Apple unveiled a variety of new products during its WWDC 2013 keynote, including iOS 7, the next-gen operating system for its mobile devices including the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
In what follows, we’re going to show you all you need to know about what’s new in iOS 7 – after all, when the main Android rivals get updated, we simply have to check them out.
From the start, we’re going to tell you that the iOS 7 rumors were right when they said the new OS will come with a “flat,” minimal interface, and the leaks were pretty accurate as well earlier this week when various reports detailed some of the upcoming changes.
iOS 7 has been completely redesigned under the leadership of Jony Ive, dumping Scott Forstall’s skeuomorphic effects – and Apple wasn’t at all trying to hide the appreciation of this new design directions during the event, mocking its own design skeuomorphic design choices from the past when it comes to apps.
If you thought that iOS 6 looked too similar to iOS 5 and to, well, all its predecessors, then you’ll certainly appreciate the new design language – no matter what your stance towards iOS is.
We’re looking at a lot of changes here, although the company has not removed the familiarity of the OS. If you know your way around iOS, you’ll still be able to get by in iOS 7 even though there’s a new paint job that goes easy on the eyes.
There’s a new lock screen in town that offers access to the camera, to notifications and a quick settings panel called Control Center. There’s a live wallpaper option that lets users set up their own wallpapers. There are new, simpler, app icon designs, new visual effects (with lots of translucency) and fonts.
Translucent effects in particular give the user a sense of context. The keyboard layer that comes on top of the browser, email or message is transparent so you can still see sort of where you are inside the OS, and that kind of effect applies to other UI layers that may appear be seen at one point or another during regular usage.
Folders support more apps and there’s even a new back-button-like action has been included in iOS 7, which will be available everywhere inside the OS – a back gesture that lets you move to the previous page with a simple thumb swipe from the left edge of the screen.
All the apps you expect to see in there are still available, and will work in a similar manner, but, simply put, the UI has been completely overhauled so it all feels like a new OS.
And in certain moments you’ll think it feels like Android, or like Windows Phone, or like webOS, but it’s certainly different than the default iOS 6 look.
In addition to the new design language, as spoken by Ive and his team of designers, iOS 7 brings on new features, so let’s look at the most important ones, as shown on stage during the keynote.
The Lock screen, just like the Home screen, is aware of hand movements, thus giving the impression of a live 3D wallpaper. In particular, the lock screen with its bubbles is similar to a certain Android lock screen that you’ll surely remember.
Available “for the first time ever” in lock screen mode, Notification Center offers access to the most recent notifications, and features a tabbed interface that gives you access to all notifications, missed notifications and a to a screen that sums up what’s happening today.
In order to activate it, you just have to swipe down, no matter where you are in the OS.
Apple also mentioned a Notification Sync feature that will be available in iOS 7, which will prevent users from dealing with the same notifications on other devices, after handling them on another device.