As announced at a press event earlier this month, Apple has released iOS 7 today as promised. The newest version of Apple’s operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, which was initially unveiled in June, rocks a “flat” design complete with a new color palette and typography as well as several new features.
The most notable new features include Control Center, a panel full of shortcuts to frequently-used controls like Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth toggles, a revamped multi-tasking interface, and an improved Notification Center. Air Drop, a Wi-Fi sharing feature that allows you to send pictures and files to other iOS devices quickly, also debuts in iOS 7. iTunes Radio comes to the Music app to let you stream music on demand from the iTunes Store (and if you’re an iTunes Match subscriber, you don’t get subjected to any commercials).
All of the apps that come on every iOS device out-of-the-box also got the overhaul treatment. Camera gets live filters and cropping and format options while Safari gets the ability to show unlimited tabs (yay!). Photos now groups captured pictures into collections, leveraging date and location information to organize your photos for easier access.
iOS 7 reviews started popping up all over the web yesterday evening and here are a few of the most comprehensive and informative ones I’ve seen so far:
The embargo on the new iPhone 5s also dropped and there are many reviews available now to help you make up your mind if you’re considering buying one. The most comprehensive one I’ve seen, which dives deep into processor technology and performance, is over at AnandTech. Of course, many of the major technology publications and journalists have weighed in, including Walt Mossberg for All Things D, Ed Baig for USA Today, and Engadget. For links to reviews of the lower-cost sibling to the iPhone 5s, the iPhone 5c, see this post over at MacRumors.
If you’re looking to update to iOS 7 today, know that Apple’s servers will probably be under heavy load with everyone and their mother trying to do the same thing so you may want to wait a little while before diving in. Whenever you decide to upgrade, this handy guide over at Macworld will walk you through everything you should know and do before upgrading.
If you plan to upgrade your iOS device using your computer, note that you’ll need iTunes 11.1 first, so go download it from Apple’s site now (or use the Check for Updates menu option in iTunes).