SOFTWARE DESIGNER Apple announced iOS 7, the latest iteration of its iOS mobile operating system on Monday.
Described by Tim Cook as "the biggest change to iOS since the original iPhone was introduced", iOS 7 sees Apple's mobile operating system completely redesigned from the ground up, as the firm looks to dispel analyst perceptions that it can no longer innovate.
Starting at the lock screen, Apple has changed the unlock feature as well as adding support for live wallpapers and the ability to access the Notifications centre before unlocking.
Once unlocked, which is done by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, iOS 7 is home to redesigned app icons. Much like the rumours suggested and almost identical to earlier leaks, app icons now feature a flatter and more colourful design, and the operating system now boasts a completely redesigned look and feel.
Some apps have been given a lick of paint inside and out. Weather, for example, now features live animations and a 'pinch-out' to view all days feature, Siri has been given an overhaul, and Mail boasts a completely new look and feel, complete with new fonts and a translucent keyboard.
Multitasking has been upgraded too, and now acts similarly to Windows Phone 8. Apple claims this new feature will not harm iPhone or iPad battery life.
Apple has completely reworked its Camera app, adding features such as Instagram-style filters, which it has paired with a new Photos app that organaises photos into "moments", and offers improved sharing options for posting images to social media services like Facebook and Twitter.
Apple has also brought the Airdrop feature found on Mac OS X to its iOS environment, enabling two iOS 7 users to share files over a WiFi connection.
As expected, the firm also introduced iTunes Radio, it's Spotify and Google Play Music competitor. Offering a free, ad-supported subscription model - or ad-free for iTunes Match subscribers, the service comes baked into Apple's Music app and offers users functionality to discover new music via genre or artist.
Perhaps the most interesting feature, and the one that will probably get Apple the most stick from Android fanboys, is a new Control Panel. Accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen, this offers a quick settings menu, for toggling features such as WiFi, Bluetooth and Airplane mode. There's also a camera button hidden in the menu, and the ability to alter screen brightness and switch on Apple Airplay.
Apple's iOS 7 mobile operating system will be available as a download this autumn, and is available in beta to developers from today. µ