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BLOG: iOS 7, a no choice upgrade

Mark Gibbs | Sept. 25, 2013
Whether you really lust after the new features of iOS 7 or not, you're going to get 'em

 I just read Alan Shimel's post about upgrading to iOS 7 and I agree, the buzz and hype about the release far exceeds its utility value. 

For example, the new look for the iOS user interface has achieved only one major thing: It's taught people the word "skeuomorphic". But will the new flat, non-skeuomorphic UI make a huge difference to you? Nope. You mgiht think it looks nicer but then again you might prefer the old look. Will you have a choice? Nope.

iOS 7's new flat, non-skeuomorphic user interface

Will the new search gesture (a short downward swipe on the home screen) make your life better? Nope and it's guaranteed that you'll keep bringing the notification panel down when you want to search and vice versa. 

Will the lack of labels for icons in the Control Center make the user interface clearer and easier to understand? Definitely not (and probably the opposite). Will the calendar app be any better? Nope. 

I guess you might get excited about the new, improved Siri and the improved phone interface. On the other hand, if you're one of the poor shmucks still using an iPhone 4 or a first generation iPad you won't be able to upgrade even if you want to.

But let's say you are happy with iOS 6 and you'd rather not update to iOS 7 for whatever reasons you might have then you're going to run into a problem ... maybe not now but eventually: If you don't update, you'll eventually find something won't work properly(as opposed to the apps iOS 7 will inevitably break). 

And, acting as Apple's digital enforcer, iTunes will be there to nag you over and over again to upgrade itself and every iOS device it manages. And if you upgrade iTunes but not your iOS 6 devices then iTunes will not communicate with them. Why? Because Apple wants it that way. They want to keep you handcuffed to their vision, a vision that is, as we all well know, more marketing driven than technology driven.

Don't get me wrong, I love Apple products. In our house we have four iPads, an iPad Mini, five iPhones, and the gods know how many iPods not to mention an iMac, a Macbook Pro, two Apple TVs, and a Mac Pro (not the new one, alas, for which I have a deep and abiding lust in my heart). The reality is that we have, and will continue to, drink the Kool Aid because the utility value of Apple's products is great enough to make the overheads of yet another update tolerable. That and the fact that, in reality, none of us Apple users really have a choice.


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