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BLOG: Why I hate the look and feel of iOS 7

Alex Burinskiy | June 27, 2013
iOS 7 'looks like the love child of Android and Windows'

New unlock screen
The new unlock screen in iOS 7 shows that the unlock slider is gone. (Image: Apple)

This is far away from Ive's statement about "bringing order to complexity." This change, while it seems small, will most definitely bring complexity to order. As a former Apple Store employee, I can tell you that this one change alone will prompt a lot questions from iPhone users about how to unlock their screen properly. And that's before they even begin using iOS 7.Another addition coming to iOS 7 is more useful: live multitasking, which allows a user to swap between live, updated apps instead of pausing apps when they're not in use. I do think the new feature looks nice, but it's less than I would expect of Apple.

Although multitasking appears to work similarly on both iOS and Android, Apple did switch things up slightly, since there's no vertical multitasking in iOS 7 (except to quit apps). Horizontal is apparently the new cool. Other than the fact that iOS shows the user's home screen background behind the multitasking apps (as opposed to the dark translucent background Android users see), everything else essentially appears to be the same between the two.Given that this is a major new feature, this is an area where Apple should want to put some visual difference between it and Android. How about a pinch function to close out of multitask view and go back to your last used app? Or you could do the same thing with just a tap on the wallpaper.

iOS 7 Control Center
iOS 7 uses a different palette of colors, transluscence and "flatter" icons. (Image: Apple)

Given Apple's obvious desire to make the overall UI "fluid," this is a natural area for Apple to showcase what it can do.As others have noted, the rest of iOS 7 just seems very flat and very white, with apps and icons presenting a mixed bag of the good and not-so-good. The Calendar, Photos and Newsstand icons all waste a possibly beautiful background space with a simplistic white fill. The Photos app logo does not scream "photos" to me, but looks instead like it belongs to a Paint-type application.

Then there are the apps themselves. There are many welcome features. For instance, Safari now supports multiple tabs rather than having an eight-page limit, which shows Apple is playing a bit of catch-up to Chrome for Android. The Weather app is also improved, featuring an amazing new look with animated weather backgrounds. But when I got to Mail, I had to do a double take. Looking at the app itself is like looking at something from Microsoft Office 2013 for Windows. In iOS 7, Mail really looks like a watered-down version of Microsoft Outlook.

 

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