One of the things that mostly sets me apart in relation to some other people that do tech reviews, is that I’m what’s known as a “common user.” I don’t have an interest in digging into code, I don’t care about thorough customizations and tweaks that do nothing but set my device apart from everyone else’s… because I find it to be a total waste of my time. iOS 7 is a completely new operating experience, system wide. So how does this work and compare to what I’ve always known?
I’m a user that’s appreciative of the sophistication that comes from bringing intelligent order to complexity, and crave a design that compliments my core needs with the device so that my life can be instantly made easier, without me needing to control it. A phone that works how I work, and doesn’t demand that I adapt to how it wants me to work. Now, this is spoken almost like the Apple website describes this experience, and it’s that way for a good reason. I’ve always thought this way, but they’ve said it better… and so like most things in life, when you find something that works better for your purposes, you do that instead. You modify and innovate a new way of expression and importance.
And that is exactly what Apple delivered here.
Although there are some bugs, iOS 7 beta1 brings an entirely new experience to the mobile platform, and it’s so far unlike any experience I’ve had using a phone to date. Elegant menus, flat/modern design, and the elimination of the skeuomorphism that has been adopted as the standard for all UI in recent history. By eliminating the clutter caused by such designs, and getting into the root of what user interaction is all about, Apple has reduced the iOS operating system to only what we truly wanted all along, without even knowing it. You can tell right away that this is the case, because even though the icons have all changed, the menu displays are all different, navigation has been altered, tools and settings have been shifted and moved, and the user workflow has been tweaked… you still, right away, know how to use everything. Despite all the changes made, there is still virtually no learning curve to iOS 7. That, in the very core of what users want, is what intelligent design is all about.
There are some design decisions thus far that I don’t agree with though, such as the ridiculous, dare I say, childish color palette used for icon designs. They’ve also removed one of my favorite and most used features from Safari: Reader. I can only hope that, in future beta versions, we’ll see the return of this feature, and a correction of a few coloring issues. The beta presents a very elegant operating system that, for the most part (given that it’s a beta), runs very smoothly.
Look for more updates on iOS 7 as time goes on, and things get worked out further.
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