Please Support - Ride for the child

So this week we witnessed the arrival of Apple’s new mobile operating system IOS7. Its most notable – and controversial – change is the redesigned user interface. There are also a number of improvements to the operating system’s (OS) functionality.

I started this post the same night I downloaded the OS but decided to wait a few days so I could take a step back, have a read, deliberate and (hopefully) give a unbiased(ish) conclusion. The main problem is that I am a massive Apple advocate and have been for a number of years. I’m what some people would describe as an “Apple sheep”. I’ve owned Apple products for years and they struggle to do any wrong in my eyes. But I promise I will try to give an honest, fair-minded opinion.

I’m not going to go into massive details about each tiny aspect but give more of an overview of the new redesign and list some key points.

The OS

It’s massively different and there’s absolutely no debate about that. The new redesign is based on something commonly known as a ‘flat’ design. For those of you that don’t know what this means it’s basically clean, open space, crisp edges, bright colours and two-dimensional/flat illustrations. It’s a design approach that has been adopted by Microsoft, Google, millions of websites and now Apple.

Being a web designer I had already paid careful attention to this upcoming IOS7 design and therefore I had seen it before the vast majority of people. My first thought was ‘wow it’s different’. And it really is different, the textures and shadows have been replaced by this flat design. I love change and working as a web person I see different styles everyday. I’m used to change – especially in technology.

But what about your average Joe? From what I have personally experienced the reaction has been extremely varied. I’ve found the vast majority of my non-web friends have text me saying “It’s sh*t – hate it” and then a few hours/days later they have said “I quite like it now!”. I think the main issue is that most people don’t like change. They don’t mind it in small doses but to be suddenly overwhelmed like this with a mind boggling new OS makes it difficult for them to immediately approve of it.

I’m going to give an example now. A fair few years back some lads starting wearing skinny jeans and getting sleeve tattoos. I, and millions of others used to look at these people and think what on earth are they doing. But now a few years later every Tom, Dick and Harry has one or the other and they have become cool and socially accepted as the norm. For the record my arm is now covered and I own multiple pairs of skinny jeans.

You can probably see that the point I’m trying to get across is that people dislike things at first but as time goes by they begin to warm to them.

I admire people who can dress, think or do anything differently. They are willing to put themselves out and do whatever they believe in. This brings me back to Apple and the fact they have made something that is completely new and different. Apple lead and never (debatable) really follow others. People can moan all they want but Apple made the smartphone market as it is today and they continue to improve/dominate it several years after its origin.

On a more negative note some things are not quite right. Some things are debatable and others down to personal preference. As previously mentioned I’m not going to go into massive detail but here’s a list:-

  • It’s different and it’s going to take time to get used to
  • Flat design? Is it like marmite?
  • Some of the buttons/links are inconsistent and offer bad UX
  • Overkill on the transitions and animations (debatable)
  • Font weight improvement?
  • Gives a ‘cheap’ feeling for (mostly non web?) people?
  • Childlike design?
  • Game centre is awful
  • Calendar, mail and message format has changed
  • Took a while to download (a ridiculous thing in my eyes as you will read about below)
  • And many more.

It’s not perfect yet and I think it’s (debatably) been the least polished new Apple OS ever (can’t help but think this is because Steve Jobs died!). But I think these issues are teething problems. I think things will change and I think that this IOS7 is a bold step in the right direction.

Each time anything new comes out the press always report the negatives, they love to try and get one over anyone such as the government, football players and this week Apple. I love reading the comments of people who have made the effort to write pathetic messages stating how they now ‘can’t use’ their phone. It doesn’t exactly take a brain surgeon to figure it out.

The most ridiculous news reports were about people experiencing delays and having to wait for their download. Well no sh*t Sherlock. It’s been downloaded over 100million times and I don’t know anyone who didn’t have it the next morning. Form an orderly queue please and news reporters stop being so unreasonable. If people wanted 100 million copies of your newspaper all at the same time I would like to see how you fared.

It’s different and I completely agree that it will take time to figure it out – in the same way that a new procedure at work would take some getting used to. Whether or not it’s a good decision for Apple to have forced people to have to adapt so much is another argument.

I concede that Apple may have messed up on some things and I can understand why people may take a negative stance. But I think in time it will be polished and people will grow to love IOS7.

So there you have it! My biased (I tried) view on the new IOS7. I may be blinded by loyalty in some points but I think I have raised some reasonable – and most probably debatable – points/arguments.

Thanks for reading!