Apple on Monday took the wraps off iOS 7, revealing a dramatic new design that sheds six-year-old interface elements, and replaces them with a cleaner, more modern aesthetic. From top to bottom, the OS that powers the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch has been renovated for both looks and usability.
"It's the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of iPhone," Apple CEO Tim Cook said during Monday's Worldwide Developers Conference keynote.
Meet the new iOS
The entirety of the OS and the stock apps have been redesigned with a new, dramatically different flat look. The typography and icons have all been revamped. There's a sense of planes of data: Translucent textures reveal what's in the background. Backgrounds change in a parallax effect when you move the phone: As you do so, things in the background move around ever so slightly behind frontmost elements. Animations receive an overhaul, too.
A new approach to multitasking shows large previews of your running apps that you can flip through. And a new panel, which you drag up from the bottom of the phone's screen, reveals access to all sorts of quick controls for toggling settings.
Apple senior vice president Craig Federighi showed off redesigned apps including Weather, Calendar, Mail, Messages, and even Phone. Game Center loses its green felt entirely; wood is gone from iBooks. Even apps like Stocks and Compass have a new look with "precision and a sense of purpose," Federighi said.
The new Weather app uses animated backgrounds that reflect the current weather conditions, and you can tap into the forecasts for more details than the app showed before. You can pinch for an overview of forecasts for multiple cities.
The updated Calendar app looks very different, with some design elements seemingly inspired by third-party apps like Calvetica and Fantastical. A new gesture lets you swipe from the left edge of the screen to go back one level in Messages and Mail. And you can slide across messages to move them or trash them—a la Mailbox.
Notification Center scores a new look too, along with tabs that filter notifications for "today," "all," and missed. And Notification Center is now available from the lock screen. Folders on iOS can now contain multiple screens' worth of apps.
"Installing iOS 7 on your phone is like getting an entirely new phone, but one that you already know how to use," Federighi said.
There are 10 brand new features in addition to the glossy new design that will make even an older iPhone feel like a new experience.
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