Initial thoughts on the just-released iOS7

imageWWDC 2013, a success or failure? In the second year since the passing of Steve Jobs, much has changed—some for the better, some meh. The big news this year is the release of iOS7 the design is headed up, for the first time, by head product designer Jonathan “Jony” Ive.

Overall, I like iOS7.

First, for my personal taste on color, it’s a bit too pastel and feminine—not necessarily bad, just not my preference—and it’s kind of bright, making it a bit hard on the eyes. I prefer a darker color palette. That said, I do like the minimal-color, use of black and white in the apps.
The icons are hit and miss for me. Hits: Messages, Calendar, Photos, Maps, Clock, and Game Center. Misses: Safari, Phone, Camera, and Weather. Those not mentioned fall somewhere in the middle. As far as the scrubbing of the skeuomorphism goes, why is there an old fashion telephone handset as an icon? Why does the camera icon look like a camera? I prefer the old one. Maybe if the color palette was different, they wouldn’t bother me so much.

image1I like the minimalist approach, but this feels a little under designed. I like the new uniform design across all the apps, as the inconsistency always bothered me—now they feel uniform, like a suite. One new inconsistency I noticed is the Notifications panel is solid, but the Control Center panel is very transparent—too transparent, in my opinion.


I like the new type treatment. My only complaint is using a light-colored image as wallpaper, makes the type hard—if not impossible—to read. I find it strange the top bar has a slight drop shadow, but the time, date, and slide to unlock do not, nor do the names of the apps.

I’m surprised by the choice to remove “buttons” and instead use simple text links and icons. I’m happy to see the ugly date scroller gone, replaced with a more elegant one. I’m also surprised there isn’t more gesture navigation. For example, in the Photos app, I would like to swipe to move between Moments, Collections, and Years. While in Years, I have a hard time targeting the tiny icon, though I suppose that will change as the photo library grows. But a simple swipe in Years really should bring me back to Collections.

I’m liking iTunes Radio, too, but I’m not sure if it will replace Spotify for me—time will tell

I’m not going to go through every app, but general functionality has improved across the board. The calendar has improved dramatically, though I wish the Mail app did, too. It has some improvements, but I would like to see more, even something as simple as “Reminder from this Email.” I often read an email on my iPhone, but need to respond from my desktop—once at the office, I get distracted and miss the message because it’s no longer on the first page.

I like the new camera app, but being the photo geek I am, I would rather see some more robust features—like ISO or aperture control—rather than filters, which I almost never use. But then again, I generally use my Panasonic DMC-LX7 tethered to my iPhone via an Eye-Fi card.

Good—but not great—job by Jony and Scott.

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