We are all mobile geeks, here at Android Authority. We love everything with a power button. We like to comment the latest news and endlessly argue over which phone is better. On the Friday Debate, we pick a hot issue and proceed to discuss it. Join us!
This week was, for many, dedicated to discussing Apple’s new operating system. Reactions have varied, from commenters in awe over the new design, to harsh criticism and a healthy dose of mockery.
In this week’s Friday Debate, we talk about the new iOS7, what it means for Android, and how it will change the mobile industry in general. Join us!
I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’m an Android fan… fanatic… fanboy, whatever. The fact is, I love Android. I love the current design implementations of the HOLO UI and I’ll scream #HOLOYOLO just as much as the next disciple of Matias Duarte will. With all that said, I’m a fan of Apple’s latest flavor of iOS. The previous iOS UI was old and outdated. It had not received a face list in 6 years. That’s right. From 2007 until 2013, iOS pretty much looked the same.
The latest UI overhaul changes the look and feel of iOS. The design is much more minimal and less in your face. I guess I like it so much because it doesn’t remind me of iOS. In fact, it reminds me of Android. It reminds me of Android’s current design guidelines a little. It’s clean. It’s simple. It’s sleek.
While we might be making fun of Johnathan Ive for copying Android via various memes (that I’ve laughed about), the updated design is great for iOS as a platform. We can make fun of iOS all we want, claiming that Android had many of the features announced today first (which is definitely true). However, everyone deserves a modern UI…even TouchWiz users. So, congrats iOS users.
There are enough iOS 7 jokes going round on the internet for me to skip out on the taunting and name calling, and allow me to get right into the pros and cons of iOS 7.
I’m going to make it clear that I’m not a fan of the new design. It seems as if they made a new design for a new design’s sake. When I read the rumors, the words that got tossed around a lot were a flatter design and two color UI’s, a darker version and a lighter version. I thought well that makes sense, Jony Ive likes his industrial, classy design and there is a black/slate iPhone and a white/silver iPhone, so a dark/light UI would make sense. Instead what I was faced with was an abomination. The flatter design was there, but I was faced with neon bright colors and icons that were very poorly designed. Some app icons went from dark to light contrast, some went light to dark, and some didn’t change at all. Considering Jony Ive’s quest for perfection I didn’t expect this at all. But we soon found out it was Apple’s marketing department had designed them, and that they were subject to change.
See here’s the thing Apple. The design of iOS wasn’t the problem, it was iOS’s functionality or rather lack of functionality. Apple went a long way to fixing these problems by offering improved intelligent multitasking (this might just be the only feature that beats Android). It also added toggles, which were sorely missed.
But then there were the things Apple didn’t do. Look past the glitter and shine of the new UI and you’ll realise that the homescreen is almost exactly the same. Those static apps are the only things that can adorn the homescreen, and you know what that means guys, no widgets. In fact, what was truly hilarious was the way Apple tried to sidestep the lack of widgets, by adding them into other elements of the UI. Notice the “Today” tab in the notification panel, which is basically a calendar widget.
That brings me to my next point about functionality, notifications. Other than the new paint job, notifications are still horrible in iOS. For example if you have a bunch of notifications with regards to Google Plus and you’d like to get rid of them you can’t. It’s all or nothing in iOS and that is a serious problem.
There’s also no choice of default apps and keyboards, but in the end Apple was hamstrung by its own users. It pushed as much as it could to change iOS without upsetting its legacy users who don’t like change (although a minority still disliked iOS 7).
So in the end iOS 7 is a strong stride forward for the iOS platform, but not the giant leap that it needed to be to surpass Android (at least in my eyes). That said I’m interested in checking out the new “intelligent multitasking” and the gorgeous photos app (Jonny Ive that’s how all of iOS should look like). But even then I believe Android is still on top, although by less of a margin than before, and with the next version of Android coming out soon, I don’t see that margin decreasing anytime soon.
I’ll start out with the nice stuff; iOS 7 is certainly an improvement for Apple customers, and there are no sour grapes from me about the company finally catching up, everyone deserves the best from their brand of choice. A lot of the good stuff came in the form of improved functionality, and iOS 7 certainly seems like an OS that I could use.
Having said that, I think that the color scheme is absolutely hideous, and without the ability to change the skin, I’m turned off from iOS 7 based on appearance alone.
But let me get to my real bugbear, the marketing. It’s the same nonsense which irritates me about almost every release event, the buzz words and the blatant lies, and Apple really took the biscuit this time.
We all know that many of iOS 7’s “innovative” features have been around on Android for ages. Whilst I’m not opposed to taking inspiration from good ideas, selling them to people as “new” is cringe-worthy at least, and down right infuriating once you see less informed individuals lap it up.
For me iOS 7 symbolizes everything that’s wrong with Apple; it’s all about the image, but lacks any real inspiration.
On the other hand, I’m quite happy to let Apple sit in the corner quietly rocking back and forth trying to convince itself that it’s still innovative, that it still “has it”. There’s something wonderfully tragic about the whole affair.
The thing that irked me when iOS7 was announced was reading tweets from the people that I follow. See, I mostly follow journalists and bloggers that I perceive as pro-Apple, and I selected them like that on purpose, to have the other perspective.
The reactions – it’s beautiful, it’s innovative, it’s amazing. One notable “analyst” even said that Samsung should look at Apple for pointers on how to use phone sensors cleverly… Seriously? Eye tracking is gimmicky, but paralax effects are clever??? Next, he said something along the lines of “Mountain View, start your photocopiers”. SERIOUSLY?
Okay, rant over. I am not upset about Apple “borrowing” elements from Android (and other operating systems). Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and as my colleagues said, having a strong opponent is good for Android.
My reactions to the new design: many icons are a mess, especially that compass icon, it looks so amateurish. The color palette is extreme. Apple has lots of uptight, mature users – how will they like it, I wonder? Besides, the palette doesn’t play well with the industrial design of the iPhone. Next, the new iOS seems to have lost that much lauded consistency it used to have. For instance, the Game Center looks nothing like the rest of the OS.
I am sure that much will change in iOS until it begins pushing to users this fall. Probably, some new and colorful iPhones will come out by then, with a design that matches the unicorn-barfs-rainbow theme. Those icons – I am sure they will be substantially changed.
Looking beyond the design, the new iOS is not that innovative as Phil Schiller sells it to be. Yes, it narrowed the gap between it and Android, but Apple’s OS isn’t, by any means, the most advanced operating system in the world. Worse, the new design may cause more people to realize it.
What do you think of the new iOS 7?
Join us in the comments and vote in our poll.