Following months of anticipation, Apple SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi on Monday announced iOS 7 at the Worldwide Developers Conference keynote in San Francisco. The software update is singlehandedly the biggest change to iPhone since the smartphone was released close to six years ago, and features the flat and minimalistic appearance — sans skeuomorphism — that has been rumored for several months.
In additional to a complete user interface redesign, iOS 7 packs a seemingly endless set of new features: AirDrop, a new sharing feature with other users; Control Center, a new swipe-up menu that provides access to quick toggles; a new card-based multitasking pane that is awfully reminiscent of the jailbreak tweak Auxo; limitless scrolling within folders; and so much more.
Further changes in iOS 7 include a redesigned Notification Center that is accessible from the lock screen; iTunes Radio integrated into the iOS, Mac and PC apps; the ability to block users in Phone, FaceTime and Messages; a new SDK for developers with over 1500 new APIs; and more.
iOS 7 for iPhone is available today as a beta for registered Apple developers, while the iPad version will be seeded in the coming weeks. A public release of iOS 7 for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is slated for this Fall, as a free software update for iPhone 4, iPad 2, iPad mini and iPod touch fifth-generation or later.