By VICTORIA WOOLLASTON
Apple customers worldwide will be given the option to download the company’s latest operating system today, called iOS 7, which is being hailed as a new beginning for the firm.
Everything from email to the calendar, texts, phone keypad, photos and notes will look and work differently when the software is rolled out in stages to various handsets starting at around 6pm UK time.
Importantly, traditional icons have been scrapped under the redesign masterminded by Apple's' British design chief Sir Jonathan Ive.
Ive introduced iOS 7 as an 'important new direction' when he showcased the software at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco earlier this year.
The operating system has a cleaner look than its predecessors and has been described by Apple’s CEO Tim Cook as 'the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone.'
Its launch this week coincides with the release of two new iPhones - set to go on sale from Friday.
Touch ID replaces an App Store password when buying music, apps or books.
It uses a 'laser cut sapphire crystal' to take a high-res image scan and the Touch ID software in iOS 7 determines whether the print belongs to the owner or not.
Apple reassured users that the feature is secure by explaining 'all fingerprint information is encrypted and stored securely inside the device's chip' adding the prints are not stored on an Apple server, or backed up to iCloud.