iOS 7 ditches signal bars, leak shows off new icons

The new-look iOS 7 lands today, and a new leak shows a fistful of new icons and an end to signal bars.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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The new-look iOS 7 lands today, and here's what we can expect from the flatter, cleaner software for the iPhone and iPad: a fistful of new icons, black and white versions, and a new way of showing signal bars.

According to 9to5mac, which has mocked up a vision of iOS 7 based on seeing screenshots from a secret source, there are loads of new app icons, flattened and simplified. There's a simpler compass for Safari and envelope for Mail, for example, and brand new colour wheel icons for the photo gallery and game centre apps.

The Maps app, which previously showed Apple's headquarters, now shows a different location. If the icon is continuing the inside joke, perhaps it will now show Apple's planned new futuristic campus.

Icons and keyboards have different colour versions, too: a darker, blacker version and a lighter, whiter version. Some have speculated that these could change depending on the time, getting darker as the sun goes down. Or perhaps the icons will match the black or white casing of your iPhone, depending which one you buy -- perhaps similar to the way the outside of many Nokia Lumia phones match the onscreen colours of the Windows Phone software.

Whatever the reasoning, I'd hazard a guess that the darker icons could be available to extend your battery life, dimming the amount of light the screen has to throw out without killing the visibility and brightness.

Another change is that Apple appears to have ditched the signal bars in the top left. Instead, a row of white dots tell you how strong your reception is.

Other rumours for iOS 7 include a car-azy plan to put Apple Maps software and Siri voice control into connected cars.

Hit play on our video to see what we expect and what we want from iOS7:

Watch this: iOS 7: The features it needs

We'll find out exactly how the new software works this week, as Apple reveals all during annual showcase WWDC. Things kick off with a keynote presentation at 6pm tonight.

Do you think the iPhone and iPad need a new look? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.