Apple's iPhone operating system, called iOS, just got a huge makeover. The new operating system, called iOS 7, involves hundreds of interface changes and adds a new "control center" that gives you access to important features like the camera, clock, and music player with one click. It even includes a new way to multi-task between programs and a built-in flashlight. In short, it makes your iPhone look brand new.

But what are you really getting when you upgrade to iOS 7? Here are some of my favorite features.

1. It looks completely different. The first thing you'll notice about the new iPhone OS is how different it is. It is, in fact, almost alien, looking like a cross between a scene from Minority Report and an Italian furniture store. All the icons have been "flattened" with a lot of the textures associated with Steve Jobs' efforts removed. Instead of rich leather lookalikes, you get clean, clear, and crisp text and lines. Instead of photo-realistic icons you get images that "suggest" their purpose. It takes some getting used to and it's already polarizing iPhone fans.

2. It is truly secure. This is an interesting feature: when you lose your phone, you can lock it completely and thieves won't be able to reactivate it even if they want to. In short, in 99 percent of cases, a thief will never be able to use your stolen phone again. This should, Apple hopes, reduce iPhone theft.

3. Photo browsing got a lot easier. When you take photos in iOS 7 they are automatically organized into moments. For example, when you shoot a bunch of photos at the petting zoo and then come home and shoot a few more, these photos are broken up by time and location.

4. Expect better battery life. The phone should perform better thanks to upgraded multi-tasking and improvements to the base software. While you probably will still suffer if your phone has horrible battery life now -- it probably means your actual battery is broken -- new users can expect snappier performance. 

5. Siri is smarter. First, Siri doesn't sound like a robot anymore, which is good news. Second, Siri offers more information in a more pleasing way and it can now search more sources of information and do more things on your phone. 

6. It has some 3D tricks up its sleeve. One of the coolest features is one of the most subtle: the icons on the screen "float" over the background. In other words, when you move the phone the icons move around to reveal parts of the wallpaper underneath. It's a very cute feature that lets you see more of your favorite photos and offers a much cleaner view of the interface.

7. It includes iTunes Radio, a cool way to discover new music. If you've used services like Pandora or Rdio, you're probably familiar with how iTunes Radio works. In short, it lets you stream music (and buy it) right from your music player. This means you can listen to almost as much new music as you want whenever you want as well as playlists of popular hits. Think of it as a way to preview iTunes purchases and a fun way to discover new music.

Will you be upgrading your iPhone to the iOS 7?

 

Images via Apple