iOS 7 - what to expect

There are 2 things you should know first about iOS7, the new operating system for iPhones and iPads. The first is that it's under the direction of Sir Jony Ive, Apple's design guru. It's the first time that Ive has had overall control of iOS, so we're expecting the changes to be more akin to an overhaul rather than the minor tweaks we saw for the release of iOS 6.

The second thing you should know is that it's running late. Such is the importance of the new operating system; Apple has allegedly been drafting engineers across from the Apple Mac OS X 10.9 project to help to meet their deadlines. We don't know exactly how late it will be but it could be that it's not ready for the launch of the iPhone 5S in June. We'd expect Apple to err on the side of caution, given the problems the premature release of Apple Maps caused.

So what can we expect? Well, believable rumours are a little thin on the ground but here's what we've heard.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Ive is pushing for a more minimalist and starker look, with the design allegedly moving away from the skeuomorphic feel  - where graphics which look like real-life objects and textures - of previous Apple operating systems. According to reports, the functionality and features will be simplified and sleeker.

There are also rumours that the new operating system will display live information on the home screen. With iOS 6 only a few apps can show basic information, such as the Mail app showing you how many unread emails you have. However, Android phones better this with their Widgets. So we're expecting  iOS 7 to show you more information and have a more customisable home screen.

The iPhone 5S is expected to see Apple succumb to the inevitable and feature the contactless payment technology NFC, so iOS 7 is expected to see amends to the interface to incorporate this new technology, including changes to the existing Passbook application (which may encourage many to use it for the first time!) It's also rumoured to feature a new music streaming service from Apple called iRadio.

Other than that, everything is wild speculation, although there are plenty of people offering their opinions on what iOS 7 should do!

I'm sure there are plenty of things you'd like to change about Apple's iPhone operating system. What would changes would you like to see with iOS 7?