Apple reveals iOS 7 development status; 700 millionth iOS device to ship soon

Summary:While we all wait for the next iPhone, it's time to figure out how the operating system is doing first.

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The day many tech analysts and avid consumers have been waiting for has finally arrived -- and the pressure might be higher for Apple now more than ever.

See also: CNET live blog from Cupertino headquarters

The big ticket expected on the docket today is the introduction is a new iPhone, but before we can get to that or even a "one more thing" surprise, let's get some other stuff out of the way.

A good place to start would be the mobile operating system.

Already introduced earlier this year, CEO Tim Cook and company offered an update on the development status of iOS 7.

With a now somewhat-familiar flatter design, senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi informed the keynote audience at Apple's Cupertino, Calif. headquarters about what is going on with the platform.

Some of the new tidbits are a bit lackluster (see: new notification sounds), and others seem to answer more innovative wishes (new sources for Siri).

Here's an overview of what we can now expect, according to Federighi:

  • Over 200 new features promised
  • Siri can give search results from Twitter, Wikipedia, and more online sources
  • Search from home screen versus swipe-to-side of iOS 6
  • AirDrop photo sharing
  • Camera Roll: Users can zoom out and out to display an entire year's worth of photos in one shot
  • iOS 7 will include iTunes Radio

Even though Apple fans have been waiting for some time now for the latest iteration of the mobile OS, consumer interest obviously hasn't been waiting given that Cook boasted that the 700th million iOS-powered device is expected to ship by October.

But the wait is almost over as iOS 7 is now scheduled to finally roll out to the masses on September 18 for free.

It will be supported on iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini, and fifth generation of the iPod touch.

That includes the new iPhone 5C and 5S, both introduced later on Tuesday morning.

But iOS 7 wasn't the only mobile software treat in store for iPhones and iPads today.

Cook retook the keynote stage to talk up Apple's "best-selling mobile productivity apps." The CEO didn't discuss much in the way of software upgrades, but he did offer a nugget of information that should please new customers.

Even though they were already touted as best sellers in the App Store, Cook revealed that the mobile version of the Work suite (Keynote, Pages, Numbers) along with iPhoto and iMovie will be free on all new iOS devices starting immediately.

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Images via CNET

Topics: Mobility, Apple, Hardware, iOS, PCs

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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