Apple has launched an iOS 7 page, showcasing the features of its newly announced mobile operating system. The iOS 7 introduction video is available on the site, in addition to 12 new or updated iOS 7 features, shown in action.
These features include: Control Center, Notification Center, Multitasking, iTunes Radio, Photos, AirDrop, Camera, Safari, Siri, Mail, Weather, and Messages. Links on the page let readers get a closer look at the new design and features.
Apple announced iTunes Radio, the company’s long-rumored streaming music service. iTunes Radio is a free, ad-supported service, and it’s ad-free for iTunes Match users. The Pandora-esque service lets users choose featured music stations, or create their own stations based on specific artists. iTunes Radio keeps track of played songs within its history. Initially launching in the U.S., iTunes Radio is built into the iOS 7 Music app, and it will also be built into iTunes for Mac, PC, and Apple TV.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced iOS 7, the company’s latest operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Touting amazing new features and a “stunning new user interface,” iOS 7 represents a significant departure from the well-known iOS software design, delivering an entirely new UI structure with refined typography, redesigned icons, and a new color palette. The new UI also involves more transparency, layered effects, and new animation and motion. iOS 7 was described by Cook as “the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone.”
The App Store now updates apps automatically. Notification Center is now accessible from the lock screen. Multiple pages are now possible within folders. Swiping up from the bottom of the screen now activates Control Center, which allows users to adjust brightness, volume, playback controls, Do Not Disturb, and more, while accessing a flashlight option as well. All apps will now allow multitasking, and iOS 7 uses “intelligent scheduling” to refresh app information. A double-click on the home button lets users swipe left and right through all open apps to multitask. An updated weather app, calendar, and messages were shown off in a demonstration.
Safari for iOS 7 has a full-screen interface with swipe navigation for browsing. Tabs for Safari now give a preview of the page, while scrolling up-and-down, and there’s no longer an 8-tab limit. AirDrop for iOS 7 lets users share securely encrypted files with nearby users over peer-to-peer Wi-Fi. Filters have been added to Camera, and a new Photos app makes it easier for users to organize photos with its new Collections feature.
Siri has been updated with a new interface and new voices — female or male. French and German voices are available with other languages to be added “over time.” Siri can now do more commands such as “turn on Bluetooth” or “increase brightness.” Twitter, Wikipedia, and Bing have also been integrated into Siri. iOS in the Car was announced, featuring integration into the display screens of cars.
A new “Activation Lock” feature has also been introduced that will prevent a stolen iPhone from being re-activated—even after a full wipe—without entering the original owner’s iCloud Apple ID and password.
Apple CEO Tim Cook announced at Apple’s WWDC 2013 Keynote that there are now 900,000 apps available in the App Store, and 93 percent of those apps are downloaded each month. About 375,000 apps have been developed for iPad. Cook also said Apple has paid $10 billion to developers through the store, with $5 billion in the last year alone. There are now 575 million iTunes accounts.
Cook later announced there are 300 million iCloud accounts, 300 million users of iTunes in the Cloud, and 240 million Game Center users. iCloud has sent 800 billion iMessages and 7.4 trillion push notifications.
Apple’s WWDC 2013 keynote is about to begin in San Francisco, California, with iOS 7, an Apple music streaming service nicknamed iRadio, and new Mac computers/software expected to be officially announced. We’ll be providing live updates throughout the course of the event to let you know what’s happening with iOS 7, any new iOS-related accessories, and other products that may be announced. Click on the title of this article for the latest details as they happen.
Note: We’ve moved iOS-related updates to the top of the article so you can see them before the Mac-related news.
Note 2: The event is now over, with all updates below.
AT&T will launch a push-to-talk, walkie-talkie style application to the iPhone for its corporate customers, according to a report. Push-to-talk has long been a feature of the Nextel network, which is shutting down this summer, and was a popular selling point for business users. This is the first time the iPhone will have the feature, though the function will require more than just downloading an app — AT&T will need to specifically enable it for corporate customers. At this point, there’s no indication the feature will be available for all AT&T iPhone users. [via The Washington Post]
AT&T has announced it has changed its device upgrade policy to 24 months with a standard two-year wireless agreement, a change from the company’s prior 20-month upgrade policy. Customers must now wait two full years to receive a full discount on purchasing a subsidized device. The company suggests that the change applies to customers whose current contract agreements expire in March 2014 or later. In April, Verizon also changed its full subsidy upgrade eligibility to 24 months.
Apple is set to unveil iOS 7 today, and 9to5Mac has posted a mockup of Apple’s new OS released with additional details before its official debut. iOS 7 reportedly uses a thinner font throughout the Home Screens. Apple has replaced the carrier signal bars with five white or gray dots. App icons have also changed in various ways — for instance, Camera is now gray with the image of a camera, as opposed to a lens. The Photos, Game Center and Safari icons have changed, while Mail, Music, App Store, and iTunes Store icons apparently look like flatter versions of the previous icons.
There are also apparently two color schemes for many of the apps — a “black” color scheme and “white” scheme. It’s unknown what role these schemes will play, but black and white iPhones could have their own color schemes, or the phone might change color schemes based on time or the amount of ambient light. Maps will reportedly add walking directions, and as was previously reported, AirDrop sharing will be available.
Apple will be running live video of its keynote event today, both on its website, and via an “Apple Events” channel on Apple TV. Starting at 10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EST, viewers will be able to tune in and watch as the company is expected to introduce iOS 7, iRadio, as well as new Macs, and an update to OS X.
The Apple Events channel reappeared on Apple TVs overnight, and currently provides access to past keynote addresses. iLounge will provide coverage of the event and Apple’s new product announcements.
The latest edition of iLounge Weekly, our weekly newsletter covering all things iLounge, will be arriving in subscribers’ inboxes early next week. iLounge Weekly is a summary of the week’s best news, reviews, and feature articles we’ve published, and it also features giveaways and accessory discount offers from various companies. There’s still plenty of time to sign up and receive this week’s edition — just use the simple form below to submit your email address, if you haven’t done so already.
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Also be sure to enter our new giveaways for June. In our Kensington Proximo Giveaway, iLounge and Kensington are giving away ten Proximo Bluetooth Proximity Monitoring Systems for tracking your iPhone, keys, and bags. In our MaxBoost Fusion Battery Case Giveaway, iLounge and MaxBoost are giving away ten Fusion Color Battery cases, each with a pack of compatible snap-cases for customizing them in your favourite colours. Simply fill out and submit the form on the giveaway page to enter; both giveaways will end on June 30, 2013 at 11:59PM Pacific Time. Good luck!
An Anandtech report claims Apple isn’t throttling iPhone or iPad cellular data through carrier bundles, directly refuting a recent claim from developer Joseph Brown. While Brown claims cellular data speeds for AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint are throttled through coding, Anandtech’s Brian Klug writes that “Apple doesn’t limit cellular data throughput on its devices — there’s both no incentive for them to do so, and any traffic management is better off done in the packet core of the respective network operator rather than on devices.” Klug offers a detailed technical explanation explaining his stance. Brown is standing by his own claims, as he has tweeted.
Sony Music has agreed to terms with Apple on the company’s iRadio service, making an iRadio debut at next week’s Apple Worldwide Developers Conference likely. A report notes that Apple has now agreements with “all three major music labels,” although the company was previously reported to be working to sign four major music labels. The seemingly forgotten major label is BMG Rights Management — the status of BMG’s negotiations with Apple is unknown at this point. It’s also unknown if those negotiations will affect a WWDC debut. Sony/ATV, Sony’s separate publishing arm, also apparently has yet to sign with Apple at this point. [via AllThingsD]
A Washington Post report claiming the National Security Agency and FBI are accessing the servers of Apple and eight other companies has been denied by Apple. The program is code-named PRISM — launched in 2007, it is claimed to let the NSA directly collect data from Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, and Youtube. It is unknown whether the program involves direct cooperation with these companies, or relies upon indirect monitoring of their servers using surveillance tactics.
For its part, Apple has denied knowledge of PRISM. “We have never heard of PRISM,” said Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Apple. “We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.” Other companies have also denied the report, using similar language. The Post claims the program focuses on “foreign communications traffic.”
In an effort to sell more iPhone 5s, Apple will start an in-store iPhone trade-in program this month, according to a new report from Bloomberg. Apple is running the program in conjunction with mobile phone distributor Brightstar Corp. According to the report, “Used iPhones collected in the U.S. will only be resold in emerging markets, where Apple’s share is lower and demand for cheap devices is greater.” By doing this, sales of the used devices won’t chip away at Apple’s iPhone 5 sales. Apple has not publicly announced any trade-in plan, and it’s unclear whether the company’s buy-back prices will be competitive with existing third-party vendors.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has announced that he and San Francisco District Attorney George Gasćon will be questioning Apple, Google, Samsung, and Microsoft officials about why the companies haven’t taken more steps to combat theft. Schneiderman recently sent letters to Tim Cook and other CEOs expressing his concerns with the theft of electronic devices, including the iPhone. Gasćon has previously sought ways to combat theft through technology. Both men have pushed companies to install technologies that would make a stolen device inoperable, thus eliminating the black market. The summit will take place on June 13 in New York City.
Curbed Network’s popular food blog Eater has introduced its free Eater app. Eater’s app offers dining recommendations from the site, allowing users to find the Eater 38 and Eater Heatmap restaurants and bars in their location. Keep in mind that only selected cities will have Eater recommendations, due to the site’s focus on major population centers. A list of all restaurants can also be perused, and Eater stories can also be viewed right through the app.
Zen Studios’ new Marvel Pinball ($1) is a prime example of how in-app purchases can work properly. The game begins by including a full-fledged Avengers pinball table in 3-D, complete with all of the 2012 film’s major characters — it’s a good game on its own. Another 14 extra tables are offered for $2 each, focusing narrowly on specific Marvel comic books (including Captain America, The Amazing Spider Man, Ghost Rider) or series (Civil War, The Infinity Gauntlet, World War Hulk). Every table adds enough new voice samples, art, and music to give each table its own distinctive theme and collection of 3-D models to see. Tables always have multiple levels thanks to ramps, intensity comparable to the best real-world pinball machines, and occasional opportunities for camera-zoomed close-ups on individual character models.
While there’s certainly $2 worth of value in each of the extra tables we tested, including X-Men, Iron Man, and Wolverine, fans of Marvel’s movies may find the comic-inspired source material choices a little iffy: for instance, the Iron Man table eschews War Machine/Iron Patriot references in favor of jokes about Tony Stark’s boozing history, while X-Men leans heavily on 1980’s-vintage characters and color schemes rather than the films’ darker versions. Additionally, though you can shift between several very different camera angles in landscape mode, the views in portrait orientation are substantially similar, and don’t show off the 3-D table models quite as well. Apart from those small issues, Marvel Pinball is certainly worth checking out if you love pinball or any of Marvel’s franchises.
Following the release of hacked carrier files for Apple’s latest iPhone and iPads, developer Joseph Brown has written a blog post claiming that Apple is reducing the peak cellular data speeds of iPhones and iPads through coding. Notably, Brown writes that AT&T, Verizon and Sprint devices are all throttled in some way, but T-Mobile devices are not. Brown suggests that AT&T limits HSPA+ and LTE to below their peak speeds, while Verizon permanently throttles LTE, both Verizon and Sprint throttle down 3G, and signal issues for T-Mobile and AT&T are caused by band preferences set by Apple. [via 9to5Mac]
Apple’s upcoming iRadio music streaming service will feature virtual radio stations akin to Pandora’s, according to a new report, but will differ in selling “highly targeted” interstitial audio ads and onscreen ads using the iOS iAds service. Advertisers will be able to target users based on location, as well as entertainment tastes, due to Apple’s collection of user data from the device and iTunes account. These ads would conceivably be more pricey and desirable than Pandora ads, which can’t target users as specifically, relying on only several comparatively basic pieces of information. Selling ads and songs through iTunes will reportedly enable Apple to offer the service for free to iOS users, though it’s unknown if there will be a subscription-based alternative without ads. If the report is accurate, iRadio will notably not include on-demand song selection, which Spotify offers to mobile users who pay a monthly fee. [via Ad Age]
Apple has released iTunes 11.0.4, which “fixes a problem that may cause iTunes to quit if you switch between wired and wireless syncing.” Also, an issue that forced users to repeatedly login to the iTunes Store is resolved. The update is available through the Mac App Store, and will soon be offered through the iTunes download page as well.
Two hacks capable of exploiting Apple products have recently surfaced. Plexconnect allows the Plex media player client to run on Apple TV without jailbreaking the device. While an iOS Plex app has been available, this new hack puts Plex on the Apple TV with nothing more than a brief connection between the Apple TV and a computer, thanks to a trick that re-routes the Trailers application to a different web address. Apple will likely respond quickly to patch this exploit.
Another Apple hack comes through a phone charger and exploits iOS devices. Researchers from Georgia Tech claim to have developed an accessory that can invisibly install malware on a device running the newest version of iOS. The malicious charger is built around a $45 open-source single-board computer, and it can allegedly compromise an iOS device in less than a minute. Researchers plan on revealing the charger at July’s Black Hat security conference; it’s unclear whether the charger uses a Dock Connector or Lightning interface. [via 9to5Mac, Forbes]