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iOS and Apps All your questions and discussion of iOS or iOS Apps.

iOS 7 is Two Steps Back


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static0verdrive

 
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Dear Apple,

I am a long-time user of the mac and iPhone product lines. I'm also one of your most successful salesman, although I don't actually work for Apple. For the record, I am an IT professional (working in security), a hobbyest developer, and all-around computer enthusiast. That is all true and hopefully enough to get your attention.

I've been doing a lot of research on iOS 7 and I have a few things I need you to hear. Although some of the features do have many improvements to the underlying code or functionality, you have major problems with the look and layout for just about every redesigned app.

First off, what is going on with the new icons? They look like they belong in Windows 8. Take it from me, many people who use Apple products do so because they love them, but many also use them because they hate the alternatives. Making your OS or apps look less like Apple and more like anything else only makes anything else that much more appealing. This "new" Web 2.0 look (from 10-15 years ago) is downright nasty in most cases. The glossy 3D-looking high-res icons from iOS 6 look better than icons on any other mobile platform. Why boast you have a retina display if you're going to make all the icons blocky and look like they were designed in low-detail 2D for people with eyesight issues? What's the word on Windows 8 again? What's the adoption rate looking like? Take note here, it's important.

Next up is the new look of most of the apps. Just about EVERY picture I've seen of iOS 7 shows it running on a white iPhone. The few people I know with white iPhones regretted choosing them because of how easily they show dirt, etc; but I digress. The apps are changing to black-text-on-white-background in many cases, as if it looks better that way because it suits the white device. The truth is, it looks Terrible, and probably worse on your elite-looking black devices. I love how OS X and pre-iOS 7 use grey or black backgrounds for everything! It's far easier on the eyes in the dark, looks much more badass, and possibly saves a little battery power not having to brighten so many pixels (? I'm not sure about power usage based on what's displayed - maybe the screen being on means the same power gets used regardless?) Either way, the white background for apps looks like something a grandma might want. By all means a grandma should be able to use your devices, and she should be able to choose that look if she wants, but don't force it on all of us.

Change in Life is a Good Thing. Change in code for security or stability is a good thing. Change in layout (for ease of use) *can* be a good thing if done right, but change in look-and-feel just for the sake of change is a BAD THING. People draw comfort from familiarity and don't always get used to new technology very easily. Even those who do mostly keep things the same once they've got it the way they like it.

If you insist on making these awful aesthetic changes in iOS 7, or if you simply disagree because this is just "a matter of opinion," then you really should be providing theme options so users can have the new & improved code, but with the previous (and much nicer) icons and darker themes within the apps. Give us freedom of choice if it's simply a matter of opinion! Speaking of freedom, WHY can't I delete the Stocks or Newstand apps, among others?!? Especially if I know I'll NEVER USE THEM! And why can't I make another browser the default on my iOS device? M$ got sued for IE simply being installed by default; you have Safari installed and the ONLY default allowed. Evil. WTF APPLE - YOU ARE NOT MICROSOFT. Seriously, are you looking to get sued for the same crappy business practices?


Sincerely,
-static


P.S. On a somewhat unrelated note, who thought up what's going on with iTunes?! I don't mean the new pain-in-the-*** layout that switches me back to this new view even after I figure out how to switch it to the old/good view. I mean how it MUST be used to sync all media to iOS devices. It's "iTUNES" and yet I have to use it to manage VIDEO? iTUNES is also the store, but only for music and VIDEO (but not OS X apps?!)? Why should a simple music player be so bloated? Why should an app for TUNES be forced on everyone as a monolithic one-stop-shop (which over-complicates using it rather than the intended 'having it all right there'). Have a Sync Center application for syncing media/libraries to iOS devices, and leave QuickTime and iTunes to be just players of their respective media types. Revise the App Store application to be just the Apple Store application for buying/downloading all apps & OS X applications, music, or video. iTunes wouldn't be so bloated, and users wouldn't have such a hard time figuring out how to put PDFs on their iPad, for example. Apple is supposed to be all about how "It Just Works" so maybe get back to that. "Sync" implies an action will be replicated - so if I delete an app from my phone, why does iTunes try to put it back on?! The app sync is pathetic in it's current implementation. I'm sick of showing friends, family, and coworkers how to use iTunes. I'm tired of explaining why iOS devices don't just show up like USB flash drives they could simply drag files to.

You're all over the place and it's getting a little embarrassing. Loosen your grip on your users' freedom to choose. I know you can do better, because for the most part your products can't be beat; but let's just say it's not Google's fault Android is eating your market share.
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You do realize that we (our forums) are not associated with Apple? Nor are you speaking to Apple when you posted your comments above? Or maybe you already posted the same thing in the Apple Discussions Forum and they erased it?
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@ static0verdrive,

You've been a member with Mac-Forums since December, 2005. I would have thought by now you would know that we are not affiliated with Apple.

If you do not like iOS 7...just stick with iOS 6 for the moment!

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Reviewers appear to disagree with your assessment. We'll see how users react, but given that your impressions appear to stem from pre-release versions of the software (and to put it mildly, where have you been for the last five years on iTunes? Syncing video was introduced with the original iPhone!), I'm gonna have to test it out for myself and see how I like it.

One thing I've noticed over my years with Apple: periodically they do something I don't like, but if I approach it less like an old man and more like a new user, I generally find that sure enough, Apple knew what they were doing all along.

Occasionally I just HEAR about something Apple is GOING to do and I think "oooh, don't like the sound of that. I'm comfortable and everything works great, don't screw it up." Again, 9 times out of 10, a little attitude adjustment and I'm having to eat a lot of crow. Man I *hated hated hated* iMovie 7, just as an example. Oh how I ranted and raved. Wrote Steve a note. Went on tirades to friends and forum goers.

Finally decided to sit down and tough it out and teach myself this TOTALLY new way of editing video. Within a few weeks (and a couple of Apple updates) I had completely changed my tune. I look at iMovie 6 HD and I can't believe the time I wasted on that. And believe me that wasn't the first time I had decided that Apple had lost their minds.

After a while I finally realized that (almost) all of the time, they know what they are doing, and I relaxed and stopped trying to make them stop changing. Life's been good ever since.
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static0verdrive

 
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I know you guys aren't affiliated, it's just an open letter. I just wanted to express some personal opinions that had been building for a couple of years. I'm even on the fence about a couple of points (yet firm on others), but I wanted to stir the pot and jar some reactions to see if anyone has noticed anything similar.

I really think many companies these days make unnecessary changes just so they can crank up the number of "new" features their software has, and it doesn't always make anything actually better. I don't see why we can't have a choice! Would it be so hard to have a switch in options for dark vs. light theme? In fact I'd probably use both, for example the light theme when in the sun!
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Most of the points you raise are subjective and opinion based.

So I can only reply with my own opinion, expecting it to be received as intended; my opinion and not neigh-saying of yours

Been running iOS7 on my iPhone since beta 1. Yes it's very different. Yes it takes some adjusting to as all new things do. But, in short, I love it.

I purposefully didn't add my iPad to my dev account so as to keep iOS6 in sight.

As time and betas went on I found it more and more jarring to return to the iPad. The convenience of some of the new features and the look and feel just seemed slicker and more natural on iOS7. I updated the iPad once the GM became available and it feels like a new device (in a good way).

Is everyone going to like the change, no. Themes and customisation is a tricky one. Choosing a dark wallpaper tones down the whole OS anyway as it responds to colours in the background image. Not a theme but it does give you control over the feel. It's hard to explain without getting hands on.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by static0verdrive View Post
I know you guys aren't affiliated, it's just an open letter.
Ok...just a little confusing how it was presented.

Looks like you spent some serious time & thought putting that post together. Hopefully if you really wanted to make Apple aware of things iOS 7 related...Apple was sent a copy as well.

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static0verdrive

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrplow View Post
Most of the points you raise are subjective and opinion based.

So I can only reply with my own opinion, expecting it to be received as intended; my opinion and not neigh-saying of yours

Been running iOS7 on my iPhone since beta 1. Yes it's very different. Yes it takes some adjusting to as all new things do. But, in short, I love it.

I purposefully didn't add my iPad to my dev account so as to keep iOS6 in sight.

As time and betas went on I found it more and more jarring to return to the iPad. The convenience of some of the new features and the look and feel just seemed slicker and more natural on iOS7. I updated the iPad once the GM became available and it feels like a new device (in a good way).

Is everyone going to like the change, no. Themes and customisation is a tricky one. Choosing a dark wallpaper tones down the whole OS anyway as it responds to colours in the background image. Not a theme but it does give you control over the feel. It's hard to explain without getting hands on.
Thanks for your reply - I found it informative and insightful. The truth is we rarely get to hear from users and it's rare I believe what the mainstream media tries to feed me when it comes to tech reviews (same goes for movie critics). Users know best! Anyway, I'm glad to hear that you were able to get used to it. I think I'm more concerned about the look than the interface itself, and of course it's 100% opinion-based. I'm not sure if I've mentioned, but I would use both if I only had the option... I'd use the lighter theme when outside in the sun for example.
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The wallpaper change, while not themes as you intend it has a significant influence in the look of the interface.
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I would love to give my opinion on IOS7 but I do not and can not afford anything that runs it so I am stuck with IOS5 on my old iPad and IOS6 on my 3GS.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
I would love to give my opinion on IOS7 but I do not and can not afford anything that runs it so I am stuck with IOS5 on my old iPad and IOS6 on my 3GS.
Me too Dennis! I'm also stuck with iOS 5 on my 1st gen. iPad. Maybe one of these days I'll come across a great deal on an iPad 2!

But my wife has an iPhone 5 (via work)...so I will have to see what she thinks of iOS 7 after she installs it.

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I am new to Apple products (minus my iPad had that a while) and don't know as much as most of you do but looking at the pics posted on the new iPhone I have to agree with Static, those icons look terrible.

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You get used to the look rather quickly. I've been playing with the betas for the last few weeks and although the look is jarring at first (since, after all, iOS has looked the same for the last 6 years), you get used to it very quickly. It also helps that the primary design ethos is the same - everything is where it was before.

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Your probably right about getting used to it. I never cared for vector type graphics but thats just me I suppose. The icons are not completely vector, but their close enough that I don't like them.

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OP went around posting this same message in other forums.
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