I'm starting to like that iOS 7 is a radical change, but not too radicalAnna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Apple's September 10th event is right around the corner, and soon after I expect that we'll see an influx of people talking about how they feel about iOS 7. I first tried iOS 7 after its first beta release, and although the initial change was nice, I still found that I would rather use iOS 6, mostly because it was a sturdy build but also because I preferred a lot of the design elements of iOS 6 over 7. Although I was able to roll back to 6 after using 7 at the time, I knew would still have to upgrade to iOS 7 sometime down the line anyway since many developers are going to require iOS 7 in order for their applications to run smoothly. Obviously iOS 7 is going to be the new focus from this point forward for developers, so the question still remains with many consumers: Do I really want to learn a new OS at this point?
One of the main selling points of iOS was that it was stable and didn't change much. From OS to OS it hardly ever changed, other than a few improvements here and there. iOS 7 is the first real overhaul we've seen from Apple's mobile platform, so it's expected to have a mixed reaction of excitement and skepticism. We've known for a while that iOS was due for a change sooner or later, unless it wanted to risk seeing a similar fate of the unchanging BlackBerry OS. Aside from wanting to keep current customers, Apple needed to do something to attract more customers. For Apple, it all comes down to what they needed to change and what they needed to keep the same. From what I've seen so far in iOS 7, they've managed to give the best of both worlds by keeping many elements and functions of iOS the same, but under a new skin and a few added goodies.
iOS 7, at least in its current state, is either going to have a redesign that you love the look of, or you don't. There's a lot of white a lot of frosted glass effect going on. The design certainly did take a flatter stance, as expected, and for some people that's more appealing than all of the textures and designs that older iOS versions featured. Personally, I think the white design on iOS 7 looks great, as long as you have a white iPhone. However, when put into contrast against a black iPhone, I can't say that I'm exactly pleased with the way it looks. I think iOS 7 users will be a lot happier if Apple implements some sort of a theme option (and before anybody says anything, yes, inverted colors is still an option, and yes, it still looks like Halloween). With versions prior to iOS 7, you didn't really have an overwhelming amount of one certain color going on, but with the new flatter UI of iOS 7 it seems like it could benefit from theming options. Given that iOS has never been big on customizations, it really is the perfect opportunity to give iOS users some extended form of customization beyond wallpapers and ringtones.
I may have moved on from using iOS as my "daily driver", but I still stand by my experience that my iPhone 4S has been the most dependable mobile experience that I've ever had. Until the very end, I almost never experienced crashes and the transitions were always smooth, from opening applications to bringing up the keyboard. Even on my HTC One I'm experiencing a lot of choppy transitions, although they're fast choppy transitions, so I can't really complain. What I like about iOS 7 is that while it has gone through a major redesign, it's still a simple UI that isn't complicated with options of adding widgets, or even a separate app drawer. In the past I've made mention that I would love to see both of these features on iOS, but I've come to appreciate iOS for being what it is - which isn't Android. iOS 7 might look dramatically different from a design standpoint, but functionality-wise it has pretty much stayed the same.
That being said, I didn't feel like there was much of a learning curve on iOS 7. It didn't feel like I had to learn an entirely new OS, but there were a few functions that were beneficial to know about like Control Center, or Notification Center being divided into multiple sections. All in all, I like that iOS 7 went for a redesign because that might be what brings new people in (I think themes would make a killer addition, especially if they're bringing in 4 different colors for the iPhone 5S and even more for the iPhone 5C) but I also like that they mostly kept functionality the same, because that will probably be what keeps people there, even if they hate design, because let's face it, when has design been the main focus of iOS? The redesign is radical, but not so radical that the UI is unrecognizeable. But the public votes with their wallets, and September 10th (or soon thereafter) will really be when we can see what kind of impact iOS 7 has on consumers.
Readers, what have your thoughts been on iOS 7 so far? Did you hope to see more from Apple, or is iOS 7 something that you're excited to use? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
Images via iMore, Apfellike