You don't need thebrand new iPhone 5c or 5s to tap into a slew of new features in Apple's iOS software.
On September 18, you'll be able to download the latest version, iOS 7 onto your older iPhone (models dating back to the iPhone 4), iPad (version 2 or later), iPad Mini or iPod touch (fifth generation).
Here's a look at10 key new features.
1. Control Center: Swipe up from any screen to immediately jump into system settings such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, as well as brightness controls, a flashlight, calculator and other utilities.
2. Camera app: When the camera app is open, beyond stills or video, you'll get two other labeled options: shooting the photo as a square picture or a panorama. You can also edit photos with Instagram-like filters.
3. Photo app: Apple is bringing organization to hundreds of photos, using the camera information about where and when they were shot to organize them into "Moments," "Collections" and "Years."
4. Find My iPhone lock: A new "activation lock" feature requires your Apple ID and password before you can turn off Find My iPhone, further thwarting thieves.
5. AirDrop: The new feature is Apple's answer to Samsung's Galaxy S line of phones, which let other Galaxy users share photos and other files by clicking the phones together. AirDrop lets other iOS users send items directly to each other, without opening up a text message or e-mail to do so. A slightly different version of the AirDrop feature has already been available on Apple's latest Mac computers.
6. Multi-tasking: Apple has improved multi-tasking. By pressing the home button twice, you can see preview screens of all your running apps and swipe to move from one to another. By swiping up you can delete an app.
7. Background updates: The new iOS will update apps automatically in the background and does so when you're plugged into Wi-Fi. The idea is that fetching such updates won't kill your battery.
7. iTunes radio: Apple's answer to Pandora will be available on computers and mobile devices when it arrives with the new operating system on Sept. 18. The program brings in pre-programmed radio stations to iTunes, and will let listeners create stations based on their favorite artists.
8. Safari: Apple's new look for the Safari browser will let you see more of your content and includes full-screen browsing. There's also a "smart search" field that unifies separate search and address fields into one, and a cool new tab view for scrolling from one page to another.
9. Siri: You'll find new male and female voices in Siri. Also new: Twitter search integration, which lets you ask Siri what people are chatting about on Twitter. Siri also now taps Wikipedia as a resource as well as Bing search.
10. Design: Not to be underestimated is the overall look and feel of the operating system. With freshly designed fonts, icons and animations - a flash of lightning, say, in the weather app - you may feel like you have a new phone without actually buying the latest hardware.
By Nancy Blair and Edward C. Baig, USA Today