Apple’s iOS7 Software is a Sight to Behold
By Grace Barry.
As we all know Apple introduced iOS 7 (coming this Fall) at the World Wide Developers Conference in San Francisco; and now that the dust has settled we decided it was time to discuss the new design. It seems that everyone is pleasantly surprised with the phone’s new look including Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi who said the update was “the most significant since the original iPhone.” Anthony Wing Kosner a Forbes contributor wrote of the new phone ” The change is both radical and comfortable. Many of the interaction conventions have been preserved from previous versions, but it will make existing iPhones (from iPhone 4 forward) feel like brand new devices.”
The new software was designed by hardware designer Jony Ive. Many were skeptical of having a hardware designer have control over the new iOS7 software. They feared that the design would be more sculptural than graphic. The design of the icons is a bit flat and unoriginal, however the bells and whistles of the new software comes with the UI and user navigation or interaction. Kosner describes what makes the UI so unique; “The control center preference panel, for instance, now slides up from the bottom of the screen as a translucent plane that revels the color of whatever is beneath, like a piece of frosted glass. Similarly, Ive has created a virtual “shadowbox” by using a parallax effect to make it seem as if there were an eighth of an inch space between the wallpaper image on the home screen, for instance, and the grid of icons hovering above. This effect is particularly striking and effective on the new weather app, where it can appear to be snowing inside your phone!”
One of Ive’s common beliefs is that interfaces should not copy real-life objects. This is a bit of a different philosophy than what was used to design the old Apple interface that we know. For example the current”notes” application resembles a notepad, while the “news-stand” looks like shelving. Additionally, the current features of the iPhone interface all have a rounded or 3D edge to them. This is of course all gone with iOS7, and may be the main reason for any remaining criticism. Tech Crunch’s Jordan Crook nicely describes the new iOS features. Here are some of the notable ones.
About the appearance:
• iOS 7 has a new font leading the way, which seems to be a sort of Helvetica Neue Ultra. It’s very skinny, clean, and it was hinted at in the iOS 7 banners that went up for WWDC yesterday.
• The keyboard is more white, than grey, with a translucency that lets you see what’s underneath the keyboard.
• The apps all seem to have a white base, except for the stocks app which has a black background and the weather app, which shows motion in the background to convey the current weather.
About the Control Center:
• Control Center is a pull-up tray that is available in your lock screen.
• You can adjust brightness, volume, and other settings including Wifi, Airplane mode, rotation lock, or Bluetooth.
• The Control Center takes on the environment it’s in, so if you swipe up while you’re in mail, it will have the same blue and white coloring under that translucent panel.
• Tabs come with a totally new interface, scrolling in a vertical carousel, and there are no longer any limits. In other words, you can have as many tabs as you want, as opposed to just 8 like before. Swipe a tab off to the side to throw it away.
Camera and photos:
• The Camera app lets you swipe between your various camera types, such as panorama or HDR so you can quickly take a pic instead of fumbling around with settings.
• You can search based on date, and location, within the photos app.
• Apple has finally introduced the much-anticipated iTunes Radio, which gives a Genius-like experience to the entire 26-million title iTunes catalog.
• iTunes Radio also lets you customize each station by clicking a star to show that you want more of this type of music.