iOS 7 Will Look Drastically Different On iPhone 5S

The iOS 7 is bringing a bit of a revolution to Apple.

The mobile operating system that will be used on the iPhone 5S announced Tuesday (as well as on the iPad and iPod touch) has a radical new interface, one that seems to embrace its digital world.

Alexis Madrigal — senior editor at The Atlantic and a visiting scholar at Berkeley’s Center for Science, Technology, Medicine, and Society — explains that iOS 7 is a complete, post-Steve Jobs overhaul of Apple’s operating system.

To be clear: If you’re an iPhone user, everything — your email, your calendar, your texts, your phone dialer, your photos, your notes — will look and work differently,” Alexis writes.

As Madrigal explains, previous versions of the iPhone and other Apple touch products used visual cues that helped people connect the apps they were using to real-world objects. The tabs of web browsers looked like real folders, the Notes app showed a pad of yellow paper with lines on it, and even the camera had the look and sound of a mechanical shutter.

With iOS 7, all those things are gone, and instead of the subtle clues that helped people understand how and when to use the apps, the system has simple animations showing them how apps slide and move.

The new system, which is expected to be unveiled with the iPhone 5S, has another new concept — a light source in the phone, rather than one shining down on it.

“What it all means is that Apple has decided we’re all finally natives in the world of the screen,” Madrigal wrote. “And whether or not we like the idea, we can do things on our phones that are impossible in the physical world. The gadget is now the official center of the world Apple has created, and it needs no outside help.”

Users who want a jump on iOS 7 before buying the iPhone 5S can check out a review and some tips at PCMag.com.