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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.

AirDrop
Any app that supports the Share Sheet gains access to AirDrop: Your friends who are near you appear right there. When you tap to share, your friends can choose to accept the data you're sending, and the appropriate app launches on their devices, too. It uses peer-to-peer Wi-Fi for maximum transfer speeds, so there's "no need to wander around the room, bumping your phone," Federighi said.

Camera & Photos
The Camera app is now "four cameras in one," Federighi said. It's a video camera, still camera, square camera, and panorama camera. And still photos can include filters, which can generate live, real-time previews.

The updated Photos app now offers Moments, which better organizes your photographs without your needing to intervene. Like iPhoto's events on the Mac, Moments can analyze your photos' location data and dates to assemble your photos intelligently, and label them in more useful ways than an endless grid of photo thumbnails.

"You may not remember when you did it, but iOS does," Federighi said.

The Photos app also gains access to iOS 7's new filters, and it gains new sharing options, too. In addition to AirDrop support, you can share photos via iCloud—which is how Photo Streams are labeled in iCloud. For the first time, other people can share into your Photo Stream, too, allowing friends and family members to mutually share photos together. And Photo Streams now support videos as well.

Siri
Apple senior vice president Eddy Cue talked about Siri. Siri gets a redesign in keeping with iOS 7's look—and it gains a new voice, too. Actually, it gets two new voices: a male and a female option. German and French speakers have voices of their own to enjoy in iOS 7.

Siri can control a lot more, too: "Play my last voicemail," "Turn on Bluetooth," "Increase my brightness," are among the controls the personal assistant now understands. Siri can also answer more questions, and it integrates with Twitter and directly incorporates Wikipedia. In a not-so-subtle clue as to the status of the Apple-Google relationship, Siri will get its search results direct from Microsoft's Bing.

Another new feature Cue showed off was iOS in the Car—which integrates Siri, too. The feature would work with in-dash displays on many cars, and shows your apps. A slew of car manufacturers will offer integration with the feature starting in 2014, Cue said.

App Store
"It's way easier to find apps than ever before," Cue said. There are new sections for finding apps for kids, and a new option to browse "apps near me." That way, if you're at a specific spot where certain apps are popular, they're easy to surface.

 

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