I‘ve written before that I moved away from Apple to Windows Phone because iOS felt staid, boring and a bit like a cardigan wearing Toyota driver. No apologies to Toyota drivers here, they generally suck. So, after going back to the drawing board, Apple went for a whole new, redesigned experience with iOS7. What did they end up with?
What we ended up with is a bright, watercolour remix of the original iOS. Yes, all the digital woodgrain, chrome effect and felt is gone, the icons have been redeveloped and some new wallpapers have been reintroduced, but underneath it all, it’s still the same walls of static, uninteresting icons. Fundamentally, that was always the problem with iOS. Yes, it’s simple and intuitive at first, but it gets frustrating when you realise that those icons don’t really do anything apart from tell you that they want to tell you something.
I had hoped that with a fresh coat of paint would come some better ways to see information on your device at a glance, but the reality is that there isn’t. Notification Centre does alleviate some of the issues, but it’s not like you have a widget or live tile speaking to you without having to trawl through every icon with a red numbered corner or every notification you’ve received. Ok, at least Apple did add a quick settings area but why they couldn’t do a Samsung and integrate it into the Notifications Centre I have no idea.
To address the labels of being staid and boring, Apple have tried to liven up the software with layering and parallax effects as well as some new animations which look kind of cool for a while…until you realise they actually slow you down. However, the parallax effect is kind of cool, but unfortunately that actually makes you feel like there’s depth to the software that actually doesn’t exist. You kind of keep peeking over your icons in the vain hope that some more software or features pop out.
I know that iOS7 had to be done, and perhaps it is a first step for Apple to reimagine how iOS should be used. Hopefully they come up with a better end user interface than walls and walls of icons, because frankly, no matter how you dress it up, iOS7 hasn’t changed fundamentally since the original iPhone in 2007, nor does it give its users any real means of customisation beyond the locations of said icons when everyone else has pretty much moved on from the paradigm of static programs on a desktop screen.