Business Technology

Sunday 27 May 2018

iOS 7 – An idiot's guide to Apple's new operating system

Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook walks past an iOS7 logo
Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook walks past an iOS7 logo

Ben Riley-Smith

TOMORROW Apple begins to roll out the new iOS 7 operating system, with free upgrades available to anyone with an iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

The innovation was unveiled at the company's annual developers’ conference back in June and was hailed by chief executive Tim Cook as “the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone”.


The system will be pre-loaded on the iPhone 5s and 5c, due to be released two days later on September 20, but people with old Apple devices can also download it.


What can we expect? According to Apple the iOS 7 will feature a "stunning new user interface" and boasts more than 200 new features.


It will be "like getting a brand new device, but one that will still be instantly familiar to our users,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering.


But away from the hype, what are the changes that really matter to iPhone and iPad aficionados?


First up, the look and feel of the display will change. The new software has been designed to make the iPhone appear bigger, with features filling the entire screen.


Gone is the drop shadow that surrounded app icons in the past. In its place a flat and colourful icon design will help create a cleaner interface.


As for the features, the one likely to become most important for the average user is the single-swipe "control centre".


Accessed by dragging a finger from the bottom of the screen, this 'frosted glass' page allows quick changes to settings such as wifi, airplane mode and bluetooth as well as brightness and volume.


This innovation has largely been seen as a reaction to Android devices which often have such a feature. In the past iPhone users have had to press through to the settings page via an app.


Apple's 'personal assistant' Siri is being upgraded too. New male and female voices are available with the iOS 7 and it will now be able to understand US English, French and German.


Another eye-catching feature is the inclusion of iTunes Radio, a free internet radio service featuring over 200 stations. However this one is only available in the US.


While some of the snazzy iOS 7 innovations will only appear on the new iPhones, people with old devices can still expect to see a host of changes, as the Telegraph's Richard Gray has explained.


For example there is something anyone who has struggled to unlock a front door on a Friday night can cheer: a torch.


The facility comes as standard on the iPhone, with users able to turn on the LED flash on the back of the phone via a button in the new control centre.


There is also help available for remembering your passwords. Apple can now store your passwords, account names and even credit card details in the cloud and automatically fill them in when you go online shopping, should you want.


Apple insists the passwords will be encrypted to ensure their security.

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