“It’s the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone,” said Tim Cook. “It has a whole new structure that is coherent and that is applied across the entire system,” said Jony Ive in a video showing off the new operating system. “We’ve considered the tiniest details like refining the typography to much larger ones like redesigning all the icons.”
iOS 7 features an entirely new color scheme, with translucency, to “create a sense of depth and vitality.” The design is significantly different from before, with all new multitasking screens and a totally redesigned interface. The icons are “flat,” as expected, with bright new colors. Apps like GameCenter have been entirely overhauled, with the removal of the felt and wood elements.
iOS 7 incorporates new motion tracking capabilities. As the device is moved in the hand, it actually tracks motion and the screen moves, which carries over across the system.
On the stage, Federighi demoed the new dynamic weather app, which incorporates some live weather elements. For example, if it is raining outside, the app will show rain. The weather app uses an all new font. Like the Weather app, the Calendar also features a minimalistic new design.
Messages has seen a major overhaul, with a blue and white interface that’s removed the gloss from the chat bubbles. Swiping on the screen in messages allows users to go from individual messages to a messages overview. Mail has the same no-frills interface, focusing on text and photos. It incorporates full screen photos.
Notifications Center looks entirely different as well, with new daily overviews. Notifications Center is also now available from the Lock Screen as well as at the top of the app.
Control Center offers new preference controls. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen (including the lockscreen) to find quick access to preferences. It has switches that allow users to access Do Not Disturb, brightness, and a flashlight. There’s also controls for music.
Multitasking for all apps is available in iOS 7. iOS 7 takes note of which apps are used on a frequent basis and it keeps those apps updated in the background. It has intelligent scheduling and opportunistic updates, such as when a user checks their phone throughout the day. It detects coverage signal and it responds to push notifications, giving the app time to update in the background, so that it will be up to date when it is open. There’s also a new app switching screen.
Safari will get a number of improvements in iOS 7, including a new full screen look and a smart search field. With this field, there’s one tap access to favorites, and it also has a new tabbed interface along with parental controls and iCloud keychain integration.
More to come.