pondering and wondering
potential Q: what has the Apple done with cover-flow?
potential A: sold it or let others purchase it while retaining IP?
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 …
I haven't found any yet - early iOS7 developers mentioned that there was a choice of two themes in Beta testing - but looks like AAPL are giving us a wide choice! (I was able to invert all UI colors in Accessibility, but that's probably garish squared!)
Personally I'm OK with the 'neon' colour scheme - thankfully I'm slightly colour-blind - but SHMBO 'hates' the neon, and I was rooting around for a 'skin for her with the better eyesight/more colour-depth etc... Apple will probably SELL us something to improve the neon look in a week or two....?
It's an okay update. The flatter icons are growing on me (make third party icons look a bit messy and silly now) and I like the new Control Centre, something I've been envious of my Android-weilding chums for some time. But I have noticed that the up-down slide of Notification and Control Centres can be a bit hit and miss.
I do like having multiple pages for apps in folders but, like a previous poster commented on, only having a 3x3 grid of icons on each page is a bit pointless, especially on the iPad.
One thing I'm not keen on is that the Photos app no longer displays photos in full screen, unless I'm missing something obvious. The Collections idea of organising photos is probably useful but not something I see myself using.
Overall, it's a decent upgrade for my three year old iPhone 4 and I see no reason for switching for Android (won't touch Microsoft) just yet. But a bigger screen iPhone would be nice...
Upgrade took ages to download but that's only because I live in the sticks and my broadband is delivered by arthritic donkeys. Otherwise no installation problems.
I'm a developer, its not great.
From a code base perspective it just seems to be on the edge of mediocre and bloatey.
Some will cry "Ah thats because your coding just plain sucks! blah blah blah!" and they probably are right: show me one dev who who says he can code with zero memory leaks and i shall show you a liar!
The extra frameworks is great and really gives the codebase some extra depth to easily implement ideas and features. I just get the impression that Apple are over simplifying EVERYTHING, even Xcode feels too much like a "Fisher Price My First Codey Machine" when you first loads it. I might be getting a bit long in the tooth, but I don't want or need glossy anything when developing. a straight plain box with auto suggestion and variable tracking is all that a good developer should need.
...all they appear to have done is taken some modern visual design cues from WP, and taken some features from Android. And they still don't appear to have widgets or live tiles which I would consider to be pretty fundamental these days.
This does seem to confirm that Apple is no longer leading the way in terms of ideas or sophistication.
Yeah. Close enough. What's a couple of miles between friends?
After all, you've seen one English town, you've seen 'em all.
In other news, Apple is considering adding some substance to one of their slogans:
Apple Maps: It just has to look good. Nobody cares if it actually works!
For about 10 mins before going in search of a replacement.
I'd love to know what idiot though it would be a clever idea to completely hide the full URL. Maybe it's because I'm a techie, but I actually want to know exactly where I am on the net, not just get the gist of it.
There maybe an option to disable it, but I can't find it anywhere.
Does strike me that these gush pieces that reviewers are pumping out over this piece of Emperors new IOS keep referring to it using those synonyms.
Frankly it looks pretty fugly to me, and in no way offers anything new.
E.G. The total lift of the multitasking screen from ANdroid ails to even include a 'end all' button for closing all open apps except the current foreground one. Nor is the control centre customisable in any way. No equivalent of the Google Now functionality, no extensibility or customisation.
And the old problem with IOS on the iPad being that it's launcher screen is merely a grid of icons is a total waste of nearly 10" of high definition screen - no widgets, welcome screen or any such useful application of such a large screen.
I am waiting for the eventual lifting of the rose tinted (or rainbow coloured) spectacles when everyone realises how god-awful this mess looks!
"E.G. The total lift of the multitasking screen from ANdroid ails to even include a 'end all' button for closing all open apps except the current foreground one."
With iOS, there's no need. iOS only allows 3rd party apps very limited multitasking... basically just music, GPS, and downloading something in the background (for a maximum of 10 minutes). There's basically no chance that a "background" app will drain your battery, use up your network data quota, or slow your handset down, so there's no point to killing it.
"And the old problem with IOS on the iPad being that it's launcher screen is merely a grid of icons is a total waste of nearly 10" of high definition screen - no widgets, welcome screen or any such useful application of such a large screen."
As a user of both OSs, I question how "useful" any of that widget stuff really is. Maybe I'm in the minority of people who do not need to see an enormous analog clock and a picture representing the current weather every single time I need to launch a damn app.
Meanwhile, Android drives me insane because apps in Android don't have badges... Even though iOS's launcher is lame, worthless, boring, outdated, etc., I can still tell at a glance how many new emails I've received, how many new text messages, how many unread messages on 4 other different chat/message services, how many missed calls/voicemails I have, how many new issues of the Economist, etc.
This is actually one of the reasons I prefer iOS... its launch screen is genuinely useful, conveying information I value in an easy-to-scan way... instead of just being a giant damn fake clock.
"With iOS, there's no need. iOS only allows 3rd party apps very limited multitasking... "
See, there's a problem right there. if ther eis no need at all for apps to be closed by the user, then why do you have the 'flick app out of the way' action to end it on IOS7 or the 'long press to get x ' on IOS6?
The truth is, apps do misbehave, memory leaks do happen, OSs do have bugs - and therefore ending all apps is often neccesary if you want to clear your RAM without rebooting the entire phone.
Yes, I had to do it on occasion on the iPhone 4 and iPad that I owned.
'Maybe I'm in the minority of people who do not need to see an enormous analog clock and a picture representing the current weather every single time I need to launch a damn app.'
By 'user of both OSs' do you mean 'I played with a freinds for 5 minutes and the rest I've seen onliune'?
If you actually used Android then you'd know the following:
1. Widgetes are often resizable and customisable.
2. Android apps do have badges - I should know I can see unread mail, text and Facebook messages, along with missed calls. What Android variant did you use?
3. The fact that you need a 'badge' suggests you need quick glance information, which is precicely what Widgets can do.
I have customised a screen for quick glance information telling me - last few emails received, last few texts, current weather and time, and weather for next few days. I dont need to open a signle app to do that, whereas you have to on iPhone. If I dont want that - I dont have to have that. That's the beauty of Android!
I read a report suggesting Android is stagnating while IOS7 represents a giant leap forward for apple. Piffle. Android is extensible, and therefore can accomodate any feature at any time without a major OS update.
As soon as ios7 was announced, parallax background apps started springing up everywhere, as did themes to make the phone look like an iphone. Not that I'd want to!
"thats what i like about the launch pad..."
call me mad, but opening up an app to see all my important, need to know information seems like a waste of taps... Wouldn't it be faster if all that data was just there on the lock screen, or in the launcher itself?
on my launcher screen i have speed dials for my important contacts, my next 5 calendar appointments are shown, my latest emails are displayed... I also have the shortcuts to regularly used apps... Some big some small... My xbmc app icon changes to show what's playing on my tv, my oyster balance is pinned to the screen when i hit the city... I could go on...
but then there are some tiles that annoy me... So i just turn them off... Choice is a good thing
winpho 8 - good at not hiding all your important information in a cupboard...
Have they finally learned to properly (pseudo)randomize the list of songs in the "shuffle" feature of the music player? My iOS 6 running iPod Touch sure sucks in that respect. Always getting in what I call "song ruts", frequently starting from the same song, etc.. I wonder if they'll ever be bothered to get that working.
I'm not a fan of the new look: like the bastard lovechild of Windows 8 and Android. It's as though we are all children and need to have pretty icons with easy to understand letters.
More irritating is IOS7's inability to use your own wallpapers as they did on IOS6, so they're zoomed in which means that my lovely photographs are cropped on my personal iPhone 5 and our corporate logo has lost the left bank of shapes and the last letter of the company name.
Also there's an irritating delay from trying to do anything from a blank screen whilst the lock screen slowly comes into sight. I want the screen to come on immediately thanks.
Haven't upgraded yet. Was at the pub with a friend yesterday who has updated and thought it looked pretty slick. One thing I realised was that after he'd unlocked the phone a few times to check Facebook / football scores etc. (I'm a pretty boring pub companion evidently) that I unintentionally knew his pin.
The large numeric buttons flash white when pressed, and you can't help but pick up on the pattern even in peripheral vision. Think that needs dialing back pronto.
Ahh, fashion. Since gratuitous 3D effects have come and gone once again, now Apple is trying out the new gratuitous flat button effect. It's ugly enough that it may be deliberately ugly -- "let's excite people with a new but shocking look, then fix it later with iOS 7.1. That will put Windows 8.1 in it's place!" Or is my imagination way off base?
So on Wednesday evening (over a nice Thai Prawn curry and a game of cards - yes, it's tricky to avoid getting the cards covered in Nam Pla) I attached my iThing 4 to my PC and clicked Update... Admittedly I had to repeat this sequence a couple of times as iTunes also needed an update - anyway - the point is that "Update" was clicked. Having become decidedly petulant when it comes to watching progress bars counting up I decided to climb the wooden hill and rest my somewhat weary head (obviously the curry, beer and cards had concluded at this point and the effects of beer were inducing me to sleep - Incidentally I won a couple of hands too, which is nice).
I excitedly scurried downstairs on Thursday morning in my dressing gown, much like an 8 year old boy on Christmas day expecting to find a Big Trak under the Christmas tree (showing my age now). Having tapped the home button on the phone to see where I was up to I was relieved to see that the update had completed and that the iThing was awaiting my input for the basic configuration steps - hooray" I thought (actually as it was Thursday I actually thought - "Splice the main brace 'tis time to heave ho and get busy with iOS 7 - Yarrrrrr).
My first impression was one of "oh, ok. So that's not so different." - How wrong I was... Having been a veteran of Blackberry, Windows Phone and even a Roamer 300 from 1995/6) I was a little surprised to discover that my magic, revolutionary and (to quote Jony Ives) "Essential" iThing had been sent back in time for a rendezvous with Tinky Winky, Dipsy, La La and Po! Clearly they were given some "Enterprise Architecture Crayons" and set loose - "Dear god!" I thought as I started to discover some of the finer points of the OS like Bevel Edge gestures - a feature that drove me away from Windows Phone - A calendar function that doesn't summarise what's coming up that day - again something that WinPho did that really annoyed me, a search function that has clearly been drinking from the wrong end of a bleach bottle as it doesn't behave correctly when taking you to tracks listed in your music library but are actually in the iCloud. It wasn't until I decided to sync my email that I issued a cry usually reserved for the moment after a shot of Naga Chilli Vodka "HELLS TEETH" - I cried, the damn iThing now reports that I have 1000 unread emails in my inbox!!!! Why oh why doesn't it know the difference between an inbox and my spam folder - even my old Blackberry (most henious of corporate devices) could get that right.
All in all I'm more than a little disappointed with iOS 7 - it genuinely feels like Apple have taken a long hard look at WinPho and 'Droid and taken some of the things they thought were cool without actually living with them for any decent interval. I chose iPhone originally because I just wanted something that worked - but I'm now considering making the leap to an Android device and taking the migration/intergration hit on the chin again.
Meanwhile, I tried contacting the Tellytubbies at C-Beebies only to have someone called "Iggle Piggle" pick up the phone, and I *SWEAR* I could hear Jony Ives talking to Upsy Daisy in the background about going back to the very essence of what a phone was... Maybe next time it'll be less bad than the current incarnation...
Dear Omnipotent Tech Reviewer for The Reg,
Thank you for the enlightening and not at all condescending review of iOS 7. It is a breath of fresh air on the internet to see such even handed coverage of a free upgrade for Apple gadget users. I am almost confounded by your complete lack of unneeded cynicism as well as your ability to avoid childish grievances.
So often I wonder aloud, to myself, how the cacophony of internet vitriol spewed forth about technology, the arts, and celebrity will ever amount to anything constructive. It was pleasing to finally read a constructive piece that was, with no doubt, penned by a capable software design engineer who had the knowledge base to truly critique Apple's new gadget UI.
I gleefully await the mobile operating system you are no doubt painstakingly crafting in your bog, hobbit house, pub, or whatever you people refer to as a workshop.
That Bastard American
"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."
The inability to disable this type of thing is what stopped me from getting an iPhone when the man himself was still alive. He'd probably turn in his grave if an option to disable was made available.
My theory about this (and UI animation on desktop OSes as well) is that extra processor cycles mean more energy usage - multiply that by millions of devices, and it's extra profit for the power companies. Do Apple and Microsoft have shares in utlility companies?
I have an iPhone 5 and I'm really really impressed with iOS 7. The look and feel of the phone is so different while being intuitive and faster. The graphical elements and transitions are smooth and pretty much everyone I know who has an iPhone is raving about their iOS 7 upgrade. Well done apple for pulling this off so well.
Does nobody else find the keyboard annoying?
a) it doesn't display the letters in lower case if that's what will be typed next, so you have to distract yourself by hunting for the indicator on the shift key (unless you just assume that auto-capitalisation is perfect - or just don't care)...
b) if (for example) you're entering a post code, when you press space on the numeric keypad it jumps back to the letter mode so you have so switch back to the numeric mode to finish off...
c) it doesn't have a "long press to shift" so you can type numbers without having to switch to the numeric keypad and back...
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