WSJ: iOS 7 Will Bring A Brand New Look, New Ways To Share & Music Streaming

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Today’s the day, folks! In just a few hours, Apple will kick off WWDC 2013 with a first look at its next-generation iOS 7 operating system. We’re expecting big changes with this update, and according to sources for The Wall Street Journal, those will include a brand new look, new ways to share your photos and videos, and a new music streaming service.

You can also expect to see a glimpse of OS X 10.9 and new notebooks at the event.

“The next version of its iOS software—now overseen by Apple’s longtime hardware-design guru, Jonathan Ive—will have a new look, according to people involved in its development,” WSJ reports.

The new look will reportedly abolish icons and apps that resemble real-life objects. So there will be no leather in the Reminders app, no green fabric in Game Center, and no wood in Newsstand. Instead, you can expect “solid backgrounds and more white space,” the people said.

These skeuomorphic designs receive a lot of criticism now, but they were first introduced to make it easier for people to use iOS. The designs instantly gave certain apps a familiar feel, helping those who were new to smartphones and tablets feel more comfortable.

In addition to the new look, iOS 7 is expected to bring “new ways to share photos and videos with other iPhone users.” It’s not completely clear what that means, but given that it’s supposed to be an iPhone — or iOS — exclusive, maybe it will be an improved Photo Stream feature.

“Apple is also expected to announce a long-expected streaming-music service, new laptops and an update to its Mac operating system,” WSJ reports.

The music streaming service is likely to be iRadio, which Apple has been working on for some time, according to the rumors. The Cupertino company apparently finished wrapping up deals with all the major music labels last week — just in time for its grand unveiling later today.

As for the laptop updates, we’re expecting refreshed MacBook Airs and MacBook Pros with Intel’s new Haswell processors. Some rumors have also suggested Apple will finally update the Mac Pro, which has gone without a major refresh for almost five years.

WSJ suggests that a lot is riding on Apple’s announcements today, and that the company is under pressure to deliver a new counterattack to the increasing competition from Android-powered devices from companies like Samsung.

“Whether the announcements can give Apple the sizzle it has lost remains to be seen,” Jessica Lessin writes, before citing a 33-year-old taxi driver from California who says his friends’ Galaxy devices are “cooler” than his iPhone now because they run several apps at once.

Source: The Wall Street Journal