Everything That Is Right (And Wrong) With iOS 7
The new iOS 7 is on the market right now, ready for Apple users to download and install. It can be a life-changing moment for a multitude of iPhones, iPads and iPod loyalists. But is there any good in it?
Highlights of iOS 7
- Of course, it works. Small feat for those brilliant app developers.
- More icons can be stored inside folders. No more multiple ‘Games’ folders.
- Running apps are easier to close, like what you experience in Android.
- Mind-blowing design that puts Android to shame.
- Updates on apps are on auto-mode.
- Mail app is improved, allowing the users to gain more control in manoeuvring through all those emails.
- Better security, making the device less attractive to thieves, since it is more securely bound to Apple IDs.
- More impressive maps.
- AirDrop is a marvellous piece of work that makes sending and receiving files a cinch.
- Those subtle yet rewarding changes such as better Photos app, smoother Mail app, and ability to see timestamps in Message just by swiping to the left.
Drawbacks of iOS 7
- Unclear message whenever there is installation error. You’d scratch your head when you read "Software Update Failed" because it is no help at all when something goes wrong with the iOS.
- Slow response even for an iPhone 5 and an iPad 4. Tagging and swiping are not as swift and active like what they used to be.
- Re-tapping is common. Is it because of the hardware or is it really that iOS 7 has poor response to touch?
- Inconsistent keyboard. While some apps still use the old keyboard, others have the new keyboard. This fragmentation of this basic feature is very confusing.
- Flat user interface. “Flat” is supposed to be the new “three-dimensional” but it is such an enigma to most users.
- Swipe up gesture confusion. Not all apps are ready for all the features that come with the swipe up gesture so most users just prefer to disable the feature, making the whole addition/change/upgrade nonsense.
- Unpleasant new voice of Siri. Not really a fan of it.
- Motion sickness cause by the home screen parallax. Icon badges are pushed over to the top of the status bar at the top of the screen. It does not really look so polished and pretty.
- Poor colour choices. The colour scheme for the iOS 7 depends on the background wallpaper colour. While some are easy on the eyes, others are just a messy combo of browns and greens that make you wanna puke. The new Notes app has the yellow text against a white background. Although this can be improved by increasing contrast under the “Accessibility” setting, why not just allow users to pick their own?
- Too much contrast and inconsistencies. FaceTime and Reminders apps have a white on black user interface but the Calendar, Clock, and Contacts apps have black on white. On the other hand, leather skeuomorphism seems to be the prevalent look of the Find My Friends app.
- Quicker battery life. All because of the automatic refreshing of app data and updating apps in the background.
- Negative impact on data plans. All these new additions in the background will force users to pay more on their data plans. Seriously, who needs all those automatic background updating and refreshing anyway?
- Limited visibility of icons. Only nine icons can be seen in in a folder at a time, causing unnecessary swiping. Though the number of icons a folder can hold has been increased, this is still a poor use of screen real estate.
- Notification panel is too big. At a glance, it does not present enough data.
- Lock screen behaviour is trickier than the old versions. Double-clicking of the home button for the old iOS would bring up the media controls when songs are being played. For the iOS 7, you need to swipe it, which is difficult when you are on the move or in a hurry.
- AirDrop support is only useful if you have the newer version of the device. Does not work with iPhone 4 or lower as well as older Apple devices.
The Bottom Line
While some features have dramatically improved for the better, there are others that most iOS users can live without and are just causing too much disappointment and frustration. It seems that the developers did not think about this thoroughly, hence, a half-baked upgrade that highlights a lot of glitches and strange decisions.