New look, new features in iOS 7
The software is going out to users as a free update this morning, a little more than a week after developers got a finalized version, and some three months after Apple first showed it off back in June.
The update is a complete visual overhaul to iOS, which looked much the same in its first six iterations. It also brings new features, including:
- A way to quickly adjust settings from inside any app
- iTunes Radio -- Apple's streaming music service
- An overhauled version of Siri, Apple's voice assistant software
- A reworked multitasking view that shows previews of what's happening within each app
- AirDrop file sharing (for Apple's newest iOS devices)
Users can find the update in iOS' settings app (Settings > General > Software Update), or by plugging their device into iTunes. Apple will also be shipping it on both the iPhone 5C and 5S on Friday.
You can read CNET's review of iOS 7 right here.
As with previous releases, iOS 7 cannot be installed on all devices. For this round it's the iPhone 4 and newer, the fifth-generation iPod Touch, and iPad 2 and newer (including the iPad Mini). Some features are also only available on Apple's latest models, like the new AirDrop tool, which only works on the iPhone 5 (and newer), fourth-generation iPad and iPad Mini, and fifth-generation iPod Touch. You can find more details on that here.
For many, the update is likely to warrant connecting to a Wi-Fi network. In the case of iPhone 4 users running iOS 6.1.3, the update to iOS 7 weighs in at a hefty 665 MB. And for the iPad 2, it's around 649 MB. Some users are also reporting that iOS is asking for nearly 3 GB of free space in order to install.