Apple unveils ‘biggest change to operating system since the iPhone’

June 11, 2013

Apple yesterday unveiled a complete overhaul of its iOS software. After seeing it, I felt the new iOS7 software similar looks like Google’s Android system. According to gossip on Twitter, the new designs resulted from massive power struggle within Apple that saw head of iOS, Scott Forstall ousted in favor of Sir Jonathan Ive, who is said to have overseen the new software. A close friend who attended the conference told me on phone that from what he has seen, there’s a lot of exciting stuff coming out this year. As a MacBook Air die-hard, running on Intel’s fourth generation Core processor and integration with the latest 802.11ac WiFi networking is more than I expected. I was delighted about the both the new 11in and 13in MacBook Air models which have an increase in battery life. According to the details released, the 11in model will have 9 hours of battery life while the 13in version will have 12 hours of battery life. Contador Harrison will definitely have enough to work without having to carry a charger. What else would I have asked for from Apple intellectuals? Battery life is largely because of Intel’s new processor and vast improvements of upcoming Mac OS X Mavericks operating system. The new Mac Pro is only 1/8th the size of the last Mac Pro and will feature a black design that’s tubular with round edges. It will be equipped with Intel’s latest Haswell architecture Xeon E5 processors, with up to twelve cores. Dual AMD Firepro graphics cards, the new and faster Thunderbolt 2 ports with 20Gbps bandwidth and 4K monitor support.

App Store will also be able to update downloaded software automatically, a feature many have been yearning for. A developer beta of iOS7 is available today and the general release is set for the European autumn. The version of Apple’s desk and laptop operating system, OS X 10.9 “Mavericks” will have over 200 new features like tabs for the Finder file manager and better support for multiple displays. There is also a new version of the Safari web browser on the cards, with under the hood tweaks to bump up Javascript performance to make it more competitive against Google’s Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. New maps application with 3D views and interactive flyover is bundled with Mavericks, that allow itinerary sharing with iDevices and integration with Mail, Contacts and Calendar. Mavericks is currently in developer preview and expected to be released in a few months time via the App Store. Fortunately for us developers, we shall get the new Xcode 5 framework with new tools to measure app performance and energy use, and to test our code.The new iOS 7’s look colorful and has exciting visual enhancements like wallpapers that can have animation and icons onscreen respond to the user tilting the iPhone. This also allow for the background to have parallax movement in relation to the icons. iOS 7 now features a new Control Centre accessed by swiping upwards from the bottom of the screen that give users quick access to features like Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb ,music playback and a flashlight feature.

I must admit the semi-transparent window and design make it look fabulous. Just like Windows 8, Double clicking the Home button brings up a list of running apps and instead of Icons, it is the thumbnails of the actual app are brought up. Running apps can then be swiped up to close them. When it comes to multitasking, there is a major change because instead of allowing certain services to run in the background iOS 7 now allows for entire apps to run in the background. Luckily, to preserve battery life, iOS 7 monitors the user’s activity and establishes when an app is open and how often and updates information in that app based on this usage model. iOS 7 also features context sensitive swipe from the left edge of the screen to right. iOS7 will ship with the iTunes Radio audio streaming service with Siri and the service will either be free with advertising, or if you buy iTunes Match for US$24.95 a year, without ads. Updated Camera and Photos apps have Instagram like filters and other camera features while the Photos app allows automatic organization of photos by date and place in a more elegant manner. AirDrop app allows users to share their photos and videos not just on Twitter and Facebook but also directly to other iOS 7 users in the room via WiFi.

Contador Harrison