Apple's iPhone operating system or iOS has come a long way since it was first created and released with the original iPhone. We have seen many interesting innovations such as folders for apps, multitasking, background pictures, Siri, Passbook and many others. iOS has brought Apple great renown in the world of smartphones for its simple and easy to navigate interface crammed full of features. Some of the decisions Apple has made regarding iOS have not been so well received though, a prime example of this is their decision to remove Google Maps as a default app and replace it with their own maps app. This did not seem like such a big deal at first considering it was well publicised that Apple wanted to cut ties with its rival in any way it could, however their maps offering was substantially worse than Google's, and put a large dent in the faith people had in Apple and its iOS.
So what can we expect to see this time around? Well tickets for Apple's worldwide developer conference or WWDC go on sale 25th of April, and this promises to shed some light on the future of iOS, as well as Mac OS. However it is unlikely that we will see everything, or even as much about iOS 7 as Apple was originally intending to show if rumours about it being delayed are true. It has been reported that Apple has been forced to pull developers from the latest version of Mac OS to help get iOS 7 back on track, possibly for release with the iPhone 5s which is supposed to launch at the end of Q2 or the start of Q3 .
It is likely that Apple will take inspiration from Microsoft by implementing some sort of live tile effect for apps that can really make the most of it, such as the weather app or stocks. This will make the interface seem much more alive than the rather boring home screen does currently. Something else that is possible is improvements made to the lock screen, which currently does not have much use apart from showing album covers when songs are playing and displaying notifications. iOS 7 may also bring some sort of "Facebook Home" feature which was recently released for Android phones, as Facebook is currently in talks with Apple to bring the Home experience to their devices. Given Apples previous attempts to integrate Facebook when iOS 6 was made, it may be a possibility that Home could come to iOS, though Apple is notorious for removing anything remotely close to Home from the App Store so perhaps not. They also do not like people to mess with their defaults, hence why the default browser, mail and maps apps can not be changed. Facebook home coming to iOS may require a slight bending of these rules.
But who will be able to access the latest version of iOS? No news regarding this is available, but the iPhone 5, the new iPad and the iPad mini are certain to be supported considering that they were released only recently, but it is questionable as to whether the iPad 2 and iPhone 4 will receive it. The iPad 2 is still on sale as Apples 10.1 inch budget tablet offering and the iPhone 4 the budget iPhone, but Apple may choose to leave these devices out in order to push customers to its new line of products, especially the iPhone 4, given that a budget iPhone is slated for release late this year.
We shall just have to wait and see.