iOS7 was announced by Apple last week, and it proved to be divisive. Many people were happy with the flat and stark visual changes made by Jony Ive and his team, while others were aghast at the child-like color choices for the icons and the “adoption” of features from other platforms. Perhaps the biggest problem this version of iOS highlighted for Apple was its inability to truly make a break and come up with a radically new user interface.
For all its tweaks, iOS7 still shows off the same grid of icons that perform pretty much the same way they did before. iOS7 does have some welcome new features and design cues. I’m certainly happy that all of the skeuomorphic elements are gone. The cleaner, simpler interface appears easier to navigate. And, some of the added features such as Control Centre will make life easier.
On the other hand, I don’t like the stock app icons that Apple showed off in the keynote. They are child-like and use some poorly-chosen colors. There seems to be too much white across backgrounds. The transparency effects and the parallax effect of the home screen wallpaper, while cool, are unnecessary.
Overall, iOS 7 a solid update, but not an evolutionary one.
I wish Apple would dial back their “we’re the best” rhetoric during their keynotes. They have a right to be proud of their accomplishments, but it’s not surprising that pundits claim they aren’t innovating any more. Apple’s rhetoric has set the bar too high for themselves. If they kept things more low key, iOS7 may have been more generously received rather than being picked apart for what it doesn’t have.
I’ll be upgrading my iDevices to the new iOS when it comes out later in the year. I was hoping for something more dramatic with this update, but at the end of the day, it’s still very capable, and it introduces enough new elements and features to make the move worthwhile.