As expected, Apple announced the latest version of their mobile operating system iOS at the annual Worldwide Developer Conference keynote in San Francisco yesterday evening.
The rumours of a new look user interface being a key part of iOS 7 turned out to be true, with Senior Vice President of Industrial Design Sir Jonathan Ive now also leading the user interface design. The visual interface has had wholesale changes; just about every icon has been redesigned with a flatter, more modern look that appears to show some design similarities from both Windows Phone 8 modern design and Google’s recent minimalist flat UI. The fonts have been improved somewhat and there’s new animations for opening apps.
Blogger John Gruber heard from a source before the event that the new UI is ‘polarizing’ and we think he was right – opinions appear to be divided somewhat on the look of the UI, with some praising this bold new direction and others, not so much.
Features-wise Apple have added a bunch of improvements which Android customers have taken for granted – with better multitasking (with viewable screens of the running apps, not just the app icons) and Control Center – a popup menu with quick access to commonly accessed settings such as brightness, bluetooth, do not disturb mode and even a flashlight (probably not great news for all those torch apps on the app store).
Also new are improvements to the built in apps – Camera, Calendar, Photos, Siri, Music Player (which now includes iTunes Radio). The Maps app is largely unchanged, but then you’d prefer to use CoPilot we assume so that shouldn’t be an issue.
We expect that users will appreciate the fact that app updates via the App Store are now automatic, so iPhone and iPad customers will always have the latest updates to their CoPilot apps on their devices. The downside of this is that it may become less easy for us to tell you what we’ve changed in the app.
It was interesting to see that there is also iCloud syncing of routes and locations, with APIs available too, so potentially it may be possible in the future to plan a route on the Maps app on your iPad and then route to it (with a navigation app) on your iPhone. We are also curious about the new ‘iOS in the Car’ initiative which seems set to bring new much tighter integration of iPhone/iPad with car infotainment systems. Hopefully this will provide us with an opportunity to bring CoPilot’s driver-friendly guidance and offline maps to the car dashboard.
iOS 7 will be available for iPhone 4/4S/5, iPad 2, iPad 3rd Gen and 4th Gen, iPad mini and iPod touch 5th Gen this autumn. See more details about iOS 7 at: http://www.apple.com/ios/ios7/
In the meantime, be assured that our developer team is already intently studying the beta version of iOS 7 and the many new APIs that are available. We’ll be working hard to maximize CoPilot in time for the launch.