Thoughts of iOS 7

You can’t have failed to notice that there’s been a lot of discussion surrounding the release of iOS 7 this week… Here’s what the Computerlovers think.

Sally, Account Director:

Having read the reviews, I was a little sceptical of iOS 7 and its garish new design. But I have to admit, just 24 hours after downloading it, I’m already converted.

Jony Ive, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, knows it’s the little things that count: the way the calendar invites are now just that little bit more personal now that they’re made into sentences; the way the icons tilt when you move your phone around; and my favourite has to be the swipe action that you use to shut down your apps. Pure pleasure!

Only downside so far was the fact that I had to purge my iPhone of photos and music in order to allow enough space to download it.

Chris, Planning Director:

I really like it. It looks more beautiful and it’s made some key features more accessible than they were before; for example, Wi-Fi is now only one swipe away. I also like the lock screen image and the way it subtly moves.

Lucy, Planner:

The design of iOS 7 is great. I love the detail of the colour changes; if you upload a wallpaper image, it automatically creates colours for the background of folders and bottom tab — really slick. It’s much more enjoyable to use than the previous version as you can play around with it more. Even the home lock screen is improved, plus everything seems much larger. At the moment, it feels like I’ve got a new phone — but I’m not sure how long that will last!

Matt, User Experience Developer:

I’m a bit disappointed with it, to be honest — the whole experience feels a little disjointed, and some elements, like the camera application, seem to have been done by a third party as there are very few common user interface elements. Some of the link style controls look out of place — and even sometimes look like a mistake.

There’s some nice new features here and there, but my biggest concern are some of the changes within Safari where some updates around page scrolling and new gestures could cause problems with mobile optimised sites.

Shaf, Senior Project Manager:

One of the best features of iOS 7 is the improved access to the functions I use most: at work, I can swipe down from the lock screen and I have my calendar; for the commute home, one swipe up and I have my podcasts. Plus the ability to hide away Newsstand into a ‘Never used’ folder quells my OCD no end…

Andrew, Senior User Experience Developer:

The icons in iOS 7 are inconsistent; some have that awful gradient and some are flat colours — the settings icon looks like the bottom of a pepper mill.

I like the quick dashboard, but am a bit worried about the security flaw that everyone’s been talking about. Not ideal. It’s nice to have a torch and calendar in the dashboard, but it would be good if you could customise it to add your own quick links.

I definitely don’t like the new Calendar — it’s really tricky to use. I think Apple have missed a few obvious usability functions, like a simple month view where you can see your upcoming meetings at a glance. Also, the colour coding of the calendars feels like a waste of time as in month view, all the coloured dots are grey. Clicking on a dot sends you into that day at the current time, which is a bit annoying as I then have to scroll to see an entry, and most of the time it shows me a blank screen.

I like the fact that if you swipe left on a conversation in messages you can see the time of each entry, whereas before it was just a single time when the conversation was started.

Videos are now categorised, which is nice — although when I upgraded it completely wiped the descriptions from the videos I currently had in there!

Ben, Mobile Design Lead:

I’ve only had a cursory play on iOS 7, but so far I like it. It’s crisp, clean and contemporary on initial glance, but time (and extended use) will tell whether its visual design reduction actually makes it simpler or more confusing to use.

My favourite part so far? On the lock screen, tap and drag the camera icon up and then swipe it back down. The screen bounces! Apparently Apple has introduced ‘gravity’ as an element you can build into apps and it’s playful, memorable design interactions like this that excite me the most.

Tony, Senior Mobile Developer:

I’m particularly interested in the Background App Refresh feature. It allows content to be automatically downloaded in the background without the user having to open the app; imagine a digital magazine where every time the app is opened the content is bang up to date without having to wait for it to download.

A potential downside is the drain on battery life. If you have a lot of apps connecting to the internet to download content regularly it could mean your phone wouldn’t last the day (although the feature can be disabled per app in the settings).