Everyone knows it. Everyone recognizes it, and everyone pretty much is able to tell the definitive design of the iPhone’s native operating system from about a mile away. Apple recently released iOS 7 for the more recent devices like the iPad 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations and iPhone 4, 4S, 5 and above. With the drastic new design changes, Apple aims for a new modern and almost futuristic look making modifications to the older, more clunky architecture and aesthetics into a new standard in Apple’s long running modus operandi that is their clean minimalistic design and build in their operating system.
The design flows very well across apps like Safari, Messages and the Camera app. Siri gets a new updated voice along with a male voice and the entire OS feels like a clean utopian experience you want to jump into. The OS uses the gyroscope to add a parallax rotoscopic feel to your device adding depth to the operating system. The new OS is clean, sharp, colorful, very minimalist and very fluid. But is it the OS to end all OS’s?
With the sleek design of the Windows OS platform for Windows phones and the free form nature of the Android devices, iOS 7 has a lot to stand up to. The new iOS features new “flat” apps that assist in the design. iOS 7 saturates colors and hues and every native app gets a fine tuned redesign. Apple tends to favor form over function with its new apps which now feature a new color palette. The photo app now has a new color wheel and the Game Center app now carries with it several solid colored bubbles. The color wheel featured on the Photos app is actually more associated with painting rather than photography. One of the biggest changes is a new translucent design across all of its apps adding to the cleanliness and minimalist design of the new iOS look. The Safari app has a new sleek tab selection design making it look like a flip book giving the user ability to scroll through their tabs.
One of the more useful changes is in the use of folders being that they are now able to hold an infinite number of apps rather than surrendering to the limit of 16 apps. This helps in keeping the tide in the cleanliness of your screens, along with the ability of scrolling almost endlessly through apps in a single folder. Although it makes looking for specific apps a bit more of a challenge if you have a large amount of apps in a single folder. Apple has applied it’s flat design to most, if not all of its core apps including Messages, Photos, Game Center and Notes favoring sharp lines and colorful text highlighting important information. One more purely superficial feature of the parallax scrolling used in tune with the device’s gyroscope creating an illusion of depth, making for a near unnecessary use of processor resources. This can be toggled off using the Settings app, which also gets an overhaul in design, yet still keeps the same structure we all know and have all gotten used to by now.
The newly added Control Center will be getting a lot of attention as it features many of the core functions associated with the inner workings with your device such as brightness, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, music playback, Do Not Disturb mode and much more. It’s really one of the more practical additions to the new iOS and probably one of the more significant ones. Those with iPhones have the option of toggling a flashlight function for those who need it. On the downside, the Control Center cannot be modified or personalized, so those who favor posting on Twitter over using the Camera app will be out of luck. Multi-tasking also gets a major overhaul. Double tapping on the home button gives you a view of every app you have open, giving the user the ability to scroll through every app and their current screen status. A quick swipe upward closes the app freeing some space in the processor. Apps can even be closed even if they are not highlighted. It may seem like a minor change on paper, but on the day-to-day level of efficiency, it is actually quite significant and we thank Apple for bring this level of functionality on an iOS that looks like it was meant for more of an aesthetic approach.
The latest iOS is a new, fresh take on the long favored operating system, but it favors form over function. It prefers late innovations in design and functionality, rather than reinventing the wheel. Consumers will be able to look at it and some will fall in love with the new look of iOS 7 and some will be completely turned off by its lack of innovation. All in all, Apple took what everyone knew and loved about iOS 6 and gave it a new coat of paint. It looks different and new, sure, but the architecture is still all the same. iOS 7 still works the same as it did before, and I feel that’s more or less what matters. We are still able to send messages in the Messages app, we can still take pictures given the minor changes on the new form factor on the Camera app. We can still take notes on the Notes app, given the new design, bright colors and sharp lines. We can still access our pictures, music and third party apps all the same. Sure, we can see every single photo we’ve ever taken on one screen on the Photos app, but this is a design innovation that is long overdue. On top of all this, we can still access our contacts and visit the App Store and iTunes Store as we were always able to before. All of these changes help on the aesthetic front, but the real star of the show I felt was the Control Center, and even then, Android has been ahead of the curve giving those with Samsung Galaxy S3 and 4s and other related handsets and tablets running the same Android OS easy access to already available innovations in function. I would have to say that Apple is pretty late to the party in that front. All in all, I don’t think iOS 7 is a bad follow up to the iOS line, but I do feel it is a bit misguided.
Does the new iOS look great and feel great? Yes.
Does it reinvent the wheel and introduce brand new innovations to how we work everyone’s favorite Apple device? Not necessarily.
Is iOS 7 the OS to end all OS’s? No.
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