New Apple operating system boasts hundreds of new features, including music streaming service and contactless sharing.
Some critics have declared Apple has lost its edge to Samsung in recent months, but the Cupertino company now introduces iOS 7 and says it's the most important refresh since the launch of the original iPhone.
The operating system comes with a new yet familiar interface, which is designed to make content take advantage of all available screen space. Seemingly this is acknowledging the fact Samsung's smartphones continue to grow in size, while Apple's largest, the iPhone 5, sports a four-inch screen.
* Control Centre is among the 'hundreds of new features,' providing users with access to Airplane Mode, wi-fi, Bluetooth, screen brightness and more. It's accessible with one upwards swipe from the bottom of the screen.
* Notification Centre is available from the lock screen to offer users an overview of their alerts. The new Today feature offers a summary of events for the day ahead, such as meetings and so on.
* Multitasking is also reportedly improved, with developers able to integrate functionality that offers their creations the ability to run in the background.
* Airdrop is a sharing solution that detects when contacts are close by, allowing the user to select content and make a P2P transfer without network or set-up required. The likelihood is that this is designed to eliminate demand for NFC.
* Camera app features filters – a move BlackBerry made with BB10 – which will undoubtedly have been inspired by Instagram. Users will be able to make real-time photo effects and switch between four camera options with a swipe.
* Photos app features Moments, a function that organises media based on time and location. It comes with iCloud sharing which allows family and friends to share and connect their collections in one place.
* Safari redesign supports full-screen browsing, while iCloud Keychain stores all passwords and credit card details securely across all devices. Parental Controls are enhanced to block access to adult material and other sites – presumably ones that will allow unauthorised purchases.
* Siri has new male and female voices and Twitter search integration, so users can ask what people are saying on the social network. Wikipedia and Bing are also integrated.
* Music app comes with iTunes Radio internet steaming service, which features over 200 stations. Available across iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac, PC and Apple TV.
* App Store now comes with more than 900,000 apps and features a new Kids category.
Developers can immediately access the iOS 7 beta software and SDK via developer.apple.com, while iOS 7 will be available as a free update for iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and iPod touch (fifth generation) this autumn.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s SVP of software engineering, said: "iOS 7 is the most significant iOS update since the original iPhone. To create it, we brought together a team with a broad range of expertise from design to engineering. With what we’ve been able to achieve together, we see iOS 7 as an exciting new beginning."