Craig Federighi, senior vice president of software engineering at Apple, left, greets Apple CEO Tim Cook after the introduction of iOS 7 during the keynote address of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference. (AP/USA Today)
SAN FRANCISCO - Apple, as expected, on Monday unveiled a dramatic re-design to its iOS software, which runs the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, at a developer's conference here.
The software, which is expected to be available to consumers in the fall, is slicker and more showy. Apple CEO Tim Cook calls it the "biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone."
The software upgrade is being overseen by Jony Ive, the legendary Apple exec who helped design the iPhone and iPad, who has devoted his efforts in past years to hardware.
In a late 2012 shakeup, he was put in charge of software as well.
The software update is "like getting an entirely new phone, but one you already know how to use," says Apple senior vice-president Craig Federighi.
The typography, grids and icons have all been given a facelift.
Apple showed ten new features to iOS, highlighted by Control Center.
From the home screen, you can immediately jump into system settings (like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi) without having to swipe to another screen.
On the new iOS, the camera and photos app get a new look.
Open the camera app, and beyond stills or video, you get two other labeled options: shooting the photo as a square picture, or a panorama. It's also adding Instagram-like filters to pretty up the pictures.
In the photo app, Apple is bring organization to the hundreds of photos, using the camera information about where they were shot into folders.
AirDrop is a new feature that's Apple's answer to Samsung's Galaxy S line of cameras, which let other Galaxy users share photos by clicking the phones together. AirDrop lets other iOS users send photos directly to each other, without opening text message or e-mail to do so.
Apple also showed off features to a coming operating system upgrade for Mac computers, called OSX Mavericks. Highlight: adding tags to saved files will make it easier to find them during computer searches.
Apple also showed it's answer to Pandora, iTunes Radio, which will be available on computers and mobile devices later this year. The program brings in pre-programmed radio stations to iTunes, and will let listeners create stations based on their favorite artists. It's more akin to online radio services like Slacker than Pandora, which uses a computerized system to determine stations based on your musical tastes.
The service will be ad-supported.
At WWDC 2012, Apple entered the hornets nest when it kicked Google Maps out of IOS and replaced it with its own maps feature. Consumers were loudly disappointed, and CEO Tim Cook apologized and some of the execs responsible left the company.
At WWDC 2013, Apple side-stepped the maps brouhaha, by talking little about maps or how the improvements were going.
Beyond software, Apple announced new versions of its popular MacBook Air laptops, the ultra-thin and light computers.
Apple says battery life has been dramatically improved for the new models, going to 9 hours (from 5 hours) from the 11 inch edition, and 12 hours (from 7) for the 13 inch model.
The new Airs went on sale today.