At its annual developers conference, Apple unveiled iOS 7, the most significant update to the iPhone since its release in 2007.
Much of what Apple showed off today was not unanticipated. The look and feel was fueled by design guru Jony Ive. Ive’s vision is fully realized in the demonstration. It’s elegant – almost beautiful – and simple. Excesses and ornamentation have been stripped away. The tools and apps are brought together in a single, unified vision. Yet the simplicity doesn’t diminish the fact that fact that it runs an incredibly complex tool.
Probably the best thing Apple did with iOS 7 was to not re-do the entire OS. Instead, they simply re-imagined it. Users won’t have to learn to use an entirely new system.
One big update to the iOS is the inclusion of iTunes Radio (why not iRadio? No explanation). The service will compete with Spotify and Pandora (and Google’s upcoming service). The major appeal – it is free, with supporting ads. iCloud Match customers can use the service without ads.
Here’s some of the other updates to iOS 7, which will be released this fall:
– Control Center gives you quick access to the items you use most
– Notification Center has been moved to the lock screen
– Improved Multitasking
– More tools and filters for your photos
– iCloud photo and video sharing
– Updated and improved Safari
– Updated and improved Siri – including new voices (you can have male or female)
– More intuitive App Store – as well as auto updating of Apps
– Lock activation to deter thieves
– iOS for the Car – allows you to see your key features on your computer’s view screen
iOS 7 and iTunes Radio weren’t the only reveals at WWDC.
Apple showed off the next operating systems for the Mac – Mavericks. The new OS (the first OS X not having a cat-related name) offered a variety of new features, including iCloud Keychain that will remember all your passwords, WiFi logins, account info and website logins, across all your devices. There’s also a much needed update to Apple Maps (the ability to create driving instructions on your Mac, and then send them to your mobile device got a big cheer from the audience).
There was also a Mac Pro sneak peek. The new workhorse will feature dual workstation GPUs, four USB 3, six firewire 2, motion sensor makes I/O light up, have support for 4K displays, and is only one eighth the volume of the previous generation of the Mac Pro.
iWork is now fully integrated into iCloud, and works more seamlessly with Windows documents.
Apple also says the new MacBooks will have ‘all-day’ battery life.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.