Apple iOS 7 now available for download

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| September 18, 2013

iPhone 5 iOS 7 official

Apple has officially released iOS 7 to the public, just like it said it would at last week's event. The update brings with it the biggest visual overhaul that iOS has received to date, complete with a new lock screen, new app icons and a refreshed status bar that replaces the traditional signal indicator bars with a set of five dots. Apple has also tweaked the look of its multitasking menu in iOS 7, ditching the old icon-based menu for a new card-like design that shows a snapshot of each app's screen.

One app that's gotten a pretty big makeover with iOS 7 is the built-in camera. Users can now choose to shoot photos in an Instagram-friendly square format in addition to traditional photos, panoramas and video, and Apple has also added in a number of its own filters that can be applied after capturing a shot. Once a photo is taken, it'll be added to the new-look Photos app, which now groups images into Years, Collections and Moments categories that are meant to help users find specific shots more quickly.

The iOS 7 update isn't just about refreshing existing aspects of Apple's mobile operating system, as the Cupertino firm has included some new features for users to mess around with as well. One of those is Control Center, a menu that contains system settings like Airplane Mode and Wi-Fi, music controls, a brightness slider and quick access to apps like a flashlight and calculator. Control Center can be accessed anywhere in iOS with a swipe up from the bottom of the display.

Another major addition to iOS 7 is iTunes Radio. This streaming radio service pulls its catalog from the iTunes library and offers over 200 stations for users to listen to for no charge. Stations can then be personalized to play more or less of a certain artist or type of music.

iOS 7 is available as a free over the air update for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod touch, iPad 2, iPad with Retina display and iPad mini. However, not all of the new features in iOS 7 will be available to all devices. The Panorama mode in the Camera app can only be accessed on the iPhone 4S or later and the fifth-gen iPod touch, for example, while Apple's new AirDrop file sharing feature is only available with the iPhone 5, fifth-gen iPod touch and fourth-gen iPad with Retina display.

If you've got one of the iOS 7-compatible devices and are ready to make the leap to Apple's latest software, you can check to see if the update is available for your device by going into Settings > General > Software Update. Alternatively, the update can be installed by plugging your device into a computer and downloading through iTunes. Once you've got iOS 7 up and running, be sure to swing by the comments section below to share your first impressions!