Apple has pushed out beta 5 of iOS 7 to developers along with a new beta of the Apple TV software. This beta version signifies that we are getting even closer to a public release of iOS 7.
The beta is available for download via software update for developers or online at the Dev Center portal. Apple recommends that only developers use the software because it is meant solely for development and not for regular use.
In beta 5 there are quite a few changes that have been made to iOS 7. Outside of the usual "bug fixes and improvements" it also adds the ability to disable access to the Control Center from within applications, including Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Cellular, and Personal Hotspot.
One of the major issues with the previous beta version of iOS 7 was that password fields did not work in landscape mode for In-App Purchases or for the Game Center. Apple has told developers that although text entry is working in those scenarios, the text does not show up on the screen.
Beta 3 and 4 did provide more significant changes to iOS 7 such as the way the lockscreen slide-to-unlock operates, as well as the way Retina-display applications show up on the screen.
Changes to the Apple TV software integrates the set-top box with iOS 7. Until now a pre-iOS 7 device would have been needed to set up the Apple TV, whereas iOS 7 can now control it.
Big Changes with iOS 7
As a whole, iOS 7 will likely provide the most significant changes to the iOS ecosystem of any previous iteration. Part of this is due to lagging sales and Apple's belief that the more minimalistic iOS is, the happier customers will be.
The new backgrounds and icons are different from any previous version of iOS. Between the first iPhone and the iPhone 5, almost nothing in the operating system has changed in terms of aesthetics. Since Apple showed off many of iOS 7's features during WWDC 2013, users have been eager to try it out.
Apple's customers have had to go through years of minimal change, and even with iOS 6, the few things that were significantly different did not go over well. Hype has always been one of the major driving forces behind the sales of new Apple devices and iOS 7 may well have the most hype associated with it of any previous version.
Features like Control Center and AirDrop will provide users with a changed experience to the point that many of them will probably have to relearn parts of the OS simply because of how different it is from iOS 6.
Apple has yet to announce an official release date for iOS 7 but it is expected to come out within the next couple of months, alongside the next iPhone version.