Apple pulled the trigger on an iOS that is so streamlined, so daring, and so different than any version of iOS before it, that it might even alienate some longtime users. Maybe so, but I’m certainly not among them. Sure, the animations are cute, and the translucency is pretty, as is the play of icons across the wallpaper when the user moves the handset from side to side. But all that’s just scratching the surface.
As far as the aesthetics go, it’s not going to appeal to everyone. In fact, if Steve Jobs were alive today, he might have killed this design approach before it even began. Some of these cues seem to take inspiration from others. The thin, narrow font gives a nod to Windows Phone, while the multitasking is reminiscent of WebOS’ cards. But I’m not complaining. Although it’s an almost dead-on approximation of how the old Pre used to handle multitasking, it was a solid approach then, and it still is now. And swipe-up access to major settings, like Wifi, Bluetooth and Airplane mode? Yes, please. Jailbreakers have known this joy for years now, and it’s about time these features have been officially embraced.
There are numerous changes to mull over. Photos got new, native filters, and there’s a new approach to camera roll organization that groups shots according to “moments” designated by time and location. New gestures enhance one-handed navigation across things like Mail and Safari, and users now get handy AirDrop features, multiple pages for unlimited apps in folders, and an improved Siri (with more natural female and male voices, more reference sources and more voice commands).
Could all this freak out iPhone and iPad users who were comfortable with their experience before? Certainly. It’s a lot to digest, and it’s coming in one fell swoop. But it should serve to silence the masses who have complained about iOS being stale. (I include myself in that bunch.)
What about you? Do you think iOS 7 has too many changes, or are you thrilled with what was announced? Hit up our poll and tell us if you think Apple has a hit on its hands, or if you think the company dropped the ball. And if there were any other features you still found missing, let us know in the comments.