As the new (colorful) iPhones are launched and a new(ish looking) operating system is being set for release to September 18, it’s really the time for me to review the iOS7 in terms of design and usability in conjunction with photography. Doing it as – probably – the last person on Earth. :)
So I’ve been testing it on my iPhone 4, for about one month, starting with beta 5. Overall, I have mixed feelings. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Lock Screen – Contrast Controversy
We can clearly see that it all looks very clean, no clutter, no nothing extra. But let’s see how this layout fares when we use a little bit brighter wallpaper instead of the stock one:
Well, interesting. On this screenshot it even looks better than on my phone, where I can barely read the time. The network signal strength indicator looks nice, but takes up a lot of space. This will be a problem for jailbreakers, as they tend to fill that upper status bar with useful information.
Also, the lock screen has translucency too, with very heavy blur. Will talk about this one a bit later on.
The Home Screen looks nice. It’s a welcomed change to see this “Translucency”, as I was used to it on Windows 7, and loved it back in 2010 too, a lot actually. We can see that the blur used on the folders matches the background, as well as the dock down at the bottom, with a slight hue and brightness variation.
Opened folder shows a gradient that is heavily defined by the background image as well.
Settings look nice, clean. Makes sense to bring up the Cellular from the General, as a lot of people use that option to turn off 3G or HSPDA when travelling in order to save battery life. Welcomed change. As well as the Pictures redesign, and the Camera:
I like very much the Photos app. It groups better photos based on GPS/location data and time taken.
The Camera became insanely quick and responsive on my old iPhone4. But I wonder how can I see the text when shooting a bright or even brighter scene, like this upper shot…
The messages got their fair share of overhaul too. I like the subtle wiggly-giggly (trying to avoid the “Jelly” term :)) motion when scrolling down the messages, but that’s barely visible because on the low FPS. Oh by the way, my phone does not drain battery faster, but dropped about 50% of its former frame rate with iOS7. Pity.
One of my favorite redesigned app is the compass. It’s BADASS! :) Stocks show little new. Both of them are very dark overall.
In contrast (literally, HAHA :)) to the white mail app. I do not really how they classified apps to be either pitch black or blindingly white. Maybe the stocks and compasses are more masculine then mail, messages or pictures? :) Mail looks also cool and very feminine. Gorgeous on white phones.
The operating system on the iPhone is at least five years ahead of its time – Steve Jobs, introducing the iPhone in 2007
Conclusion: Black and White
Mixed feelings. Black and White: little bit of both, and none of either.
In iOS7: photography – to be more specific: wallpapers will be more important than ever. Because everything is either black or white. Or stunningly colorful. Maybe too much. Photos will define the gradients and fill this simplicity.
It’s a welcomed change (even if it’s only a mayor re-skin), as iOS has not really changed since… well… 2007. And it really began to show it’s age compared to Android. I still miss the widgets, open ecosystem, and almost-endless customization options when rooted. Don’t get me wrong I like iOS7, even with its Hello Kitty look.
I don’t want to start to say where these new features came from. Ok, both Android and Windows Phone. Undeniable. But when I see that Siri starts to pick on Google Glass, that really got my attention. And I got freaking angry: Come on! That’s a little desperate: when you’re mocking a company, that is innovating more than you currently are.
So if you have an iPhone4 and hate a sluggish device, do not update it to iOS7 on 18 September. Please, don’t get me wrong: I love the change, but it’s no longer enough for me. I want more control, more, more, more. I want HD, resolution, DPI overdose. I want mp4, want to customize EVERY DAMN ASPECT OF MY PHONE. And that’s why I recently switched to Android.
I was a fan of iPods, had a Classic, had a Nano 2G, and had a Touch 2G! Apple, my two iPhones were my last tries to be a devout fan of yours. I swear: really tried. Sorry, got to move on. And Google really impressed me with the Android Jelly Bean on my Nexus 7… it felt like… like something from the future. My future at least. :)