All The New Stuff In iOS 7

All The New Stuff In iOS 7

Today, Apple announced iOS 7, combining the expected major changes to the interface with lots of under-the-hood tweaks and options. Here are all the new features.

New User Interface


The biggest difference with iOS 7 is a brand new interface. From the lock screen to each of the apps, the entire system is overhauled. Apple has moved away from the much-ridiculed skeuomorphic design (think leather binders) in favour of a simpler look. Calendar, messages, weather, mail, the Notification Center, and most other major native apps have been overhauled with the new look.

Control Center


Control Center adds a quick-toggles bar to iOS so you can change brightness, add a flashlight, do not disturb, or turn on airplane mode. This has been a much-requested feature (and one which iOS’ rivals generally already offer).



Multitasking now works for all apps. iOS tracks your app usage and decides when and how to give an app background cycles. So, if you’re opening something like Facebook all the time, then Facebook is updated more often. Push notifications also trigger a background state in apps so that when you open the app it will be updated. Switching between apps is also done with a new gesture and a swipe that shows the full app instead of just an icon.



Safari gets a new full-screen mode, as well as a new quick search feature. With a tap at the top of the screen you get instant access to a search field that looks both online and in page. The iCloud Keychain feature announced for the Mavericks Mac update which stores passwords is also added into Safari. Tabs also get a new look with vertical scrolling, and the eight-tab limit is removed.



AirDrop allows you to instantly share any file in an app that supports it. This can be done with any other iPhone user near you, or over messages, mail, or social networks. It’s peer-to-peer Wi-Fi, and works on the most recent Apple devices.

Camera And Photos


The camera has been overhauled to include video, a new square camera, panorama, and a widescreen camera. It also has new photo filters (Instagram has had a lasting impact on the photo market here). The Photos app is also redone, and automatically organises your photos into “Moments” based on where and when they were taken. Sharing has been expanded to include Mail, AirDrop, iCloud, Twitter, and Facebook. The iCloud photo sharing gets a new shared photos setting where you can create shared photo streams with friends where anyone can upload pictures and comment on pictures.



Siri now has both male and female voices in several languages. Siri also gets a little smarter and can now recognise commands such as “increase brightness,” or “play last voicemail.” Wikipedia, Bing and Twitter are also integrated right into Siri.

iOS In The Car


iOS 7 adds support for various car models and their in-car displays. In supported devices, iOS will be able to display Maps and messages.

The App Store


The App Store now has a few new discovery methods. You can search for apps based on age range, or by apps that popular based on your location. The App Store also now updates your apps automatically.



The Music app scores a visual overhaul. All your music from iCloud and your local library are integrated in one library. A new sideways interface is also added to flip through your albums.

Activation Lock


New to the Find My iPhone function is the ability to lock our thieves from your iOS device. If your phone is stolen you can set it so it can’t be activated again without your iTunes password.

The iOS 7 beta is available to developers today, and will be launching later this year for the iPhone 4 and above, iPad mini, and iPad 2 and above. It will be a free update.


  • I’ll spare you all: yes, it looks a lot like Android. Apple always said “great artists steal” – why not take the best and incorporate it?
    Overall, it’s a great improvement.
    If I have 1 MAJOR gripe, it’s automatic updates. You download that great app without ads. The developer waits 3 months and riddles it with ads – and Apple automatically gives you the new version without asking. Not good at all!!! I have a few apps right now that I don’t update because ads were added to them…

    • I’ll spare you all: yes, it looks a lot like Android. Apple always said “great artists steal” – why not take the best and incorporate it?

      The only problem with your statement is Android has been ripping off iOS since its inception. So Apple seems to be showing that pinching ideas is a two way street.

      The only thing Android had ahead of iOS devices was the hardware: they used more hardware and allowed the user to extend them. As for software, they mostly cloned iOS.

      That aside, I do not think it looks like Android, it looks like that frigging Metro interface! Seriously, I do not she Metro like interface are any good at all. They are bland and the look as though the original designs were washed in bleach.

      • Same old BS. Android may have taken some cues from iOS early on but it was a vastly different system from the get go. I guess Symbian was a clone too because it had an icon grid too /sarc. Widgets, the notification blind and real multitasking were there from the beginning and even though early on those things landed the platform in trouble (the hardware required has only just recently caught up) it set the tempo for rapid evolution of the platform to where it is today. Apple are now taking feature cues from Android design advice from Microsoft by the look of it (oh dear!).

      • Agree same old BS, Apple sue over apparent copy of idea’s they did not even come up with and yet they copy the most… I’ve lost all respect of Apple a few years back when that all started up and moved to Android and never been happier!

        As Rossco states below the concepts and ideas were around long before Apple took them on, I use to use a Windows Mobile, PPC, Palm all well before Apple was around and yet to say Android copied from Apple… get off your high horse and come back down to earth! Apple started this you copied me rubbish and they deserve to be nailed for it but US court is protecting them ow so well… Never buying another apple product again, iPad 3 was my last purchase from them! Apple (and some of there users) have become a bunch of arrogant and blind people! Competition is good and always has been keep it around but don’t bag and claim you own and came up with the idea when you did not… Hope the current sales trends carry on for them to teach them a lesson but I hope they don’t fall away as said above competition is needed and healthy for all of us!

  • I asked for activation lock when I lost my iphone a couple of months ago. Cant believe they are finally doing it. Making an iphone useless to anyone else is exactly what they needed to do from the start, if I own it, I should be able to lock other out of using it via the only thing that activates new install, iTunes. I wonder if said dumb arse that stole my iphone update to ios7 if it will be locked to them or me still? Since it’s still my phone?

  • “The App Store also now updates your apps automatically.” This better be a feature you can disable. I was hoping they’d go the other way and provide an option to “Skip this update” so it doesn’t stay in your list of updates. No way do I want my device updating apps without asking me.

  • Some aspects are very similar looking to BlackBerry 10… especially the Multitasking…

  • So what I see is that the only new feature they added in this much-hyped update is a DIRECT ripoff from Android (the ‘Control Center’).

    Par for course, Apple, par for course.

    It looks nice, I like the graphical refresh, but it’s hard not to see this as a pretty disappointing cycle.

    • So what I see is that the only new feature they added in this much-hyped update is a DIRECT ripoff from Android (the ‘Control Center’).

      While the Android itself started off a direct ripoff of iOS. I know ripping off happens all the time but Android seems to do it compuslively and tried to disquise itself as an innovation/evolution by trying to point people to the extra hardware and features.

      That tactic didn’t work when Microsoft and Apple ripped off Xerox Alto so I do not see why it should now.

      • And the iPhone itself ripped of several ideas that had been kicking around in the early 2000s, what’s your point?

        • Well said zyodei,, whats up with these Apple fan boys, love your product fine but say Apple was the creator of all things good… come on get real, Apple copied from other systems, as mentioned in another post I use to use Windows mobile, PPC and Palm well before I purchased an iPhone but have since gone to Android… Apple did NOT create or come up with the idea’s and others were doing it well before them… All apple did was come up with a better touch friendly interface but the same concepts as before once the touch screen technology become available and cheap enough to put into phones it’s really that simple!

  • What about the “Auto-sync with NSA” feature? I heard they’ve really improved their compression, so you don’t have as much “unexplained” data usage.

  • I can’t be the only person on the planet that doesn’t think this just looks ugly. Ive said its about making a cleaner looking interface, but all the colours and no depth make it more distracting IMHO.

    • I’m right there with you. I’m all for change in looks, but, I feel like some bigwig at a meeting just
      went: “hey guys, you know what’s really hot this year? Minimalist style GUIS!
      Let’s also do that instead of thinking up a new style, it will save time and money!!”

      • My first thought was that the new GUI looks like a bunch of nicely made wireframes. Too much white!

  • Arghh, it’s way to friggin’ white… my eyes, MY EYES! MY GODDAMN EYES!

    But in all seriousness, most of this looks rather counter-intuitive. Sure Apple has always been polished out of the box, but always limited in function.

    Android is far from perfect, but it functions (with the help of apps) in a more intuitive way. Just simple things like having a desktop, Swype, AirDroid, a file explorer, etc, make so much sense…

    Now I’m sure that Apple employee WiseHacker will correct me of my personal opinion. Thanks in advance WiseHacker…

  • @Halfman:

    Arghh, it’s way to friggin’ white… my eyes, MY EYES! MY GODDAMN EYES!

    What do you expect from something that is Metro based? The idea itself should be out lawed.

    Android is far from perfect, but it functions (with the help of apps) in a more intuitive way. Just simple things like having a desktop, Swype, AirDroid, a file explorer, etc, make so much sense…

    How is that any different from an iOS device? It comes with a bear minimum and you extend it via the AppStore.

    And in terms of the file manager, I am still yet to get a proper answer to the question, “What for?” If I wanted file management I would use a full on laptop or PC.

    Now I’m sure that Apple employee WiseHacker will correct me of my personal opinion. Thanks in advance WiseHacker…

    Freelance programmer here; not a NDA shackled, law-suit gaged Apple employee as you try to make me out to be.

  • Agreed. It just looks unfinished and unpolished. I am hoping the dev preview is just that because if this is really what Apple are moving to with IOS7 its their nail in the coffin with regards to the Android Vs Apple debate.

  • 1. The icons are inconsistent and far too bright. Everything is white. Why does the Game Center icon have gloss? Why does Notepad have a yellow header but Calendar not?

    The gradients look terrible and if they want things to be flat; do it completely and choose good colours. A weird aqua, cyan colour is definitely not appealing. It looks like some 1999 website.

    Some icons are busy, some are not. Why does Safari have a white background now yet iTunes not?Why is Stocks black and not white? Clock simply looks terrible. That weird icon; at the bottom left; that looks far too busy.

    2. Auto updates. I prefer to update things myself thank you. My internet is terrible and generally, I update things at night. I do not need Pages to update when I am needing it.

    3. Font. It is far too light. You should not need a light font for labels. That is where a normal font is required. A light font is good for headings; not small, tiny text.

    Apple, get your act together. The Command Centre looks good. It is consistent. Why can you not take an idea and spread it across the entire system? If you want lessons in design, go ask Google.

    • Agree with you on everything (except command centre, it looks horrible). With this new clean look, they just lost what it means to be an Apple device.

  • The main areas of interest for me right now are around search integration. Windows 8 – especially with Office 2013 OneNote integration (which can search hand written notes , has changed the way I view search (slightly off topic, but its a shame that windows phone 8 search is basically only a call to Bing, is so terrible.

    Anyway, good to see some advancement on any side of the market in this field with in document and web search in one. Chrome is 80% there with the omnibar, but it doesn’t do that!

    • Michael, be carefull what you wish for many online will tell you Apple invented search and the searching hand written notes is Apples technology and has patents for this… I’m happy for the update but ‘some’ of these Apple users are just plain annoying how they thing Apple invents and owns everything…

      If Apple do release this feature, it might follow a law suit to Microsoft to get it removed from there package as Apple clearly invented it and had the idea first… HAHAHAHA

      But on a serious note it’s a great idea and agree needed feature, my iPad 3 would benefit from it very well as I do hand right notes at times and you are 100% correct finding the right note at times can take longer than it could with the search feature mentioned… perhaps the next update (hopefully will have it).. although I’ve moved my phone to Android now and I suspect my next move would be the tablet as well so I might not benefit from the next found of Apple updates but wish you all well 🙂

  • It looks like they stripped away all the design and stopped at the wire frame. What are the chances they are going to allow skinning to cover this ugliness I wonder?

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