iOS7 was released today during Apple’s iPhone 5C launch. While previous upgrades to iOS have mostly gone unnoticed by the casual observer, iOS7 represents a complete overhaul of the software that Apple iPhones and tablets run.

From a developer’s point of view, possibly the biggest change is that apps will now update automatically through a background process instead of requiring users to manually choose to update. This will ensure that most users will have the same version of the apps they have built. Fewer users will have outdated versions of apps running on their devices.

Since iOS7 is not a trivial upgrade but instead an entirely new piece of software, those who have developed apps for previous versions of iOS may experience some difficulties resulting from the upgrade. Many will likely experience issues resulting from incompatibilities with the new software. Be prepared to field complaints if a product your company has released is not compatible with the new version of iOS that many customers will be running.

There are expected to be many improvements that come as part of the change to iOS7, however. Functionality related to multitasking is expected to grow to more closely resemble that of a PC. The current process often leaves once-used apps forgotten but still running, sapping away at processing power and battery life ad infinitum.

iOS7 will also allow consumers to better protect their privacy and identities by limiting ad tracking and providing a built-in way to block unwanted communications.

The update will be available to users of Apple devices going back to iPhone 4 and iPad 2.

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