iOS 7 Review: What has Apple done right?

By 20th September 2013 No Comments

So there are plenty of reviews online either slating or praising the latest iOS update and I’m going to join them by putting my two cents in. I’m going to review this fairly based on what I’ve taken from using the iOS 7 update, and as many of you will know, I am a huge Microsoft supporter and do prefer the Windows 8 operating system. However, I’m going to give you my thoughts on the good and bad from the new update from Apple.

What works well?

iOS 7 Lockscreen on iPad

iOS 7 Lockscreen on iPad

The flat design of iOS 7 is something that users of previous versions of Apple products are going to have to ease into. It’s a large step up from iOS 6 and the visual differences may cause people to be put off initially. Personally, I’ve got used to the new modern UI design on my iPad that I’ve grown to like it.

As you can see from the screenshot above, this is the new lock screen in iOS 7 for the iPad. It looks very clean, it shows you some updates from your mail and overall is nice and sleek. One thing that is different here is the “slide to unlock”. On first looking at it, users will assume this is the old slide and it will just go straight to the main app dash however swiping to unlock actually slides you into the keypad to pop in your password.

iOS 7 Keypad Password on iPad

iOS 7 Password Keypad on iPad

Again, another great redesign from Apple. It’s simple and feels connected to its new modern flat look.

Music App

Music App on iPad

Music App on iPad

I can’t fault Apple on their transition to the simple. They really have taken a page out of Microsoft’s book with their Modern UI which has been seen in Windows 8 and Windows Phone for years now.  The music application is another beauty. It just screams simple and modern. If I was to complain about one thing in the music application is that the “Shuffle All” button really should be the shuffle icon alongside the media icons underneath the album artwork.

The Keyboard

A modern look to the keyboard in iOS 7

A modern look to the keyboard in iOS 7

This looks nice. Very nice. Everything so far that I have complimented Apple on is their design. While there is still a little bit of grey hovering around the keyboard, I’m glad that the new keyboard design in iOS 7 doesn’t look dull and boring. The white design for the keys is great and the blue highlighting for specific return functionality is great. The OS has recognised that we are on Bing and are typing in the search box so it has kindly renamed the Return button to Search which is a little cool feature that I like.

While I could go over every application and praise the modern styling of the OS, that really is the highest peak to my praise on the iOS 7 update. There are quite a lot of problems with the OS that Apple really need to address and these are as follows.

Now, what doesn’t work so well.

Keyboard Inconsistencies

Keyboard Inconsistencies in iOS 7

Why is there a need for a black keyboard? It’s not like I have changed the theme.  However, for some unknown reason, if you aren’t in an app then the OS will give you a black keyboard colour rather than that nice white keyboard that is displayed across every other application.

One more thing about this screenshot above also is contrasting. While I can go and change the background wallpaper, I quite like this green dynamic parallax background wallpaper and don’t want to change it but because of this, I have to deal with not being able to properly read the white text for the application names. Luckily I remember apps by their icon and not their name but still…

Compact folders

3x3 grid folders

3×3 grid folders

Why waste so much space when you could just show me more apps?! It makes it hard to get to the apps you actually want to get to just because you have to keep swiping to find them. The old layout was fine, it didn’t need changing just ‘modernifying’.

Irrelevant App Redesigns

Game Center in iOS 7

Game Center in iOS 7

Combined with it’s app icon, the new design for the Game Center make no sense what so ever. The old app icon for the Game Center showed a grid of little icons of various games. Now it’s just a collection of bubbles which when tapped will open you up into this new Game Center with even more bubbles. I think Apple have some sort of bubble fetish going on. Bubble parallax backgrounds, bubble Game Centers…

While I’m sure no one even uses the Game Center anyway, I’m pretty certain people are going to load it up for possibly the first time to see what’s going on in there and will be very disappointed.

Let’s end on a happy note

Multitasking in iOS 7

Multitasking in iOS 7

Before I summarise everything up into a little paragraph to let you know what I truly think about iOS 7, let’s end on a high.

I will go back to my likes and one that I missed. The multitasking functionality has been changed and it’s good. When you’re done with one of your applications, just give it a swift swipe to the top of your device to get rid of it. It’s very similar to how you close apps in Windows 8 where you swipe them to the bottom of the screen when you’re done with it. It’s a good little gimmick and multitasking seems to have improved a lot.

So what would I rate ‘iOS 7’ out of 10. Well I would have to give it a 6 for now but only because I know it needs improving. While the beta has been around for such a long time, I’m surprised that Apple didn’t let more people test it than just developers. They would have got a better result in the reception. Apple should take another page out of Microsoft’s book and release preview or beta versions to the public so they can have a play with what they know will be coming. It would allow them to gather feedback from the users who will actually be using the OS day-to-day and not the technologically advanced like myself and other developers who won’t really care that much for design.

Just as a final point to any Apple users out there who think that I am slating iOS because I am a Windows user, please don’t believe that I hate the OS. I’ve tried to give a fair review and I give kudos to Apple for their strive to innovate much that I do with Microsoft. iOS is a great mobile operating system and I have much respect for the users of it as I am one myself.

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