I’m going to be straightforward with you guys about something. I mean, I know I said it right there in the title so I can’t really get any more straightforward about this than I already have, but despite all of the negative remarks that I throw Apple’s way I actually am still very interested in iOS, particularly where Apple is going with iOS 7. I mean, I look up articles and updates about it every day and I never come up empty-handed. This is the “rumor phase” that I both hate and enjoy. This is the kind of thing that I’m here for.
It’s easy to hate iOS 7 before it’s even released. For most part we mostly just know that iOS 7 is becoming more “flat”, whatever that means. From what I gather it mostly means they’re getting rid of graphics that have, up until this point, been designed to resemble the real deal: Game Center has graphics that resemble wood texture and green felt fabric from a pool table; the Newsstand application is texturized to look like a wooden magazine rack, and even Notification Center has some thatch-y denim design going on. But we’re not hearing about anything new coming out with iOS 7, and while I would love to place the entire blame on Apple and their inability to produce new features I also have to take a look at how I really view devices that release with “new and exciting features”.
I don’t like them. They’re gimmicky. All of a sudden it seems like we’re just trying too hard.
The “newness” of the smartphone world is almost anything but at this point – most people are comfortable enough with the idea that this is no longer a futuristic product and we are living with them in modern times. And as smart as we give our “phones” credit for being, they do have their limits. And sometimes less really is more when it comes down to it.
Take a look at Samsung. The Galaxy S 4 came with a lot of new “Smart” features, all of which I already knew I would not use if I decide to get the device. Essentially the Galaxy S 4 would be a faster, slightly larger version of the Galaxy S III for somebody like me. Don't get me wrong, I like faster, so in the end I probably would end up getting the Galaxy S 4 over the savings of the Galaxy S III if I wanted to, but I digress. For me at least, I don’t care so much about new features anymore. It's more about the specs, and quite frankly a platform that decides to do a cleanup rather than add more clutter might end up being something people would like to see.
I can’t truly hate the iPhone because as boring as it seems sometimes, it does precisely what it's meant to do. It has apps upon apps to choose from, it works nearly flawlessly, and it's clean. It might be too expensive and there are certainly ways that Apple could make applications more user friendly for your average multi-tasker, but other than that it really is a good, solid platform.
I'll admit that I enjoy jumping on the iPhone-hating bandwagon as much as the next person, but sometimes you have to stop and think that maybe what Apple has going on in something that's more than meets what has become our spoiled expectations.
For once I may have to give Apple credit for seemingly heading in a new, lesser direction when it comes to smartphones. If you asked me a month ago where I thought iOS was headed I would have simply said, “Backwards,” but the more I look at it the more I think that this is exactly where Apple needs to be right now. Samsung, in my humble opinion, is trying to take things too far; they're adding too much to their smartphones. The Galaxy S 4 is a great phone but as I mentioned before, if I decide to get one there are a lot of features that will be left unutilized. I would be paying for a lot of things that I shouldn’t be paying for. Apple isn’t doing that. Are there things that I don't use on iOS? Yes. I can’t say that I would lose sleep if I never saw Newsstand on my home screen again. But from what it sounds like, it doesn’t look like they’re going to be adding anything too crazy either.
Every company goes through their phases where they make something big, then people lose interest, and then they lay dormant for a while. Then the cycle repeats. This has already happened with Apple once and perhaps this is just where they're reaching the end of that cycle again. The iPhone is where the smartphone boom really took off and now that there’s not a whole lot left to “innovate” when it comes to smartphones without looking gimmicky it’s time to refine what we have.
That being said I return to my first point, where I restate that I don’t know what iOS 7 will offer in its entirety, but the speculation that’s surrounding it and really not knowing what to expect this time around keeps me interested in what “changes” Apple's newest software has in store for us. iOS 7 is essentially Apple’s last hope at winning the customers over – and we’ll find out exactly what in we’re in for in a little over a month at WWDC 2013. Until then, it's speculation a-go-go land for me.
Readers, what are your thoughts on iOS 7? Do you think that Apple should roll back to a simpler interface or do you think it should push more towards adding more? Does iOS 7 interest you at all? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!