As expected, Apple debuted its latest mobile operating system in the form of iOS 7 at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference. The software will not only be coming to iPhone and iPod touch owners but to owners of Apple’s iPad later on this year. Here, we take a look at that most important things that iPad owners should know about the upcoming iOS 7 update for iPad.
Rumors and history pointed to an iOS 7 debut at this year’s WWDC and Apple didn’t let iPhone or iPad owners down. During the event’s keynote, the company unveiled its plans for this year’s update to iOS, detailing the look and features of the new iOS 7 update, an update that will be heading to select owners of Apple’s mobile devices later on this year.
The update is a big one as it introduces a massive overhaul to the iOS operating system, one that Apple says is the biggest since the original introduction of iOS with the iPhone back in 2007. As we’ve said, on paper, the company isn’t lying.
iOS 7 looks remarkably different from previous versions of iOS, including the latest update from Apple, iOS 6. Gone are the skeuomorphic textures of the previous versions of iOS, replaced by vastly different icons and textures. Apple has also seen it fit to add in a number of new features, as it always does with its annual iOS update.
Included in the new update are a host of new features, some big, some small, that will be coming to iPhone and iPad owners along with the new look sometime later this year. That later this year has been pinpointed to be the fall, though Apple remains mum on a specific release date.
Ahead of the release date, Apple has released an iOS 7 beta for the iPhone and iPod touch so that developers can tinker with the software before it’s released to the public. iPad owners unfortunately have been made to wait.
In the meantime, here are the five most important things that iPad owners should know about the iOS 7 beta for iPad and the final version of iOS for iPad.
iOS 7 Beta for iPad Should Come Soon
Surprisingly, Apple did not release the iOS 7 beta for iPad alongside the iOS 7 beta for iPhone. Instead, iPad and iPad mini developers have been made to wait by Apple, possibly so that it can push the software further along than it is.
All Apple will say in regards to the iPad iOS 7 beta is that it will be coming to the iPad and iPad mini sometime this summer. That means that it has imposed a deadline of August for iOS 7 betas roll out.
However, we expect it to roll out much sooner than August. For one, Apple needs to get the beta out as soon as it possibly can so that testers can dig in and report bugs. And with the iPhone 5S rumored for September, and iOS betas typically lasting 60-90 days, the iPad iOS 7 beta appears to have a good chance of rolling out soon.
Exactly when remains unknown but those interested in using it should keep in mind that it will likely be bugged, flawed and a piece of software that should not be used on a daily driver.
iOS 7 for iPad Release: Signs Point to September
As for the final version of iOS 7 for iPad, it’s possible that given the late beta, that it could be out sometime after the iPhone’s update. But given Apple’s history of sending out major iOS updates to iPhone and iPad owners at the same time, we suspect that Apple is likely planning to release the iPad iOS 7 update at the same time as the iPhone’s.
September is looking like the most likely candidate for an iPhone 5S launch and thus, the launch of iOS 7. And if that’s true, and there is no reason to believe that it isn’t at this point, it should mean that the iPad’s iOS 7 update will be out in September.
At the very least, expect the iPad iOS 7 update’s arrival sometime this fall, likely at the same time as the iPhone update.
iPad 4 and Below Missing iOS 7 Features
Current owners of the iPad should know that they won’t be getting all that iOS 7 has to offer. None of the iPad models that are out on shelves right now will be getting the full version of iOS 7. Instead, they will see features missing when the device arrives later on this year.
For instance, the iPad 2 won’t be getting AirDrop, won’t get any of the new filters in the Photo application, and it won’t be getting Siri. The iPad 3 won’t be getting AirDrop, Panorama mode, or Filters in Camera. And finally, the iPad 4 won’t be getting AirDrop.
It’s entirely possible that these won’t be the only features that these devices will be missing as Apple still has quite a bit of testing and developing to do before the software arrives.
On the flip side of that, it’s possible that Apple may see it fit to include some of these features though that is very unlikely given that it has already said that they won’t be coming.
Will Be Best on iPad 5
That said, the best iOS 7 experience will more than likely be on the iPad 5 as it will more than likely have a full-fledged iOS 7 update as opposed to one that is void of features.
In the case of the iPad 3, Apple not only gave it the full iOS 5 update, but also outfitted it with Siri, a unique feature of the iPhone 4S that never came to the iPad 2. We also saw the iPad 4 get the full version of iOS 6 when it arrives alongside the iPhone 5 last year.
We expect the iPad 5 to sport a fully featured version of iOS 7, including AirDrop, and perhaps sport a souped up version of the software if the iPhone 5S does in fact come with some unique software features on board.
At the very least, prospective iPad 5 buyers should know that the device shouldn’t be as limited as the other models.
Few Differences from iOS 7 for iPhone
iPad owners should start tempering their expectations of a vastly different iOS 7 update for the iPad. Yes, the overall look of the software will appear different than that of the iPhone, thanks to the larger screen, but at this point, there are no signs of iOS 7 offering anything unique for owners of Apple’s slates, both new and old.
We’ll have to wait for the iOS 7 beta to be one hundred percent sure but we don’t expect Apple to load up the iOS 7 iPad update with tons of features that are different from the iPhone update.
That doesn’t mean that there won’t be subtle differences though. For instance, we saw Apple debut a different clock feature for the iPad that took advantage of its massive display. However, don’t expect features that are unique to the iPad unless Apple decides to roll out something big to help it sell the iPad 5.