CNET - SAN FRANCISCO -- To silence a growing chorus of discontent against an operating system design that's remained more or less static since 2007, Apple needed to go big. With iOS 7, it did. Apple's crisp, newly announced OS update gives the mobile operating system a radical new look and some first-for-Apple features for iPhone and iPad fans, like quick-access system controls, automatic app updates, and Apple's AirDrop file-sharing system.
The visual overhaul, which becomes available this fall, is a clean sweep that changes absolutely everything, from the typography and color schemes to the typical icon and button shape across the entire platform. And we mean the whole thing -- from the Safari browser to the photo app.
While there are a few notable new features in iOS 7, the new interface is by far the platform's deepest felt and most profoundly changed of the entire batch. Apple's other features are relatively uninspiring and do little to challenge competitors; however, we have a feeling that Apple is saving some major reveals for its next big iPhone announcement.
Gone are the skeuomorphic interface elements that make icons and apps look like leather or paper or felt. Gone, too, are the slightly bubbly icon effects. Flat graphics and a dappled, pastel color scheme bring an elegant look. When you move the phone or tablet, Apple promises a 3D effect that makes your wallpaper appear some distance behind the icons.
Circles enter the design language, along with visuals that look nearly transparent, like a pane of glass. See what we mean in the slideshow above. The most important part of any deep design work is that it feels smooth and connected from screen to screen. We had a chance to sit down with some of the folks from Apple after the keynote and check out iOS 7 for ourselves. More