iOS 7: Beta 1 impressions

There is something unique and polished to the iOS environment. Something that Windows 8 and Android are trying to overcome with a new, flat, trend setting kind of design. I’ve heard the gregarious conversation about how flat is now and how Skeuomorphism is passé in user interface design. But regardless iOS has always seemed more polished and professional than either Android or Windows.

iOS 7 is the newly redesigned future of iOS, in some ways I can see the beauty and benefit of flat design. In most ways I feel like Apple is playing follow the leader. Congrats iOS now seems like a follower to android or windows 8! Flat design is about simplifying the interface, but there is only so much you can do without appearing to copy others. I’ve thought from the beginning that android (and now windows phone) lacked the visual enhancements that make iOS the stunning user experience that it is. Read android seems childish to iOS’s sophistication. iOS7 takes iOS into the new era of Flat design to it’s detriment in my opinion. There are many nice and clean visual aspects of the new interface, but there are many things that were sacrificed in the process. Many of the app icons are childish at best. Vector artwork on a slight gradient is the first step of the design process, not the finished product. Over simplification makes them seem cheap and easy.

There are several feature I love from a usability standpoint, the new Control Center gives you access to a bunch of stuff that is extremely useful. Brightness, Alarm Clock, flashlight (builtin), Airplay sharing, etc. This is going to single handedly help me clear several apps from my home page. Love it.

The OS seems slow in general due to the over abundance of effects in moving from state to state or view to view. For example the new 200 ms fade to black when you click the lock button seems slow. Another example, folder to out of folder animation visually takes you from one action to the conclusion, however waiting for the actions to fade in and out and complete makes everything seem delayed. Before iOS was quick and functional, now it’s happy and neat and not in a hurry. Even if you light in the south, you still want to get info quickly on your phone. Each slow fade makes me feel like my phone is slower.

Don’t even get me started on paralax “playfullness” of the lock and home screen. That novelty is wasting too much battery power. Seriously the “wow that’s neat factor” dissolves in about 30 seconds.


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