Apple launches iOS 7, along with new interface for iCloud

As promised last week, Apple has now begun to allow older iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch devices to start downloading iOS 7. This free update to Apple's mobile OS is a pretty major one, in terms of the changes the company has made to its user interface. It does away with the old icon design in favor of a "flat" look, much like Windows Phone devices currently have. You can expect to see many popular iOS apps to be updated over the next several days that will use the new look of iOS 7.

iOS 7 is also supposed to have a new method to search, an improved way to group images in Photos, and more. Apple has even thrown in a male voice for the first time to its Siri voice recognition system in this new update. Along with iOS 7, Apple has also made iTunes 11.1 available for download, adding in features such as iTunes Radio, where people can listen to 250 streaming radio channels or make their own. It also has Podcast Stations, where users can make their own podcast collections that automatically update with new episodes.

Apple has also decided to give its iCloud website interface a new look, one that is almost identical to the flat look of iOS 7. Apple has thrown in new interfaces for several apps including Mail, Calendar, Reminders, Notes, and Find my iPhone.

Source: Apple | Image via Apple

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AngelGraves13 said,
Anyone who installed iOS 7 last week able to sync with iTunes 11.1? Mine doesn't even see my phone.
Same here. On one iPhone it won't get past the setup screen. I'm getting a can't activate iPhone message and iTunes won't even detect the phone even with 11.1 installed.

Edit: it seems many users are reporting the same issue. One of my phones is essentially a brick until it can connect to Apple's servers.

I'm assuming that you are a developer and that's why you installed iOS last week, otherwise the problem is the same old attempt from Apple to block jail-broken devices.

Last time I did that with a 4s ended up selling the device totally useless. But is soo useful to jailbreak them.

JHBrown said,
Edit: it seems many users are reporting the same issue. One of my phones is essentially a brick until it can connect to Apple's servers.

Did it work with the 11.1 Beta?

Shadrack said,

Might have to throw the device into DFU mode and do an iOS restore.

I'll try that in a few. I'm playing around with the iPad mini right now. iOS 7 looks really sharp on this size screen.

I imagine next years OSX release will fall in line with iOS design. It's simply too much work for them to completely overhaul the UI of both in less than a year.

No point doing just iTunes when the rest of OSX hasn't changed

d/l OS OK, but will not install - Software Update not Available now, please try later. Don't know if this is because phone is not activated or not. Did upgrade to last iOS w/o activating phone.

Thanks Apple.

After several failed attempts at downloading iOS7, several successful downloads but failed installations, a successful download and then iTunes crashed halfway through the installation. I now have a £550 doorstop.

Its sad how unprepared Apple seems to be with server load. Consequence of updating so many devices at the same time. Still, they could implement some kind of bit torrent technology and completely avoid this kind of server-hammer grief.

At this point if you haven't started the update process, don't and wait for tomorrow. You may get it installed but their activation servers are being hammered as well. Not worth the device down time at the moment.

Shadrack said,
Its sad how unprepared Apple seems to be with server load. Consequence of updating so many devices at the same time. Still, they could implement some kind of bit torrent technology and completely avoid this kind of server-hammer grief.

At this point if you haven't started the update process, don't and wait for tomorrow. You may get it installed but their activation servers are being hammered as well. Not worth the device down time at the moment.

For a company with the resources of Apple, there are many others ways to handle server load, without resorting to a less controlled/secure peer to peer based distribution.

Remember Microsoft handles far more data for far more users for updates and software releases.

This is Apple either having problems or possibly not knowing what they are doing.

Mobius Enigma said,

For a company with the resources of Apple, there are many others ways to handle server load, without resorting to a less controlled/secure peer to peer based distribution.

Remember Microsoft handles far more data for far more users for updates and software releases.

This is Apple either having problems or possibly not knowing what they are doing.

Yeah, it does seem like a total fail on their part. I recall that iOS 6 rolled out much smoother than this.

Bit torrent doesn't have to be insecure though. Apple already requires "activation" of iOS installs a check to make sure what was downloaded was correct and uncorrupted. But it does leave a lot of wiggle room for folks who want to cause mischief. The nice thing about a peer-to-peer distribution model is it automatically scales with demand.

Shadrack said,

Yeah, it does seem like a total fail on their part. I recall that iOS 6 rolled out much smoother than this.

Bit torrent doesn't have to be insecure though. Apple already requires "activation" of iOS installs a check to make sure what was downloaded was correct and uncorrupted. But it does leave a lot of wiggle room for folks who want to cause mischief. The nice thing about a peer-to-peer distribution model is it automatically scales with demand.

Bit torrent can be a reasonable option, but there are reasons it isn't the best model to use, especially on mobile devices.

With any peer distribution, it shifts the load to the users and the user's providers, and this additional upstream bandwidth consumption is Apple's responsibility. This bandwidth isn't free and upstream is more expensive.

This also hinders ISPs and providers ability to use their caching servers which increases downstream bandwidth consumption and costs.

Security also still remains a concern, as there are ways to mask security compromises applied to the image that could get distributed and still pass the iOS security checks. (Which are fairly minimal as Apple depends on their distribution as part of their security control.)


Even with all this, there are enterprise/professional ways to use cache and stage servers that would remain under Apple control. They are dynamically available, fairly inexpensive and far more professional.

If Apple was budding game publisher, shifting bandwidth to users and using a peer technology would be a perfect fit. However, Apple is setting on more cash and resources than most companies in the history of the world ever dreamt of having access.

Side Note...
(In software distribution, even a compromised router between the source and endpoint can be a extremely dangerous, even with good protection and security mechanisms. Android has been hit with malware through App updates hitting botted Linux routers replacing the updates that passed Android checksum and security measures. Google made key changes in 4.x to help, but there are still ways to circumvent the server side confirmation if that same router or group of routers in the path.)

They should use BitTorrent in iTunes, so anyone doing it that way won't be hammering the servers, and they should stagger the over the air updates based on country, device, or something and monitor the server loads while staggering it.

I guess the issue is once it's in the wild, someone hosts a mirror and for every phone updating that way, they still have to activate which would be hammering Apple's servers even if they did stagger it

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