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back to article Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it ... Win Phone 8? No, it's APPLE'S iOS 7

Apple's iOS 7 has come some way since its initial preview release and public unveiling back in June at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. Back then the focus was inevitably on the operating system’s new visual styling, and Apple does seem to have taken on board the early criticism of the new look. The ultra-spindly font …

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Good to see ITLAP day is being observed at Vulture Central.

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Pirate

Arr!

Bravo me buckos!

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Pirate

Yarrr, I'll swill some grog t' celebrate ya land lubber.

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Jobs Comforter

Crikey, reading this review article has made me want to comit suicide, Tony Smith is really nit picking to find fault, if that's all there is it's actually not bad is it.

The tone of the article is sooooo depressing that I am about to cut my wrists.

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Re: Jobs Comforter

@LarsG

Yes,

The point about voice recorder and moire in enter and exit animations simply isn't true! This along with other comments make me wonder if he downloaded the final build, as there were rough edges for these animations on earlier builds.

Then I read:

"I kept noticing occasional tiny movements of the wallpaper at the end of animation sequences as if iOS, having put icons and folders back in the right place, needed to nudge the wallpaper slightly by way of celebration."

Yep, an early early beta build, this issue was annoying and sorted long ago. It doesn't happen now though.

"Motion is an issue in particular. In a new animation from Apple, when a user launches an app the software's main view fills the screen as if it were growing out from its icon. The view pushes all the other icons off the screen. Like Mac OS X’s "minimise window to the dock" animation, it’s cute for the first few views, but it's ultimately unnecessary. It would be nice to disable it - why waste processor cycles on this kind of thing? Especially when you don’t need to emphasise that a given app is located on a certain part of the screen. Like all the skeuomorphic imagery ripped out of iOS, it’s trying to imply a real-world relationship that’s not there."

Weird, because it, you know, the relationship IS there. You know, *between the app you are opening and where it is on your home screen.* He is criticising the greatest strength of iOS, that interaction animations serve a purpose, provide context and enhance understanding (and Forestall's increasing tendency to break this rule, that was so well adhered to for years was one of the heaviest points of criticism - the podcasts app tape real was the worst example)

This was an especially annoying one because it is one of the first things my mother commented on first after I upgraded her iPad. If I was a cynic I would suggest Tony is trying to dis the very useful details he knows elevate iOS over its main competitor.

On the use of icons versus text for buttons.

"Not that Apple is even remotely consistent in the use of this: some apps have wordy buttons, others retain icons, albeit freshly designed ones."

Er, he means they use both, but ARE consistent. The icon buttons are used for system functions common between apps that can be easily represented by an icon (like + for adding a new record/entry). Words are used where an icon would be ambiguous in relation to use of a word that fits. The silly thing is, his own screenshots illustrate this as clear as clear can be. Look at the use if text and icons in the calendar app where he makes this point and tell me that is not clear and the right choice between icons and text (to go to the year view). It's a model of clarity and intimates precisely the right understanding to the user before any interaction has been attempted.

Seriously Tony, stick with being a writer on The Register, it suits you.

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Linux

Re: Jobs Comforter

"But Apple has at least taken the opportunity, offered by a skin refresh, to look at some of the system's earlier usability issues and address them" ... now, don't tell me, the most glorified (ever) Mobile-OS had some "usability issues" ... and that there (previously) was something like "This was an especially annoying one" even being recognized by a "fanboy" ... hmm ... shock, horror, dismay ... I just lost faith in the simplistic workings of the world ... but, at least, switching off design thingys, being not a feature, stay's for the foreseeable future (thanks Apple for that) ... imagine what would happen, if it would be possible, iPhones could work and look like Windows (phones), or worse, Android ... what a horrible, horrible, idea ... "If I was a cynic I would suggest Tony is trying to dis the very useful details he knows elevate iOS over its main competitor" ... are you talking about the features that are running in "main competitors" phones for quit a while ... welcome to the "Android-style gallery of app windows", the Control Center (Androids Utilities) and the, now, redundant's of half of iPhones Apps. Apples commercial grip on your iPhone/iPad, through iTunes (in Tune with Apple) "not being able to delete albums without hooking the phone up to iTunes on a computer" is definitely a usability failure" ... and one of my many reason not to use an iPhone/iPad ... but hey, it's just a phone or a pad and can do, the same way other products can, whatever it should do.

PS. Because the author (Tony Smith) actually asks himself if "this is (yet another) desktop iTunes quirk" simply tells me that he, most likely, is an adept "Apple" things user, knows what he is talking about and should not just be dismissed with remarks like: "trying to dis the very useful details he knows elevate iOS over its main competitor" ... cheers.

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Re: Jobs Comforter

@Erwin Hofmann

I despair. Do you have the slightest clue what a beta is? The issues I referred to are fixed in the final release.

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Happy

Re: Jobs Comforter

A fanboy depressed? Sounds like you have a "legacy" iDevice. Get the latest, you will soon feel better.

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But why?

Why do we get shafted again with missing features in the UK?

Siri is awful in iOS 7, nothing like the version advertised. And where is iTunes Radio?

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Re: But why?

Because you're not a real human, a ~: US CITIZEN :~ , you're a briton, which means US companies view you much like the snooty salewomen view Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, and for pretty much the same reason.

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Re: But why?

@Vociferous - "Because you're not a real human, a ~: US CITIZEN :~ , you're a briton"

And this point is supposed to be somehow debatable?

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Re: But why?

Hi Vociferous,

I believe you have the shoe on the wrong foot. Working closely with many a Briton, I find that we Americans are the ones regarded as dull and subhuman. As for companies changing / withholding features from one market to the next, that can really be attributed to anything from copyright protection to market data. It's funny to me that most outside of America,except those wonderful Canadians who just think / accept that our head is on backwards, believe we have it in for them. Conversely, large swaths of America believe everyone has it in for us. But keep in mind most of those sorts of Americans also believe their neighbor, their neighbor's cat, their government, that guy at the mini-mart, and unseen shadow organizations hell bent on globalism also have it in for them. And they don't think of this in a meta way. They honestly believe all of those entities and more have it in for them specifically.

I blame the isolation. There's a lot of lonely road in America. But of all the zaniness I can assure you that the soft handed sales people in Cupertino are not trying to slight you with feature changes. International IP protections are vast and complex. The reality is much more dull and bureaucratic than it appears.

Sincerely,

That Bastard American

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Re: But why?

The iTunes radio is not an internet radio but rather Apple's attempt to push aside Pandora. I for one want to listen to my favorite Christian station (KLOVE), but the app isn't what I was expecting. You cannot select an internet streaming provider and listen. Instead you select your genre and Apple feeds you songs out of their iTunes catalog, which you can then conveniently buy. So you will need a third party internet radio streaming client app.

Also the Apple "intuitive" navigation isn't happening for me with this new release. I have the same nausea that I felt when I encountered the ribbon in Office.

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You think support is bad in the UK??

You should try it in Thailand ...

We only got the ability to buy music earlier this year. AppleTV went on sale a couple of months ago. iTunes Radio? I would suspect never.

And we have to wait until December before we can buy the new iPhones. Hopefully.

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Re: You think support is bad in the UK??

It's pretty safe to assume that anyone who moved to Thailand did not do so for the Apple support.

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Paris Hilton

Re: You think support is bad in the UK??

I also think its safe to assume that the vast majority of people living in Thailand are in fact natives and have lived there all their lives and don't want to move out of the country merely to get the latest features for their overpriced phones.

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Re: You think support is bad in the UK??

@dogged - "It's pretty safe to assume that anyone who moved to Thailand did not do so for the Apple support."

And yet, all Android services work just fine in Thailand.

It isn't that Apple CAN'T support foreign users - it's that they don't desire to.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: You think support is bad in the UK??

It wasn't services under discussion, it was content. Content that has owners with all sorts of "rights" bollocks.

Are you claiming that Google are selling music and TV shows in Thailand?

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Re: You think support is bad in the UK??

All iPhones work in Thailand as well.

Even better, you can waltz on down to MBK and buy an unlocked new iphone at the daily rate. Thailand is a country where almost everyone is on PAYG, though some carrier subsidised programs exist, I know no one who got their phone this way.

There is a very robust used market for EVERYTHING, including smartphones, so the value of your device is known on a daily basis.

iOS works in Thai language just fine.

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FAIL

To me, it looks like they took iOS 6 outside and gave it a good, hard beating with the ugly stick. I mean, it's hideous. Having spent three hours desperately trying to download it so I could play with AirDrop, I almost immediately reverted the iPhone to iOS 6.1.4. And that's where it's going to stay. Next phone will be an Android if they continue with this hideousness.

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Anonymous Coward

To me it looks like they took iOS 6 and finally realised iOS looks seriously dated compared to Windows look and feel - so they copied the general skinny fonts and flat look from Windows.

They then thought "what other features should we add"...... and then lifted the most obvious android features that they had not yet copied.

I really hope google or someone else already has a patent on the swipe of a app thumbnail to close the app. Such a blatent copy.

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I'm a Windows Phone user and iOS7 looks awful, I installed it on my iPad yesterday and wish I hadn't.

The main difference is that Windows Phone's design works because it uses a black/unlit background (apart from emails), this means that the tiles and icons can still be in a darker pallette but appear bright because of the contrast. iOS7's usage of primarily white and pale backgrounds means there's a bigger insistence on bright colours that seem more neon or "baby" variants and for me they are an eyesore, its all too busy like a My Little Pony surfing on a rainbow vomiting skittles and when its not being busy it doesn't look minimalist it looks incomplete, like the icons are only half done.

Which is a shame because the actuall improvements are good, the new multitasking and the control centre do improve usability but I just wish it was with iOS6. If I can take one positive from iOS7's UI design its that I now better understand why people have a problem with Windows 8.

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Re: I'm a Windows Phone user

Congratulations, admission is the first step to recovery.

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In other words, Apple copied Microsoft.

Because if anything's ever been the victim of a brutal and prolonged violation with the ugly stick, it's Windows 8.

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@AC 09:41 - "I really hope google or someone else already has a patent on the swipe of a app thumbnail to close the app. Such a blatent copy."

I'll be interested to see if Microsoft sues Apple over their patents for an "ugly phone interface".

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Coffee/keyboard

MattEvansC3 - "its all too busy like a My Little Pony surfing on a rainbow vomiting skittles"

And there's something wrong with that?

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Anonymous Coward

"I really hope google or someone else already has a patent on the swipe of a app thumbnail to close the app. Such a blatent copy."

Of WebOS?

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Anonymous Coward

I mean, it's hideous

It looks like the child of the unconventional marriage of webOS, Mac OS 7, Windows Vista and the Book of Kells, seen through tracing paper.

Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but the design influences do seem rather plagiaristic.

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Another Hater Here

While the old wireless hotspot issue appears not to have raised its annoying head at work (where a wifi DC ends your certificate), I've struggled to like it since upgrading my iPad last night. There's just too much visibly wrong with it. Sure I like what they've done to the calendar app and also making newstand an app so I can file it away is also a good thing, but it's just too garish, too obtrusive, poorly designed, in your face.

The old look may have been dated but it just felt right, from first time till I upgraded last night. This is just proof that Jonny Ives might be a great technical designer but he shows little knowledge of user itnerfaces (and/or was stoned when he signed this off).

What sums it up for me is the fact it askde me to give permission for the Weather App to have access to Location Services - however the iPad does not get it ....

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Anonymous Coward

Doesn't look too bad.

That's a lot of Tull in the album cover example though.

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Re: Doesn't look too bad.

And there I was looking for your posting ID to be Gerald Bostock...

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Re: Tull

Au contraire, mon frère. That is just about exactly the right amount of Tull and representative of the percentage on my own phone (really). The author obviously has great taste.

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Re: Tull

@btrower - "That is just about exactly the right amount of Tull and representative of the percentage on my own phone (really). The author obviously has great taste."

Leave it to the Brits to try to make rock music with a flute.

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Re: Tull

Leave it to the Brits to try to make rock music with a flute.

Well, we got sick of the Septics making rock music with no talent. (Thinks of those Bob Harris fronted Old Grey Whistle Test reruns on BBC3 and shudders).

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Anonymous Coward

Icons by MS Paint

Really thought they would have used artists to help overhaul the UI, but no.

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Facepalm

Word of warning if you are using audio production software/hardware.

It seems a lot of people are having issues with this latest update

http://www.native-instruments.com/knowledge/questions/1723/Important+Notes+regarding+iOS+7+compatibility+with+Native+Instruments+products.

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Gimp

Ugh, the new translucency effect. Not a bad feature per se. But it will now be used by a certain type of graphic designer who think that because Apple are using it, then it is the ultimate in design and must use it in every single design. You know the type - has a myriad Apple devices, Hipster styled and very defensive if any of their designs are challenged

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I guess they felt they had to wait until Microsoft had abandoned Aero Glass.

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Not to mention that the N900 used translucent pop-ups in exactly the same way - for focus.

WP throws everything away and puts the "Yes or No" type boxes on their own screen - I prefer it, it is not a desktop, pop-ups are pointless; you can't leave them and go do something else on the same screen like you can on a desktop.

Still, nice to see that they realise making buttons from text - thus avoiding having to have a button in the first place - is a good idea. I wonder if the texts tilts and distorts upon pressing giving the very nice feedback it does on WP, lawsuit waiting to happen if so.

And, by the way, you don't really have to indicate that text is a button on WP, almost anything that logically could be a button IS. In a text conversation? Press the persons name at the top, bingo, contact card. Accent colour is used to good effect where highlighting a button is useful.

Even with the occasional "Oh, wow, didn't realise that was a button" moment, it is way nicer to use than a desktop grid-of-icons motif - obviously not a Win8 desktop but all the other static ones.

As for the swiping left and right, I like the guided indicator menus, greyed out but visible that informs you what awaits in that direction (which you can also tap rather than swipe to).

If they copied enough of them I would drag their asses into court on general principle if I were MS, simply to prevent them suing me after-the-fact for copying their "more-popular" interface techniques.

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Stop

I guess you've never seen the early Aqua interface for OS X then, as released for the original iMacs and copied by Microsoft in Aero.

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OSX? Original iMacs?

Those original iMacs which ran OS9 you mean?

Either way early OSX had nothing like the Aero Glass style interface, whereas the trasnparency in IOS7 is practically identical.

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Re: OSX? Original iMacs?

Those original iMacs as in the G4's (the G3 had admittedly gone out of production), glass effects were liberally spread about in that. Aeroglass was a mix of that and hardware compositing, which was a feature of 2002's OS X 10.2.

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@cambsukguy

"to prevent them suing me after-the-fact for copying their "more-popular" interface techniques"

Does create an amusing possibility: Microsoft agreed to not copy the iPhone UI in WinPhone... so what happens when iPhone starts looking like WP, do Microsoft have to dump those bits?

;)

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Re: OSX? Original iMacs?

Here's a screenshot from OS X 10.1 circa 2001. Translucent/glass effects galore.

http://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/article/20000913/apple2.jpg

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Re: OSX? Original iMacs?

Ah yes, that authentic "pinstripe" glass effect.

OSX did indeed incorporate lots of transparency effects, but as I said in my previous comment nothing like the brushed glass effect seen in Vista/Win7 and which iOS 7 very closely resembles.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: OSX? Original iMacs?

"Either way early OSX had nothing like the Aero Glass style interface, whereas the trasnparency (sic) in IOS7 is practically identical."

Ummmm...

NYT's David Pogue on Windows Vista

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT6YO30GhmQ

..of course you are absolutely correct..

Oh.. I see what you meant there. You meant the blurring effect? Correct. OSX never stooped to doing that.

Where they did do transparency, you could read what was underneath. Useful that, especially with terminal windows.

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I like it

I've been using it since the first beta and the GM version is way better and confounds my earlier misgivings. There was never really anything particularly wrong with iOS6, just that a load of stuff had been bolted on since it was first envisioned that made it seem a bit unwieldy along with all the Skeumorphism which is currently hated by the chatterers. The new interface is clear and beautiful, and the transparency and blur is used very effectively (eg the camera app defocuses before it closes) I even have got used to the parallax effect on the background now and this has also been toned down a bit from the early beta. The new wallpapers are gorgeous too, which was a nice surprise in the release version. We just need the apps to get some updates now, most work apart from Google Translate for me which stubbornly quits even now...and PLEASE Apple let Airdrop on iPhone work with Airdrop on OSX. As always with Apple I expect this to be the first rough step and it will be further polished.

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Folders for phones?

I've only had an hour on it, but I do have a gripe about the way expanded folders display their icons. 3x3 grid of icons, with the capacity to scroll across, might be just the thing on a tiny screened iPhone, but on the iPad it's a frustrating waste of screen space.

My eye sight is ok, so I don't need icons big enough to press with my forehead!

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Re: Folders for phones?

"My eye sight is ok, so I don't need icons big enough to press with my forehead!"

You chose it so you WILL be treated like EVERY ONE else and you WILL like it!

Trys to appeal to everyone while pissing off the majority.

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