iOS 7 Beta was announced at the Apple WWDC that took place in June 10th 2013. It ended a lots of rumors, speculations and predictions of what the new major update of iOS would be.
Apple made a complete overhaul of the iOS starting with the user interface UI, the icon shapes, and the features. Although this is a beta release, it gives us an idea in what direction Apple is moving with iOS. I will discuss the most exciting new features while new beta releases, and internal code reveals more features to come in next beta's let alone the final release of iOS 7 which is planned in the fall of 2013.
The whole user interface UI and colors are whiter and brighter. Everything is transparent. When you open any of the iOS windows, you can see through them, and the background color will show through in a nice effect, that gives the iOS user interface a different look based on the background.
iOS 7 Beta Lock Screen:
The lock screen of iOS 7 is changed that there is no "Slide to Unlock" bar anymore that we are familiar with in iOS 5, and iOS 6. You can simply slide left to right anywhere on the lock screen to unlock your iPhone.
You can have dynamic wall paper now with a new Parallax effect. the iOS 7 Beta version came with only two dynamic wall papers. But I expect the final release to have several ones.
You can also enable a Parallax effect. This parallax effect gives your iPhone lock screen and home screen a 3D look.
Whenever you move your iPhone, the background picture moves slightly to give this 3rd dimension.
Also, you can still easily access the camera from the lock screen by siding your finger up at the iPhone camera icon.
If you have a lock key, you will be asked to enter it before you see the home screen.
The Home Screen:
All the default iPhone applications have new icons shape and color. Not only that, but each application changed dramatically in look and features. Every iPhone icon has a different flat color and dimension.
The home screen became brighter in general. It is predicted that iPhone icons will also be dynamic which means that the weather for example will be updated to whereever you are right in the home screen.
You can also see that Facetime has its own icon instead of the confusing way to make Facetime calls on the iPhone.
Control center for iOS 7 is one of the most exiting new features, and one of the long awaited ones. Accessing the iPhone controls and settings has always been a hassle on the iPhone. It is not that you will always adjust the settings, but to do so, you have to make several taps to reach the area you want to change.
Control center for iOS 7 makes access to some of the most used settings a tap away from anywhere on your iPhone.
iOS 7 beta gives access to some usefull applications such as flash light button, iOS 7 iPhone Camera, Timer, and a Calculator. Those are all nice little apps that you will often use.
Moreover, from control center, you can access your music player, AirDrop to share files with other iOS and Mac users around you, and of course, you can quickly access AirPlay right from the control center.
iOS 7 Beta Notification Center:
The notification center in iOS 7 took several changes from the known iOS 6 notification center. Some changes are still mysterious while others are welcome. Facebook, and Twitter are removed, but they are expected to come back in next beta.
You now have three tabs at the top of the notification center in iOS 7.
The "Today" tab will show you all the things and events that are taking place today. You can show "ALL events", or just the "missed" ones.
Apple realizes that one of the most important factors in deciding the size of the iPhone screen is its one handed operation. It is very easy to hold your iPhone in one hand and navigate through your apps.
I rarely use the physical home button because every action I have is assigned to a sliding gesture using Activator on my iPhone 5.
iOS 7 Beta has some new gestures, but the final release is expected to have more.
Sliding from top reveals the notification center as we know. Sliding from the bottom at anytime reveals the Control Center. Moreover, while you are in Mail , iPhone Safari, you can now slide left or right from the edge of the screen to navigate forward, or backward.
You can use this left/right sliding effect with all supported iPhone applications including Contacts, Settings, mail, Notes and many others.
The search screen is gone. You cant now slide all the way to the left to access the Spot Light or the search screen. Simply slide your finger down in the middle of any home screen, and you will get a keyboard and a search bar.
You can search your iPhone from anywhere in the home screen.
iOS 7 Beta Folders:
The folders in iOS7 are completely redesigned from the previous iPhone Folders. You can still insert an App inside an App to create an iPhone folder, but the effect is different.
Your screen will not split to show what is inside a folder. A new square window will pop up with the Apps inside that folder.
You can now have many Apps inside each folder, and you can swipe left and right to see more icons.
It is also expected to be able to create folders inside folders.