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Apple Byte: iOS 7 is going flat

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Apple Byte: iOS 7 is going flat

6:09 /

New details on iOS 7, Apple is pushing better car integration, and how much would you pay to have coffee with Tim Cook?

-Oh yeah. Wooh! Okay guys, what's up? Brian Tong here and welcome to the Apple Byte for everything good and bad inside the world of Apple. I just got a new pair of glasses, you know. But, hey guys, if you're waiting to see the latest and greatest from the Big A, you might have to keep on waiting. Now, recent Bloomberg report says that a sweeping overhaul of iOS 7 by Jony Ive and team could leave the company at risk of falling behind on the new version of the OS for iPhones and iPads. A story earlier in the week from 9to5Mac talked about how the redesigned user interface is said to be very, very flat; getting rid of textures and the gloss and shine of previous versions of iOS in favor of the flat modern approach that's more similar to what we've seen with Microsoft Windows phone Metro UI and really something I've been a fan of since day 1. Now, it looks to bring a more streamline interface across the board where notes won't look like a notepad and calendar won't have a leather-bound feel. And we've already seen subtle changes where the podcast app does not look like a tape deck anymore. The report also says Apple is looking to add more glanceable information and system option panels in the OS. So, with all these changes, the Cupertino kids still are hoping to have iOS 7 out in time for September, but internal deadlines for testing new features are being set later compared to past releases. Now, if you even look at this year's WWDC logo, it hints at a flatter design with modern lightweight text. And because it's such an extensive overhaul, some apps like mail may be revamped later after the OS is released. Now, in other news, Apple is also pushing for better car integration with maps and Siri for 2013. 9to5Mac reports they're working with carmakers on updated versions of center consoles that would allow you to plug in an iPhone and a redesigned version of Apple Maps would pop on to the display instead of the factory GPS system that's installed. Now, last year, Apple announced the Eyes Free Siri service that allows users to connect their cars to their iPhones and use Siri with the iPhone's display turned off. Apple is also partnering with Volkswagen after their recent unveiling of, yes, the iBeetle in Shanghai. Now, it supports a docking station on the dashboard. And when an iPhone is plugged in, it can tap into the navigation and audio systems. There's also an app that's a companion that will display vehicle information like your fluid levels, your car fluid levels, compared driving distance times, and can bring in music from Spotify or iTunes and take calls that can be patched into the car stereo. Now, the car integration does sound pretty cool, but I don't want a Beetle with a flower holder in my car like my boy Steven does. That's right. I'm calling you out. -Dude, whatever, Brian. At least I'm not wearing a plaid shirt with a lavender undershirt and a beaded necklace. Are we in Hawaii, bro? -Yeah. Let's just take a look at the app of the week. This week's app of the week is the addition of Google Now. -Wait, isn't this an Apple show? -Yeah Charlie, it is, but the latest update to the Google App brings even better integration with the best voice search for information and directions that's available on your phone while also showing you Google Now's relevant information for weather, sport scores, nearby traffic, and more. And you know what? There's a whole lot of people that use Google services on their phone, so check it out. It's definitely worth taking a look at, but there's one thing to note; and it's the widespread report that this app is a battery hog because it constantly uses your location services to pull new info for you. So, if you're seeing a significant drain, the best thing to do is jump into your settings then privacy. Go to location services and turn it off specifically for the Google app. You'll turn off things like live traffic updating, but you'll still be able to use many of the other pieces of Google Now. So yeah, you just have to decide if the app is for you or not. All right. Let's check out some rumors related to WWGC. We already know that Tim Cook hinted we would not see any new hardware until this fall, but that doesn't mean we won't see any speed bumps. KGI Securities reports that we should see new models of the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air lines based on Intel's latest Haswell processor, which is no major surprise. They also say Apple will still keep the standard size MacBook Pro 13 alongside the Air due to its popularity with consumers and its lower price point, but this really feels like Apple is setting the expectations very, very low for WWGC. All right. Let's check out the Quick Bytes. If you're an iPhone user, you probably heard of the app called Vine where you can make some fun 6-second videos and you can also get really creative with stop-motion videos as well. Well, the app just received an update to use the front-facing camera. So, some of you will like that, but it's really basically just gonna bring a lot more video selfies. And have you heard of this auction on the website, Charitybuzz, for coffee with Apple CEO Tim Cook? How much would that be worth to you? Well, it has over a week left for bidding and the highest bid is at $600,000. That's the price of 5 Audi RH or 600,000 Sausage McMuffins! Totally worth it. But if you had coffee with Cook, what question would you guys ask him? And it could be any question. -Well, let us know by e-mailing the applebyte@cnet.com or tweet me @BrianTong. I'll pick my 3 favorite questions. And if you get picked, I'm hooking you extra special people up with one of these Logitech ultrathin keyboard covers in black, white, or pink for the iPad 2, 3, and 4. They're one of the best accessories out there. The keyboard feels great and they're a 100-dollar value. All right. That's gonna do it for this week's show. It's a quickie, but we'll be back with more. Thanks for watching. We'll catch you guys next time for another bite of the apple.

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