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iOS 7: User interface overhaul
The iPhone and iPad user interface is expected to change dramatically by making it much "flatter," putting it in line with many already similarly-styled apps available for the platform.
With Scott Forstall no longer at the software helm, and Jony Ive now taking the reins, it's more than likely that the hardware chief will also see major changes to the user interface aesthetic and design as well. According to reports, the "flat" design will more specifically simplify the icons and user interface.
Exactly how far these changes will go remains to be seen. Designer Tim Green created a mock-up that gives an idea of what the new user interface could look like.
It's also expected that other popular services, such as Vimeo and Flickr, will be integrated deeper into the platform, along with additional sharing features.
iOS 7: Fingerprint, biometric technology?
Following Apple's $356 million purchase of fingerprint and biometric security firm AuthenTec last July, we can expect a number of security-related features embedded in the next-generation software. But what it points to, if the analysts and pundits are correct, could be a fingerprint sensor in the next iterations of the iPhone and iPad.
It could also open up the possibility that Apple may bring out near-field communications (NFC) technology to its phones to open up its devices to wireless mobile payments.
iOS 7: No more skeuomorphism!
One of the key changes expected in the next-generation mobile platform is the removal of skeuomorphism — a design that emulates the real item. The Notes app looked like a notepad, the Contacts app looked like a leather-bound organizer, and the Game Center sported a felt-like interface.
Instead, all apps will likely look and perform the same. New user interface guidelines may also be introduced as part of iOS 7 to bring a more consistent approach to the platform's design.