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Get to Know the New Apple iOS 7.

If you’re an iPhone user, Apple has big news for you. With the release of iOS 7 this fall, the company will be presenting the first major redesign of the iPhone since the first version came out in 2007. This operating system overhaul will be available for the iPhone 4 and later, the iPad 2 and later, the iPad Mini, and the fifth generation of the iPod Touch.

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The design changes to the operating system are easy to see at first glance. The graphics are sharper, the icons flatter, the color theme more pastel and the background more distant from the icons. There’s also a new slide-from-the-bottom unlock function and animated transitions when opening and closing apps.

There are other, less obvious changes to iOS 7 as well. These added features and modifications include:

  • Control Center

The control center is a brand new addition to the iOS repertoire. It groups all of your frequently used settings into one place, including airplane mode, Wifi, bluetooth, music controls, screen brightness, the camera and more. An added feature accessible through the control center is a flashlight application, which uses the device’s built-in camera flash.

  • Safari

Apple improved the Safari app by unifying the URL field and search field and more flexible browser tabs. The browser tabs appear as vertically scrolling rectangles that can be swiped away and are no longer limited to eight at a time. iOS 7 also allows users access to Apple’s new iCloud Keychain to store passwords and credit card information across devices, giving you immediate access to password protected sites and autofilling billing information.

  • Multitasking

Using multiple apps at once is easier with i0S 7. Applications can work in the background while you are doing other things, and you can now double tap on the screen to pull up and scroll through all open apps.

  • AirDrop

AirDrop is also a new feature in iOS 7. It shows your nearby contacts and allows iOS users to create a local, temporary network among users. With just a click of a button, you can then share photos and other data. This feature is limited by hardware, though, and will only be available on the iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod Touch, fourth-generation iPad, and iPad Mini.

  • iTunes Radio

Also coming this fall – and therefore being integrated into iOS 7 – is iTunes Radio. This is an internet radio station similar to Spotify or Pandora. Users can make requests to Siri and create stations.

  • Siri

She can now be a he. You can choose a male or female voice for Siri in iOS 7. The new and improved Siri can access and perform actions in your settings, such as playing voicemails, turning Bluetooth on and off and changing the brightness of your screen. Siri can also search Wikipedia and twitter and work with non-English speakers.

  • Facetime

In iOS7, Facetime allows voice-only calls over your wifi connection in addition to its video calling options.

  • Photos

The way your photos are organized in iOS 7 will change. It will have a greater resemblance to iPhoto, grouping your photos into collections, moments and years. A year holds a collection and a collection is broken down into moments. With iCloud Photo Sharing, other users can now contribute their own photos to your own shared photo streams.

  • Camera

The updated camera app makes it easier to catch that quick shot. You can swipe through the photo modes to quickly select panorama, video, photo or square. Square photos are a new option, allowing you to shoot photos in the shape of a square rather than a rectangle. You can also swipe through a list of new filters before or after you shoot. If you take a photo with a filter on, it can later be removed.

Although Apple CEO Tim Cook is calling iOS 7 the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone came out, those who have gotten used to the phone’s operating system over the past six years shouldn’t fret. The core functionality remains the same, making iOS 7 easy to pick up. For an interactive view of iOS 7’s features, visit Apple’s website. Apple also described the new features in a video:

 

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