Well its been seven months since Apple dropped iOS7 on us. There was much fuss made over its sometimes yucky color palette, its eschewing of buttons for text links, its thin fonts, and its minimalistic approach. Though, for all of its divisiveness, I can say that it has seriously affected not only how I use my mobile device, but how I design for them.
I was on the fence about it when I first saw the preview, to be honest, but now, I can say that I really like many of the changes. I still think some of the icons are wonky, some of the colors are wonky, and sometimes I just want a button, but then again I love its typography, the overlays, the gestures, the flat design, and its use of color to really set apart its apps.
If you look at some of my work, you can see that I was seriously influenced by 1950’s Swiss design, so it should come as no surprise that I really enjoy the flat design of iOS7. I was making flat interfaces for some months before iOS7 was revealed, and it was a kind of vindication of my design philosophy. I thought to myself, “If Apple is doing away with skeuomorphism, then maybe I’ve been on the right track all along!” It really helped me to embrace those tendencies when I design. I feel more at home in it naturally.
That said there are a few things I don’t care for. My battery life went down a bit, so I had to tweak some settings to get even a full day out of it. Its settled down fairly well though. The parallax motion, while super cool looking, I ended up turning off to conserve some battery. Also, and most egregiously, I seem to have my memory fill up faster, and even when clearing out all of my messages, photos, apps, music, and clearing all history and cache, I still have about 3GB of space randomly used by “Other.” Admittedly, this could be something super obvious that I’m not getting, or my own lack of knowledge with the inner workings of the device, but I’d say I’m fairly well-informed, and it has thrown me for a loop.
All said, I think iOS7 is a fabulous step forward for Apple. Looking back on how it has changed how I use my phone, I can say that I fully support it now. It borrowed liberally from some other design styles, but it made them work as a whole package. Mainly, I applaud them for doing something new. Looks good, feels good, thumbs up.