The next iteration of Apple's mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch has finally been revealed to the masses.
Apple unveiled the dramatically redesigned iOS 7 at its WWDC keynote speech last night, and launched a developer beta today.
The new look, dreamt up by Apple design guru Jony Ive, is stark, minimalist, colourful, and completely free of skeuomorphic textures.
And what better way to explain the differences between iOS 7 and its predecessor, iOS 6, than through the medium of screenshots?(In all of the below instances, the iOS 6 screenshot is the top one.)
The new iOS Home screen for iPhone. Apple has redrawn all of the icons for its first-party apps and dropped all the shadows. Oh, and the app dock is no longer a pane of reflective glass.
You get to the new Spotlight search by dragging the icons downward.
Also new: you can finally hide the Newsstand app inside a Folder, while Folders themselves can have multiple pages. Plus, the new animated clock icon shows the right time, down to the second.
Any self-respecting iOS gamer's most-used first-party app is, of course, Game Center.
The faux pool table felt of Game Center in iOS 6 is gone, and bubbles are in. Maybe they're supposed to represent the bubbles from Bubble Witch Saga
and Bubble Bobble
That orange 'Turns' bubble seems to support asynchronous turn-based games, so you can see all your Words With Friends
and Hero Academy
games from one screen.
With emails, Apple's stark and minimalist direction for iOS 7 is very apparent. Everything is sat on different shades of white, rather than chunky blue menu bars.
You can see the new fonts here, and also observe how the tweaked line spacing actually shows less content in the new version of the operating system than in iOS 6.
Functionally, the Weather 'widget' is pretty much the same. Yahoo!'s tech still drives Apple's Weather tool.
Those fancy animations are now full screen, though, so you'll see more rain, thunderstorms, snowfall, and - for everyone in Britain - clouds.
This Calculator application really reminds me of a Windows Phone app. It's so simple you could mock it up in Microsoft Paint
But while the buttons have been, well, 'de-buttoned', the app works exactly the same as it always has.
The real change in iOS 7 is the removal of visual metaphors. You'll no longer see a pad of lined yellow paper when writing notes - you'll just see a blank white sheet.
There is actually a faint paper-like texture in the new incarnation of the Notes app, though.
So, iOS 7 is not completely
devoid of artificial textures.
The updated App Store app in iOS 7 is very familiar, albeit with a fresh lick of paint on its surface.
Genius has been replaced by 'Near Me', which displays apps that are popular in your current location.
Oh, and apps now update themselves. And, yes, you can turn off automatic updates in the Settings (on a global scale, mind, and not app-by-app).
Any self-respecting mobile gamer's second most popular iOS destination is, of course, the Pocket Gamer
home page in Safari.
As in Safari on iOS 6, the search bar gets out of your hair here when you start scrolling down the page.
There's a swish new tab interface, really easy access to private browsing, and links from the Twitterverse.
We'll have much more on all the new features of iOS 7 throughout the week.
Remember that all features and visual elements are subject to change before iOS 7 goes live to the masses in the autumn.