If you’ve read any of my articles regarding iOS 7 or 8, you probably already know that I’m not particularly fond of the changes made to these versions. If you haven’t read any of my previous articles regarding iOS 7 or 8, then all you really need to know right now is that I am not particularly fond of the changes made in these versions. I was a much bigger fan of iOS 6 and below, at least when it comes to the design.
My biggest complaint about iOS 7 was the use of gradients and bright colors. Quite frankly, I think it looks hideous. At the time iOS 7 was out for beta, and being a huge fan of my iPhone 4S at the time, I was all too eager to try iOS 7 out as this was supposed to be the biggest change in design for iOS since... well, ever, really. At the time, I had been so fed up with Android devices that I looked at my 4S with rose-colored glasses. iOS 5 (and later 6) seemed like such a smooth and nearly flawless operating system (at least compared to Android via 2011) that I thought I finally realized why so many people loved the iPhone. It wasn’t about the Apple logo, or the high price - this phone was just really solid and worked well. Since I had such a great experience with iOS 5 and 6, I figured that iOS 7 would only better the experience.
Unfortunately, this is when my rose-colored glasses had to come off, because I discovered two things. One was realizing that although Apple was on top of keeping updates running for a good few years on any particular iPhone, there did come a point where the updates seemed to hurt the phone’s performance rather than improve it. The other was realizing that I found iOS 7 to be so unpleasant to look at that I didn’t think I would be sticking with iOS much longer.
Looking back, the 4S’s performance on iOS 7 really wasn’t that bad - but it was that bad compared to how it ran on iOS 5 and 6. If I had wanted an iPhone running on iOS 7 well, I felt that I needed to upgrade at least to an iPhone 5, a phone which I wasn’t all too whoopee about, either. Mostly, though, I think I was just really put off by the fact that in one fell swoop my perfect iPhone 4S was now laggy and ugly. I believe it was only a month or so later that I decided to switch back to Android with the HTC One (M7) - a decision I don’t regret, as I believe this device is what renewed my faith in Android. But that is neither here nor there.
Eventually, I would up using that iPhone 4S for a few months again just recently while I was debating on what phone I wanted to use next. I never did upgrade the 4S to iOS 8, which was probably a good call. Eventually I ended up with an iPhone 5s for simplicity’s sake. I simply don’t have the time these days to mess around and customize Android as much as I used to, and that had been one of my favorite features about the OS. However, when you don’t have the time to make Android look pretty, it can look pretty gnarly instead. So I just decided to go with iOS, where everything is just set up for you and, in my opinion, is nearly impossible to make it look bad.
But it didn’t take long for me to remember that I really didn’t like the way the most recent versions of iOS looked. The gradients are still hideous. And then I realized something else - the phone is entirely too bright.
iOS 8 makes use of a lot of bright colors and a lot of pure white backgrounds. When looking back to iOS 6 or below, you notice that there isn’t much use of the color white at all. Messages and e-mails had a blue or greyish background, Notification Center had a weird denim texture to it, Game Center had a green chalkboard-type background. Everything had some sort of texture or color. But iOS 7 and 8 is mostly just how I had explained it to be: a lot of bright colors, a lot of gradients, and a lot of white backgrounds.
I’m not saying that iOS didn’t need a change in design - it probably did. But I’m not sure that going with such a starkly white and bright theme was the best decision, either. At least not in the sense that users had no other options to choose from.
Technically speaking there’s already a fix for this, which would be to invert your iPhone’s colors through the Accessibility options. But even that just makes it look like Halloween threw up all over your phone.
Alternatively, you could jailbreak your phone and get a dark theme that way - but it shouldn’t have to be that complicated. What iOS really needs is an actual dark theme option that comes with the phone - one that was meant to actually look good. I feel like a dark theme design would be a great alternative option to the stark white theme of iOS. The addition of a dark theme in anything pre-iOS 7 wouldn’t have made sense because there wasn’t anything necessarily too bright or too dark about the design of iOS then, but now I feel like it should definitely be included. Even if they kept the gradients, I think even a dark theme could alleviate part of the reason I consider iOS 8 such an eyesore, and that’s simply realizing that the design itself is just extremely bright and not that easy on the eyes.
What are your thoughts, readers? Do you hope to see Apple release a dark theme for iOS in the near future? Or are you happy with the light theme that Apple has already gone with? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!