Meet Apple's iOS 7. Definitely not the same as iOS 6.

Apple has taken the wraps off iOS 7, a radically-redesigned new version of its formidable mobile operating system for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. 

Apple
A look at the new iPhone home screen for Apple's forthcoming iOS 7.

On Monday, at the WWDC event in San Francisco, Apple CEO Tim Cook introduced iOS 7, which he called "the biggest change in iOS since the introduction of the iPhone."

He may be right. From what we've seen of iOS 7, the new operating system is a far cry from iOS 6 – or, for that matter, most of the other mobile operating systems on the market today. For one thing, it's flatter, which means minimal 3-D effects on the icon and interface. For another, it boasts a new feature called Control Center, a kind of one-stop, centralized app for important features such as screen brightness, Wi-Fi, and Airplane mode. 

As CNET notes, iOS 7 even boasts a retro-looking, skinny font style. 

"True simplicity is derived from so much more than just the absence of clutter and ornamentation – it’s about bringing order to complexity," Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of design, said in a press statement. "iOS 7 is a clear representation of these goals. It has a whole new structure that is coherent and applied across the entire system." 

In terms of functionality, the biggest upgrade to iOS 7 may be iTunes Radio, a free service that – like Pandora – relies on algorithms to help generate a steady flow of songs. Apple isn't providing this service out of the goodness of its own heart, of course. Wired notes that you can use iTunes Radio to "buy any song directly from iTunes as it’s playing – at the top is a small button urging you to buy the song, and it displays the purchase price."

All of this, of course, is a kind of prelude to the release, later this year, of a new, iOS 7-equipped iPhone. Apple hasn't released any details on its next phone, although smart money says it'll be called the iPhone 5S, and boast basically the same frame as the iPhone 5 (with a whole slew of upgraded innards). 

As for iPhone 4, 4S, and 5 users, they'll be able to upgrade to iOS 7 sometime this fall, according to Apple. Ditto for owners of any iPad generation two or above; the iPad mini and or the fifth generation iPod touch.

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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