A mobile OS from a whole new perspective…

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At least, that’s what Apple will tell you if you visit their website today.

But is the impending launch of iOS7 really as big a deal as we’re led to believe? Will it revolutionise your mobile experience? Can your retinas handle the searing brights of the new colour scheme?

These are all important questions which deserve answers… how convenient we have (our versions of ) them then.

At Ionata HQ, Martin and Toby have been running the beta version of the software for some time and have formed some solid opinions about the new direction we’re about to be forced into.

Read on for a blow-by-blow, a mano-a-mano if you like, of how we rate the key features.

 

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User Interface

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Martin says…

Gah, my eyes! As soon as you fire up iOS7 it pokes you straight in the eye with these gaudy, luminescent icons. All the texture and depth of the old design is gone, replaced with flat design and bright, bright colours.

There is no consistent design language with the icons for ‘Photos’, ‘Newsstand’ and ‘Passbook’ coming from totally different worlds!

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Toby says…

Thank god summer is almost here and you’ll have the SPF30 and Raybans nearby. First impressions are that this is bright – real bright. It’s an honest shock after using previous versions of iOS for so long.

But over time, I’ve grown to really like it. Colour palettes and nit-picks aside – it’s a recognition of a maturing user. We don’t need skeuomorphic buttons or over-the-top UI elements. iOS7 keeps it simple and removes the interface from everyday tasks as much as possible.

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Lock Screen

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Martin says…

Fading in when you hit the home button instead of snapping open like previous versions of iOS feels laggy and makes you wonder if the phone is actually on.

I didn’t like being forced to set a PIN but I guess this was a warm up to the new finger print scanner on the iPhone 5S. Making sure everyone will see the benefit in the new feature. I did manage to go back and turn the PIN off though.

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Toby says…

Early versions of the new lock screen were a disaster. It wasn’t even clear how to unlock the phone. Very bad. However, with improvements with each beta update I think the new screen is clean and makes the most of the screen real estate.

A quick tip – choose your wallpaper well as the new light typeface won’t sit up well on lighter/grad backgrounds.

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Control Centre

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Martin says…

I’m sure there is going to be a moment in a dark room when flipping this up and hitting Flashlight will be useful but in general there are way more dials and buttons than I regularly need access to. I will use the brightness setting on my iPad though and that is something that is always difficult to get to.

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Toby says…

Hardly revolutionary – but a nice feature all the same. Swipe up from the bottom of any screen and you have a raft of new options.

The first time you’ll use this is likely to be to turn down the brightness to compensate for the fluoro icons.

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Notifications

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Martin says…

I haven’t used this feature so far and don’t think it’s going to be a major revelation for me. I’m not sure that pull down for calendar is a huge improvement over clicking the calendar icon but I’ll wait and see.

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Toby says…

A much better implementation than iOS6. Really easy to get a snapshot of whats coming up for today, any reminders or missed contacts.

Best part is you can access all these vital stats without unlocking your device.

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Multi-tasking

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Martin says…

The new open apps carousel is nice allowing you to flip through your recent apps quickly and giving you a screenshot of each app as they flick by.

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Toby says…

Multitasking on iOS could hardly be called true multitasking. The new version though does make it easier to share and navigate between apps as well as get a clear snapshot of the status of open apps.

A far superior experience.

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Share sheets

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Martin says…

I found this menu really disorienting at first. While I liked being about to select a couple of images at a time to share via Message, Mail or Twitter the flat white background and garish icons don’t work for me. I also really think the photo galleries looked better with black background behind the photos. A good example of where I think iOS7 prioritises being different over improving things.

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Toby says…

The system wide share sheet certainly gives you more options in iOS7, but took some time to get used to. Maybe the hierarchy of the info is a bit off?

I can’t pick it, so it’s a line ball call for me.

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Phone/messages/mail

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Martin says…

The phone menu gets the iOS7 treatment. Stripped back and uglied up. I’m sure we’re all going to look back on this in 10 years and say “what were we thinking”.

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Toby says…

Surprise surprise – the interface is white and stripped back – which makes it very easy on the eye. In the end though the phone still has 10 numbers and a call button, the messages app can still send text/images and mail still burdens you with a massive number of emails to respond to.

It’s a win for iOS7, but not by far.

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Siri

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Martin says…

Hands up if you have ever used Siri for anything useful ever …. can’t see many hands. Things don’t really change here. I’m not even thinking of Siri when I use the iPhone even if I’m attempting to do something handsfree.

Really only good for party tricks so try asking Siri the following:

  • “Can you sing me a song?”
  • “Beam me up Scotty”
  • “Open the pod bay doors”
  • “Guess what!”

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Toby says…

Toby – “Siri – I’m hurt, can you call me an ambulance?”

Siri – “OK, from now on I’ll call you ‘An Ambulance'”

Toby – “Go home Siri, you’re drunk”

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The wash up? We didn’t really reach any consensus.

But what we do know is that the change can’t be avoided.

So if you’re planning an app any time soon, talk to us to understand how we can make iOS7 work best for you.