Sunday, June 9, 2013

iOS 7 news, rumours, download release date, features

iOS 7 news

iOS 7 could be the first version of Apple’s mobile operating system to get a major redesign, including a complete overhaul to the appearance of classic Apple apps like Calendar or Email.

Apple’s Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, Sir Jonathan “Jony” Ive is heading the new iOS redesign and is expected to make huge changes following criticism that the mobile OS has become tired and dated.

Hinted to make an appearance at the Apple WWDC in June, iOS 7 could be showcased on the iPhone 6, iPad mini 2 or even the highly debated cheaper iPhone handset.

iOS 7 confirmed by giant 7 banner displayed at WWDC 2013

Apple has displayed a huge banner outside the Moscone Centre where it is holding its annual WWDC conference with a rather large number 7 on it, practically yelling out an upcoming iOS 7 reveal in the next few days.

The next iOS iteration has practically been a confirmed guest to the WWDC 2013 party for some time now, but it's always reassuring to see such a massive hint given by Apple itself. The Cupertino company will be unveiling iOS 7 during its keynote on Monday, but has yet to reveal any hints as to what the next mobile OS will look like.

From the rather simplistic banner though, we could assume that Apple will be following the heavily rumoured flatter redesign. Of course, there's only so much you can presume about iOS 7 from a banner with the number 7 on it, but we're excited nonetheless.

Is this the first iOS 7 screenshot?

The first image of the upcoming iOS 7 homescreen leaked online at the start of this month and seemed to showcase the mobile OS's new flatter and simpler appearance. Although, the image is a little blurred and low-res, you can make out that the traditional skeuomorphic textures have been toned down and more unified to provide a more cohesive design language.

Not quite the drastic overhaul predicted for iOS 7, this may well be an image of an early build of the iPad and iPhone OS that isn't representative of what we'll be seeing come Monday's keynote.

If this is the first screenshot though, the email, Safari and music app icons seemed to have been cleaned up a bit, removing the gloss and more natural tones synonymous with the existing iOS iterations.

The Settings icon has also lost its border in this screenshot, which suggests Apple is looking for increased consistency for iOS 7.

The full unveiling will come on Monday, June 10, during Apple's WWDC 2013 keynote speech, which starts at 10am PT or 6pm BST.

The iOS 7 redesign could actually be quite bland

iOS 7 is already tipped to feature a fairly drastic redesign that will strip the skeuomorphic textures from apps like the Newsstand, Calendar and Notes. In fact, according to sources close to Apple, iOS 7 (as much as it sounds like a bad joke) will be "black, white and flat all over", introducing a more monochrome UI.

Ive is rumoured to be ditching the current iOS structure that iPhone and iPad users are already familiar with in favour of a cleaner design that retains the existing iOS simplicity.

The Lock Screen's translucent unlock bar will reportedly be replaced by a matte black interface with black rounded PIN Code entry buttons with white text.

Multi-touch gestures could also be introduced to the home screen to allow access to a variety of features, making the interactivity of the Lock Screen a little bit more Android-like than the current version of iOS.

Ive is also said to be removing the linen effect on the Notifications menu in favour of a dark grey or black background with white text. Also more akin to Android will be the wider range of widgets available for iOS 7, building on the weather and stocks widgets currently offered. These new widgets will appear alongside a new quick access panel for settings like airplane mode, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity like Google's mobile OS.

iOS 7 download release date

Apple hinted that it would be showcasing iOS 7 at the WWDC in June, with the company’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phillip Schiller

“We look forward to gathering at WWDC 2013 with the incredible community of iOS and OS X developers,” said Schiller in a statement. “Our developers have had the most prolific and profitable year ever, and we’re excited to show them the latest advances in software technologies and developer tools to help them create innovative new apps.”

“We can’t wait to get new version of iOS and OS X into [developers’] hands at WWDC.”

However, Apple may not be able to demo its new operating system at WWDC as the complete iOS 7 redesign is reported to be behind schedule. According to “people with knowledge of the matter”, internal deadlines for submitting iOS 7 features for testing have been pushed much later than those listed for previous OS releases.

Contrary to this rumour, many websites reported a sudden surge in traffic from iPhone and iPads running iOS 7, originating in the San Francisco and Cupertino area where Apple is based.

Apple usually tests out its mobile OS in beta format before releasing it to the public, so it could already be at this stage and therefore be ready for WWDC after all.

iOS 7 Rumours

There have been several rumours flying about online regarding the iOS 7 redesign. Originally Apple sources suggested that the next iteration of iOS will greatly resemble the Live Tiles of Microsoft’s Windows Phone OS. The sheen, gloss and life-like elements of the current iOS will be replaced.

“The operating system sports a redesigned user-interface that will be attractive to new iOS users, but potentially unsettling for those who are long-accustomed to the platform,” said the sources.

“Heavy textures and digital metaphors of real-life objects found in skeuomorphic interfaces,” like the Calendar, Reminders and Contacts features, will be removed in favour of a more streamlined approach.

Although the home screen and lock screen will apparently still look much the same as they do now, Apple is looking to make the information within iOS 7 much more “glance-able” than it is now.

iOS 7 could be the first time that applications like Email and Calendar have been updated since the original iPhone, as Ive is said to be introducing “more dramatic changes” according to “people with knowledge of the matter”.

Whatever happens, Ive is known to have an eye for design, having already been instrumental in the launch of major Apple products like the 1997 iMac, iPad, iPod and iPhone, despite previously being on the hardware side.

“[Ive has] a tremendous sensor of design, and he’s been the guru behind a lot of these enormously successful products, but he’s always had Jobs to push back on him and give him some guidance,” said San Francisco based Opus Research analysts Greg Sterling. “It’s not clear that Tim Cook is capable of playing that role. Maybe without a collaborator [Ive’s] not as strong.”

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