Homescreen icon comparison: iOS 6 vs iOS 7

Ian Hardy

June 11, 2013 4:40pm

ios7-iphone
Apple’s simplification of iOS 7’s design from previous versions was a welcome and necessary change. While developers have been working with the revamped OS for about a day now, the general public will have to wait until the fall to download.

There’s a slew of “design enhancements” and some of the most manifest are the home screen icons. For now, this has divided some Apple enthusiasts, as it’s an uncomfortable shift away from what they’re used to. Most of your favourite apps will be seeing a new icon, but what about the basics? Below is a side-by-side comparison of the icons in iOS 6 vs iOS 7.

iOS6vsiOS7_icons
Source: Twitter
Via: Cult of Mac

  • Conception

    Confusing and unnecessary. A total waste of time and effort better spent ripping off your rivals – oh wait!

    • Art V.

      Heh, agreed. I dig the simplified version, but the bright colors that they have chosen make the OS look cartoony.

      I guess it was their way of addressing the comments about their OS being “boring”.

    • Britney C

      I actually disagree. If I look at my phone now, I think its the current OS that looks cartoony. Matter of opinion of course.

    • David Fulde

      I can see where you are both coming from. I enjoy the flat look, but don’t like the gradients and some stuff still seems overcomplicated (See: Game center and photos)

    • Mo Dabbas

      I agree with you. I personally don’t think the icons was of any problem with the OS. I think it was already well designed and easy to figure out .

    • hyperhyper

      But wait, at least they fixed the maps icon. It no longer tells you to commit suicide by driving off the bridge instead of taking the on ramp. lol

    • Jacob

      BB10 Rip-off

    • Doobie

      Lay off the krakpipe.

  • Max Fireman

    Haha what a joke. Instead of notification bar pulling down, you pull up instead! How creative apple.

    • alphs22

      Notification shade still pulls down. The toggles (airplane, wifi, etc) are pulled up.

      Nothing innovative but brings iPhone up to par.

      Personally I’m a fan of the redesign.

    • Kevin Chung

      You still pull down with for notification bar. Don’t hate when you don’t know jack.

    • Max Fireman

      Hahahaha no s**t

    • Doobie

      Dude he was making fun of you. Duh.

    • Me Ted

      Either way. It was an idea that was taken from its competitors.

    • Kevin Chung

      What isn’t taken from competitors ? The point is who implement it the best.

    • hyperhyper

      I think the point he is making is that when companies pull from Apple, it’s stealing and they sue everyone around them instead of trying to compete against them. And when Apple ‘lifts’ and ‘remixes’ designs/functionality from other companies, Apple fans say it’s all about implementation.

      Even the words they user are meant to downplay the blatant copying. I agree with you that ideas are always emulated but Apple throws a fit when they get beat at their own game and no one likes a sore loser.

    • HelloCDN

      *facepalm* notification bar (or very similar) was present on Windows PDA’s since the year 2000. Then iPhone came, and changed PDA industry. Then Android implemented the notifications bar more successfully. Then iPhone decided to implement the notifications bar to iOS.

      It’s just a UI element, general UI element, which has existed since the beginning of Web 2.0 Get over it.

    • Me Ted

      If its such a general ui element going as far back as 2000, then why didn’t Apple see fit to add it to iOS 1.0 rather than implement it much later after Android did( more successfully I might add)?

      “Get over it?” 13 year old girls say this sort of thing BTW. Apple’s target demo it seems.

    • HelloCDN

      I wouldn’t have a clue what 13 year old girls say, to be honest, I’ve passed teen age long time ago, so you probably know better.
      iOS 1.0 was a completely different thing all together. There was no need for notification bar because there was no 3rd party app support. Once the need has been established, they’ve added it, although, they could have done it at least a year earlier, with the iPhone 4 release.

    • Guest

      What should they have done? Pull down? Another patent war? If you can’t pull down, then there are only so many other ways to go. Pick your battles, man.

    • jhk

      There’s only so many directions you can pull!
      Who cares if it’s up or down.

  • Hilman in Edmonton

    Wow, magical and innovative!!

  • Plazmic Flame

    I wonder how the masses will feel about this.

    • Art V.

      Quite a few wallets will go empty, that’s how.

      It kills me when people on welfare are rocking the iPhones, but then I guess it sort of explains how they have put themselves in such a situation to begin with.

    • Britney C

      iOS updates are free. So. Those people rocking iPhones on welfare, for all you know, have a 4 that was free on a 3 yr.. But, full proof investigative skills. You should look into becoming a very important person.

    • hyperhyper

      They will do what they are told to do and if they do not, they will be called out as Apple haters. Business as usual. One must learn never to criticize anything that Apple does otherwise you are branded a hater and jealous. Whatever you do, do not ever, ever critique anything that Jony Ives has done or you will be crucified.

    • Doobie

      You sound jealous because you are. Lol.

  • Joseph Cacoilo

    Even though its a small change, its a still a change Apple fans will welcome after having the exact same looking for thing for some long. I’ll stick with my Nexus myself, but I can see apple fans enjoying this update.

    • Art V.

      There is a positive change, and mediocre change, and a negative change. This is barely mediocre, in my personal opinion, but it is an improvement after all.

  • LeafsFanGirl

    Apple just confirmed that the iPhone are for kids. These icons look hideous!

    • motionmode

      says the “LeafsFanGirl”. LOL!!

    • LeafsFanGirl

      What does being a Leafs fan have to do with Apple? Goes to show your intelligence…like Apple!

    • Keifer Montgomery

      Good stuff LeafsFanGirl, you just burned someone who couldn’t come up with a better comeback.

    • LeafsFanGirl

      Thanks Keifer. A lot of women are afraid to post of sites/forums because a lot of guys bash us. So they stop posting comments. But I’m not about to back down because of stupid comments like this. Thanks again for the comment. :)

    • Keifer Montgomery

      Guys are very good in bullying but if you noticed now a day that female students are doing so much better than their male counterpart.

    • LeafsFanGirl

      Yes I have noticed guys are getting worse in bullying people. I think because most females are mentally stronger and generally do better.

    • Keifer Montgomery

      You go girl..keep up the good fight!

    • Doobie

      Are you…?

    • Keifer Montgomery

      Am I what?

    • LeafsFanGirl

      Thanks Keifer. It’s people like you that encourages me to continue to post on here and other forums. :)

    • Doobie

      Well it goes to showing your intelligence, or lack thereof in your case. Lol.

    • LeafsFanGirl

      Why don’t you f’ off??!

    • Doobie

      Just calling the truth where it’s omnipresent. Sucks to be you.

    • LeafsFanGirl

      You’re such a loser.

    • Doobie

      Wah wah wah.

    • Art V.

      I agree. They looks cartoony, and uninspired.

      The Music icon is the most hideous of them all. Ouch. What the hell happened?!?

      And that lime green color burns my retina.

    • LeafsFanGirl

      Oh lord the music icon is awful! And Apple keeps boasting about iTunes and they do that to the music icon?? There was NO need to change the look of the icons. If they left it alone and worked on other things, it could have been better. LOL! You took the words out of my mouth! That lime green is burning my retina and I don’t mean their retina screen!

    • Doobie

      Cracker, it’s an icon. Get over it. You see it for a very brief second before opening the app. OR if you we’re smart you tuck it away in a folder since you never need to touch it with all the integrated means to access media. Sigh.

    • LeafsFanGirl

      I see you have NO life and feel the need to bash me. Obviously you know NOTHING about UI!

    • Doobie

      Wah wah wah. Sorry leaf fans don’t deserve respect or a say. They’ve done nothing for society but add to pollution.

    • LeafsFanGirl

      Where are the mods??? WTF does the Leafs have to do with this topic? Clearly you’re a hater who is crying for attention. I’m done here. Go back to your basement until your mom calls you up for dinner.

    • Doobie

      Imma h8tr of h8trs. Lol cute.
      Grow up and quit interrupting my page viewing.

    • MatroXX

      Music icon…Zune much?

  • Guest

    It looks like it came out of a children’s colouring book :S

    • beyond

      It looks like Pride week exploded all over Apple headquarters :)

  • Damon Rose

    Honestly, Some of them aren’t bad, but there was nothing wrong with the original icons. What they really need to do is actually have the Weather app show the updated local temperature on the icon, just like you could do via Jailbreaking

    • gommer strike

      Yes, and in several cases, the original icons are indisputably better. It just seems like Apple made changes for the sake of making them(similar to HTC and Sense 5).

    • Damon Rose

      I wouldn’t know much on the HTC front…had a bad first experience with one about 4 years ago and returned it within 24 hours. Either way, Apple isn’t innovating like they used to with Steve Jobs around, and now they’re just playing catchup with the other players…how the mighty have falled eh?

    • jhk

      That would technically be a widget and I don’t think they can use that.

  • disqus_kCPMN1BEYg

    So bright and shiny. This is a phone for 5 year olds

  • Dana Mahar

    I get the feeling the change to the “flat” icons has a lot to do with decreasing graphics load. They look a lot simpler because they are, and simpler is less taxing on the graphics hardware.
    And they’ll probably need all the power they can get to run that weird parallax shift.

    • gommer strike

      Not necessarily, because they’re just simple bitmaps. You would definitely have a case if it went all the way back to Windows Live Tiles where you tell the screen only to draw and color this section, instead of using a bitmap, then it’d be super light and super fast.

      So I can’t see the drawing that iOS7 camera icon to be significantly faster than the iOS6 version. UNLESS of course, they lowered the resolution of the new icons, but Apple wouldn’t do that.

    • David Fulde

      the parallax shift is simple, but battery drinign

    • Doobie

      Battery draining eh? I’m testing the beta and see the opposite. R u just mouthing out your rear end without a clue or are you referring to androids poor power management?

    • David Fulde

      First off: You’re most likely not seeing the opposite of battery draining. Then you’d be seeing better battery life with Parralax on, compared to with it off :P

      I am in part referring to android power management issues, but mostly to the simple (but, truth be told, untested) logic of: “doing calculations all the time means the processor is running with more intensity than otherwise, causing a quicker drain in the battery”

    • David Fulde

      I replied to this earlier, and now it’s gone. Odd

      Anyways; I doubt you are seeing the opposite. That would mean that with the parallax on, you are gaining battery (Or, at the very least, you are seeing better battery usage)

      This is impossible since you would need to constantly be reading the accelerometer/CPU up, albiet at a low clock speed, to constantly be crunching the numbers)

      I am partially referring to Androids poor power management, but more so the simply logic of:
      constantly reading the input from the accelerometer and processing the data to show information and update the screen takes more energy that not doing that.

  • gommer strike

    Several of these new iOS7 icons are *extremely* close to HTC’s new Sense icons for the HTC One. But it makes sense, because HTC and Apple have signed an agreement and so we can definitely see each of them borrowing each other’s artwork and designs.

    • Henry

      Have you ever seen a HTC One? I’m looking at mine now and there’s not a single icon that’s even similar, much less *extremely* similar.

    • gommer strike

      I own an HTC One. Take a look at the Clock and although the “cloud” icon is not visible from this article, iOS7’s weather app is very similar to HTC Sense 5’s weather app

    • Henry

      App is similar maybe but not the icon. Clock is a clock yet mine is round and iOS’s clock icon is square. I wouldn’t call those similar.

    • Doobie

      These android fanatics get a little confused at times. Or most of the time. Unfortunate.

    • marorun1982

      I have to agree been using the HTC one too and the icon are not that colorful at all those icon feel more like old LG android phone…

    • Doobie

      That had to be one of most used weather icon shapes used in existence. It’s everywhere dood.

  • Kevin Chung

    Looks bad. Bring back Scott Forstall

    • gommer strike

      Mr Forstall must be roaring in laughter right now

  • talarico

    A step backwards IMO… in terms of overall look.
    Seems like apple is directly marketing to the teen and tween demographic.

  • Martin Chan

    I really like the new GUI. Easy on the eyes and makes me happy seeing it. I’ve never been a iPhone guy but I really want to test drive it.

    • Art V.

      I feel completely the opposite way about every single thing that you have said.

      It’s cool to have opinions! :P

    • Doobie

      Thanks for sharing that foo. It provided all of us with great insight. Why comment at all when you have nothing to say?

    • MatroXX

      Easy on the eyes, while wearing sunglasses.

  • GQDRU

    Further evidence that the iPhone was designed those that wear diapers……….both children and the elderly.

  • northernpenguin

    They got rid of that “turn left off an interstate highway bridge” that people spent so much time mocking in the Maps icon ….

    • Art V.

      Hahah, good catch!

  • David Fulde

    I do like thelook BUT:
    Game center and photos actually look MOPRE complicated IMO.

  • BaconTelevision

    I rarely comment on mobile-syrup articles, however as of today i’m actually flabbergasted over this one. Reporting on icons? When an OS update comes out, interested readers will go through the changelog to see what’s new in the enviroment. The highlight is usually something more substantial than icons. “Cult of Mac” and “Mobile Syrup” should be ashamed of an article highlighting such an miniscule change to an OS. WP, Android, BB etc, have never had an article featured solely on icons. Are we (the readers) left to believe this is the only substantial change for iOS since its debut?

    This is truly a joke..

    • gommer strike

      You seem offended more so because of the side-by-side comparison. There is nothing wrong with comparing old vs new.

      Do you get this upset when people gawk and stare at a new car, when what they SHOULD REALLY BE LOOKING AT, is all the changes to the engine?

    • BaconTelevision

      That is a terrible analogy. I’m a gear-head, that’s into Honda engines. So when a new form of technology is debuted in the “car world” there is cause of excitement. In layman’s terms to compare the inner workings of an engine, say the B18C5 vs a B16B (two of my favorites ) and an OS just doesn’t make sense. I’ll give you credit for at least trying, but let’s compare apples to apples. What i’m “upset” about is the topic of article. Instead of highlighting the significant changes in iOS-7, Cult of Mac, and MobileSyrup decided to report on possibly the most insignificant change. Regardless if you’re a die-hard apple fan, or a hater, this isn’t about apple per say. It’s about the scope of the article itself. How about the changes to Safari, Air Drop, Smart Multi-tasking, notifications bar, or even the new keyboard? Are you suggesting these changes are less important than Jonathan Ive’s work on icons, and the list above shouldn’t be reported?

    • gommer strike

      and you wanna know WHY they didn’t cover those other features? Because iOS7 isn’t available *in order to review* those other features.

      You listed off the biggest fansites of iOS, and arguably their biggest critics/supporters. So why *shouldn’t* they jump on every little detail like a thousand Steve Jobs? Remember how Steve was legendary over the smallest, most itty-bitty detail? How he could tell if you chopped even a few frames off of a video, and then declare the entire thing ruined?

      you can’t knock mobilesyrup for comparisons where they’re due. You’re railing against something that *just is*. In case you’re think I’m a rabid fandroid, I too think that Jellybean still has a long way to go. iOS has taken a lot of the strengths and weaknesses of the simple design motif from ICS(look at the arrows. do those even look like buttons?).

      A smartphone is a very visual piece of device. It’s something you’d stare at everyday when you use it. And thus harping and howling over the smallest visual thing is fair game.

    • Henry

      Maybe you should stick to not commenting. I’m sure Mobilesyrup would love to tell you all the new things iOS can do but there really isn’t much more to say. If you want to blame somebody, blame Apple.

    • Art V.

      Thumbs down.

    • marorun1982

      What is a joke is that’s whitout jailbreak you can’t change icon on the ios devicebat least on my old LG I could lol

    • hyperhyper

      Apple users don’t care about changing icons. They like to be told what is the best and they believe it. Why would they ever want to change it if they been told so? Also, it is probably too complicated for them to change their icons. If Apple thinks they can’t figure out wireless charging, how do you think they can change an icon?

    • Doobie

      More like they just dont give an F. They’re icons. Go back to suckin on mamas titt.

    • marorun1982

      Icon are important lol if you get shitty looking icon then you get shitty Looking UI and if you can’t change them then you stuck. Stop giving empty reply doobie you sound like a lil kid. Here a good reality it’s better to have the choice than not having the choice. Just think what it’s would be if you could not choose the cloth you wana wear.. would you be happy?

    • hyperhyper

      Actually, these are the kind of changes that Apple people are interested in. If you’ve been around Apple people, you will know that they care about aesthetics more than functionality. The current iPhone is living proof. They talk about the curves, the feel, the image, the hue of certain icons. Heck, Jobs fretted over the opacity of the glass in the Apple stores so that kind of thinking has leaked down into people who also identify with design. Me, you can make the design 80% perfect and I’m happy because I have a phone that does ANYTHING I want it to. Some people don’t mind being a bit more limited as long as their phone inspires envy in other people who are into that sort of thing.

      Mobilesyrup is only giving the Apple people what they want to hear.

    • marorun1982

      Sure that’s why we saw the same comparison on mostly all apple fan site lol

    • Doobie

      It is. I think they do it intentionally too feed the fan droid trolls and for page clicks to pay the bills. Common sense reporting seems to be too troublesome for them.

  • gommer strike

    The over design of the new icons seems to draw from multiple different artistic themes. While there is some consistency(iTunes, App Store, Safari), other icons seem as if they are out of place from the rest(Compass, Contacts, Stocks).

    • Art V.

      Compare Camera to Calendar. One is still 3D-ish, while the other is very simplistic. I don’t have OCD, but it still bothers me.

  • Dave

    All you android fans are just jealous. I am currently using ios 7, it’s great :)

    • Henry

      Yup, I am jealous. I’m gonna go change all my icons now on my Android :)

    • Art V.

      Not everyone commenting here is an Android fan. I am not, though I do like it quite a bit. Most people are stating their opinions, that’s all.

    • marorun1982

      With this update to ios it’s be much easier to make android look like ios because ios is more and more identical to android os. Don’t tell me android copying in thé future because right now ios copied a lots lots lots..

    • hyperhyper

      That’s impossible, copying others in the future was invented by Apple and you will now be sued for even mentioning it.

    • gommer strike

      Not you’re not. It’s not released to the general public until fall.

  • 173

    Wow, Symbian is really stepping up their icon designs.

  • Tiago Chong

    This is revolutionary! *sarcasm*

  • hunkyleepickle

    If this big ‘change’ is hard on long time apple users, I pray they never have to even look at an android or WP, their poor brains!! Its so complicated!!

  • racki

    this is superb innovation. First, Apple invented beveled… now they’ve invented flat. Fantastic! Different = better.

  • kroms

    Holy Crap ! Why didn’t Google or BB or Win8 have these great features . This is MIND Blowing !

    • Eddisonlane

      The majority of these features are stolen from Windows Phone. Also in Windows Phone you can change the color of your homecreen tiles and its reflected throughout the whole OS they stole that too.

    • marorun1982

      Yep I agree they stole the multitask of BB , notification and other features from android and same with windows phone. Hey why not copy everything else and in a few years get them all in court saying they copied apple lol.

  • Tom Adams

    I don’t like most of them but some I can live with..however whoever designed that Safari icon should be fired immediately it is the worst thing I have seen in ages

  • Jonathan

    I really dislike the icons. A lot. They make what I considered to be a professional device into a children’s colouring book.

    I love how this was a move away from skeumorphism, but I can’t help but notice that the old camera icon was of a lens — a lens that the iPhone has itself — and yet the new one looks like an older Pentax SLR.

  • softturbo

    At least Maps doesn’t tell you to jump off the bridge now.

  • Mark

    Apple’s new killer feature: new icons.

    Android’s complementary feature (since day one): any icon you want.

  • Matt Welke

    I love Android and hate Apple, but I like this change.It’s younger yet more modern at the same time. It’s like they’re firmly planting themselves as the phone/tablet for kids and teens. We may laugh at that but from a business perspective, why not?

  • skullan

    Inspiring! Revolutionary! I mean, look at that! Breathtakingly, amazing!

    Who needs double rainbows, when we have this?!

  • beyond

    very few of the new icons are any better, most are almost the same and makes you think why did they even bother. I can see it with the camera icon, the new one looks more like a camera, but ones like iTunes or Clock, meh

    • hyperhyper

      At least with the clock, they don’t have to pay royalties for the image used without permission from Swiss National Railway. That dumb move cost them $21 million – but let’s go on record here and say that Apple is the victim of theft right?

  • ConsciousConsumer

    It’s official, Apple has run out of ideas.

  • LarryVandemeer

    iOS7 icons are ugly as hell. Look that they were designed by a 2 year old. I’m going to throw up.

  • Mike366

    The icon of Photos looks like the old msn icon

    • marorun1982

      Watch out I smell apple saying they invented that’s icon before msn lol

  • Jérémy Letendre-Côté

    I am seriously blown away by all this change! WOW

    Bravo Apple(I really have to quit being Sarcastic)

  • Eddisonlane

    iOS 7 is a homage to Windows Phone except for the Holo looking UI theme.

  • Dre Escobar

    these new icons are horribly bright, and ugly the original ones looked way better in my opinion.

  • dracos

    (Sarcastic Post)

    Come on people, this is from apple, this is what you wanted, this is magical, use it and you will love it, never mind its just copied from everyone else, we (apple) implemented it better that’s what maters,

    “Good Artists Copy, Great Artists Steal” that’s what icrapple does best

  • sicsicpuppy

    Photo icon looking like a double NBC peacock

  • wp77

    Revolutionary changes! The best phone ever. Android and WP will never catch up with Apple unleashing all this technological brilliance! Cool

  • Matthew Davidson

    OMG, what have they done? they call this progress? What i***t designed these new icons? Must have been an android mole, cause this is sabotage

  • Jeremy Deats

    Not innovation…

  • S2556

    I remember my first icon pack

  • LebronJbball

    What is with the crappy new photos circle s**t and game center bubble icons???defs prefer old icons.

  • tilbar

    Overall, I like the icons better. But they lack continuity! Half are nice and minimalistic, while others have tacky gradients.

    Great redesign (and no gradient): Clock, Notes, Calendar, Contacts, Calculator, Maps, Reminders, Photos

    Nasty redesign (gradient): Phone, Messages, iTunes, Music, Facetime, Mail, Videos

    Doesn’t fit anywhere: Game Centre…what the heck, 3D bubbles?

    • hyperhyper

      I actually find some of them a bit too bright. It is like you said, some were well done while others were not. I suspect changes from now until release as they seem to be taking a bit of flack on them.

    • tilbar

      I agree, some of the colors are a bit off-putting, particularly the neon green and the pinks/oranges in iTunes/Music.

      I hope they get changed, but doubt it. They are a stubborn bunch…plus have an entire marketing campaign that they need to be consistent with.

  • Keifer Montgomery

    Redesigning the icons is refreshing but not a game changer. That shouldn’t be something that Apple should be proud of. I think it is important to users are the innovative stuff and some simplified icons.

  • demon5

    Mind blown!
    I hate to admit it, but the new icons justify the update to iOS 7 on their own.
    I think the Notes icon really underlines the massive changes that, to be honest and fair, were needed. Yellow notepads are passe. The Google keep icon just came out and it’s yellow paper. Google just doesn’t get it. The future is an icon with _white_ paper.

    The gauntlet has been thrown down. Google, Microsoft and BB have been served.

    It will be interesting to see how long it takes them to respond and how much market share they lose in the mean time.

  • daftchemist

    Eww, a step backwards in my opinion. Some of them aren’t bad but I think they look bad in most cases. Just another reason for me to stay with Android I guess.

  • Daniel Szilagyi

    The point of icons and UI is that it’s clear and easy to read and understand…a LOT of these either look like it’s some sort of ugly Windows Metro UI inspired or even MIUI…I’m even going to say more then half of these are a lot worse then the previous version

  • lewis

    This is what all the hullabaloo is about? No. Really?

  • Jason Chronicles Reddick

    To be honest I was expecting quite a bit more of an overhaul. There really isn’t any meat in the update or major changes to be honest. I am rocking it now and think I actually prefer ios 6. Looks a little 80’s and cheesy.

  • Afzal Badin

    so the changes are icons basically….

    • Doobie

      No. Grow a brain.

  • Doobie

    Those that can’t do – teach
    Those that can’t teach – manage
    Those that can’t manage – criticize. Just like all you android whiners. Face it, your jealous and whining. If you didn’t care you wouldn’t read apple articles let alone comment on them.

  • Nicole

    Looks like apple’s jumping on the android bandwagon (y)