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Speculation surrounding iOS7 had been rife, but the details revealed by Apple at this year’s Worldwide Developer Conference put a lot of rumours to bed. It also managed to spring some surprises. Everyone wanted Apple to deliver something fresh; an update that would blow their (increasingly threatening) competitors out of the water. The fact that the event sold out in less than 2 minutes says something about the level of excitement.

The Look

It’s been labelled the most significant change to the OS since the iPhone was released, and the sleeker, minimal graphics are certainly strikingly different. The glossy, textured icons and headers that were rumoured to be going have gone. Gone also are the unnecessary faux-furnishings and animations, replaced by flatter, simplified images. There is a sense of depth to the display with a clever use of translucency and the way the interface moves as you do. The whole look has been revitalised and decluttered.

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App Management

Multitasking with apps has been introduced in iOS7. There is now a multitasking window that can be used to not only see an overview of all that is running, but easily flick between apps. Devices running the new operating system will update most used apps, while also taking internet connectivity and battery life into account.

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Head in the iCloud

Apple’s cloud service has not got the best reputation, so a revamp has always been on the cards. Apple have said that bugs have been fixed and that there will be several updates. In-browser document edits have been introduced across multiple browsers and a new “keychain” feature has been added. This allows you to store personal information such as passwords and credit card numbers which will then be synced through safari across all your Apple devices.

Getting Siri-ous

A big question being asked before the conference was whether or not Siri would be integrated into a wider range of apps, and also if it would be incorporated into Mac operating systems. By doing the latter, it would be a further step to merging both the iOS and OSX to form a unified operating system. This did not come to fruition, but there was a mention for Siri in the keynote speech. There will now be an option between a male and female voice, and it will be much “smarter” than before. You can now use Siri to activate and deactivate services like Bluetooth and it will be incorporated into twitter.

ios 7 siri

Defaults Unchained

The iOS is notorious for not allowing users to change defaults such as browsers and mapping systems. This has been a sore point for quite a while for Apple customers, and there has been no mention that this will change on iOS7. There was mention that users would be able to conduct Siri searches through Bing (but no mention of other search engines), which all but confirms Apple’s dissociation with Google.

BHL Team Reaction

The sneak peak of the Mac Pro was pretty enthralling. The slick, unique, round look and the size of it is impressive and will surely answer recent critics who have questioned whether Apple has forgotten how to innovate. As always with the Mac Pro, Apple have gone all out with the hardware, the usual concern though will be the price. The announcement of iOS7 does come as a surprise, but the reveal of a revamped user interface has certainly pleased me and will satisfy many. The beautiful new look was definitely needed to freshen things up. I definitely can’t wait for its release this autumn! Nathan Rona

Although the new tiles are nice, it's now up to developers to make sure their app tiles fall in line with the new aesthetic or the home screen is going to be a mess! I like knowing my devices are up to date and rarely delay with updates, so the auto update feature sounds great. My only concern is that when my phone is old and haggard auto-update may render some apps incompatible with my device, like how a lot of major apps no longer support the 3G/3GS...The price of progress, I suppose. Joe Tonks

I think it shows a real dedication to supporting users for the long term by releasing iOS7 for iPad2 and iPhone4. One thing that wasn't mentioned that I want to know more about is iBeacons which was barely mentioned. By using Bluetooth technology you can use your device as a precise locator, it will be interesting to see how Apple implement it. Neill Birchenall

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