Apple to release iOS 7 on Sept. 18

iWork iOS apps go free

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) said it will release its new iOS 7 operating system to users on Sept. 18. The company said the platform will be free to download for users with the iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini, and iPod touch 5th generation.

The news is notable since Apple was expected to release iOS 7 today, at least according to an email sent to developer Owen Williams by Apple partner Nuance Communications last month. Nuance's voice and natural language technologies power Apple's Siri intelligent assistant.

Apple announced iOS 7 in June at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference. The revamp signals the elimination of skeuomorphism, the longstanding iOS design aesthetic that leverages real-world images and metaphors like linen-textured backgrounds, wooden bookshelves and spiral-bound notebooks. iOS 7 also heralds the launch of multitasking for all apps, AirDrop wireless file sharing and the iTunes Radio streaming music service. Apple issued its most recent iOS 7 beta to registered iOS developers on Aug. 15.

Interestingly, Apple also said its iWork line of iOS apps will be free on all new iOS devices. The company's iWork apps allow users to create and edit presentations, spreadsheets and documents.

Apple said it has activated more than 700 million iOS devices.

For more:
- see this Engadget live blog
- see this Verge live blog

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