Like it or not, your Apple mobile device is going to look and act differently within a few weeks. On Tuesday, Apple will introduce the latest iPhone, and part of the tradition of the new device introduction is an operating system update that, at some point, most of us upgrade to.
So even without springing for the new phone, your older iPhone gets a free new coat of paint -- and potential pain -- with tools in different places and different ways to access apps.
Unlike past upgrades, iOS 7 is a from-the-ground-up overhaul. Apple CEO Tim Cook calls it "the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of iPhone" in 2007.
Basic functions have been altered. For instance, to go from one e-mail to the next, instead of swiping to the left or right, you swipe upward and downward.
For consumers, "It'll be a little shocking at first," says Evan Spiridellis, who runs the JibJab e-commerce company with brother Gregg. "It's a totally new feel."
JibJab has been working with a test version of iOS 7 over the summer. "After a few days of flipping around, people are going to love it."
Developer Joel Housman of Alexandria, Va., says consumers will also scream loudly, in the negative, upon the iOS 7 release, much as "every time Facebook makes an interface change, they complain about it."
It takes most consumers time to learn the intricacies of a new device, he says. The iOS overhaul will force folks "to learn how to do things differently" even on their current phones.
There are 600 million Apple mobile devices in use worldwide -- including just over 60 million of last year's new model, the iPhone 5.
So way more people will upgrade to the new operating system then pick up the new phone, which is expected to be in stores by the end of September.
The last update was widely accepted: IOS 6 is installed on more than 93% of Apple devices, according to the company. The new update works on devices back to the iPhone 4, the iPad 2 and fifth-generation iPod Touch.
Apple will begin reminding folks, when iOS 7 is available, that it's time to upgrade the software .
The iOS 7 launch comes in a year when Apple's once-strong lead over competitors has begun to fade. Google's Android -- and the hot-selling Samsung Galaxy series of smartphones -- now dominate worldwide, although the iPhone has the edge here in the United States. (continued...)
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Posted: 2013-09-11 @ 10:29am PT
@Tina: Yes -- Apple says iOS 7 will be available as a free software update starting on Wednesday, September 18 for iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and iPod touch (fifth generation). Although some features may not be available on all products.
Posted: 2013-09-10 @ 7:37am PT
Will this update include iPhone 4?
Posted: 2013-09-09 @ 1:46am PT
Mike B, Google seem to get away with a fragmented market of OS and apps, Apples market will be much less fragmented, plus technology gets better. I imagine Apple are looking after users with older devices to some degree by not giving them an OS which takes advantage of latest technologies so may just cripple their 3 year old device.
Posted: 2013-09-08 @ 9:35pm PT
Mike B, the only people it will aggravate is people who give crappy reviews to apps because it doesn't run on their 3S or Ipad1. Hint hint, buy a new device.
Posted: 2013-09-08 @ 5:45pm PT
Sounds good but how about supporting older iOS devices with iOS software. It's a big mistake not to help the poor and it will help the planet. I don't like forced updates that kill the apps. That's bad for business and people will quit Apple forever. Think about it.