Along with announcing the next major version of Mac OS X Mavericks at today’s keynote event, Apple also previewed iOS 7 and boy is it lovely.
iOS 7 gets a total design overhaul with a new color palette, typography, and “flatter” icons for the built-in apps. The multitasking tray now features a cards-like view of open apps and the new Control Center, which can be activated by sliding up from the bottom of the screen, reveals toggles to quickly change Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other settings.
Notification Center also gets the new look treatment and it will be accessible from the Lock Screen, which is a very welcome change for yours truly.
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iOS 7 also gets AirDrop, a Wi-Fi sharing feature that first debuted in Mac OS X Mountain Lion to quickly send pictures and other files to other users nearby.
Safari gets a new tabs view, full-screen browsing, and easier access to bookmarks, your Reading List, and even links shared by people you follow on Twitter.
Camera hops on the filters wagon (surprise, surprise) and offers easy swipe-based navigation to switch between photo (full, square, and panoramic) and video modes.
There’s much more new stuff in iOS 7 and you can check out a video and more information on Apple’s site here.
A beta version of iOS 7 is available to developers today and it will be released to the public in the fall, presumably around the same time the next iPhone model is released. To use iOS 7, you’ll need an iPhone 4 or later, iPad 2 or later, iPad mini, or 5th-generation or later iPod touch. Apple’s press release notes that “Some features may not be available on all products” so be forewarned that you won’t get all of that iOS 7 hotness if you have an older device.