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Apple's Cook: iOS 7 is the 'biggest change to iOS' since iPhone's arrival

Lex Friedman | June 11, 2013
At the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote, Apple on Monday took the wraps off iOS 7, the next version of its operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

Control Center
AppleControl Center

Control Center is sort of like Notification Center: You swipe up from the bottom of the device to access it. iOS finally adds a centralized hub with Control Center, You can turn on Airplane Mode, toggle Bluetooth, turn on Do Not Disturb, enable lock rotation, access AirDrop, and quickly access specific apps. You also use Control Center to adjust playing tracks, and more. The feature also works from the lock screen. There's a flashlight now, too, so if you wake up in the middle of the night and need to find something, you can grab your phone, Federighi said.

Control Center provides a handy way to toggle features on and off at any time; a simple swipe up will let you turn on Airplane Mode, resume the song you were listening to, or pull up your calculator or camera without the hassle of diving into apps. It appears as a transparent layer, so you can still keep an eye on your background activity.

Apple announced that iOS 7 would include multitasking for all apps. As you access certain apps more frequently than others, iOS 7 will notice and let those apps poll for new data more currently. If there are other apps you check more often in the morning, iOS 7 will automatically grab data for those apps at the right time.

iOS 7 also adds "opportunistic updates." If the phone is on and in use, and the network conditions are good, it pulls more background data. And push notifications can trigger background processing for an app, too.

A new approach to multitasking shows large previews of your running apps that you can flip through.

"Safari is the most popular mobile browser in the world," Federighi said. The browser now includes a unified search field, akin to the location bar in desktop Safari, which lets you enter in both URLs and searches. New views make browsing your tabs and frequently accessed sites more simple. Type-ahead suggestions offer URLs and Google search results alike.

The location bar recedes as you scroll through a page, offering more visual space to the webpage's content. You can use that same new "swipe from left" gesture to navigate back a page, too.

The Shared Links feature new in the forthcoming OS X Mavericks update comes to iOS 7 as well: You can browse links shared socially by your friends.

The new tabs interface in Safari is eye-popping, and you aren't limited to just eight. You see large previews of your visited pages in a vertically scrolling list with interesting perspective. You can drag tabs to rearrange them, or flick them away when you don't need them anymore.


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