Blog Post: My First Week With #iOS7

My Twitter feed has been inundated with designers angry about the new iOS look and feel. They talk about how terrible the color scheme is and how they would change the logos. Each post from said designer is accompanied by their own comps, comparing how much better it is.

Sound familiar? It’s because they were doing the same thing before WWDC.

From the developers I have talked to, iOS 7 will be an amazing set of new toys to play with. Apps can talk to each other, navigation can be gestured more and the UI will be cleaner.

That’s just for starters.

My biggest takeaway from the new operating system is, “this is what Samsung S4 users felt like.” Several of the features demonstrated during the keynote are cool to show off (including the panoramic desktop), but not features I plan on using every day.

Perhaps I am seeing the glass half full, but I saw the updates to notifications as welcome. The ability to see my day at a glance (and tomorrow) helps me see what I have going on. I am not a fan of the little “x” in the top-right corner still, but it’s easy enough for me to use.

The updates to the camera and photo apps were no-brainers. I love the ability to swipe camera format, and the live filters will be fun to use. Sharing should be easier, but I’m not sure if it will be enough for me to delete Aviary.

Control panel will get the most use for me, mainly because I’m almost always playing something from my phone. My favorite thing to play has been iRadio, which I wrote about earlier this week. The service will be a huge boon to the platform, and it helped me delete my other streaming players immediately. Huge wins all around.

Honestly, the biggest win for Apple is highlighting the native apps that have mostly been discarded by users in the last few iterations. Blogs have written about the top “replacement” apps for a few years, and I don’t blame them. Now, I feel more comfortable about deleting the replacements and giving notes, reminders, weather and Safari a try again.

The biggest argument I have to all the complaining designers is how flexible the UI has been designed. Many of the colors look loud and obnoxious with certain backgrounds. When used with darker and more neutral colors, I would disagree. Check out my home screen:

The biggest standouts are the greens of the phone and messages apps. Otherwise, there’s not much to complain about from here.

A few blogs with ties to Cupertino have said that this beta version is the least finished amongst all previous first releases of iOS from WWDC. Because Jony Ive took over a scant 8 months ago, developers at Apple have been behind the clock and are still racing to finish. Don’t think that what you are seeing will be final by a long shot. 

Maybe during the Jobs era I could see Apple sticking to it’s guns but that is not the company’s identity anymore. They listen to devs and their users. They care about quality. 

I can’t wait for the next build to be seeded and check out the updates as they roll out. Apps will be more finished, stable and performant. Understandably, the Internet doesn’t really ever like anything, and kicking iOS 7 is a bit fun right now. Eventually, there will be a backlash to the backlash and people will calm down.

For now, I will happily use Control Center to turn iRadio on and enjoy it on the ride home from work.

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