Here comes iOS 7

Internet lines will be buzzing later today as Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iOS 7 upgrade is released, and millions of users download the latest update for their iPhones and iPads.

It’s been hailed as a new beginning for the technology giant. The new operating system has a cleaner look than its predecessors, and has been described by Apple CEO Tim Cook as “the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone”.

The new operating system was officially unveiled in June, but will be available for download today, meaning Australian users may be able to get hold of the update later this evening. Apple hasn’t officially stated when the update will be available, but from previous releases it could be tomorrow before Australians can experience the new iOS.

Only the latest model iPhones, iPads and iPods will receive the new update, starting from the iPhone 4, iPad 2 and the latest generation iPod.

The new software has been designed to make the iPhone screen appear bigger, as it’s currently dwarfed by smartphones from Samsung and Sony amongst others. Gone are the 3d effects in favour of flat, colourful icons and layered design.

Among the features are a new control centre that has been added to allow users quick access to change settings, AirDrop – which allows users to share content, iTunes Radio, smarter multi-tasking and a makeover of the camera app, although only the latest iPhone 5S will have full access to all the new camera features. That’s only a small list of all the new features, but for most users should be worth the upgrade.

An important point worth noting is to make sure you make a backup of your phone, before updating, just in case something goes wrong during the upgrade. If you’re not sure how to, Gizmodo has written a guide on how to backup your phone.

Foolish takeaway

This Fool will be eagerly awaiting the release to see whether the hype was worth it – Apple has already come in for criticism for a lack of more innovative features.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.

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