons really remind me of MIUI v5 with the BB10 Keyboard.

  • billracine

    Is it just me or does it look more cartoony? I thought the UI was a little too cluttered before, but now it looks like it belongs on a kids tablet, not an adults.

  • Gsizzle

    I don`t understand what you guys were expecting, they are not going to overhaul the simple design of iOS.

    No matter how many negative comments you give them, they will still sell more phones then any other manufacturer out there.

    • Samuel Gomez Recuero

      Selling more phones is a relative matter these days. If you consider that apple is the only one that sells iPhones. But if you count how many Android 4.0+ are out there by all the different manufacturers then we can talk on the same level.

    • Gsizzle

      K forgot about the quantity and lets talk about the profit margin of each retail device.

      But on a serious point as a Droid user, it honestly doesn’t ‘WOW’ me at all. But for people who use iOS on the a daily basis and who pretty much handicapped by the OS itself would find it fascinating no doubt.

    • BetelgeuseOrion

      as a consumer, what the hell would you care about the profit that the manufacture gets? does it go back into your pocket some how?

    • Alexander Burr

      No in most cases it goes offshore…
      +Apple’s profit margins are among the highest in the industry.

  • canuck07

    all apps will be updated automatically: now that sounds dangerous

  • Rhiney Maceachern

    is it just me or is apples new innovations just things that google has been doing for a few years now.I guess were in store for another S model of iphone with one or two tweeks and a hefty price tag. No wonder so many ppl are jumping ship to google.

  • Grewal_U

    Apple will say anything I am pretty sure other os users are fine with their devices their marketing strategy is that to fool the mass

  • Billy

    Article correction: this is the first change to iOS since the original iPhone debuted.

  • pudgypopo11 .

    looks like a Samsung. The icons and contrast look so similar

  • Guest

    iOS 7: now with redesigned icons

  • Martin Chan

    I do like the colour scheme. It’s easy on the eyes.

    • Doof

      /s

      amirite?

  • Chris

    LMAO light background and white font = so much win
    /sarcasm

  • Sean McConnell

    I’m impressed! I really like the way they incorporated the look and feel of Google Now and Android from 5 years ago into iOS as a whole. Apple continues to show that you can make millions by copying the ideas from Open Source projects.

    • Patrick Polish

      Amen

    • Wil_A

      I, for one, am surprised that Apple fell behind Google in terms of UI design, but it doesn’t surprise me at all that Apple is copying them now.

  • Swordfish

    So apple constantly says how they innovate. Everything I saw today about IOS was taken from Android, Blackberry 10 or Pandora. (Maybe Windows Mobile too but I don’t know a lot ab out that OS) All they have done is gotten closer to everyone else! (Notice I didn’t say caught up!!!)

    • Zed

      What’s worst is that, show sheeple that android can do the same, they’ll say android copied. Just found my 3 year old Legend, lost after 15months, and can do about everything iOS can with improved Gingerbread and JB features

  • E

    Haven’t Apple sued Samsung for their Slide to Unlock patent ? Damn…

  • WP74Life

    WP much ? That is what happen when only one company is doing their own stuff, they get stolen.

    • Swordfish

      I don’t have a problem with Apple adding something that others do already but hey, where is the innovative stuff. Apple seems to have lost all imagination! I didn’t see one IOS feature that isn’t already out there…

  • Kevin Ye

    Am I the only person who actually likes what Apple is doing to iOS 7? It actually looks pretty neat! I’m not an iPhone user, but this isn’t as bad as it could be :)

    • Antonio Neglia

      Wrong place to like Apple, buddy. Happy down votes from your friends at MS.

    • BaconTelevision

      “as bad as it could be”
      That’s the problem, right there..

  • Liam

    There will always be things to complain about. How funny.

  • HelloCDN

    A lot of people forget that Apple’s target audience is not geeks and tech engineers, but actually people who are not watching this Keynote live, picking on every little detail and comparing it to Android or Windows Phone, but people, who are out there USING the phone. Not playing with its features, widgets and apps, but, you know, actually using it, like talking about business stuff. And for them, I believe, this system will work perfectly. For the rest, Samsung is releasing a new Galaxy phone every week.

    • Swordfish

      You do know that Android and IOS can also do Exchange just as good as Blackberry and Windows phones? As a matter of fact, the new Blackberry 10 uses Activesync now just like all the others. I consider myself a business user and use my Android for this purpose everyday.

  • MikelObi

    this is brilliant, a mix of BB10, Android and Win8…

    and the iPhony sheep go baaaaaa

  • Frank Garcia

    Wow, live wallpapers…..copied
    multy device notifications…copied…

    Sorry this is just boring…the colors the icons wow so under impressed by Apple. People have grown up so much with smart phones this is why Android is so big now. Grab a high end Android one day vs you Iphone you will see the difference and how now Apple is just trying to catch up but yet still they try to make it seem like they innovated….Reality copied android!

    • L33tMasta

      You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about. Parallax wallpaper was not copied from Android. In fact, until iOS 7 beta came out I hadn’t seen a single app on the play store that did the same thing.

      And you say compare a high end android to an iphone for a day…you’ll want your iPhone back after an hour of having to deal with Android crashes and slow downs.

  • Max Fireman

    Available fall… Haha, guess ya’ll apple users gotta wait.

  • GQDRU

    “iOS users also tend to be more satisfied compared to Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry users” …………SHOW US PROOF TIM?

    Not everyone in the world is a mindless sheep that likes to be lead around. In other words, we are NOT all Apple customers!

  • rgl168

    The article above says “[Airdrop] allows users to share documents, files, music and apps between users on the same WiFi connection.” I am not sure if this is correct; Apple’s PR says “AirDrop transfers are peer-to-peer so you can use it anywhere, without any network or set up required”. That does not sound like you need to be on the same WiFi connection to me.

    • Rio

      Nope it is Direct Wi-Fi or adhoc wifi. So as long as two people are within range you can transfer files. That is how the Mac Airdrop currently works

    • rgl168

      Apple’s site indicates “AirDrop does the rest using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.” Would Airdrop require the use of both protocol, or either one? If it is either, then it doesn’t have to be WiFi, wouldn’t it?

      Anyways it doesn’t matter to me because as an owner of iPhone 4 and iPad 2 and 3, the iOS 7 for those devices won’t have Airdrop anyways.

  • Guest

    If you don’t like it, don’t buy it.

    • John Castle

      What an insightful comment! Can’t believe I didn’t think of that myself!

    • Guest

      QQ

    • John Castle

      I honestly have no idea what that means, but I assume it’s computer talk for “I’m a virgin”.

    • John Castle

      heh, no need to hide, Antonio Neglia.

  • AkiibS

    oh not much, JUST HEAVEN IN A PHONE!

  • Guest

    Complaining for the sake of complaining.

  • TP

    Like it or not, it’s something Google & all the hardware manufacturers should take note – Apple is updating their 3-yr-old iPhone 4. Yes, some of the key features will not be there, but still it will say iOS7.

    • Patrick Polish

      Thats nice, except that Google has been doing that since day 1 and so is Samsung, they do it on their flagship phones

    • TP

      iPhone 4 was announced in June 2010 and is still getting iOS7, Nexus S was announced in Dec 2010 and has stopped at 4.1 last year.

      Samsung’s Galaxy S II was released in May 2011, it also stopped at 4.1.

      I don’t see any flagship phone that was released 2-3 years ago and running 4.2.

    • skullan

      Google has a 1.5year Support cycle.

      Apple on the other hand (kudos for trying to), supports older devices, but not necessarily all features will get ported over in some cases. For example AirDrop won’t on pre 5th gen and the filtering for the camera app will be different.

      This means that they will fragment the OS, without the luxury of users being able to try to aftermarket hack it in.

      If AirDrop requires special hardware, then it would make sense, but still, it would be iOS 7-lite.

    • TP

      I know that iOS has been and will be frangmented, but really it’s the same for Android too.

      Nexus S did not get the face lock from 4.0.
      Galaxy Nexus is missing the HDR option.

      All I am basically saying is that, like it or not, it is great that Apple puts their resource to update their 3-year-old model to run the most up-to-date OS.

      Google is not that great in that, and all manufacturers are even worse.

      Really, 1.5 years is too short, it’s even shorter than the globally standard 2 year contract term, and it’s 1.5 years when you only purchase Nexus or flagship models.

  • kameko

    iphone users typical day : regularly using their devices for just regular day s**t
    android users typical day : trolling iphone posts on blogs and circle jerking other android users

    • nekkidtruth

      You say this like it’s a bad thing to get off every day…..Just saying!

  • Keith

    Bing? BING?
    There better be a choice of search provider.

  • pstudiosweb

    2 words….. LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Doof

      2 words….. OPEN WALLET!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Britney C

    So many people here are saying they’re not impressed blah blah blah. Apple was not going to completely tear down the OS and turn it into Android. They were going to take what they had, what they created years ago, and make it better, which was needed. Seriously, some of you were actually expecting to see widgets? It seems as though if they had got up on that stage with Jelly Bean 4.0 on an iPhone 5, you’d be clapping and calling it beautiful. Apple is not Android so please stop expecting to see updates or overhauls that will make it so. If you are comparing 7 to iOS and not Android, then 7 is…great. It looks clean. It looks modern. It looks like a more clean and modern I.O.S. And this is not coming from an Apple “fanboy”. I could careless what brand I have. I just want something simple and slick and that’s why I like my iPhone. Is the S4 nice? Yes. Do I want it? No. The end. So instead of flocking to the iOS 7 announcement page to let everyone know how much Apple sucks and will never be Android OS, think about whether or not the iOS users care if you like their phones or not.

  • howitzerr

    iOS7, for white iPhones only ?
    Apple is racist now no black iPhone in the slides XD

  • Threecube

    When I first saw the images, I thought of a technicolor dreamcoat.

  • PT

    “Buoyed by a brand new user interface, the update will be the biggest
    change to the operating system since the iPhone was announced six years
    ago.”

    More pix on the camera, siri and Google map are going to work better.
    This changes everything … Again! LMAOTF!

  • MXH070

    Did apple license a water down version of BB10 from blackberry and called it ios7.

  • Britney C

    That took a lot of brain power. Thank you for putting me in my place.

    • nekkidtruth

      Well, you did say you wanted “simple and slick”. ;)

  • Hugo Beaulieu

    Funny how most the screenshots I saw gave me the feeling that the new interface looks oddly like Windows Phone. Not a copy, but very much inspired by it…. That on top of all the Android paradigms already “borrowed” in iOS 5 & 6. I mean, good for them for recognizing a good thing when they see it, but I guess it says something too….

  • Math Brisk

    Talking about the AirDrop feature ” Due to the speed requirements, it will only support iPhone 5, iPad 4th gen, iPad mini and iPod 5th gen.” Wait, isn’t the iPad mini basically an iPad 2 in terms of hardware, hence definitely not “fast” enought for the super hot hot new feature ? What a load of crap…,

  • Ben K

    I actually think it looks good. I feel like nowadays everyone just hates on Apple for the sake of hating on Apple.

    End of the day they’re still coming out strong, and like they said in the Keynote, most iOS users are consistently upgrading to newer versions (unlike the Android market which is fragmented). These consistent user upgrades allow developers to focus on creating for a single OS versus multiple installations, and it also allows Apple to create a more unified experience from phone to computer (which users only benefit from).

    Essentially Apple is looking to create a cohesive experience across all their devices – something Android, Blackberry, and even Windows users – to some extent, are lacking. Do I agree they could have done more? Sure. However, in regards to a cohesive digital experience, I think they’re the best ones out there.

    • Rabeet Ahsan

      You do have a fair point there Ben but the reason to that is that there isn’t just one type of Android,BlackBerry or Windows Phone out there on which their respective owners can concentrate on but that isn’t the case with Apple so they can concentrate more on such products as they only have the iPhone,iPod Touch,iPad and iPad mini with the almost identical specifications so they don’t experience what Android.

  • DrCarpy

    Oh look…it’s Android with an Apple logo! Real original Apple! Complain about android, then become them! I guess this is a case of corporate Stockholm syndrome.

  • Owen Finn

    So they made it more like Android? I guess that’s a step in the right direction…

  • sid32

    Fix the podcast app…

  • johentie

    i wonder who they are targeting with this new UI!?!?! i would be down right embarrassed to carry around a device with this color scheme! Hey MACHO MAN nice phone with pink, purple and pastel colored icons!!

  • Rabeet Ahsan

    Well i have to say that Apple did a fine job at copying Android.I mean it looks alot like Android and i think the experience will also be the same.

  • J,K

    This iOS is cold dead!!! But i like as they always make everything _look-good_

    Not to mention their own mapping system was a great example of it while they walk away from googel maps.