Apple will release iOS 7 this fall as a free update to the software running on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
iOS 7 brings a completely new look to the iPhone and iPad, which Apple calls, “The biggest change to iOS since the iPhone.” And for good reason. In addition to a new design, new apps and icons, Apple packs in a collection of new and upgraded features.
At this point we still don’t know every iOS 7 feature, but we are able to share a collection of them in this new iOS 7 video that highlights some of the biggest features. We expect to see a few new iOS 7 features when Apple takes the stage to show off an iPhone 5S in early September.
Apple typically saves a few iOS features for the new iPhone, and a iPhone 5S is even more likely to arrive with a standout software feature that Apple doesn’t offer to the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S.
Apple is reportedly planning an iPhone 5S launch event for September 10th, which gives us a timeline to work with and helps narrow down the possible iOS 7 release date when almost every Apple user can download iOS 7 and get started using the new features.
iOS 7 Features Video
The iOS 7 video below is from the iOS 7 beta 6 release, which is the latest version of iOS 7 available to developers. This 8-minute iOS 7 video highlights many new iOS 7 features on the iPhone. The iOS 7 iPad update is also coming with many of the same features and design changes. Watch this eight-minute video to learn what’s new in IOS 7, what iOS 7 looks like and when the iOS 7 release date could land.
iOS 7 Release Date
There is no official iOS 7 release date from Apple other than this fall, but thanks to a collection of leaks, IOS 7 beta progress and Apple’s familiar schedule we think we have a good idea when the iOS 7 release date will land.
Because Apple is well-known for keeping an iOS feature under wraps we won’t likely see the iOS 7 release date before Apple shows off everything the new iPhone 5S can do. This means we are looking at an iOS 7 release date after September 10th.
Apple is currently on iOS 7 beta 6. Rumors of an iOS 7 beta 7 release did not come true and it looks like Apple could be saving the iOS 7 GM, or final beta, for a September 10th release. This IOS 7 Gold Master would mark the near-final version with no major changes expected before a public release.
Multiple rumors suggest the iPhone 5S release date is set for September 20th. With this in mind an iOS 7 release date during the week of September 15th is very likely with September 18th as the most likely target.
Apple traditionally releases iOS updated to older devices two to three days before a new iPhone release. Look for an iOS 7 release date on September 18th around 10AM Pacific if our predictions are correct.
iOS 7 Features
Here is a closer look at the biggest iOS 7 features coming this fall. For a longer list, check out 50 iOS 7 Features You’ll Actually Care About, which includes small changes and talk about iPhone controller support coming in iOS 7.
Completely New Look
iOS 7 looks completely different from iOS 6. In IOS 7 the font size is thinner, the app icons look different and Apple added a new feature called parallax that makes it look like icons are floating and shifting on top of the home screen. The Clock icon now shows the exact time.
Many apps are completely new with a redesigned Messages App, new look for weather and colorful icons in Settings. Many of the stock iPhone apps also let users swipe left or right to go forward or back a screen, instead of asking users to tap on buttons at the top of the screen.
The call screen is new with blockier buttons and a fade in and out effect when users slide to answer. The in call screen also sports a new look for options like FaceTime and Bluetooth.
Folders now support more than 12 apps thanks to scrolling, and users will see an animation when opening or exiting a folder. NewsStand can now finally exist in a folder by default.
iOS 7 Lock Screen
Apple completely changed the iOS 7 lock screen with a new slide from anywhere design. Users can slide left to right from anywhere on the screen to unlock, so there’s no need to adjust to hit the small slider at the bottom.
The Notification Center remains accessible on the Lock Screen with a swipe down and the new Control Center is also on-screen with a swipe up. A camera shortcut remains in the bottom right corner.
In iOS 7 the iPhone search tool Spotlight is no longer hidden all the way to the left. Instead of swiping back to it or pressing home twice slowly, users simply pull down from any home screen in iOS 7.
This will launch a search option to find apps, contacts, messages and more. This is a major improvement for users with a lot of apps.
The new Control Center in iOS 7 is a long demanded iPhone feature that brings fast access to common iPhone settings to users from anywhere, including in apps and on the lock screen.
Swipe up from the bottom of the iPhone to open the Control Center. Here users can turn on and off Airplane mode, WiFi, Bluetooth Do Not Disturb and Orientation lock.
Users can also control brightness, volume and media playback from this screen, including extra controls for iTunes Radio. The screen lets users control AirPlay and AirDrop as well as offers shortcuts to a flashlight, clock, calculator and camera.
When it comes time to switch apps in iOS 7, forget the portrait only small icons of iOS 6 and take a look at big, easy to identify app cards that show what you were doing in the app you previously left.
This new multitasking option works in landscape mode too, and shows apps in landscape if they support it. To quit an app, there is no need to tap and hold, just swipe up and it is done.
The Notification Center arrived in iOS 6, delivering a vastly improved way to see and manage notifications and it gets better in iOS 7 with Today mode.
On the iOS 7 Today screen users see Reminders, current weather, important events, the time it would take them to get to work or home, stock information and more.
Users can also look at the Missed and All tabs to see other notifications. In The iOS 7 beta, banner notifications also let users pull down to go to the Notification Center or push up to hide it.
There is still no easy way to clear all Notifications, but the iOS 7 Notification Center is a nice improvement.
iTunes Radio is Apple’s new streaming music service designed to compete with Pandora and Spotify Radio. iTunes Radio is free with ads, but iTunes Match users will not hear any ads.
Unlike other iPhone music apps, users con control iTunes Radio with Siri, including starting a new station or playing a previously created one.
Users can star songs and can look at a station history to see what songs played in the last few hours. This ties in to the option to buy a song from any iTunes Radio screen.
The iOS 7 Photos app is brand new with several great new features. The most exciting one is the new collections layout that organizes photos by date and location.
Users will instantly see events like a birthday party or a vacation grouped together, and can share an entire event rather than jumping through hoops to share multiple photos one by one.
iCloud Photo Stream now supports videos, so users can share funny clips without turning to Facebook or YouTube.
iOS 7 brings a new way to wirelessly share photos and more with users that are nearby without sending an iMessage or email. AirDrop is similar to the feature found in OS X that lets two Macs send files wirelessly.
When two compatible iOS 7 devices are nearby, users can share items over WiFi even if both devices are not connected to the same WiFi network.
iOS 7 Camera App
The IOS 7 camera app doesn’t go as far as the Samsung in offering multiple modes and settings, but it is new for iOS 7. Users can swipe to go between the modes including a new square mode.
Users can also use live filters to add an Instagram style flair to photos before pressing the shutter. Not all iPhone models will get the live filters, but users can apply them after the fact in editing.
Safari on iOS 7
Another major app overhaul in iOS 7 is Safari, which now features a single bar to enter searches and web addresses, a better overall look that leaves more room for the web content and support for many more tabs.
Safari on iOS also supports iCloud Keychain, a new password and credit card syncing tool that keeps user logins in sync across iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Siri on iOS 7
Apple delivers several welcome Siri upgrades in iOS 7 including new voice options that let user pick a male or female voice and a enhancements that deliver a more realistic voice.
The Siri screen is redesigned to match the overall look of iOS 7 and can perform new actions including turning Bluetooth on and off, changing brightness and checking what people are saying on Twitter. The new Siri can also show more information right inside Siri including WIkipedia and images from Bing.