Apple had officially announced the iOS 7 release date on Sept 18.
"Apple today announced iOS 7, featuring a completely redesigned stunning new user interface, will be available starting Wednesday, September 18 to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users as a free software update.
iOS 7 will be available as a free software update starting on Wednesday, September 18 for iPhone 4 and later, iPad 2 and later, iPad mini and iPod touch (fifth generation)", according to Apple's press release.
"iOS 7 is completely redesigned with an entirely new user interface and over 200 new features, so it's like getting a brand new device, but one that will still be instantly familiar to our users. Next month we'll be shipping our 700 millionth iOS device, and we're excited about what our hundreds of thousands of iOS developers are doing to bring great new features to their apps," said Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering.
Meanwhile, a report from 9to5Mac said that Apple employees are already testing iOS 7.0.1, iOS 7.0.2, and iOS 7.1 ahead of the iOS 7 release date. The report was supported by web analytics working for 9to5Mac.
The iOS 7.0.1 and iOS 7.0.2 were reportedly created to function as successive bug fix updates, while the iOS 7.1 may support the functionality of a new hardware.
The sources cannot confirm whether the reported testing is really happening inside Apple. However, Apple normally releases bug fixes following a major iOS launch. The announcement of the iOS 7 release date on Sept 18 and the reported testing of the iOS 7.0.1, iOS 7.0.2, and iOS 7.1 happened simultaneously that there might be some truth to this claim.
Also, there had been rumours that Apple is set to release a new iPad hardware. 9to5Mac predicts that the iOS 7.1 update is set to be launched with the iPad's new hardware.
Previous reports from 9to5Mac also predicted Apple's integration of the iOS 7 in the iOS-in-the-Car functionality and Apple's shifting its iOS engineering resources onto iOS 8.
Apple iOS 8 will deliver major enhancements to Apple's maps app with indoor mapping, public transit directions and enhancements that will work with the new iPhone M7 motion co-processor found on the road map.
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