Skip to main content

7th Time's the Charm

This past week Apple released it's 7th generation of iOS, and of course, as an Apple fan, I was hitting refresh all afternoon waiting for the update. This is one of the most radical updates of iOS, as it completely changes the look and feel, leaving almost nothing familiar from the old skin. People have been asking me what I think of this new update, and so here are a few of my thoughts.

So what don't I like? Honestly, the new look-and-feel is going to take quite a while to grow on me. After using it for a few days it's not quite as shocking as it first was for me, but I still can't truthfully say that I like it. The colors are overly bright, the animations seem supurflus and slow down interaction time, and some basic paradigms have been changed, forcing a re-learning.

First, I find the color scheme a bit too bright for my taste. The abundance of white just seems to blast the eyes, despite the other soothing pastel colors. The flat look isn't that bad, but sometimes the icons almost look cartoonish. My friend Wes pointed out that this feels a lot like some of the early Mac OS X versions that had what many people called a "lickable" interface. I'm hoping that as this skin evolves, there will be opportunities to select a darker color scheme. 

Second, the animations seem rather extraneous, and I've got a couple areas where they simply get in the way. The constant zooming in and zooming out of applications as you switch can be dizzying if you're switching applications quickly many times. Not to mention the slow fade-in of your lock screen, which actually causes a delay in interacting with the screen. I can't unlock my phone as quickly and fluidly as I used to be able to. Again, I hope that in the future Apple will give some options to turn down some of these animations in the name of performance.

Finally, there are a couple pieces of functionality change that required re-learning how to do things. One of them that I applaud, and really enjoy, is the change to multi-tasking. I'm an old WebOS guy, and seeing this beautiful method of changing and quitting apps (flicking them upwards to quit them) reborn is beautiful. However, for anyone who's never used WebOS, this is a pretty radical change. Then there's the institution of the general swipe direction to move back a screen. In the pervious versions of iOS you could swipe over an item in either direction to bring up the "Delete" button. However, in iOS7 the only direction that works is right to left. This means that half the population of iOS users needs to adapt to swiping a different direction. I understand the need for the change, and I like the ability to access more options, but it certainly is taking some getting used to.

So what is it that I like in iOS7? Despite it's shortcomings, there's a lot to like here. The UI change, although jarring does bring a nice cohesivness to the system. Changes to the notification center, the addition of the control center, and the ability to have unlimited items in folders are all beautiful additions, and add a distinct positive to functionality. I also particularly enjoy the ability to auto-update apps, as this is something that has always been rather annoying.

The changes to the various apps are quite welcome as well. The new layout for an entire year calendar view is very elegant. The addition of the broader view in the photos app is amazing as well. The music app seems like it's laid out much nicer, and Safari is finally behaving like a more modern browser, allowing for search or URL's in a single box.

So despite it's flaws, I'm still quite happy with iOS7. I think it's a first step in a bunch of positive changes. I think as time goes on Apple will continue to add and tweak various aspects to address a lot of my concerns. It might be a bit painful for a while, but I'm excited at the future this hints at.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The beat goes on

Yesterday Apple revealed their long awaited entry into the streaming music field. They were able to do this quickly because of the acquisition of Beats last year, and the systems and intellectual property that came with that purchase. Considering that the music reveal was pretty much the only big news out of a pretty benign developer keynote, I'll take a few moments to talk about what I think about it. Apple was perhaps the defining company in the music revolution of the past 20 years. With the introduction of the iPod that revolutionized portable music, to the creation of the iTunes store and the eventual death of DRM, Apple has been at the forefront of digital music. This leadership comes with high expectations to continue to lead, and so many people have long questioned Apple not getting into the streaming music business quicker. For the past few years new companies have come forth to lead the change in the streaming music evolution. From Pandora and its ability to create un

The Great Experiment

Recently, a tech journalist that I've followed for many years, and who is an Apple fanboy, posted a series talking about why he switched from an iPhone to an Android phone . It's a good read, and worth the time to see why he made the decision he did. Since I have a Verizon Galaxy Nexus sitting on my desk as a Wi-Fi device, I thought, "What the heck, let's give this a go for a week." So for the past week I've shelved my trusty iPhone 5 and have delved deep into the world of stock Android 4.1. So in the spirit of "copying is the sincerest form of flattery" here's my write-up of my experiences with Google's mobile OS. First, I need to make one caveat. After using the Nexus for a week I have to say that I do NOT like this device. It constantly loses 4G signal, and the battery life almost makes it unusable. I could barely make it to lunch before I was at 20-30% battery. So in the spirit of fairness, if I truly wanted to switch full time to Andro

CES 2013

This past week was a big week for the tech industry, with the holding of the Consumer Electronics Show 2013. Recent years have been a bit 'meh', but this year really had some interesting tech show up. In particular the theme seemed to be changes coming to our living room TV's. Much of what we saw this year revolved around ways to get entertainment to our TV's with set top boxes that tie into other services, or all new TV technology like 4k (Ultra High Defenition). Personally, I'm less excited about UHD, since I just bought a new TV, and am quite happy with it. Plus, I don't think we have the internet bandwidth for UHD content yet. The really cool advances are less technological for me, but structural. One of the things I love about internet delivered entertainment, is the ability to control what you watch a LOT more than the old days of flipping cable channels. I love the idea of discovering a new show, downloading an entire season and devouring it as quickl