iOS 7 - Forward or Wayward?

The release of something new by Apple is is always accompanied by hype and excitement. Back in the olden days, Jobs carried them off with a signature elan, in his turtleneck shirt and blue jeans. After Tim Cook took over the reigns, there has always been an apprehension on whether he would be able to rise up to the mantle. The latest release of iOS 7 heightens this feeling of doubt - in what direction is Apple heading?

In the words of Apple itself, iOS 7 is “The World’s most advanced mobile OS. In it’s most advanced form.” It has been completely overhauled and rethought in terms of the design and usability. Apple has completely done away with the ‘skeuomorphic’ design of the older versions, which tried to make apps similar to the real world by having leather textures with stitches, lined paper, wooden textures etc. The interface is now much cleaner, having a much more open and colorful look. Many of the default apps have also been upgraded, including weather, games, stocks and photos. Features which were the selling point of third party apps have now been incorporated into the default ones, giving them the edge. The all-new Weather app has effects such as hail bouncing off text, lightning accompanied by storm clouds and so on. iOS 7 even gets a pseudo-back button, though it isn’t a physical button or softkey. Swiping the screen from the left bezel to the centre now takes the user to the previous screen, and this feature seems to work in most apps and situations. iTunes Radio, which is starkly similar in function to already existing services like Pandora, has received lukewarm response yet, apparently offering nothing new over the latter except for the tight integration with iTunes.

Viewing from another perspective, iOS 7 seems to rip off a lot of ideas from other mobile OSes. The lock screen with the large digital clock, date and the slide to unlock seem to have been copied from Android. The color scheme in the calendar, the stark resemblance between Google Music and iTunes Radio, are just a few other examples. The two-dimensional icons which seem like they are pasted on the wallpaper are picked up from the new Blackberry Z10′s display. Critics feel that Apple should have innovated on these aspects. As one of them puts it, ”I was really disappointed in the iOS 7 announcement. I was really hoping that we’d see something that’s new, not just new to Apple.”

It remains to be seen if this kid on the block goes on to become a success commercially. Nevertheless, Apple, brave move there!

Share this post
facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather