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Monday, June 17, 2013, 11:54 am PT (02:54 pm ET)

Emulator screenshots show what iOS 7 may look like on iPad

Apple didn't show off the newest version of iOS running on an iPad, but new screens have emerged online showing what Apple's overhaul of its mobile platform may like on its bestselling tablet.

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The images emerged last week in a series of posts from Twitter user @SonnyDickson. They are said to come from an iOS 7 emulator that Apple supplies to developers. Dickson likely developed the screens by modifying the iOS Simulator — a feature in Apple's Xcode iOS programming platform — to run the released iOS 7 beta as though the device running it were an iPad.

As Apple has not yet released an iPad version of the beta, it is difficult to say how closely the actual software will hew to this emulation. A number of features, though, appear to be ill-placed or to have no real function on the iPad.

On the iPad, iOS 7 looks largely the same as it does on the iPhone, but more spread out. As is the case with iOS 6, Apple leverages the increased screen real estate the tablet affords it in order to improve certain areas of the OS' functionality.

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The iPad version of Safari, for instance, may feature a switch on the keyboard that turns on the browser's private browsing feature. That switch is not present in the iPhone build of iOS 7.

Other areas of the iPad version appear not only to take advantage of the increased screen space, but to use the new flat aesthetic to increase usability. In iOS 6, the Contacts app's skeuomorphic design — it takes the form of an actual address book — means the app uses only two-thirds of the screen in portrait layout. The iOS 7 version, though, appears to use much more of the screen.

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Control Center in this emulation, though, still features the flashlight function that is present in the iPhone/iPod touch build. The iPad doesn't have an LED flash, though, so it is uncertain whether this feature was left in my mistake or if Apple will find another way to make the iPad function as a light.

Additionally, Control Center takes up only a fraction of the screen on an iPad, whereas the iPhone version slides up from the bottom to cover the whole screen.

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As aforesaid, these images are from an emulator modified to run an iPad version of the OS, so they may not actually represent what Apple will put into the final version of iOS 7 when it hits the popular tablet. Additionally, Apple's Jony Ive and his design crew are said to be still working on the look for the new system, so even more changes may be in store.

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