Please note people that the version of iOS 7 used within this post is the beta developer’s version, and that the final product may differ from what you’re about to see.
Ok for those of you didn’t hear or are living under a rock with poor internet reception, yesterday Apple announced the new iOS 7, among many other things. iOS has been criticized for a long time now for being the same with every “new” iteration. What was Apple’s answer to this? Why to pretty much blow up the look of the operating system and rebuild it.
We here at RepairLabs have gotten our hands on the new beta version of iOS 7, and are here to give you a full rundown of our thoughts and opinions on it up to this point.
The results are mixed, at best. I personally dislike the whole look. It’s like Apple thought to themselves “WWAHD?” or “What would a hipster do?” This was the result. Now for the sake of being fair, I got past my initial disgust of the design and utilized the new features to test out the actual functionality of the new iOS.
From a design standpoint, my feelings are pretty clear. I don’t like the new look at all. The icons all have a bright, colorful vector feel to them that I feel is far too hipster for the phone’s own good. Nothing else really changed when it comes to design for the icons. You still have the standard layout with the app rows and the main functions at the bottom.
The lock screen is one of those interesting changes. It’s essentially identical to its predecessor in how it functions, but it now looks nearly identical to a handful of Android phones.. Very interesting.
When it comes to additions to the design, this is where Apple has made improvements. With the new slide down menus on the top and bottom, which are called the Control Center and the Navigation Center, along with the redesigned unlock screen, we get the feeling that Apple has been watching the competition closely while working on this latest version.
The slide down from the top gives you access to the Navigation Center, which houses your calendar and the stock market widget. I find them to be an odd combination, but having instant access to your calendar is a handy feature.
Sliding the screen from the bottom up gives you the Control Center, much like the top bar of an Android phone. From here you can change your general settings such as WiFi and whatnot, below that is the media player, brightness, and a few of the essential apps; flashlight, (handy) stopwatch, calculator, and camera.
You may have noticed that the search page is now gone. Replacing it is this new frustrating feature where you have to do an angled swipe down to pull down the search. It feels silly and they should have left it be. You know that they say, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
Also note that you can now voice search, much like Android phones.
This is where Apple impressed me. The aesthetic changes were an extremely mixed bag, but the functionality changes were across the board positives. The speed to open apps is unrivaled at this point, and the way it pulls you into the app instead of simply opening it is a nice touch.
I felt that in general the phone was a lot more snappy and quick while moving from app to app. The only issue I’ve had functionality wise is that Siri is currently broken. Now I don’t know if this is because of the phone or the update, and am not going to hold it against Apple right this very moment, but it is an issue that is apparent as this time.
While I’ll show you the difference in design for a lot of the apps, the only two apps that seem to function differently are the camera and the music player.
iTunes Radio – This is the music player that iPhone users have deserved for a long time. It’s clean and simple and runs really well. I love the design of it, and found navigating through it was a breeze.
Camera – The camera is essentially the same, Apple just made a handful of thoughtful additions to it, including the ability to add filters on the fly, like Instagram, but not… Instagram..
Parallax effects and a new App Cleaning function are really the highlights of the new features at this time. I’m sure as we get further into development Apple will add more new features, including access to Airdrop, which I couldn’t use at this time.
Parallax Effects – Ok, these are silly and unnecessary, but dang-it they look cool! With the parallax, you get the effect of depth with your screen, which is compounded by the fact that the background shifts and skews as you twist and turn the phone, really adding to the depth effect.
App Cleaning – Goodness, I honestly can’t believe it has taken Apple this long to implement a quality app cleaning function. The App Cleaning function that Android and Windows use are extremely intuitive; and the Apple version is no different. Flinging apps up causes them to close-out, helping to conserve your battery life and improve overall performance.
The Good – Speedy, Intuitive and finally adding features that the other OS’s have had for a long time now. New iTunes Radio and App Cleaning functions are handy and feel like they should have been introduced a few iterations ago.
The Bad – Vector.. Really, Apple? The feel of the new colors and icons is extremely hipster and may turn off more serious or mature users. I still would like to see widgets instead of just little app bubble icons.
The Ugly – Why is Siri broken?? On top of that the phone runs extremely hot with this new update. We’re not talking thermal meltdown, but rather uncomfortable in the hand after 30-45 minutes of use.
Other Thoughts – I feel that Apple really hasn’t take a huge leap forward with this new “revolutionary” iOS 7 update. Yes, it’s an upgrade on iOS 6, I’m not denying that – BUT where is the features that have become common-place with the competition that Apple still lacks?
The design is silly in my opinion, but the speed and functionality increases make this a worthwhile upgrade. We can only hope that it gets better as it gets closer to release.
How varying are opinions on the new iOS so far? Well check out some thoughts from the RepairLabs staff. And remember, the next time you break your iPhone or need to get your iPad repaired, to think of your friends here at RepairLabs!
Taylor ~ Lead Repair Technician - It's ugly.. The flat bright colors for the icons just looks flat out stupid. I'm definitely going to Android.
Jason ~ I.T. Manager - I don't understand why they went away from the old icons, there was nothing wrong with them. The new parallax effects are cool, but the icons are bad.
Brittany ~ Nobody Knows What Brittany Does - I love it! Granted, I understand why guys who aren't hipsters may not like it, but it's so bright and happy!
Michelle ~ Graphic Designer - The vector design is really eye-catching, and I like it. It definitely has a hipster feel to it, but I still like iOS 7.
Curtis is one of the lead public technical advisors for all personal electronics. With a burning passion for not only bringing you the most informative articles, but also for his websites RepairLabs and Fix-iPhones.com. His proudest achievement though is Op:HERO -- a program dedicated to making each repair help overcome.