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First impressions with the new iOS 7

Posted on June 13th 2013 by Chris I'Anson

The WWDC conference has been and gone and you may be thinking what’s all the fuss about with this new iOS 7? I missed the keynote but after seeing photos and hearing about Apple’s new design overhaul, I decided to download the new software. I have a developer account already so I knew I could access the beta version. Read on to for my initial thoughts.

First Impressions

The first thing I noticed was the new lock screen. The thin fonts and less obtrusive slide-to-unlock button looks really nice. The unlock action is across the whole screen now which makes it easier to unlock your phone. The drawback to this is when you receive a lock notification (text message, notification etc), you can sometimes unlock the phone by mistake rather than accessing the notification.

iOS 7 Weather App

The updated Weather App is rather nice looking but very minimal, just like the other native apps.

On initial opening of the new iOS I noticed it’s quite a drastic change Apple has made to the design. Gone are the glossy, lickable icons that we’ve all become accustomed to and stepping in to take their place is a design based around flat styles and subtle gradients. Most of the native apps look similar to the old OS variants but it does take some time to get used to things. There’s been much criticism of the new design with many people saying it’s a step back but I like the simplicty. Although I will agree with many of the critics in that they are slightly inconsistent, the Game Center app still has a hint of shine to it which makes it stand out from the others.

This simple style doesn’t stop with the icons, digging deeper into iOS 7 and opening some apps it quickly dawns on you that Apple’s take on the OS is simplicity. Think less is more and you get the jist.

I know the version I have is beta, but if I wasn’t aware of this I just might have been thinking that some of the apps are far from complete and almost look like wireframe mockups.

Simplified Sophistication

One of my most used apps is Mail and this is a good example of the minimal approach Apple has taken. Clean, uncluttered, with text labels and blue line icons telling you what you’re looking for. The most elaborate design style on offer within Mail is the Google Mail icon, other than that the Mail app is flat and simple. But that’s fine with me, so long as I can quickly scroll through and read messages, archive and delete stuff and search I'm happy

The other apps have taken the same direction. Messages is simplified, gone are the shiny edges, replaced with simple bubbles that fade as you scroll. The animation on the messages are really nice, but again, it’s all very understated. Sophisticated, you could say.

Summary

There’s too much to go over in one article so I’ll save some of my thoughts for another day. The question is, am I glad I took the plunge and updated? I’d have to say yes. Sure, the upgrade isn’t without it’s fair share of bugs. My phone now has a tendency to lock up and needs a hard reboot. Some of the view overlays sometimes interfere with each other, the most annoying being the Google search bar when you’re in Safari. The Weather app, although very pretty and much more informative than the previous version, plays havok if you close your phone with it open.

But I’m getting used to these bugs and after picking up my wife’s iPhone and going back to iOS 6 I realised how much I liked the new iOS 7, everything feels a little bloated in iOS 6, as if it’s all trying too hard.

Word to the wise: I’m a pretty patient guy and I don’t mind a few crashes and my phones battery life draining away. I’m happy to delete apps I’m not using and reduce the risk of inadvertent crashes. These are some of the things you have to deal with when you take the route of installing iOS 7 so make sure you’re ready for this.

Let us know your thoughts below if you’re using the new iOS 7. We’d love to hear what everyone thinks to the update. Do you know anyone who’s reverted back to the old iOS because they’re not impressed with the beta version? Apple clearly states on the download page that you can’t roll back, you want in there’s no way out basically. But Nick Statt knows otherwise and has kindly written an article on How to downgrade from iOS7 beta

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