Apple has unveiled a major new update to the iPhone operating system at its Worldwide Developer Conference in San Francisco.
The new iOS 7 has been completely redesigned, with an entirely new user interface, new font and use of translucency and motion, which the company says has been designed to take advantage of the whole screen and create a cleaner, simpler look.
"iOS 7 is the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "To create it, we brought together a team with a broad range of expertise from design to engineering. With what we've been able to achieve together, we see iOS 7 as an exciting new beginning."
"There is a profound and enduring beauty in simplicity, in clarity, in efficiency. True simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absence of clutter and ornamentation-it's about bringing order to complexity," said Jony Ive, Apple's senior vice president of Design. "iOS 7 is a clear representation of these goals. It has a whole new structure that is coherent and applied across the entire system."
The OS also includes a range of new features, including Control Center, which provides a ‘one-swipe' access to all of the most commonly used controls; Notification Center, that provides an at-a-glance view of notifications and daily tasks, weather, traffic, meetings and events; improved Multitasking, so that developers can enable any app to multitask in the background with a new API; AirDrop peer-to-peer content sharing; enhanced Photos, Safari, Siri and iTunes Radio, a free Internet radio service.
The iOS 7 beta software and SDK are available now for iOS Developer Program members, with the iOS 7 becoming available as a free software update for iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and iPod touch (fifth generation) in the Autumn.