There is More to Apple’s iOS 7 Than Meets The Eye

Written by Gradly on . Posted in Apple, blog, Design, iPhone, Metro, My Take, Steve Jobs

There is More to Apple’s iOS 7 Than Meets The Eye
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Apple knows the design of iOS7 sucks and they’re absolutely happy. Here is why:
Flat is in fact ugly

In terms of design, most people are confused about telling you what they need actually. I’ve been working in web design for a long time now and what I can tell you about the majority of people is that they tend to easily criticize design (how the system looks) every time, even if they are in need for more functionalities (how the system works).

Flat Calendar in Windows 8

Flat Calendar in Windows 8

Windows Phone as an example for flatness is still a failure, while the catchy thing like the live tiles may appeal to some, but looking at the GUI 50 times a day is enough to make it feel stale, boring, and repetitive. Android has an ugly UI and the only thing that people love about it is the many damn functionalities crammed in there.

Skeuomorph Calendar in iCloud

Skeuomorph Calendar in iCloud

Windows Phone and Android are not good examples for Apple to follow or people to compare. In many occasions, Apple used to demo Apps that made for iPad and Galaxy tablets showing the advantage of better design on iPad. Unfortunately Apple is going the Galaxy way this time, read below for more on this.

Apple’s issue is not in the design

I adore aesthetics, and that’s why I love the excessive life-like elements Apple implemented in their Apps. I like the calendar on iPad which is a joy to look at (looks like exactly the same screenshot above from iCloud). The idea that iOS starts to feel dull has nothing to do with the infamous skeuomorphism.I don’t know who came up with this idea in essence, yet people keep repeating that. Actually the heated debate over skeuomorphism diverted the attention to that instead of the real problem. Remember, people mainly criticize the look and feel.

The issue in Apple’s iOS is the lack of features especially the basic ones offered by the jailbreak community.

iBooks in iOS6

iBooks in iOS6

Who said skeuomorphism makes complex UX

I don’t know how people think that life-like elements in Apps are complex and not intuitive and they want more simple and modern UI? I also don’t get the idea behind why buttons should no more look like real buttons. Remember, this design is what made the iOS so damned mainstream; it was intuitive and easy to use by old as well as young people. Actually, the popularity of iPhone among young and old generations was 90% software success.

Forcing flatter design will let down many of old people who will find the new software unintuitive and hard to use. Is Apple targeting the new generation only?

We are not arguing if the new iOS 7 is usable or not, It’s somehow usable and I would’ve liked it if it were iOS 1 from the beginning. The point is that, iOS 7 is not better compared to iOS 6, from a design standpoint.

iOS 7 is broken
iOS 6 (Left) V.s. iOS 7 (Right)

iOS 6 (Left) V.s. iOS 7 (Right)

iOS 6 and iOS 7 are like iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 respectively, both are working fine but one has a premium look and the other has cheap plastic design!

iOS6 and iOS7 are like iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3 respectively, both are working fine but one has a premium look and the other has cheap plastic design!

I like textures, Linen, and stitched-leather in previous iOS, they were executed well with fine attention to details. I thought it was amazing that something digital gave me the feel of real life. With that said, I am not opposed to the whole changes being made in iOS 7 as long as its executed well and not actually worse than they originally were. That’s the point. Most of the items are worse than the original. The icons for one are bad. So it’s no longer a flat v.s. skeuomorphic. It’s a good design v.s. bad design thing.

It’s no longer a flat v.s. skeuomorphic. It’s a good design v.s. bad design thing

The new notifications window with larger font and spaces which forces you to scroll more down several times to reveal few information which used to be shown on a fraction of one page in iOS 6. This is one example of the horrible usability in the new update.

The new Newsstand icon that looks like a bunch of grocery bags. Its just a terrible thing to think about. Most of the new icons feel like old clip-arts form Office 97. Apple is known for its premium, detailed icons that took designers a lot of attention and effort to create. A meaningless 3d color-bubbles icon for Game Center? A 2D color mix for images? Button that look like real button, text only buttons, blue text buttons, red circle buttons. Its inconsistencies all over iOS 7.

One of the real problems is that it took Apple 5 years to polish iOS up to iOS 6 which still has its share of inconsistencies (that needs a separate post). So, just imagine how much time will be spent (wasted?) trying to polish this new one.

What hurts me the most, there are lots of design elements I really considered as an Apple heritage or sacred stuff, which Apple chose to ditch completely in iOS 7. This is totally frightening.

Apple creates follows trends:

Apple is all about design and quality

Because I’m an Apple brand loyal and an iPhone lover, by iOS 7, Apple committed a grave mistake.

Ever since people started repeating words (simple, modern, flat, etc) without understanding the consequences, I was afraid Apple would eventually listen. I’m talking about power users, who understand that Apple is all about design and quality.

The problem is that Apple listened, and now instead of being a trend creator they are “following” trends.

It’s just unforgiving, if you tried iOS 7, its a huge step backward, We talked about inconsistent experience, awful colors and icons, and with all flatness the install file still the same 1.2 GB for iPhone 4S and its not running smoothly. Based on Apple records it will take them up to iOS 10 in order to finish or fix that. Don’t fool yourself that it’s still in beta because the final version will almost look the same, maps still in beta, Siri still in beta and Apple has a long history of slow polishing or still-in-beta stuff.

Apple's iconic "Slide to unlock" design

Apple’s iconic “Slide to unlock” design

None of Apple’s iconic elements are in iOS 7; Everything stripped in favor of ugly design stolen from Android, Windows Phone or the Jailbreak community. What is the real point of all this crap? It doesn’t take a genius to tell you that iOS 6 was smooth, light, beautiful and why the need for a new iOS if it doesn’t beat the previous in all of these.

How to fight iOS 7

Tell the truth so Apple may listen to you. Don’t just try to justify whatever Apple does. Tell them that the new iOS 7 looks bad? Don’t try to convince yourself otherwise. Not every shit by Apple considered an iShit, and people are supposed to love it.

Not every shit by Apple considered an iShit, and people are supposed to love it

I’m not updating to iOS 7, and after 6 years, I’m not gonna buy the next stuff from Apple, simply because of that tasteless design direction they chose. Jony Ive is a one-trick pony guy, who is only skilled in industrial design.

But .. whats the evil plan?

Apple wants to go head-to-head with Android, the system well-known for its fragmentation and not-so-polished UI. The secret in iOS 7 is in its flexibility and size-adaptivity; meaning that the next Apple devices will not have issues if the company ever decided to change their screen resolution or increase PPI. Apple now can’t compete in PPI for example, but with the new iOS 7, this is a no brainer.

Jony Ive is a one-trick pony guy, who is only skilled in industrial design

Apple can’t go the same approach when they first introduced the Retina concept. Apple can’t keep doubling every time and another, so the solution was to ditch heavy custom graphics and replace it with mostly colors, and/or gradient, repetitive images that can relatively fill any area or screen size. Yes, I hear you say, Android and ugly, yes but flexible. iOS 7 is ready to occupy any needed resolution or PPI, its that simple.

This was a major issue to Apple which about to get resolved by iOS 7 once and for all. But at the expense of…

.. And what is the big compromise?

It’s obvious, like Android, the iOS now lacks beauty, Apple will sacrifice beauty for adaptivity. Not only this, and like Samsung, Apple is now free to give you all arbitrary screen sizes for it’s valuable devices, Apple is also said to be working on a cheap plastic iPhone. They figured out the strategy for Samsung/Android is working fine and they chose to follow suit.

This is a first for Apple to react this way. And its also obvious, with Steve Jobs’ passing away and Forstall’s ousting, the new direction for Apple is alarming, anti-cult, and in my sheer opinion going toward the worst way possible. Apple, as I know it, is doomed!

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

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Gradly

Gradly is a blogger and technology enthusiast, keeping you all posted about new & cool stuff. You can also remain in contact by Following Him on Twitter, be friend on Facebook and on Google+. Gradly also happen to be a designer, a photographer, a blogger and an avid reader!

Comments (1)

  • Hamranhansenhansen United States Safari iPhone

    |

    Amen, brother.

    It is weird that Jony Ive defended the lack of changes from iPhone 4S to 5 hardware because users rely on their iPhone all day everyday in an intimate way, and yet arbitrarily changes the software (90% of the experience) almost overnight.

    If the reaction is this bad from developers and designers and techies, it will likely be brutal from consumers. At this time last year, beta testers said Maps 6 was pretty good. Then consumers lost their minds.

    Aqua, Vista, Windows 8 — all massive changes that Apple and Microsoft had to retreat from dramatically. I think iOS 7 will be the same. But so much time and energy will be wasted.

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