Recent days, a lot of commentaries have focused on appearance and usability of iOS 7 – the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. According to CEO Tim Cook, the new iOS7 is considered as “a stunning new user interface” or a “biggest change” since the introduction of Apple product. However, whether this new iOS7 design actually run well as it’s being mentioned? Or it’s not impressive enough? That’s a different story entirely.
First of all, let’s look at the “Pros” of iOS7. Obviously, since Apple’s announcement about the iOS7 beta version, it’s the fact that Apple attracts a huge number of users by launching new controls and features.
Control Center – the very new feature in iOS7
Gone are the days that we had to download a plethora of tweaks in order to access to the most used icon – “Settings”. By using “Control center”, it gives you quick access to commonly used functions. Now you can control toggle airplane mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, flashlight or brightness more conveniently and even quick access to the camera or playing the music.
It’s really a new innovative step which summoned with a quick swipe up from the bottom of the screen. The whole thing slides gracefully over any application you’re using and while it is a small detail in the grand scheme of things that iOS has been missing since the first days.
The notifications in iOS 7 have been re-designed with the appearance of a nice little bump. It now has 3 separate tabs to work with (Today, All, Missed) which do exactly as their name suggest. Another change is the ability to access notification from the lock-screen.
However, the Notification Center doesn’t seem to be more useful. There are no in-line response capabilities and sometimes it’s even tougher to clear notifications than before. So the users must be careful if they don’t want to clear anything on the screen center.
iOS 7: a significant improvement in Multitasking
Multitasking also gets a much-needed improvement, too. Since the appearance of iOS 4, multitasking was handled by double-tapping the “Home” button to bring a row of icons at the bottom of the screen that showed which apps were opening.
In this new upgraded version iOS 7, users will easily see which applications are running in landscape mode and now the users can quit the apps simply by swiping them up. Furthermore, all the apps opening at the same time may also be closed immediately by using this new control function – Multitasking.
This is really a special feature in iOS 7 that allows users to share data or content with other iOS users through the Control Center function. You can share with other users who are close by, and this mobile application also tells you who you can send content to right within Control Center. Additionally,
it also utilizes Bluetooth to create an ad-hoc Wi-Fi connection between devices, so you can share photos, videos and other types of files between devices inside Apple’s ecosystem easily. AirDrop seems to be easy to set up and use.
The iTunes Radio music discovery service is built into the default Music app and is aimed at helping you find out new artists based on bands and songs you like. The iOS 7 beta version is still trying to work out the kinks, as the catalogue didn’t even have results for some very high-profile artists. Still as usual, when it does work, iTunes Radio is a visually pleasing way to discover new tracks. It also integrates with Twitter Music, which could also be a good way to find out what’s running on the music scene.
Besides that, the new iOS 7 give the user a better music control. By double-clicking the home button from the Lock Screen, a few music controlling functions will appear and so you can pause, or rewind, fast-forward or skip through songs. It’s obviously more convenient when playing music.
All of these new features and controls integrated in iOS7 are considered as a breath of fresh air which brings a lot of changes. However it’s just on one side. On the other sides, iOS7 still has some problems and not fully completed version due to two main causes:
The new interface of iOS 7 is confusing
As similar as any iOS version before, “Slide to unlock” is still located at the bottom of the display on the lock screen, though the slider button graphic is now gone. No any improvement in the way to unlock an iOS device, the users still have to swipe from left to right. Sliding upward cannot unlock iOS. Instead, this arrow has another purpose to alert the user to the presence of the new Control Center, which provides quick access to several settings and controls.
Moreover, according to Circa-CEO Matt Galligan, the iOS 7 home screen icons are not really appropriate, poorly balanced, and also remaining an unattractive color palette. In other word, the app icons just do not synchronize together and they look not really elegant.
Additionally, inside each app, the iconography has been changed from the familiar one to the confusing one. Let’s take a look at the new controls in Safari. Almost all the icons now do not look like any sharing icon you know. It’s totally different and move away from familiar shapes and textures. Perhaps the new design with new shapes and textures of Apply now more complex and confusing.
Siri and Maps application still have problems
Siri got some updates and generally it’s better than last version, but its new function is not as useful as Google Now. Siri can now answer more questions and works with Bing, Wikipedia, and Twitter to provide more information for users. It also uses audio waves to show when the program is listening instead of the old text-to-speech method. However, again and again, this new function is not the perfect one and of course it’s hard to see what Siri is interpreting as you’re speaking sometimes.
Apple Maps didn’t get much better either, though it is complemented the night mode. Many iOS fans still complain that Apple Maps couldn’t get their location right. Furthermore, the same problems as in iOS 6 still exist.
To sum up, it’s sure that many other features in iOS 7 haven’t been revealed yet, but generally Apple did make changes for a new interface though that’s neither an obvious improvement nor a downgrade. So hopefully, after receiving all the compliments and criticisms from users, Apple could have some new surprises, some real innovation when the official iOS7 version is released this fall.