Well, the day has finally arrived, as millions of geeked-out tech fans have been waiting anxiously for word about the newest Apple products at this year’s keynote address in Cupertino, California — specifically the iOS 7, and the newest members of the iPhone family: the iPhone 5C and the iPhone 5S. And it didn’t disappoint, from the amount of traffic and tweets and live blogs around the internet. Even Elvis Costello got in on the action, showing up for those in the audience with a rendition of Peace, Love, and Understanding. But we digress. Let’s get to the good stuff.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering who heads iOS and OSX, came up to introduce the latest updates for iOS 7, of which there are over 200. Aside from stressing the beauty and the ease of use of the new Apple operating system, he went on to describe some of the newer functionality and compatible apps that it has. Here’s the run-down:
- New interface: color pallettes, parallax wallpapers, single-swipe control panel
- More convenient pull-down search function
- new camera app with filters (think Instagram)
- AirDrop, the new peer-to-peer file sharing system. Can share photos or other files between two devices.
- New default ringtones and text tones.
- Improvements to Siri – male voice, new voice commands, such as searching Wikipedia or other web sites, to compete with Google’s voice search on Android.
- New music app with built-in iTunes Radio support
The last software-related topic touched upon was iWork, presumably trying to break the stereotype that Apple devices aren’t conducive for getting work done or creating content, which is one of the continued knocks that Android manufacturers and users often pile onto Apple.
Here’s what Tim Cook, CEO of Apple had to say about it: “iWork has three amazing apps. The first is Keynote. Keynote allows you to create world class presentations on your iPad or iPhone. And Pages. It allows you to create and edit documents from anywhere. And Numbers. Numbers is the best spreadsheet design software anywhere. iPads aren’t great just for consuming content. They’re also great for creating content. We have content like iPhoto, which lets you take your photo editing to the next level. And iMovie, which lets you create movies straight from your iPad.”
He went on to announce that all 5 of these content-creating apps will be free, and will automatically download when setting up your iOS 7.
Lastly, Cook went over the compatibility of the iOS 7 with the other Apple devices (that are not the new iPhones). It’ll support the iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad Mini, and 5th generation of the iPod Touch. Downloads of the iOS 7 will be available from the Apple store starting on September 18th.
If you think the iOS 7 updates are impressive, what until you see what they’ve done with the iPhone; or rather, iPhones. In the interest of space and focus, we are going to continue the discussion of the Apple keynote on the next blog post. Click here for Part 2 on the iPhone 5c.