Apple announced this week that a new version of their iOS operating system, iOS 7, will be available this Fall. Odds are in a few months your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch will get a sleek new look!
What is iOS?
Apple's iOS software is the heart of all Apple mobile devices, which is why the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch all look and feel the same. For those new to the Apple mobile world, iOS is to Apple mobile devices as Windows is to PCs. The iOS operating system is your Apple device's infrastructure that all your apps run on top of. Apps are specifically crafted to an operating system, which is why you can't take an Android-specific app and run it on your iPad. The Android app talks Android and your iPad talks iOS!
Which devices will get the new iOS 7?
All newer Apple mobile devices (iPad 2+, iPhone 4+, iPod Touch 5th gen+) will get the new operating system. If your device qualifies, you don't have to do anything to get iOS 7 - it will be an automatic upgrade that gets downloaded when the time comes. (You do have to choose to accept the upgrade, and can stay on your current iOS longer if you prefer). Older devices, such as the original iPad, iPhone pre-V4 and iPod Touch pre-V4 may not have the horsepower to run iOS 7, and will maintain their current iOS version.
Some of the highlights you will see with iOS 7 this Fall:
- A modern new look: a vibrant translucent background that will give your iOS device a 3-D feel. Additionally, icons are redesigned, new colors are introduced, clearer fonts and more.
- Control Center: no matter where you are, with one upward swipe you can access key controls for your iOS device: brightness, sound volume, music controls, airplane mode, do not disturb mode and additional settings.
- Multitasking: switching between apps will be simpler and easier. Under the covers, iOS will update content in apps intelligently, depending how you use certain apps. And apps themselves can be updated automatically, no more nagging red circles on the App Store.
- App redesigns: many of the Apple apps will be redesigned and improved: Safari, Camera, Calendar, Photos, Siri, iTunes and others.
Note: not all features are available on some of the older Apple devices. For example, Siri is available on the iPod Touch fifth generation, but not the iPod Touch fourth generation and earlier.
iOS 7: Learn More
Apple has put up a new iOS 7 page on their site with details on all the new features and specifics on which devices qualify, and where some features may not be available. Also worth watching is a nice iOS 7 overview video (7 minutes) featuring Apple's Design guru, Jony Ive.