Apple

Apple Announces Major Mobile Software Upgrades

Most important feature: automatic app updating.

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Apple is throwing out most of the real-world graphical cues from its iPhone and iPad software, like the casino-green ''felt'' of its Game Center app, in what it calls the biggest update since the iPhone's launch in 2007.

The new operating system, called iOS 7, strives for a clean, simple, translucent look. Apple is redesigning all its applications and icons to conform to the new look, driven by long-time hardware design chief Jony Ive.

Apple demonstrated the new software at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco on Monday. The new design direction was widely expected and will show up on iPhones, iPad and iPod Touches this fall, the company said.