Apple may deserve more credit than anyone for the way our smartphones look and work, but six years after our first glimpse of the iPhone a lot has changed. Google continued to design and re-design Android; Windows Phone introduced a colorful, vibrant operating system; yet iOS stood mostly still. Until this June, that is, when CEO Tim Cook announced Apple had been working on “the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone.”

That change is iOS 7, a complete aesthetic overhaul of the interface millions of iPhone owners have known for years. From the moment you turn on an iPhone running iOS 7 through nearly every interaction you have with it, it’s different. This free update changes every menu, every option, every app. Even Siri has become an entirely new person, with new thoughts and a new voice.

But for all the sweeping statements and pervasive changes, when we first saw iOS 7 it felt like change for change’s sake — a fresh coat of paint on the same old house. So what is iOS 7? Is it a new idea for a new era of smartphone users? Or is it a veneer of innovation on top of a familiar foundation?