Apple Introduces iTunes Radio, iOS 7, New MacBook Air and More
It also has a WiFi-based feature called AirDrop, for sharing files with friends right around you. "No need to run around the room bumping your phone," said Federighi, taking a dig at Samsung's S Beam feature, which requires users to touch their phones to share information. Federighi called iOS 7 the "most significant iOS update since the original iPhone," and Cook said it represented "an important new direction, and in many ways a new beginning." Somewhere in the two-hour whirlwind Apple also announced that its iBookstore will be available on OS X and introduced iWork for iCloud, a way to create documents in a browser, on a Mac or PC, that can be shared with an iPhone. This feature is available in Beta form in iCloud, as of June 10.Analyst Avi Greengart, with Current Analysis, says this is just the right message. "All the improvement to the user interface adds up to a much better experience—particularly Multitasking and Control Center—but the core navigation constructs ... haven't changed," Greengart told eWEEK. "That means it will still feel familiar to hundreds of millions of users and there should not be much of a learning curve." Ovum analyst Jan Dawson, however, said the nearly unrecognizable new version will be "polarizing" to some users. "Some people will love that their phone feels new and different, while others will be disoriented by the newness," Dawson said in a June 10 research note sent out after the keynote. One detail from the morning that did disappoint—some of us, anyway—was the news that iOS 7 will arrive this fall. There has been endless talk in the mobile community about how Apple will introduce the next iPhone this summer, so as not to repeat last year's experience of having Samsung sell tens of millions of Galaxy S smartphones through the long summer months, while iPhone users with any sense of newness long gone, either sat around frustrated or made the switch. "I think Apple is willing to tolerate Samsung getting the glory this summer. Apple is content to patiently wait until demand reaches a fever pitch for the new iPhone and then reap the benefits of stirring its loyal customer base into a frenzy," Technology Business Research analyst Jack Narcotta told eWEEK. "Taking the time this summer to get iOS 7 really humming along and amplifying the iOS experience—not just the hardware or apps—is of paramount importance to Apple," Narcotta added. "A great, flawless experience keeps existing customers loyal and entices a new wave of users into the Apple ecosystem." Follow Michelle Maisto on Twitter.
WWDC in Summary
Federighi said that installing iO7 on a current iPhone will make users feel like they have an entirely new phone, "but one you already know how to use."