Ios 7 – The Definitive Review

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On the 18th September, after several hiccups and frustrating updating problems I had IOS 7 fully installed and ready. I was a very excited little boy at the prospect of tinkering around with a new operating system and it pains me to say, that I was exceedingly underwhelmed. Here are my thoughts on the biggest ever update to Apple’s mobile operating system.

The Home Screen: This has remained largely the same. As you can see below, the layout has remained largely the same. The icons are the first change that you will notice; all of Apple’s stock apps have had a redesign in order to follow one consistent feel. They have abandoned the previous skeudomorphic design – for example the old, ugly, outdated wooden shelves of news-stand have been replaced with simpler Windows 8-esque magazine icons. I am probably going to repeat this several times, but these changes are hardly anything ground-breaking or innovative.  As far as the “re-design” goes, it’s about as much of a “re-design” as Infinity Ward’s “brand new” game engine.

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Stock App Re-designs

As mentioned in one of my previous posts, in IOS 7 Apple have done away with the outdated skeudomorphic app design, having re-designed all of their stock apps – notes, reminders, messages and calendar to name but a few, in order to comply with a more unanimous, overarching theme. I would list all of the tiny design changes in each app, but the crux of the matter is this; Apple has gone for a very, very simple look. The formatting and layout of the base apps are all largely the same, but the textures have changed. This is not so much a re-design, as a re-texturing;  going from the bloated, leather heavy design of previous apps, to the clean-cut, sharp designs of IOS 7.

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The Control Centre

A simple swipe upwards from the bottom of the screen brings up a useful feature named the control centre. From here users can change the volume, brightness, skip playing songs and toggle various settings such as enabling Bluetooth, Airplane mode and various other options that used to be much more difficult to find. This is a useful tool that provides many long overdue shortcuts.

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Updated Notifications

A swipe down on the other hand, provides a much less obtrusive, more useful notification centre. It mixes the old notifications from various apps with events from the calendar, providing a more informative view.

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Adding Immersion

One of the most interesting elements of IOS 7 is Apple’s focus on creating something called the parallax effect. As the mobile device is moved around, the background moves with it, thus creating the impression of being able to see around icons. It is especially prominent when using one of the new dynamic (moving) backgrounds on the iPad and helps to add layers and immersion to the operating system throughout, with translucent menu bars and various other tabs.

Final verdict

It is a shame really, Apple seem to have been quite lazy with this “redesign”. Many of the features seem half baked – the updated “multi-tasking” simply shows a preview window of each open app and still does not offer the opportunity to shut down everything at once. It’s also hardly the most original re-design, in what seems to be a low blow to Microsoft, Apple seem to have designed many of their apps almost mimicking the minimalist, brightly coloured flat look of Windows 8 that so many now favour on their PCs. There’s adapting in order to survive in a highly competitive market and then there’s just outright copying the competition. Then there was how the update was handled – with widespread crashes and problems people were still attempting to download the update days, not hours after it was released. This is something that simply should not happen to such an experienced company.

Overall, it is a fresh re-design for Apple that keeps them ahead – but only just. With all this in mind though, does it really matter? They are still the market leaders in premium phones, but seem to be innovating no longer.

This review would have also contained sections about Itunes Radio and Airdrop, but as of yet these seem unavailable to my Apple device, the iPad 3

Do you disagree with this article? Were there any crucial points you feel we’ve missed? Or do you think that IOS 7 is the best thing to ever happen to mobile devices. Whatever your opinion, comment below!

 

James McClaren

James McClaren is studying Arabic & Spanish at the University of Manchester and loves learning, writing and keeping up to date with upcoming technology and gadgets.

  • ruslanchik1991

    iTunes radio is available only to the US users so far

    • James McClaren

      It’s a shame though isn’t it, they haven’t made it very clear to people in the UK that it is unavailable, or when it will be available.

      It’ll be interesting to see how they differentiate themselves from the likes of Spotify

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