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View Full Version : iOS 7 detailed impressions


Shinkansen Lion
Jun 12, 2013, 01:31 PM
First and foremost everyone is spot on the new UI. The big thing is that...it changed at all! They finally proved it's no taboo to overhaul the appearance of iOS. I really think it's big, regardless of any considerations on the quality. Now we know that in just one version jump we can expect more than usual. The iOS 6 presentation was like 'iOS 5 + buggy maps' and nothing more really. Of course all the blogs echoing 'it's classy, Apple way, maps is such a big thing they didn't have time for anything else' and bla bla bla.
Fact is they were behind at least 3 versions with a real hefty update.
After building the basics up until 3, iOS 4 with the new hardware available could start to change some things. Finally a twist, not just rounded corners or metallic textures.

I like the 3d feeling of the system navigation, it's the right step towards immersion. I also like the 'automatic appearance' thing that you can't directly tweak it but things adapt to your wallpaper color scheme. It will take some time to make it good, right now it's not so effective and with a darkish wallpaper everything seems off, but if they build on this it will be a very good touch.

The new icons are terrible, totally bland. Only Safari is ok because it's so strange compared to the others that it has some sort of personality. It's 2013, there's no excuse on tight schedules, if you hire a top notch designer he can come up with cool icons in no time. Or hire an army of them and compare different ideas. Really no excuse. Anyway they're just icons, I think the 'navigation feeling' in a OS has priority over them so it's not such a disaster. And by the way old icons were even more terrible, they had an unremarkable '2005 desktop' feeling.

The notification, search and quick settings panels are good and this time nothing is missing (ahem...save for data toggle and hotspot). I really don't like the 4 quick access icons on the bottom, they feel redundant. There's already the dock for this, duplicating its functionality it's amateurish for a solid design evangelist like Apple. Speaking of which they could improve the dock, it could have folders or it could group more icons in less space like on a pile, I don't know but right now feels again the same old dock which is not distinguished enough from other normal icons row.

The Apple apps are definitely better even if don't expect much new functionality, just a quick paint over. Apple should move the majority of them from the system to the Appstore so they could be finally updated in their own separate cycle.

Safari finally received an overhaul not just in the UI. Full screen navigation everywhere, slide to go previous or next, better tabs, internet experience is all around smoother. I was hoping for this so much, Apple official browser was lagging behind at least 3 years and with the restrictions other apps have it was a big bummer.

Mail didn't get so much attention but I think it will in the immediate future. It's ok for now, not the best portable client but not missing any key functionality.
iTunes radio still don't know what to think, I'm using Spotify and it has all the things I need. Feels just a 'version 1' iteration of a service that will be more and more stuffed up in the future.

The other improvements are very good: selectively turn off data usage for apps, multitasking screen with previews, icloud keychain (hope we'll see a proper ios keychain app now), folders with unlimited items, block list and finally do not disturb with screen on. Power on time seems quicker.

I installed iOS 7 on both a 5 and a 4s and it feels you're using same generation phones (only big thing missing is airdrop but that's for wifi chip reasons). It's remarkable a 2011 phone received many new functionalities, looks like a brand new phone released in 2013.

Overall first impressions are very good. Only real letdown for now is that with the rise of tablets I was sure the new system would showcase a host of features tailored for the iPad but so far no show. Anyway there are so many new things introduced in just one version jump that I think now we can expect more from simple point versions.