What Apple announcements mean for mobile photographers
As expected, Apple revealed iOS 7 today at the 24th annual World Wide Developers Conference, and there's plenty for mobile photography enthusiasts to be excited about.
We shared our wishlist for Apple additions that could improve iPhone photography last week -- and we're happy to report that some of them even came true.
While Apple made some big announcements about its iTunes Radio streaming music service, the new OS X Mavericks, a new line of MacBook Airs and a Mac Pro that will support 4K displays, we paid closest attention to Apple's revamped mobile operating system and what it will bring to photographers on the go.
Big changes in iOS 7
Apple CEO Tim Cook called iOS 7 "the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone."
While no release date was promised at today's event, if Apple sticks to its previous release schedules, we can expect iOS 7 this September.
As expected, iOS 7 offers a "flatter" grid system design, led by Apple design guru Jony Ive. The look is clean and bright, thanks to a new nearly-neon color scheme and icon and typography revamps. Motion-tracking means your screen will change as you move, and more transparency will let you see more of your screen at once.
Camera app improvements
Following in the footsteps of Instagram and its ilk, Apple is bringing built-in photo filters to its Camera app. Filter options look familiar: you'll choose from black and white, heavy color saturations and similiar effects. You'll also be able to choose to shoot in square format within the camera app.
If, like us, you find yourself overwhelmed by your catalog of images in your Photos app, iOS 7 is bringing better organization. Photos are organized into "Moments" and "Collections," automatically sorted by location and date, with the ability to view at the Year level.
More iOS 7 features
Apple showed off a new Control Center which adds easy access to frequently-used features and settings such as music, brightness and the Camera app. A new Multitasking feature promises to improve battery life — a boon to iPhone 5 users frustrated by the new phone's tendency toward quick battery drain. Safari has been refreshed with scrollable stacked tabs. We'll also look forward to improved interaction between Apple's mobile and desktop platforms, with iOS push notifications available on your desktop.
Some additional highlights:
The most notable change to the Music app is the built-in iTunes Radio. Spotify users will find familiar features, with a focus on Stations, and integration accross your devices, including Apple TV.
Siri and iOS in the car
Siri got some attention with new voices and the abilty to handle more specific requests, such as "play last voicemail." Twitter, Wikipedia and Bing integration should also improve performance. Siri will also play a bit part in Apple's new iOS in the car feature that promise more eyes-free controls.
AirDrop will make it easier to share images and more with those around you, and works with any app that supports a share sheet.
Changes to iCloud include shared photo streams that allow others to add their images to the stream. You'll also be able to share video.
More specific searches will tailor your App Store shopping experience based on age-appropriate apps or those based on your location. Users will also see automatic app updates from the App Store.
If you missed it live, you can watch today's announcments on Apple's website.
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