iOS 7 download release date arrives

iOS 7 is now available on supported devices, as of 18 September, but some users have experienced problems downloading it.

Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 7, is now available to download, but some users have encountered difficulties when trying to do so.

It's like getting a brand new device, but one that will be instantly familiar to our users.

The consumer electronics giant released its iOS 7 update at 10am Pacific time yesterday, with UK iPhone, iPad and iPod users supposedly able to download it from 6pm GMT.

However, many IT Pro readers complained, come 6pm, that their devices were failing to register that there were any new updates to download, while others seem to get access to it straightaway.

Others took to social networking site Twitter to complain about the amount of time the update took to download and install. 

In some cases, the delays seem to have been caused by undefined errors, which prevented people from downloading the upgrade, wheareas others were caught out by the system requirement for 3GB of free space on the device it is being installed on.

At the moment, the operating system overhaul seems to be getting a mixed response from Twitter users, with many raving about its brand new look and feel, while others seem a bit perplexed by it all.

Need to know

The operating system update is available to iPhone 4 and above users, in addition those running the iPad 2 and later, the iPad mini and fifth generation of the iPod touch.

In addition to more than 200 features, developers can take advantage of over 1,500 iOS 7-friendly APIs. A number of 64-bit apps will also be developed to showcase the OS' unique talents and the power of the soon-to-be launched iPhone 5s, Apple confirmed. 

"It's like getting a brand new device, but one that will be instantly familiar to our users," said Craig Federighi, senior vice president of Apple's software engineering arm. 

"Next month, we'll be shipping our 700 millionth iOS device, and we're excited about what our hundreds of thousands of iOS developers are doing to bring great new features to their apps."

The availability of Apple's next-generation mobile operating systems comes several days ahead of the release of the latest additions to its smartphone family: the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

Both devices will be released in the UK on 20 September, the company confirmed.  The former has been dubbed the iPhone 5c, and comes in a choice of colours – including light green, orange, yellow, blue and white – and shares a lot of the same features with Apple’s current flagship device, the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 5s, the higher-end device of the two smartphones, has been hailed by Apple as the “most forward thinking phone” it has ever created, and boasts an A7 processor, Touch ID fingerprint scanner, a reworked 8MP camera and is available with 16GB, 32GB or 64GB storage.

We've previously published our wish list of what we'd like to see in the latest version of the Apple iOS, but did we get it right? Take a look at page two to see our original wish list - we didn't do too badly considering the closely guarded secret that is Apple future releases. Feel free to comment on the story if you disagree - or if you feel underwhelmed by the iOS 7 feature set.

The biggest difference to iOS 7 lies in the user interface. It certainly looks and feels very different to previous generations of the OS. That said, Apple says it has tried to keep things familiar, but users will be the best judge of that when it's widely available.

There's a flatter homescreen, with layers that make icons appear as if they're floating. From the demo showcased at WWDC it doesn't look too hippyish but, again, users will be the real judge as some experts have already warned the changes are likely to divide opinion.

Business users will be happy with the changes to folder app limits, which have now been completely removed. A new Control Centre means commonly used features such as Airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, brightness and music play/pause/stop are there with a mere swipe.

There's also a new Notifications Centre, meaning users can see what has happened during any period of inactivity right from the lock screen, such as messages or emails received.

AirDrop makes it easier to share content with other users without having to bump phones together and an enhanced Siri with male and female voices in English, French and German (with other languages to follow) will help add mass appeal. What's more, in-car controls will make for safer driving for many iOS users too.

The mobile version of Safari has also been enhanced and iCloud keychain tweaks will ensure greater security, especially should the worst happen and your iOS-based device fall into the wrong hands.

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