iOS7 new user interface is futuristic beautiful. iOS7 features are now complete. Is Apple one step closer to the perfect mobile OS ?
[Reproduced from Mashable]
iOS 7: Closer to the Perfect Mobile OS
This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication.
There is, I believe, a perfect mobile operating system, one ideal way of handling mobile activities on a smartphone or tablet. Apple, Google and Microsoft, maybe even Blackberry, are all headed to this common destination.
But on Monday at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, Apple proved that it’s the furthest down that road. And that should surprise no one.
iOS 7, the most radical reimagining of iOS since its inception in 2007, was met with cheers of approval and, in some spots in the cavernous Moscone hall, standing ovations. From where I sat, it was deserved.
We all knew this was coming: A flattening of the interface: Less overt polish and skeuomorphism, a new look and feel brought to you by the architect of Apple aesthetic, Jony Ive. Personally, I was worried. Apple’s iPhone interface remains my favorite among smartphone platforms. I didn’t see enough wrong with it to require a rethink, but then I probably wasn’t thinking deeply enough about the mobile OS.
Taking away reflections and make-believe bubblish curves is not exactly a major accomplishment. In the case of iOS 7, it appears to be in service of radically different approach to interface mechanics. The new iOS is quite lovely — the new color palette manages to make a nearly entirely flat interface bright and bold. But clearly, the goal is for it to get out of the way.
By stripping away more than one layer of artifice, the user gets that much more quickly to what they really care about: the content, their contacts, the music, and their photos.
iOS 7 is not averse to a bit of flash. The new Safari method of handling browser tabs is both smart and spectacular. It’s like a rolodex with unlimited cards. Similarly, the new wallpapers don’t just sit behind your newly flat icons: You can turn the phone one way or another to see more of the wallpaper image behind the icons. It’s a neat trick, and about as glamorous as the new iOS gets.
Apple also manages with iOS 7 to undo its biggest design mistake: Game Center. I have no idea why they thought it should look like a craps table. Now it’s mostly white space and bubbles. That’s better, though I still think it was the one iOS 7 area that looked somewhat out of step with the rest of the OS.
Destination: Awesome Mobile OS
There’s a concerted effort in iOS 7 to not waste space or your time. More system apps, like Safari, are full screen. The new Control Center offers instant access to system features like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and Airplane mode, ones I probably access multiple times every day. I usually have to dig into iOS settings to get to them. In iOS 7, you just swipe from the bottom. It's plain smart.
Speaking of smart, I’m excited to try out the new Photo app. It looks miles better than the current version, mostly because Apple seems to really understand how we use our iPhones and what happens with our overwhelming collection of on-device images. I want my phone to organize my images for me, because I know I never will.
Even Siri’s relatively minor enhancements were music to my ears. I love that she (or he) can now act on a system level. For as aware as the voice assistant was of the content on my phone and the web, I was always disappointed that Siri didn’t seem to know her own home –- the iPhone. Now I can tell her to change the brightness settings. I expect to be able to enact all sorts of hardware-level changes through voice control.
I also know I’m not the only iPhone user who will thank Apple for introducing auto-app updates. Yes, I know that those updates will probably have to happen when Wi-Fi is available. If it’s really smart, the phone won’t update big-ass apps like Asphalt 7 until you plug it in at night. Still, I won’t shed a tear when I say goodbye to that little AppStore message reminding me I have 57 apps updates to download and install.
There are plenty of under-the-hood enhancements, most notably smart app management (more cycles for your most-used apps) and multi-tasking across all apps. When we quizzed a developer about the day’s most important iOS enhancements, the first thing he mentioned was multitasking.
The Road to Perfect
Yes, there were moments when I recognized a little bit of other mobile OS’s in iOS 7 — probably no more so than when Apple showed off “Today.” The dark screen, crisp, white typography, and the effort to bring together all you should know about that day in one place: it reminded me of the way Windows Phone 8 collects all that you need to know about, say, connection activities.
The more these mobile OSes change, the more they become the same as each other. It's a sign that the mobile space is no longer fresh. It’s a mature business where consumers have a set of expectations about how things should work.
Each mobile OS I’ve seen this year is getting to that destination of the perfect mobile OS. I truly believe they’ll all meet in the middle. Visually, there will always be differences, but the way our smartphones work will be more and more the same.
The only question is how fast Apple, Google, Microsoft and Blackberry get there. Some come on a galloping horse, others a race car. And Apple? I think they may just have strapped a rocket ship onto iOS.
i blog about the things I love: fitness, hacking work, tech, Experiences and anything holistic.
> I am the Head of Product at Sikka Software.