Apple has released the Gold Master (GM) version of iOS 7 to developers, according to reports from Twitter. This is significant because the GM version is likely the last official pre-release version of an iOS release before the final arrives.
In addition, Apple is now reaching out to developers in its program to solicit updates that ready their apps for iOS 7. An email, forwarded to us by a developer, features the following text:
iOS 7 will soon be in the hands of hundreds of millions of customers. Reimagine your app’s interface with the clarity, translucency and depth of iOS 7. Integrate APIs for AirDrop, multitasking, games, and camera, as well as new APIs that take advantage of the powerful new capabilities of iPhone 5s.
In it, Apple encourages developers to ‘reimagine’ their apps for the new ‘depth’ and translucency of iOS 7. It also, as usual, promotes new APIs like AirDrop that it wants them to take advantage of. Apple often promotes and features apps that use the newest features of iOS.
This encouragement, which is already being heeded by many developers if the beta invitations we’re seeing are any indication, will cause a huge shift in the look and feel of your apps. Expect less three dimensional illustration, more animation and depth of layers. A lighter, brighter look is on the way to your favorite utilities.
The GM seed version is 11A465, and likely features the final tweaks to iOS 7 that we’ll see before it arrives on September 18th for iPhone and iPad. Typically, the GM version of iOS 7 is the exact same version that will arrive over the air or via iTunes to users. It’s the edition that Apple is shipping on all of the devices already winging their way towards the U.S. from its suppliers in Asia.
If you’re a developer, you can download the GM here, if you’re not, you’ll have to wait until the 18th to get your hands on it.