Apple’s special press event Tuesday was announced a week ago, but many of the aspects of the presentation were already known: iOS 7 will be coming out soon, Apple is offering a cheaper, colorful iPhone, and many iPhone 5S features were familiar to the attending press. This briefing will quickly break down the most important aspects of the presentation. As developers, it’s important to keep in mind that the App Store will be bogged down for a few weeks as other developers push through updates to keep up with the changes for iOS 7.
iOS 7 Release Date
Apple’s brand new operating system will debut to the public on September 18, 2013. iOS 7 is a complete redesign of the look of Apple’s system, trading skeuomorphism for flat designs. The software update adds a Control Center for one-swipe access to media playback controls, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi toggles, brightness controls, redesigned folders, and new features for both Safari and Game Center.
iOS 7 was announced at Apple’s WWDC this summer. Here are some of the key features of iOS 7:
· Updated design: New, skinnier font, flatter icons, less shine, and more white than grey overall.
· Control Center: Access this pull up tray by swiping from the bottom (even in lock screen) and adjust brightness and volume as well as wifi, Airplane Mode, rotation lock, Do Not Disturb, and bluetooth. Access a built-in flashlight, camera, calculator, and Safari.
· Improved multitasking: Third party apps now consume less battery life when they run in the background
· Safari: Now opens in full screen mode. Tabs are now unlimited and viewable in a scrollable carousel. Search field is now a unified smart search field.
· AirDrop: Sharesheets are more easily shared, with no NFC required.
· Camera: Swipe through settings like panorama, HDR, or square.
· Photos: Photo gallery now organizes photos by day and location, and users can search within them. Apple has its own basic photo filters now, accessible in Edit Photos. Photos can be shared through AirDrop, iCloud, and Photo Streams.
· Siri: Male and female voices are now available, as well as French and German (with more languages to come). Siri can now be used to adjust settings like Bluetooth. Siri now draws on Twitter, Wikipedia, and Bing.
· App Store: Users can now search for apps based on their location.
· Automatic updates: Apps will now automatically update in the background.
· iTunes Radio: Much like Pandora, users can start a radio station off of songs, artists, or albums that they like, and additional songs will be pulled from the iTunes catalog. The service will be free with ads.
· Activation lock: Users can now turn off their phone remotely, and the phone will require a user to enter the iCloud password associated with that phone. This will hopefully prevent theft.
iPhone 5C: Color and Plastic
Apple will start offering the iPhone 5C on September 20, 2013. The back of the phone will be made of plastic, available in five colors, instead of glass or aluminum. The screen size is the same as the iPhone 5S (a four-inch 1136×640 display) and, like the iPhone 5S, requires a Lightning connector. Inside the phone is an Apple A6 system-on-a-chip and 1GB of RAM. It has an eight-megapixel camera with a single-LED flash. The 16GB storage model will sell for $99, and the 32GB storage model will sell from $199 (both prices with 2 year contract agreements with carriers). Both phones come with options for dual-band 802.11n and LTE.
iPhone 5S: The “Gold Standard”
The new iPhone, the iPhone 5S, will be available at the same time as the iPhone 5C. The screen is the same four-inch, 1136×640 display as the iPhone 5, with a new Touch ID scanner that will use the home button to scan its owner’s fingerprint, which can then be used as a password. Inside the phone is an A7 chip, reported to be “desktop quality,” boosting the CPU and GPU performance, giving it twice the general-purpose and floating point registers of its predecessor and is up to twice as fast at performing CPU tasks. The phone supports OpenGL ES 3.0, and Apple claims that the graphics performance in the 5S is 56 times better than in the original iPhone released six years ago. Most importantly, the iPhone 5S will have an M7 motion-sensing chip that allows the phone to process data from sensors without waking up the phone itself, with important implications for gaming. The camera gets an upgrade as well, with a five-element lens at an f2.2 aperture and a 15 percent larger sensor.
What This Means for Developers
Much of what we knew would change for developers was mentioned during the WWDC iOS7 announcement: the free flashlight, for example, will push some fo the most popular apps off the store and filtering from inside the native camera app will force the major camera app developers to offer new and exciting features to entice users.
The changes present from the new presentation, however, were two-fold:
1. Full iWorks Suite going free: having apps built by Apple for it’s mobile devices for free is going to make other productivity and business apps much harder to gain traction, as these will most likely dominate the charts. Pages, for example, was one of the higher price points in the store at $9.99 and other competitive apps priced themselves accordingly. Now, why would users pay around $10 for an app when a full featured competitor is entirely free?
2. The M7 and CoreMotion API’s offer exciting new possibilities not just to health and fitness apps, but to mobile games as well. Zombies, Run is just one example of a game that already uses the your movement to propel you across both a real and gaming world – the ability to track information while the phone is in sleep mode should also provide increased battery performance for simultaneously running the CoreMotion and gaming apps.
No comments yet.