Well I figured I better post something finally now that the year is close to half over. On Monday Apple finally broke their year silence at the World Wide Developer Conference Keynote where they announced some new hardware and software that would be available later this year. I think I’ve done a post on iOS each year ever since I bought my first iPhone and this one is definitely one that I shouldn’t ignore.
Late last year, there was a reshuffling of some of the leadership at Apple. Johnny Ive was also given responsibility of human interface, in addition to his role in the industrial design of Apple products. It was at this time that rumors started to fly that iOS was going to get a major design change and that the “skeuomorphism” of using real life objects in the software was going to go away. It was also rumored that iOS was going to become more flat where that has become the current design trend as compared to the more 3D look that was the trend when the original iPhone first launched.
On Monday those rumors turned out correct. I didn’t like any of the mock ups that people had done with their own interpretations, but I do like Apple’s implementation. It certainly is a bit jarring at first when you’ve been used to something for so long, but the look has grown on me over the last few days. Here’s a side by side comparison.
Seeing that, it doesn’t look like a huge difference. I know there were some advocates wanting something more major for the redesign and getting rid of the grid of icons. I personally think this is still the best way to go and keeps the basic OS out of the way, as the apps should be the main focus and not trying to fumble around OS with widgets and the like. Also, any of the general public who has been using an iPhone won’t have to relearn the basic navigation of the system since it is fundamentally the same. However, the design is definitely different. The new system font makes text look clearer and easier to read. The new zoom animation when navigating to a folder is neat and the almost 3d view of seeing the wallpaper and icon grids independently move as you tilt the phone give it a polished effect. The new icons are either loved or hated and I personally like them. I think for the most part they represent their tasks well with a few exceptions that might get changed before it goes to the general public.
There’s a few new features in addition to these changes and this video will also give a good look at the new interfaces in most of the apps.
A lot of the new features are welcomed additions to iOS, but I also realize that most have existed in Android, Windows Phone, Web OS, and the Jailbreak community before. However, I think Apple implemented most of them in their own way and put some thought into them.
Overall, I think it is a great update. I think some will either love or hate the new design, but I recommend at least giving it a try before making that decision. The only feature that seemed missing, that was shown on the new OS X, was being able to send a quick reply right from a message notification. When it was shown on OS X, I thought that was a given for iOS7. While jumping to the messages app really isn’t a problem, that might be something for next year with iOS 8. 🙂