iOS 7 vs. iOS 6

Features Tony Crammond 15:58, Jun 10 2013

We take a look at the major differences between the current iteration of iOS and the upcoming iOS 7

Apple iOS 7 is supposedly the biggest change to iOS since the original iPhone so in this post, we'll compare iOS 7 to iOS 6 and see what the big deal is. Apple isn't just being hyperbolic ... iOS 7 is shaping up to be a lot different than its predecessor. 

iOS 7 vs. iOS 6: aesthetic

iOS 6 doesn’t look terribly different than the original version of the software that launched way back when. The OS is still simple and attractive, but that has become the problem for some people because, as the saying goes, a change is as good as a rest.

iOS 7 has been torn apart and redesigned. The icons we all know and love are still there, but they have been redrawn. Instead of textured images we have flat, direct representations. Out the window goes creativity and in comes plain, black and white all over.

The platform will also see a new unlock screen – so wave goodbye to the slide-to-unlock feature that has become part of your muscle memory, and say hello to a flat, shine-free unlocking interface that has been toiled over by Sir Jony and his team.

For all the talk about a "flat" design, iOS 7 is actually a bit layered, as it will actually adjust to how you're holding and looking at it. Let's say you put a picture of your friends as the background, tilting the phone will produce more depth behind the icons and the image. It's neat. 

iOS 7 vs. iOS 6 notifications

A lot was made of Apple’s decision to mimic Android with its new pull-down notifications system, which was introduced back in iOS 5 and honed in iOS 6. In iOS 7 we’ll see the system kept but tweaked, both visually and in terms of performance.

Another cool new feature of iOS 7 which is missing from iOS 6 is the ability to quickly bring up hardware controls. This is called Control Center and this lets you swipe up from the bottom of the screen to quickly bring up things like the music controls, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and more. This has been a pet peeve of mine in iOS for some time, so I'm glad to see this landing with iOS 7. 

iOS 7 vs. iOS 6: core apps

iOS 6 has a bunch of great core apps that have evolved through the platform’s version history into highly usable parts of our day-to-day life. Those apps are still going to exist in iOS 7, but we strongly expect them to have been drastically re-designed to offer users a fuller, more iCloud friendly experience.

Aside from the new features, which we aren’t really in the know about right now, owing to Apple’s fanatical secrecy, there will be visual designs. Black and white (again) will be brought in across the board, with some color splashes added for organizational purposes in apps such as Calendar and Mail.

The upcoming version of the OS, which is due to drop next week at Apple’s WWDC, is also said to feature … brace yourselves … a Weather app that features animations! How very 2013!

iOS 7 vs. iOS 6: new additions

iOS 7 is also set to feature a few new bits and pieces in addition to design tweaks.

First off, the Music app has been redesigned and it features iTunes Radio. Previously rumored to be called iRadio, this provides streaming music recommendations based on your artist of choice or from hundreds of predetermined stations. It doesn't look to have the ability to call up specific tracks but I guess you can always just buy those from iTunes if you're incline. iTunes Radio will be free and supported by ads. 

Apple's Siri is also getting a much-needed boost, as you can now use it to ask for many other things. This includes deeper hoops into the hardware, so you can use your voice to check your last e-mail and even adjust the brightness. Oh, Siri will also be getting new voice options. 

iOS in the Car is an interesting new features which may not really bear fruit until 2014, when many car makers integrate this. This will let you take your iPhone's phone, music, Maps and iMessages directly into the in-car display and you can control it all with through Siri. 

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