iOS 7 was the 7th major release of iOS, being designed by Apple Inc. as the successor to iOS 6 and predecceesor to iOS 8. It was announced at the company's 2013 Worldwide Developers Conference on June 10 alongside OS X Mavericks, and was released on September 18, 2013. It includes a redesigned user interface and a number of improvements to the operating system's functionality. The design of iOS 7's new elements was led by Jonathan "Jony" Ive, Apple's Senior Vice President of Industrial Design, for just 8 months.[3
The launch of iOS 6 in September 2012 was controversial due to its removal of Google Maps due to conflicts regarding licensing, and its replacement with an Apple-built Maps application. Upon launch, users who had upgraded reported several errors regarding the service's accuracy and completeness, leading to CEO Tim Cook to apologize for the errors and suggest iOS 6 users use other mapping applications available in the App Store. Consequently, on October 29, Scott Forstall was dismissed as Senior Vice President (SVP) of iOS and his responsibilities divided among Jonathan Ive, who became the company-wide SVP for Human Interface,Craig Federighi, whose role as SVP for Mac Software Engineering was expanded to include iOS, Eddy Cue, who gained leadership for Maps and Siri under his duties as SVP for Internet Software and Services and Bob Mansfield, who returned from his recent retirement to become SVP for Technologies. Forstall's departure was attributed to his refusal to sign a letter admitting to responsibility for errors in the Maps service.
Ive is considered to be a proponent of flat design compared to Forstall and former CEO Steve Jobs, who supported skeuomorphic design. In September 2012, Fast Company published a feature on the skeuomorphism controversy within Apple, citing designer complaints over the faux-leather in iCal—designed to imitate seating in Jobs' personal airliner—and Jobs' support of casino-like elements within Game Center in iOS 4.1. Almost immediately after Ive's appointment, speculation started that Ive would seek to remove skeuomorphic elements within the operating system; for example, on October 31, Mark Hattersley, a writer for Macworld, wrote a column for Digital Arts speculating that Ive's opposition to skeuomorphism would affect his design policy within iOS. iOS 7 Beta 2 was just released June 24, 2013.
iOS 7 was unveiled during the opening keynote of Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference on June 10, 2013. Billed as the "biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone", the most notable change is a complete overhaul of the user interface. In a promotional video shown during the keynote, Ive described the update as "bringing order to complexity", highlighting features such as refined typography, new icons, translucency, layering and gyroscope-driven parallaxing as some of the major changes to the design. The designs of iOS 7 and OS X Mavericks (OS X 10.9) noticeably depart from skeuomorphic elements such as the green felt in Game Center, wood in Newsstand, and leather in Calendar for flatter designs.
- Main article: Control Center
Similar to the Notification Center, Control Center is available by scrolling up from the bottom of the screen and provides access to settings such as Airplane Mode and brightness, media controls, AirPlay and AirDrop, and shortcuts to several apps including a built-in flashlight, clock, calculator and camera.
- Main article: Safari
iOS 7 builds on the limited multitasking introduced in iOS 4 and provides full multitasking for all apps. The multitasking layer also provides for background updating of apps at the same time notifications are pushed to the device, and previews of all running apps.
Safari in iOS 7 integrates the smart search field first used in Safari 6 for OS X and Mavericks' iCloud implementation of Keychain. Other changes include infinite tabs, parental controls, shared links from Twitter and Reading List.
- Main article: AirDrop
- Main article: Siri
iOS in the Car
iOS in the Car, due for release in 2014 with iOS 7.1, uses Siri integration in selected car models to offer eyes-free and hands-free satellite navigation, telephony, music and iMessage integration through the car's screen.
- Main article: App Store
The App Store provides more search options by age range and location-aware Apps Near Me feature and also adds automatic app updating and the ability to redeem a giftcard by using a camera.
Music and iTunes Radio
Along with user interface changes, the Music app also integrates Apple's iTunes Radio service, avalible in US and Austalia, however it's rumored that it will be expanding to more countries soon.
Other changes mentioned, but not fully featured in the keynote, include audio-only calling in FaceTime, Notification Center syncing and availability from the lock-screen, Tencent Weibo integration, Wi-Fi Hotspot 2.0, OS-level call blocking, app-specific virtual private networking, and activation locking through Find My iPhone.
- Main article: iOS 7 Features
The first beta, with support for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPod Touch (5th generation), was released after the WWDC keynote to registered developers in the iOS developer program, with a forthcoming beta to add support for the iPad 2 and later and the iPad Mini, then a public release for all devices supported scheduled for Q3—Q4 of 2013.
It has been criticized for perceived design flaws and usability issues. The new icons have been actively criticized on the basis of primitivism, over-simplicity and a "childish" distractive look. The design of the Control Center (like many other UI elements) has been actively criticized for inconsistency with other UI elements and visual similarity with Windows Phone UI elements.
The icons for iOS 7 were designed by Apple's marketing team, with them being told to design the apps around the color palette of the icons; straying from the usual design methodology of iOS. It was also noted that Apple's own website displayed different icons for several iOS 7 apps at a period of time, leading to speculation that the icons were already in the process of being changed due to their reception.
- This is the first iOS to feature flat design with simplified graphics and minimalistic apps.
- This is the first iOS to have a transparent Status Bar in which the signal bars have been changed to dots.
- This is the first iOS to feature the Control Center.
- This iOS features new sounds and wallpapers.
- The Unlock sound has been removed, but the Lock Screen sound remains.
- Good old memories Like Voice Control is back.