Back in June of this year, Apple announced the release of its new mobile operating system called iOS7. It came out in beta format around my birthday and I decided for a birthday treat to myself to register my device and to install the beta on iOS7. Being on an iPhone 4 it has been a bit of a different experience than if I was on an iPhone 5 or 4s. The initial install of iOS 7 I had the unfortunate experience of losing some data when installing the software, but no harm done all of the stuff said or took photos of were on facebook/Instagram or were also in my messages on my iPad or computer. Regardless the software was extremely buggy on the first version. My phone kept crashing and it would constantly try to update and take a long time to do so. I slightly regretting updating but I knew this was going to be an interesting experience that not many people get to do.
With the second update my phone started performing a lot better and there became less, and less problems overtime. By the third or fourth version my Do Not Disturb feature ended up causing my phone to not show incoming calls. I had to reset that option in order to fix that problem. The design and UI improved with each version. The folders started working correctly by the third version and by the fourth version I started seeing the new interface when an application updates. I really liked the visuals of a faux egg timer. The applications I thought were really bright and vibrant. I thought that Apple didn’t have to go so bright with the visuals. I assumed Jony Ives thought it was a better design aesthetic to have a vibrant and gradient visual than just a flat color. I would have preferred a more analogous color than a deeper or brighter color than the application icon started with.
With the push for flat design and a cleaner aesthetic, I thought Apple has done a better job in design than Windows with making sure it lets its users understand the functions of the applications. All the applications were there before in iOS 6 and now after all that time they took the time to make all he icons and applications skeuomorphic, they are now able to strip the real world element and and focus on the content. With the public release of iOS 7 this past week I was also able to update my iPad. I found iOS 7 to be friendlier to the device than an iPhone. I liked the ability to use AirDrop on the device to connect to other Apple users. The parallax background was a nice touch that I didn’t get to experience on the iPhone 4. Also the backgrounds and transitions had a better translucent appearance that was more opaque on the iPhone 4. Since the public release Twitter, Facebook, Vimeo and Foursquare not only updated their icons, but their entire interface! The colors for each program are all around the same shade of blue which can be a little confusing the user. The control center is definitely my top new function of iOS7 and my least favorite part of iOS 7 are the abundance of gradients.
My only concern with moving forward with a mobile first and content first initiative with design is that if we have applications with similar brand color schemes there might be a point to where applications start looking exactly the same and we lose the ability to look unique. Though skeuomorphism did provide that outlet for design it didn’t have much purpose other than fluff. If we design our content with the same typefaces and layout theres going to be too much overlay. There needs to be some sort of variation, or at least a cleaner definition between application identities. iOS 7 is a good starting point in the direction for a cleaner look, this is only the beginning of how design will continue to be content driven.