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back to article First look: iOS 7 for iPad

Bashing the design of Apple's upcoming iOS 7 may be all the rage, but the pile-on has been limited to the iPhone and iPod touch versions, since the iPad version has yet to be released. Thankfully for Apple haters, however, that's now changing as screen grabs taken from the iOS 7 developer simulator begin to appear on the …

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Bravo if the skeuomorphism is goes away!

It will be a great improvement if the skeuomorphism is indeed gone in iOS 7. That alone would be reason to upgrade. I gagged when I saw that introduced.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bravo if the skeuomorphism is goes away!

Yup, ditto in OSX. Oh, and while they're at it, it would be rather cool if I could determine myself what I want visible and what not. Newsstand will remain empty in my machines, and I have absolutely no need for a gaming centre either, but you can't even stick the former in a group to lose it from sight.

It's almost enough to tempt me to jailbreak the thing (but no, can't be bothered).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bravo if the skeuomorphism is goes away!

Indeed, they took a perfectly decent functional calendar and address book and made it totally rubbish in OSX.

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jai
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Re: Bravo if the skeuomorphism is goes away!

then you'll be pleased that, at least in the current beta, you can hide both of those in a folder, which you could stick on the last page of apps i guess.

hopefully that's a feature that remains through to the released version in a few months

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Re: Bravo if the skeuomorphism is goes away!

...current beta, you can hide both of those in a folder, which you could stick on the last page of apps ..

But that's what we do now! And it's a surprisingly full folder....

No, we want full delete or hide capabilties, not a variety of the "Apple's Junk" folder.

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Happy

Re: Newsstand will remain empty ...

Agreed, AC (but why 'AC'?? <shrugs>) And since I like a minimal 'desktop', my iPhone & iPad have always been set up with all but four of the icons moved to the 2nd screen, with just a single row on the home screen. That way, you can show off your nice wallpaper topped & tailed with a row of icons. Dumping everything on the home screen is reminiscent of a poorly-laid-out Windows desktop. You know the kind of thing; 157 icons spilling down from the top-left where users either don't care or don't know how to keep it neat.

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FAIL

Game Center Looks Childish

The new game center home screen looks like something you would find on any of the numerous flash or java powered game sites my kids play on. In other words, like total crap. Apple seem to have gone from sleek minimalist to throwing a bunch of crap on the screen and hoping the drones will love it because it is "new".

I certaily hope the new iPhone is not just more of the same form factor with the new IOS on it. If it is, then it will probably be the death knell for Apple mobile. Skinny screens and nice build only go so far...

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Re: Game Center Looks Childish

Looks like the start the start of a Microsoft Sam type interface. Awesome! :)

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Pint

Re: Game Center Looks Childish

I think you got your versions mixed up. It's the old "Game Center" that looks childishly Java/Flash-like, surely ?

The new one is sleek and minimal... but also entirely non-descript. It could be a sign-on page for just about any service that requires a sign-on. Sleek and minimal is fine as far as it goes, but sometimes it can go too far.

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Go

Re: Game Center Looks Childish

Anything to replace the old pseudo green felt crap!

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JDX
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Re: Game Center Looks Childish

Yeah the old version looks like a 90s Geocities page!

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@JDX

Clearly you remember Geocities differently than I do...

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Gimp

Phone, Face Time and Message blocking.

And about bloody time too!

What's the point of having a "smart phone" if dumb people can use it to bombard you with sales calls?

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Re: Phone, Face Time and Message blocking.

That's fine, but in the UK unsolicited sales calls are more often than not made from different numbers.

(though I have created a contact called 'Z Spam' of previous junk numbers and instructed my Android handset to send them straight to voicemail... Hmmm, must look into finding a compiled blacklist of numbers on-line, and adding that, too).

I iliked this, from Private Eye:

Last week Independent hack Tom Peck struck a blow for over-informed journalists everywhere when he finally snapped and sent a reply to the 9994th email from a PR pushing a product and claiming “I hope this news story brightens up your Wednesday!”

“Well it doesn’t brighten up my fucking day does it, because it’s fucking bollocks, and I will get a million more like it within the next ten minutes, making it near on impossible not to miss the important stuff I do need to read, because you pricks insist on sending me cosmic fucking wank like this,” ran his unimprovable riposte.

Was he congratulated by grateful colleagues for this constructive feedback? Was he heck. When the PR company in question complained to Indy editor Chris Blackhurst, Peck was hauled into the editor’s office, bollocked, and ordered to write an apology.

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Re: Phone, Face Time and Message blocking.

"over-informed journalists"...you mean there's more than one??? I thought informed journo's were a myth...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Phone, Face Time and Message blocking.

I implemented a policy that anyone picking up a sales call would feign interest in the products, with the explicit and specific aim to get an offer so we could identify the company behind the sales instead of them immediately hanging up. It's amazing how quickly companies take you off their mailing list after they get regulatory attention (our office number is marked as "not for marketing" which has legal consequences for abusers, but you need proof - that's why call centre bunnies are trained to drop the call at the first sign of trouble).

However, we are presently talking to regulators in an adjacent nation, because that's where companies now base their call centres. We've had a few successes so far, but the volume of abuse has now dropped below a level where we can resume just hanging up on the idiots.

Marketing faxes are easier. As they must have a return fax, I just shove a reply sheet through the fax notifying the sender that any next faxes would attract a resource and disposal charge of £250/sheet, payable in 10 calendar days, and that further faxes to our numbers would constitute agreement with the charge. You have a delivery confirmation, so there is in principle a feedback loop that confirms this consent. So far, this has been impressively successful which is a shame - I would have loved to go after these people with a debt collector. It would have been about the first time I'd be able to use that vermin for something useful..

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I like clean and minimalistic but..

I find the interface designs coming out are pleasing save for the blast of white blinding me at night or even inside. It would be nice to see a grey or dark color being able to be used, and this tends to go for droid or apple etc. The old game screen reminded me of all those Hoya(?) games, mostly cards, released in the late 90's and probably still are.

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Re: I like clean and minimalistic but..

Though I've heard good things of 'stock' Android, I like the dark skin Sony use on their handsets.

Surely bright white wallpapers cause more battery drain?

And who was it who recommended Dolphin browser? Damned thing shows a white page whilst its loading... how was that ever a great idea?

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Re: I like clean and minimalistic but..

True, that's why many OSes defaulted to a nice blue background. Although there is evidence that blue makes your brain think it is daytime and so sleeping is affected.

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-08/news/ct-met-night-light-sleep-20120708_1_blue-light-bright-light-steven-lockley

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Holmes

Re: I like clean and minimalistic but..

For LCD screens, the power drain is from the backlight and that stays constant no matter what is being displayed (for a given brightness, and there may be some screens out there with 'brightness zones' where the backlight can be varied - TV's sometimes do this, but not phones as far as I know). Even an all-black screen just means "blocking the backlight completely" not lower light power.

OLED screens do actually glow per-pixel, so the more pixels are lit on-screen the more power it's using.

But iThings are all LCD currently.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I like clean and minimalistic but..

"Surely bright white wallpapers cause more battery drain?"

IIRC it depends whether the screen is LCD of AMOLED. LCD uses more energy to display black as the blacklight is always on and then the pixels are turned on to block/colour the light - which is why you never get true black on an LCD as some light always seeps through. AMOLED on the other hand lights each individual pixel to the intensity required so displays darker colours with less battery use.

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Gimp

Lacking in everything

Has the "make an original and unique interface" team been fired from Apple recently.

If these screenshots are anything to go by, it really is a lot of "lackingness", c'mon who could seriously be excited about what's shown here. Even the hardcore Fanbois must be cringing with the complete lack of anything even remotely original.

Tim Cook has nothing to be proud of here.

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JDX
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Re: Lacking in everything

The UI shouldn't be exciting, it should be unnoticable.

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Re: Lacking in everything

Minimalist - I agree with,

Lacklustre - Makes for a non enticing appareil ( The idea, after all, is to capture a new audience or at least retain the existant).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Lacking in everything

> The UI shouldn't be exciting, it should be unnoticable.

In being terms of being unnoticeable, the design of the new iOS homescreen has failed spectacularly.

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@Jolyon Smith

Ah, I think you are right. Wow. IOS users have been faced with that crap for how long? How embarassing!

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Re: @Jolyon Smith

I feel obliged to point out that as ugly as Game Center is it does at least exist. There is no equivalent on Android yet although it was announced at the last Android developer conference.

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Happy

Re: as ugly as Game Center is it does at least exist...

You... *like* this anal carbunkle?... You actually *use* it?? I love me a game of tower defense or whatever, but Game Centre is hated by everyone in my family including four teenage-and-up boys. Are you by any chance one of these 'no good unless it has CoD' types? Just asking!

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FAIL

It isn't finished

The iPhone version of iOS 7 is not finished. I can't say much without breaking NDA, except that there are very clearly numerous aspects which are most certainly a work in progress. The iPad version hasn't even been released to developers yet. So we're talking about an unreleased version of an unfinished variant of an unfinished OS.

I have a lot of doubts and concerns about the new interface, as well as areas I like; so as a developer, I file bugs as required then wait and see what happens. In the mean time, there's little point getting all worked up about something when it is in such a state. If it got released to the public like this - well that'd be a different story.

It seems El Reg just wants to be nice and give Apple some free publicity ;-)

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Re: It isn't finished

I think El Reg hoping to get more clicks is more likely an excuse than giving apple anything :)

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yet again, more fiddling with nothing

... as the version number changes.

lets get this straight. for 99% of stuff, changes to 'THE OS' don't matter. the os is different to the UI. most changes to the UI are fiddling in the corners (unless you do a windows 8 in one step).

i bought my ipad 2 a good few years ago and keep it up to date. what have i noticed change? nothing. im using app and that hasn't changed. like new versions of OSX. over 200 improvement they trumpet. all i can see is a few things missing from the right hand side of finder and an increased load time because i forgot to turn off the numpty "restart all the applications i previously had open" option. oh and 'foldermege' which windows has done since version 1 and doesn't mean the unwary loose data because they expected it to work in a logical way.

they poo-poo android for all these versions, but i got an old motorola atrix phone out my drawer and gave it to a friend. yeah it worked, some stuff was in diffrent places, but what have i gained to my galaxy S3 with its newer OS? erm, nothing.its mainly a phone and an app is an app.

drives me nuts when people go 'oh the apple OS is so much better' then you find out all they do is run a browser (mozilla) and adobe apps, so their total expsoure to the 'OS' is explorer. or the file save dialog.

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Keyboard has more than a passing resemblance to Vanilla Android.

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FAIL

But it doesn't look like they've fixed it...

The keyboard is by far the worst thing about iOS (on the iPad at least - I've never used an iPhone). Always showing capital letters. No alternative symbols visible on the keys (for long-press). Also they need to do something about the word prediction - currently it shows a single possible alternative word which it will use unless you manage to press the tiny tiny close button next to it. If you miss the close button (which I do 90% of the time), or just ignore it, it will replace the word. The iPad has a huge screen - why not show multiple alternative words with a decent-sized close icon?

Just pissing about changing the style of the icons is really not improving the OS - other OSes allow theming, and that's all they're doing here. As another commenter pointed out, usually you're using the app, not the OS, so they really need to make the bits of the OS we have to use regularly best in class. At the moment the iOS keyboard is the worst touch screen keyboard I've used on any platform (even worse than the stock Symbian one). If you could replace it with an alternative it wouldn't matter, but Apple block that, so we're stuck with the crap one they provide.

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Stop

See also "Control centre".

Or "Center", as we will likely be forced to use, given our US-based companies' preference for forcing their mutant offspring of a language onto us.

Tip for Apple/MS/Oracle/etc...when I set my language preferences to "UK" in the OS, I expect your apps to honour that decision.

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Go

Re: But it doesn't look like they've fixed it...

But there's no real need to have the keyboard showing lowercase characters. The physical keyboard on most desktop computers show uppercase all the time. I understand that because the iPhone keyboard is in software it *could* be changed, but why? You already know that the next letter you press is going to be in uppercase because the Shift button is highlighted. When it's not highlighted, it's obviously not going to be in uppercase.

Putting alternative symbols on the keys would clutter it too much. They are there for when you need them.

I do agree with you about the multiple corrections though.

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Anonymous Coward

One of the things I noticed is the restricted number of icons you can have on one screen. The screenshots seem to show 4 icons on a row, with a lot of wasted space in between. I'm not sure how icons you can have on 1 row on a 10" Android tablet, but, I can have 6 on my smaller-screened Nexus 7.

Considering that iOS (if I understand correctly) does not allow you to remove unused icons, only dump them in folders, a reduced limit per screen has to be a disadvantage to users with lots of apps installed?

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"Considering that iOS (if I understand correctly) does not allow you to remove unused icons, only dump them in folders, a reduced limit per screen has to be a disadvantage to users with lots of apps installed?"

There is no reason in iOS to have unused Icons, if you don't need an app, remove it (apart from the system apps of course). There's no auto-start, there's no way to have background apps doing their thing with no UI needed. There just are no apps that are of any use without you tapping on an icon to launch it. So either you use an app and will need the icon then, or you don't need it anyway and can remove it altogether instead of just removing the icon.

This is very different from Android where you can have apps you never need an icon for and having those icons laying around on your homescreen would be totally pointless.

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"having those icons laying around on your homescreen would be totally pointless"

Simple solution ... don't have them on your homescreen. Any launcher worth the name lets you do that.

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Addendum: For rarely-used apps, they're still in the App Drawer should you need them

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Unhappy

What's the obsession with bland interfaces nowadays!?

Microsoft Office & Hotmail/Outlook has it, Google sites have it and Apple are now doing it. I'm all for a refresh of the UI but I'm not a fan of these white ones with little definition.

Bleh.

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Joke

It's a style thing

Like all things that look like fashion (and I count iThings in this category), changes do not have to make sense.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It's a style thing

Like all things that look like fashion (and I count iThings in this category), changes do not have to make sense.

No, they should. Apple had a huge impact on the smartphone market not because they did something new, but because they created something usable - the sign of a good UI is that you don't need to think about it. I fear they are drifting away from that ethos, which is IMHO the only ethos that is absolutely essential in computing.

If you need to see the impact of a bad UI, just look at Windows Vista or the impact of the MS Office ribbon on productivity - or at the crappy things Apple did with the calendar and contacts on both iOS and OSX (I think the current version of iTunes on OSX is also borderline).

The reason I switched to OSX and iOS was because integration was good and easy to operate, software costs were low (unless it was made by Microsoft or Adobe) and usability was simply a massive time saver. I am utterly desinterested in belonging to any kind of "club", though, that just annoys me.

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Re: It's a style thing

"the sign of a good UI is that you don't need to think about it"

I wish someone would think about the keyboard ... why can't they get the letter case to change so it's obvious what will appear next (rather than have to go through a delete/shift/retype cycle every time)?

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Re: It's a style thing

"I wish someone would think about the keyboard ... why can't they get the letter case to change so it's obvious what will appear next (rather than have to go through a delete/shift/retype cycle every time)?"

Well, I suppose Apple thinks that the keyboard totally changing its appearance when hitting the shift key is visually confusing enough momentarily to better keep it looking the same all the time. I think it's pretty much a draw, both ways have their advantages and disadvantages.

Probably back then Steve Jobs just didn't like it and wanted to keep things on the screen as unsurprising and stable as possible. Which certainly was a concern at a time when touchscreen keyboards were not exactly common. Keeping things as simple and unsurprising as possible wasn't a bad idea when you weren't sure if you could make all of this catch on or not. I think much of iOS is rooted in this way of over-cautious thinking. Most people just don't like it very much when they touch something and it starts to wriggle under their fingers.

Right now Apple is cutting back on all this with a big axe anyway. Just look at the lock screen: The unlocking slider was in a deep rail, it had an arrow on it and a text next to it telling you what to do and this text was even animated. This was belt-and-suspender design. In iOS 7 there's just the naked text left now.

Anyway, I don't even know what I like better. I have a Nexus 7 and an iPhone and the Android keyboard constantly morphing around when I hit and release the shift key certainly is a visual distraction. Aiming for a letter in the very moment when it and all others around it change into capital or lower case letters makes it a bit harder than necessary. My eyes are constantly flicking around anyway on a touchscreen keyboard, this is hard enough with the keys being visually stable and unchanging. One gets used to it, but it's an additional effort, even if unconscious.

Sorry for wasting thoughts and words on that.

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Thumb Up

Fiddling

Some like to fiddle endlessly with their home screens and icons. I admit I have done some fiddling in the past, but I am sort of happy that I can't do that with Apple devices and can waste my time in other ways. Functionality wise iOS 7 has everything I have wanted for ages and I think replaces virtually all my preferred Jailbroken functionality apart from the 5 row keyboard, but I can live with that.

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iOS on smaller things...

Could it be that iOS 7 is designed for a wider array of products? Whatever you think of skeumorphism, on smaller screens or physical buttons in cars or on remotes, the new icons are going to be more easily recognized. The first-gen apps also look better-suited for much smaller screens like wearable s and remotes.

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Anonymous Coward

Apple copying M$ now?

That maps app looks awfully like something on Windows 8...

Global reaction to Windows 8: "Urgh! The flat colour scheme is horrid and dated and impossible to use!"

Global reaction to iOS7: "Genius! The flat colour scheme is a modern progressive masterpiece and so much easier to use!"

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Re: Apple copying M$ now?

Global reaction to Windows 8: "Urgh! The flat colour scheme is horrid and dated and impossible to use!"

Global reaction to iOS7: "Genius! The flat colour scheme is a modern progressive masterpiece and so much easier to use!"

Your are definitely not reading what the reaction actually are. As a Apple fanboi, I like the Win 8 Metro UI, if they only could polish it a bit. I think it looks great too. For iOS7 I hate this unordered color explosion in the magnitude of a big bang. Makes me wanna puke. But then ( if big bang happened for real ) space has become a ordered place that is beautiful to look at, so who knows, maybe it get better.

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Bronze badge

"sign in" page

I know this is petty, but I would not give my credentials to a page that does not show proper, registered trade mark of an organization the page is alleged to belong to. Yes there is SSL certificate that should be verified (or not?), there are smarter authentication protocols (but are where are they?), but when it comes to legal protection I can at least hope that, should it be fake, Apple will go after the thief at least for the protection of its own brand.

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