APPLE have unveiled a new-look operating system, in what tech experts have called the ‘biggest software overhaul’ since the first iPhone was released.
The decision to revamp the operating system for the release of iOS7 comes after the company were criticised for the lack of changes accompanying the launch of the iPhone 5. Experts have said they believe the new operating system, which will run on iPhones, iPods and iPads, will be ‘polarising’ due to the visual differences compared to the current operating system.
Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst at IT research firm Ovum said: “The new version is almost unrecognisable.
“Some people will love that their phone feels new and different, while others will be disoriented by the newsness. It’s very attractive, but it’s also different - it doesn’t look very Apple-y.”
Incorporating a settings panel similar to that found on Android devices and a redesign of voice recognition software Siri, iOS7 will also see a revamp of the photo app, and a new security feature - Activation Lock - which will disable lost or stolen devices until their owner can retrieve them.
Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com, said: “With iOS7, Apple was eager to show this wasn’t just a fresh coat of paint, or a few nips and tucks. Jony Ive and his team have really brought the design ethos that have made Apple products so iconic on the outside, and seem to have revamped the innards just as drastically too.”
Opting for a clean, translucent appearance, iOS7 will also include redesigned applications and icons, with most of the real-world graphics from older softwares discarded completely.
Stuart Miles, founder of technology and gadget site Pocket-lint, said Apple appeared almost more confident than ever before as it announced the new system.
“It’s a very colourful, playful operating system, from what I have seen so far, which may not appeal to everybody - it is perhaps more fun than geared towards business use - but I think that is what people want.
“They want the fresh take on something they are familiar with, and Apple have certainly given them that.”
The main new features include:
AirDrop - Similar to the Samsung Galaxy S function of allowing users to share photos by gently bumping phones together. AirDrop lets fellow iOS users send photos directly to each other, bypassing the need to send text messages or emails to do so.
Control Centre - A swipe-up feature allows the user to access frequently used functions such as volume adjustment, turning wi-fi on and using the iPhone as a torch.
Font - Redesigned fonts have been introduced to create the appearance of sharper text
Photos app - The photos app has been fitted with Instagram-esque photo filters, and photo albums that can be created by year or location.
Siri - Users will now be able to choose a male voice, rather than the currently mandatory female voice, and will now perform basic tasks like turning down screen brightness or play back a voicemail.
Weather - A redesign will see floating animations in the background.
Calendar - Now in a more minimalist black and white.