iPhone and iPad users will be prompted to update their devices on September 18 and may be shocked by what their device looks like after installation is complete.

CTTechJunkie obtained the “Golden Master” version of iOS 7 that will be pushed to iPhone and iPad users on September 18. The new operating system sports an entirely new look with fluid animations powered by the 3D graphics processor and overly saturated bright colored icons that feature a ‘flat’ design language similar to Windows 8.

The changes go beyond the aesthetic, but thankfully Apple has kept most settings and controls in the same place to ease the transition.

Some of the highlights include a significantly new multitasking interface that allows apps to be closed by simply flicking them away – an interface borrowed (or stolen) from the now defunct webOS that powered the Palm Pre and HP Touchpad. Apple has also expanded the relatively limited multitasking in prior iOS versions, so apps can now do more in the background. iOS 7 will also now automatically update apps in the background if users so choose.

The camera app in iOS 7 feels snappier, with a new square picture mode added along with Instagram inspired filters. Photos are now organized by year and location making it easier to show off photos from a specific event or trip.

A new control panel can be dragged up from the bottom of the screen with frequently accessed features like airplane mode, wifi and bluetooth settings, and volume controls. Notifications are also handled smarter, with the iPhone or iPad storing missed messages in a special tab on the pull down notification center.

So far iOS 7 has been very stable with no compatibility issues with apps written for older versions of the operating system. Many popular apps have already been updated to take advantage of the new features and no doubt many more will follow in the near future. Developers have only had a few months to work with the new operating system so the biggest enhancements are yet to come.

iOS 7 is compatible with the iPhone 4, 4S, and 5, as well as the 5th generation iPod Touch and the iPad 2, iPad Mini, and iPad with Retina display. Users will be prompted to install the update or it can be invoked manually in settings->general->software update.