Here's what I hope makes it to the final version of iOS 7Evan Selleck - Contributing Editor
All right then. iOS 7. It's about time that Apple's mobile operating system got a kick in the you-know-what, and now that it's here there's plenty of conversation swirling around about it. There are people who love it, and there are people who hate it. There are, somewhere, even people who are "sitting on the fence," and holding judgment until the final version of the software is released to the public. You know, acting rationally, maybe. Maybe.
Either way, iOS 7 is out there, in the wild, one way or another, and people can check out the early build of the latest update to the platform. We're on the first beta of this particular version of iOS, and there are going to be plenty more down the road before it finally releases this fall. As those new versions come out, there will be new features added, some tweaks removed, and things will change over time, just as they should.
Nothing is set in stone. The iOS 7 we're seeing now, and indeed what we saw announced on stage at WWDC, could very well be quite different than what we see later this year.
Not too long ago, my fellow editor Anna wrote about her first impressions with iOS 7, and what she thinks of the overall changes that Apple brought to its mobile OS. She liked it for the most part, but there were some things she'd change. And, yes, there are some things that I'd change, too, but that's not what I want to talk about this time around.
Instead, I want to talk about things I'd keep.
For the most part, these are things that I think may not be kept around in the final version of iOS 7, for whatever reason. Whether it's a design choice, or a bug that's actually working, I just believe they'll get switched out by the time the final product is ready to go.
First and foremost, the lock screen music controls. In the current public version of iOS, you double-tap the Home button and you get media controls, "Play/Pause", "back", and "next." It's an easy way to control your music without having to dig into whatever music app you're using.
In iOS 6.1.x, those music controls disappear, and it goes back to the normal, control-less, lock screen if the display goes dark. So, you'd have to double-tap Home again to get the controls back. However, in iOS 7, they actually stick around a bit longer. If I've activated the controls, hit the Power button to shut off the display, and then turn it back on? The controls are still there, ready to go.
I have no idea if this is a bug or not, but I hope it's not. Double tapping the Home button all the time is not something I like to do.
I also really hope that the new Clock app icon sticks around, because it works. As in, it actually tells you the time. Why anyone would look at it instead of, say, the actual time displayed at the top of the display is beyond me, but it shows that Apple's actually paying attention to the idea of app icons that aren't just static pictures.
Seriously, Apple. Now that you've got the Clock app icon to work (was that on someone's "to-do list?") make the Weather app icon show the accurate temperature! Just do it already!
The other thing I'd keep? The new stock app icons. Yep, that's right, I'd keep them. Just as they are. I know, that's crazy talk, but the truth of the matter is I like how different they are to their previous iterations. Sure, the GameCenter app icon doesn't make any sense, but what exactly does a "GameCenter" look like? An arcade game cabinet? No. A living room? Maybe. Whatever the case, it probably doesn't look like four globules of varying colors. Which is why I think it's awesome. It's just so random, and unexpected.
There are a ton of other things that I'd keep, but those are things I have no doubt will be kept. Features buried within iOS 7 and what not. Are there hiccups with the first beta? Yes, of course, but I can't say anything negative about them, or even really talk about them in general. It's a beta. It has bugs. Guess what? The next beta will probably have bugs, too. In fact, depending on what new features Apple adds to the mix, it could have more bugs! Scary, right? Not so much.
In any event, I think Apple's given iOS the injection of life and difference it needed over previous versions, but still kept the system functional in the way that iOS users expect. So, it'll be fun to see what the final version looks like on the next iPhone.
Based on what you've seen of iOS 7 so far, is there anything that you'd change immediately? Something you can't stand to even look at? The whole thing? Just an app icon in particular? Or do you think this is the best next step for iOS? Let me know what you think.