A new generation of Apple phones and tablets are going to be with us this year, along with a new version of their operating system, iOS 7, which is rumoured to have major differences from its predecessors.
But why is this? Well, since Apple's executive shakeup, their design guru Sir Jonathan Ive has gained more responsibility, and many believe that his leadership of the Human Interface Software teams at Apple could lead to significant changes for iOS 7.
So when can we expect Apple's new operating system? And what do we want to see in iOS 7? Let's find out:
When Will We See iOS 7?
It is very easy to assume that Apple's OS will be rolled out alongside the newest iPhone, which we could see as early as the summer.
But there have been strong rumours that have surfaced early in April that suggest that Apple could be behind schedule with iOS 7. This could be due to a significant user interface overhaul that is taking place under Ive's leadership.
1. Pushing for a "Flatter Design"
Many sources, including the Wall Street Journal, have said that Ive is pushing for a "flatter design" for iOS 7. This means that he is hoping to make the design cleaner and simpler, although any change made aesthetically is likely to be mild and conservative.
2. Location Based App for Travellers
Apple is said to be working on a new location-based emergency app that could be introduced with iOS 7.
We think this because the US Patent and Trademark Office recently published a "location-based emergency information app" patent administration. This document described an app that would enable travellers and holiday makers to access details for local emergency services wherever they are in the world.
1. Face Recognition
Maybe we're a generation or two early for this one, but it would be pretty awesome if iOS 7 could use the front-facing camera and facial recognition software to unlock your phone. Although it probably won't save you any time, it would definitely look and feel more impressive.
2. Multiple User Accounts
Apple's current version of iOS doesn't allow users to create multiple accounts, and since many couples and families share a single iPad, we would love to see a system that enables individual accounts so that everyone can have their own customised experience. Users will therefore be able to access their own email accounts, bookmarks, contacts, calendars and so on without compromise.
Introducing widgets would give users the ability to customise their homescreens with their favourite content, giving them instant access to the latest news, weather, or the first line of their emails. But this would be a big step for Apple, as previous versions of iOS haven't warranted this level of customisation. Although widgets work really well for Android devices, we are unlikely to see them feature on Apple's next OS - but we're keeping our fingers tightly crossed.
The next generation of Apple phones are slated for a summer release.
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