iOS 7 Review

Daniel Bader

September 19, 2013 9:04 pm

A translucent menu smoothly animates over the flat white app window, revealing glimpses of the content behind it. A quick horizontal gesture reveals the previous screen, text transitioning from one word to another. Apps update in the background, at intervals optimized not to deplete the battery. Folders expand as apps are added, paging indefinitely to the right.

While iOS 7 may appear to be an enormous change from its former six versions — and aesthetically it is — the biggest improvements to the experience are in the subtle, mundane maneuvers people repeat hundreds of times per day. Since the update is becoming available to hundreds of millions people on the same day, requiring a modicum of re-education for basic actions alongside the new features, its effect is likely going to be more immediately pronounced than any software update, ever.

We’ve been using iOS 7 since it was announced at WWDC in June, and through its six betas changes have gradually hardened into fully-formed ideas, and as we’ve grown used to them our opinions have hardened, too. There are elements of the UI we don’t love, but for the most part this is a huge improvement, and it will take the average user only a few hours (or at most a few days) to acclimatize.

A robust multitasking menu, with easy app termination, feels more natural. An expanded notification bar, while still frustrating, is further improved over iOS 6. Features like Control Center, the equivalent of Android’s Quick Settings, lets users turn on and off WiFi, Bluetooth and even quickly open the camera from any application.

But perhaps the most important aspects of the upgrade are what users can’t see on day one, or at least only a little: the apps. iOS 7 is a huge improvement to the app toolkit developers use to create software on the platform, and further extend Apple’s lead in this respect. Things like opportunistic background updates, which were previously extremely limited to extend battery life, finally put iOS on par with Android. App design has been transformed overnight, and developers are taking this as a cue to clean up the cruft and deliver an all-new experience, from animation to navigation to, above all, features. iOS is still the best place to find the best apps, period.

Combined with the hardware improvements in the iPhone 5S, iOS is becoming a compelling stand-in (read: replacement) for the traditional computing interface.

We’re going to take a look at four places where iOS 7 succeeds, and two where it doesn’t.

iphone5ios7review-1

What Works

Design

The way iOS 7 looks is drastically different to what came before it. Gone are the textures and glyphs of the past, replaced by a flat, layered set of windows arrayed on top of one another like thin panes of glass. It takes some getting used to, but the flatter design is not only prettier on the eyes — and perfect for Retina displays, which are the future of iOS-based devices — but it’s easier for developers to workshop complex hierarchies without worrying about the user getting lost.

For example, the emphasis on gestures means that, like on a traditional multi-pane tablet interface, apps can be easily designed to always get back to that original screen. Similarly, because apps are now relatively modular, they should be easier to adapt to larger screen sizes in the future.

While some icons may not have made the transition successfully — Safari comes to mind — there are some drastically improved colour schemes in iOS 7, owing to the sunsetting of skeumorphism, that much-maligned holdover from low-resolution displays, leaving the interface feeling more fluid. An improvement in animation quality contributes to this sense of speed and movement, though the way in which users interact with the operating system — tap on an app from the static home screen; tap tap tap within the app; press the home button to return — is unchanged.

iOS 7 will feel at once familiar and alienating, and that’s because this is the first time in six years that Apple has reworked the interface. Because many system windows overlay on top of one another, there is a real sense of depth, as you can see content underneath a translucent veil, as if it were a piece of frosted plexiglass. I have been using iOS 7 since its inception and am still amazed at the effect every time.

Much ink has also been spilled about Apple’s use of parallax in its backgrounds, and this integration extends to developers as well. Moving your phone around adjusts slightly the contours of the image, lending it, yet again, a sense of movement and depth.

A lot of people will call iOS 7 flat, but it’s not; it contains a real human element to it, an entrenched practice of layers and films. The real world is very rarely entirely opaque, but a series of boundaries that must be crossed. The difference is with iOS 7 you can’t see the holes, the doors or the seams; you’re just expected to know how to enter and exit.

iphone5ios7review-5

The Subtle Things

Behold background updates. Yes, Android has been doing this for years, but Apple’s implementation is primarily battery-conscious, keeping with the notion that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. To wit, your iPhone can now update apps periodically in the background, but the OS doesn’t let developers run wild with the idea; something called opportunistic updates bundles these packets together when your phone is already making use of the network. In other words, if you’ve set your email to refresh every hour, iOS 7 will take that opportunity to let certain apps — ones you’ve explicitly allowed to do so — download new content.

At the same time some apps, like podcast or news apps, can use push notifications to trigger background updates. So, if you receive a breaking news alert from the New York Times, instead of having to wait for the article to load when you enter the app, it’s already there waiting for you. It’s a subtle feature, but one that will completely change the way you use the phone. It also removes the biggest limitation of iOS compared to Android (in my opinion).

Background updating also extends to apps themselves: as Google recently did with its new Play Store version, Apple has implemented behind-the-scenes app updates in iOS 7. While the small chance exists that the system may automatically update to a buggy or, less likely, a damaging app, Apple’s update oversight largely negates that fear.

Another subtle feature worth noting is Control Center, the new shortcut menu that you pull up from the bottom of the screen at any time. Whereas previously one would have to head into the Settings to disable WiFi or turn on Bluetooth, Control Center is simultaneously omnipresent and unobtrusive. While some may see it as a waste not to combine CC into the Notification Center, it makes sense from an aesthetic perspective: the former is task-oriented and largely a single tap experience. Turn off WiFi, slide down to exit. Notification Center, on the other hand — especially now, with an expanded iOS 7 design — requires all that room at the top. As I’ve said before, Apple’s Notification Center is still problematic, but Control Center is great.

More greatness abounds when it comes to text rendering. Dynamic Type is a new feature that allows app developers to intelligently resize text based on your preference. Less an accessibility option than just another way of more granularly adjusting the OS to your liking, the reading experience in iOS 7 is hugely improved. While it may not feel productive to read large swaths of text on a 4-inch display, Apple has made doing so as comfortable and easy as possible.

Developer Improvements

This cannot be overstated. Though we mentioned some of the ways developers can take advantage of the new iOS 7 design guidelines to create more beautiful and fluid apps, the real benefits will come over the next little while.

We’ve already seen dramatic feature improvements from companies like Evernote, Pocket, Digg, Camera+ and others, but what we’re most excited to see are how developers adjust to the wealth of new APIs afforded to them. Things like iBeacon, which uses Bluetooth LE to make mobile payments easier, and better access to camera APIs let developers more easily pass on features to users.

AirDrop is another interesting addition to iOS 7, though it’s limited only to devices running the A6 and A7 SoC (iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5s). It lets users share files, photos and snippets of information with minimal setup, both from a developer and user perspective.

We’re also going to see a lot of interesting things happen with the M7 chip and Core Motion framework introduced with the iPhone 5s. There is a good chance Apple is gunning to make fitness bands obsolete, or at the very least work more closely with iOS 7 itself. Because the M7 is constantly detecting movement within a 3D environment, at a very low power cost, developers will have access to a wealth of information that can be used to improve peoples’ health.

Google

Ironically, Google appears to be spending more time improving its services on iOS than it is on Android. Sure, there are a couple outliers, and Keep and Play Music are not available on iOS, but for the most part apps like Gmail, Chrome, Google Maps, Google+, Google Drive, Google Search and Earth run faster, perform smoother and do a better job than their Android counterparts.

iOS 7 improves these things by theoretically allowing Google to perform its magic in the background. For example, Google Now has the potential to work on iOS 7 as it does on Android, pushing notifications to the Notification Center while updating in the background.

The advantage to having Google’s services on iOS is that they are just another alternative to Apple’s own offerings, something that can’t be said for Android. Apple’s growing, but largely unreliable, iCloud ecosystem is good for some things, and Google easily fills in the gaps. On Android, the gaps are just that.

iphone5ios7review-4

What Needs Work

Design

It is immediately apparent that iOS 7 is a first-generation product. From the ways the OS responds and displays content, we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple subtly tweaks things as it progresses to iOS 7.1 and beyond.

For example, there are too many animations. Opening apps feel cumbersome because they expand outwards towards the edges of the screen, and while they look fantastic the first few times you, say, open a folder or activate an app, the glacial perpetual motion of your screen irks after some time.

Some icons, too, feel incomplete. Though Jony Ive assured us that the new iconography is meant to convey a sense of depth while eschewing the more visceral elements of previous versions, some of the results feel cartoony, taking up too much room within the confined space. There is no air, just negative space. The Safari icon is perhaps the biggest culprit, but there are others.

Similarly, because Apple assumes that people know how to use the operating system, there are fewer guides or directions to help users along. People are merely expected to know that to go back is to slide. Icons have been replaced by words in apps like Music, which take up more room and appear less polished.

These are minor annoyances, and will likely be corrected over time, but they still convey a sense of incompleteness.

Still Static

Lastly, iOS still lacks movement when the screen is idle. There are no widgets to scroll through or icons to update, and though the company added moving Dynamic Wallpapers, everything else still feels almost lonely.

There is also a lack of customization options: the four icon dock cannot expand, and it’s still very difficult to load your own ringtones and notification sounds. While pairing a coloured background with an iPhone 5c of the same hue may appeal to some buyers, I’d like to see Apple take things a step further. Some things have even regressed: Newsstand no longer shows small previews of magazines’ content until you enter the window itself.

Per-app indicators are still ugly, with small numbers on the top right corner of an icon or folder. Windows Phone has both iOS and Android beat in this regard; it’s still one of the operating system’s most antiquated ways of displaying information.

iphone5ios7review-6

Conclusion

iOS 7 is great. It will take some getting used to, but the combination of fantastic apps, important user-facing features like Control Center and a new camera app, and a brand new modern design will likely make millions of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users happy.

We didn’t even touch on many other improvements, like the new Photos app, which bundles pictures into albums and Moments; a fantastic new Safari browser, which feels much faster than before; improvements to Siri, which now offers both male and female voices; and a far better Mail app than before.

FaceTime Audio is another new feature that should not go unexamined, allowing iOS users to make VoIP phone calls to one another over WiFi. The quality is astoundingly good.

Apple has put out its most important operating system since iOS 2.0, and though it appears to be building the infrastructure for something even more compelling — think the combination of 64-bit CPUs, location-aware Motion Processor chips, Bluetooth 4.0 LE — this is a good start.

iOS 7 is available now for the iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPad 2, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad mini, and iPod touch 5th gen.

  • JB

    Daniel you say its great…..all I know is 2 of my 3 friends who still own iphone have their phones now on kijiji after the update.

    Ask them about the update and id say hate is an understatement…

    It looks childish and unprofessional imo

    • David Etienne

      Do you think your 2 out of 3 friends with an iphone is a sufficient sample to gauge ios7′s overall quality?

    • JB

      Hey just saying what I witnessed yesterday. But hey rock on buddy…rock on

    • David Etienne

      I don’t know your friends, but I’m willing to bet they were thinking about selling their iphones BEFORE ios7 came out. Selling your phone because someone put a new coat of paint on the OS is a bit of an overreaction, no?

    • Yulet

      No, because you can’t change it. Why do you buy an iPhone, because it’s an iPhone or because you like the user experience? If you don’t like the user interface, why the heck are you buying that phone, to look cool with a bitten apple and show people that you have money to spend on that crap?

    • David Etienne

      You sound pretty bitter. Did you just upgrade to ios7 as well?

    • Yulet

      I’m an Android guy, but from your comment I’ve learned how stupid iPoopers really are…

    • badtaco

      Uh, ya you can change it. God, you trolls are such imbeciles.

    • David Etienne

      You can’t change it, at least not without some serious jailbreaking or whatever. Upgrade to ios7 is a one-way trip.

    • badtaco

      No, it’s not. Don’t be so ignorant. You can downgrade all u want until apple stops signing iOS6, which if history holds, won’t be for a few more days to a week.

    • David Etienne

      Source? AFAIK, Apple won’t allow downgrade from the public release of 7 to 6. Maybe you’re thinking of a downgrade from the beta releases?

    • badtaco

      No, I’m not thinking about betas. This process is how things have ALWAYS worked. In order for you to install a firmware, apple must be signing it. Once they stop signing it, you can no longer run it. Whenever apple changes or upgrades firmware there is always a period in which they are signing both the latest version and the current. The period is usually anywhere from 2-7 days. As of right now, they are still signing 6.1.3 and 6.1.4 So if you grabbed the IPSW for your device, connected your device to your PC and run iTunes, then click on restore while holding shift (windows) or control (mac) then selecting the IPSW you downloaded, you will return your device back to the other firmware. Very simple.

    • David Etienne

      Surely you would agree that 2-7 days is hardly a large window and absolutely not a permanent one. Very simple for you, maybe, but for the average consumer this will not be an option as they will not be aware of it until it’s too late. Next week, or possibly tomorrow, it will be impossible to roll back.

    • badtaco

      So what, the point of the matter is that you can unlike what you said which was that you couldn’t.
      Almost everyone who knows anything about mobile knows this. It’s more surprising that you didn’t. It’s not like this is some big secret or anything. Every single large technology site discusses this every year when the new iOS comes out. And no, mobikesuckups isn’t one of them.

    • David Etienne

      Are you serious? It’s surprising to you that I didn’t know a limited and soon-to-be irrelevant option for recourse? You obviously know your stuff, but I think that’s a little harsh.

    • Jesse

      i know alot of people who have decided not to renew their commitment to a new iPhone and it’s mainly because… androids have wireless charging, NFC, live backgrounds, BIGGER screens, and unlike 3 years ago, high quality hardware and software… Apple has alot of work to do for the iPhone 6 to impress… cause their market share in 2011 was almost twice what it is now… android phones are catching up and taking iphone users away into android territory at an alarming rate, innovate or fall behind… apple is just tomorrow’s blackberry if they keep this up, cause people want new and they want interesting… and sexy & sleek, samsung, LG, and HTC have all released awesome handsets with superb delivery, speed, design, and power. Android itself has grown leaps and bounds from gingerbread (worthless) to JB 4.3 (On par with iOS6 if you ask me)

    • Josh Brown

      That sucks.

    • Jesse

      yeah, cause SO MANY PEOPLE who own iPhones know what an IPSW is let alone know how to do that process… just cause it’s common knowlege to you doesn’t make it common knowledge to everyone else chief

    • Josh Brown

      Does it factory reset your phone? Can you keep it like that forever or does apple eventually make you upgrade?

    • Jesse

      you’re the ignorant one if you expect every iphone user to have intimate technical knowledge on how to restore and reload OS’s onto their phone.

    • Jesse

      dude, new iPhone 5 was same price as new Galasy S3 and S4 and HTC One, and the iPhone 5S is the same price as a new LG G2 is gonna be… it’s been a long time since Apple phones were considered an expensive status symbol.

    • FlageJan1

      from what I understand droids are just as expensive lol…and they have the higher return and exchange numbers than apple products…

    • JB

      No definitely not.

      These were hardcore ios guys. But a lot of other iphone people in my circle had gone mostly android, and a couple BB10 peeps.

      they just thought it looked like a os for teenaged girls.

      Take that for what its worth.

    • David Etienne

      If they were “hardcore ios guys”, didn’t they know what it would look like before they updated?

    • JB

      Fair point.

      When I say hardcore ios guys I mean…..these were guys totally into their iphone and the apple ecosystem….but also average joes so to speak……they dont come on sites like this at all. Hope that makes more sense haha.

    • Ryan

      Watch those reality real estate shows…People get turned off of buying a house (even if it has everything they want) simply because one room has a colour paint they dislike.

      More or less it’s a sad reality of today’s society. Overreact over petty things.

    • Sam

      Which quality! My Ipad mini is too slow now and have some lag is like a gingerbread software
      Apple all the way down after Steve jobs apple will hopefully go bankrupt with Tim all what in his mind is to take everyone to court because he can’t compete with Samsung and HTCand eespecially Google

    • Sam

      Hey one more thing don’t tell me its my iPad mini is detective or I am holding it wrong all what they did with the software is changed the color of all icons and even this they couldn’t get it right its a childish colors go to toys r us and you will see some devise has the same color

    • Josh Brown

      We have 10 people at work with iPhones and 8 of them hate the new software and want to go back to IOS 6, how do I do that for them?

    • David Etienne

      From badtaco:

      So if you grabbed the IPSW for your device, connected your device to your PC and run iTunes, then click on restore while holding shift (windows) or control (mac) then selecting the IPSW you downloaded, you will return your device back to the other firmware.

      Keep in mind, I have not tried this, nor do I know what IPSW is lol

    • Josh Brown

      so there is no recourse if you don’t like the new os and you have to update eventually even if you don’t like it?

    • David Etienne

      Apparently you can switch back now if you follow those steps. I would look more into IPSW restores if you’re seriously considering it, but do it fast as Apple won’t continue to allow it for much longer.

      If you are running ios6, Apple will never force you to upgrade to ios7. However, developers often update their apps to the point that they require a newer version of ios, so you have to weigh what’s more important to you. They may come out with an update (7.0.1 or 7.1) soon that will alleviate some of the issues people are having with it, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      If you buy a new 5c or 5s, it will come with ios7 and there won’t be an official version of ios6 that supports those devices.

    • badtaco

      And you friends are obviously as dumb as you, since if they didn’t like iOS 7 they could have easily reverted back to 6. Lol.
      Troll fail on some more, BB shill.

    • JB

      This has nothing to do with BB, in fact those 2 guys are probably going android. Lol, but nice try chief.

    • Jesse

      hey man, you need to realize the truth about 80% of iPhone users… THEY DON’T JAILBREAK their phones and as such… in the 7 day window, if it doesn’t say “Go back to iOS 6″ in the phone settings menu? they don’t know how to do it. when you’re car breaks down, do you automaticaly know what’s wrong and how to fix it yourself? when your stomache starts to hurt with an unbeleivable amount of pain and blood starts coming out of your nose… do you know what’s wrong and how to fix it? no…. because your not a mechanic or a docter… and i know both a journeyman mechanic who knows nothing of his iPhone5, and a 16 year Doctor who also can’t be bothered with doing anything his Iphone5 doesn’t alert him to do… and when both of them upgraded to iOS7, one said it looks like a teenage girl got a hold of his phone, the other said it reminds him of rainbow bright.

      you can switch it back because you’ve learned how and because you are interested in the mobile phone tech angle… well guess what? 80% of iPhone owners aren’t. so get off your high horse

    • Josh Brown

      How do you revert back to IOS 6 my boss really hates IOS 7 and wants to go back to IOS 6 but I couldn’t find away. He didn’t make a back up when it was IOS6.

    • badtaco

      Ya exactly.

    • TheFloppyBeaver

      I’m no Apple fanboi, but I think this update was really needed. And just from my FB feed, some people really like iOS7.

    • hunkyleepickle

      so they’ve had it for less than 12 hours, and they are selling their devices because of it? I’d say your friends may not be the best case of rational action….

    • Christopher Robert

      looks like something rainbow bright would design. Seriously questions Johnny Ives now.

    • dickgozinya

      No, blackberry looks childish and unprofessional. Lol

  • Ralph Malph

    For all the reviewers online that have accused other UI’s like Touchwiz looking cartoony, well you seriously need to check yourself if you won’t call out iOS 7 for being nothing but cartoony. Sure, looks are subjective, but it doesn’t get more cartoony or very Fisher Price looking than iOS7. And the worst part is, you’re stuck with it. You’re forever looking at an App drawer as your home screen. And with that small 4 inch screen, it’s one crowded and cramped looking home screen. At least with Android phones you can slap on a launcher and apply your pick of any great looking icon set in the play store. Set your own number of colums, rows, icon size, etc…All to your liking. No rooting needed. And with a tonne of real estate on those gorgeous 5 inch and above displays. GS4, HTC One, G2…take your pick, they’re all wicked. Done and Done.

    • JB

      Oh wow yeah you’re totally correct.

  • mylivespot

    Nicely done Daniel.

  • Yulet

    So the author is an…. iPooper? We shall leave Mobile Syrup!!!!!

    • badtaco

      Yes, time for you to go. I agree.

    • Yulet

      LOL I guess Apple fanboys like you can’t take jokes, well, you have 3 thumbs down, I have 3 up, so I guess you should get out.

  • Eluder

    Been using it for a while now, since the early betas for my 5th gen iPod touch, the early betas sucked hard, but I’ve seen vast improvements over time. I, like many, feel it is a very childish looking OS now. Sure it’s flat, whatever that means, but it looks more like a toy now than ever before. It’s also definitely not as fast as iOS 6, which is a tad annoying. I do enjoy the new functionality, which is nice, since it brings a few things that have been seriously needed on iOS that Android has had for years now. It’s not enough to make me switch from Android of course as a phone platform, because it’s still an extremely boring OS, and I’m not talking about apps, I’m talking about the platform itself.

  • Collin dubya

    meh.

  • Manuel Rodrigues

    The only issue that I have with the new iOS is the music app. It’s ugly as hell!!! It’s really busy and I absolutely hate the now playing screen. I liked the layout from the previous iOS better. And I also hate that the clock is small on the lock screen when your listening to music.

  • Darth Paton

    Literally expected the “What Needs Improvement” section to have word in it: “Nothing”.

  • Miser Phillips

    iOS 7 is a Windows Phone knockoff and not in a good way.

  • richard

    You lost me at “perfect for retina displays – which are the future of iOS devices”. What the hell does that even mean? Are you trying to say that apple never plans on breaking the 400ppi barrier?

  • MXH070

    The learning curve of the new swiping and gestures is to steep and confusing for the average iPhone consumer. Oh wait wasn’t that already said about BB10 people wouldn’t know how to navigate with solely relying on a home button.

    Apple is in the early stages of becoming BlackBerry this will be fun watching this icon fall…
    Tick Tock tick tock….

    • thomas nguyen

      I agree about the learning curve, I have yet to find out how to access the search feature (spotlight i think it’s called). I did it by accident once, and have yet to know how to do it again. And this is coming from a IOS user since it first came to canada.

  • Chris Stoochnoff

    Apple once again proves that it’s OK to steal “ideas”, so long as they’re the ones doing it.

  • BeaveVillage

    I’m reminded of the switch from Windows 98/Me/2000 to XP, what went from a professional looking operating system went to Fisher Price cartoon style. iOS 7 will grow in time, and the bland “too bright” white color of iMessages, other apps, and the far too basic Safari icon will be patched I’m sure.

    • Blocknards

      And at least you could change XP’s themes, with iOS 7 you’re stuck. I updated my iPad mini and I am completely underwhelmed.

    • Andrew_notPorC

      First thing I do with a fresh XP install is change the theme to windows classic.

  • batkinson001

    the biggest annoyance in upgrading my 4s to ios7 is the increased use of the battery (even after turning off the options that have been mentioned on the internet)… guess I am back to charging my phone once a day instead of every day and a half to two depending on usage.

  • sgn

    Well then I guess I’m the only one that thinks the new design is pretty nice, this coming from a Nexus user. Sorry about my comment not bashing on apple everyone.

  • thomas nguyen

    I think there is a big missed opportunity with every iteration of IOS. To start out, I have an ipad 2 as my IOS platform, and note 2 as an android platform.
    some major issues i have:

    1) why is my Ipad still look like 1 big app drawer? I’m speaking about myself that invested years in the eco system, and download over 100 apps. Some good, some bad, but a high percentage of them are still being used from time to time. Why have IOS insisted to maintain their status quo, and allow only the option of creating folders? I want a seperate window or something to house all my apps, and a home screens to house my most used apps, I dont want to delete the app to remove it from my sight. imagine on your desktop where every game, or software you download goes straight onto your desktop, after a few years, you would have a desktop full of icons, making it one cluttered mess, and you cant hide it, you can delete it, but if you want to play your game or your application again, you have to redownload it… that is how i feel about apps in the IOS platform.

    2) the insistent of having the apps auto organize, Left to Right, Top to Bottom. In 2013, we are still not able to choose where we want our apps to be? I want the option to have a homepage where my screen has a photo of myself and my girlfriend, and i want the apps to be in selected location. keep the grid format, but dont snap it to the left.

    3) i want to be able to select any one of my currently filled screen as my homescreen. I dont want my screen 1 to always be the home screen. (speaking for people with 5 or more, wouldnt it be nice to have the 3rd screen as your home, and when you press the button, it goes straight to the 3rd screen, and from there you spend less time “swiping”?)

    3b) For myself, I have 4 pages, but when i press the home, it goes all the way to the 1st screen, this is a hassle considering IOS does not let you to continue to scroll to infinity (what i mean is i’m on the 1st screen, swipe my hand right, and it will take me to the 4th screen, and vice versa).

    The theme of the iphone was great when it was initially released, but instead of evolving the platform like android did, they stubbornly refused to change what they have, and now, on IOS7, even though they added function, i believe that it still is a stale platform.

    these are my 3 main gripes about just the homescreen itself on the IOS platform, they may be more of an inconvenience, but to not have the option after moving to Android, and looking at my ipad. it still seems like the mentality of the platform is still 2007, and every iteration is small incremental steps. I like the freedom of placing an app icon where i want, how many homescreens i have, which one is my designated “home” screen. And most importantly an app drawer, to house my plethora of apps, and keep it in a location away from the main page, keeping it less cluttered, and in my opinion, more organized.

    /end rant

    thanks for reading :D

    • Thomas

      1) you have different screens on the iPhone, therefore you can organize your apps as to have all the ones you use the most often on the first page and organize the rest by either category of by how often you use them. Saying that its a cluttered mess is simply not true, just spend a few minutes organizing and its done.
      2) what you’re saying is that you’d like to “clutter up” your iPhone
      3) Thats a useless feature, why not organize the only home screen as your home screen (eg. putting the apps you use the most) ? Its not like you randomly decide to use completely different apps and need to reorganize things daily. In the long run, you’ll most probably be using only the first and second screens.

    • Josh Brown

      You sound like Apple TELLING him what he wants not giving him what he wants. The best thing about Android is that you can have it any way you want. You want a IOS style homescreen with all your apps, there is a launcher for that. you want widgets, clocks calenders, etc. there is a launcher for that. check out androidthemes on reddit and you can see all the crazy things you can do with an android phone to make it personal to your taste.

    • Thomas

      Funny how Android is also TELLING you to accept apps that crash and force close (I’ve had that happen multiple times on both the Nexus 4 and HTC One). Android is also telling you that your device most probably won’t get updates for your device after the first year. Hate on Apple all you want, but if anything it offers a more consistent user experience without needing to root your device.

    • Josh Brown

      What apps you don’t have to install any apps you don’t want to. Even system apps that are not critical to the system can be disabled in app manager.

      Fragmentations are happening to apple as well the 3GS is not supported on IOS 7 and there are some features not available for the iPhone 4 and 4s, it is going to happen more and more as they try to keep up with android. Google has already annouced that the new version of Android (4.4) is going to support older devices that are not compatible with 4.3.

    • thomas nguyen

      no, apps crash because of poorly written code. not because my OS tells me it wants to force close it (similar to IOS just shutting down your app when you use it)

      android isnt in control of upgrades to their os, the manufacture is, for comparison, its easier to compare Apple iPhone to Android Nexus series, that will give you a better apples to apples comparison.

      also if you compare android platform to IOS, you can see from the usage that android already offers more (albeit with a learning curve) than IOS.

      You are correct on user experience, it is more consistent with IOS, but I think everyone can agree that android is getting there, while offering a plethora of features, that, not to rub it in, but IOS is slowly and surely adding to their own IOS. – take notification bar, background downloads, control center.

    • thomas nguyen

      Josh Brown! YOU get it, you deserve a like! Here take my like!

    • thomas nguyen

      all the options you gave me are like work arounds, yes they work, but they aren’t practical.

      1) take for instance organizing apps, I think everyone that has used ios has seen the frustration of moving apps around, it is a simple process, but requires a lot of time.
      2) yes you may “clutter” up the phone but do so in a location out of the way. the analogy could be you have a room, everything you buy, either you used occasionally, or all the time, has to be placed in that room, there is no other way to remove it from sight, other than throwing it away (deleting the app from the platform). my idea is what everyone on android has grown accustom to, and that is put all your stuff in the closet (app drawer), and you can choose what to put out into the main room for everyone to see or use, but keeping the “clutter” look out of the main view.

      maybe i’ve grown accustom to a clean looking interface, but as it sits, i have an ipad I use, and I give up trying to organize it, as it may take 10-15 minutes to just organize apps to where i want, into folders i want. (compare that to 5 minutes or so on an android, go into app drawer, hold, and move it to any screen).

      call me spoiled, or a android fan boy, but i think the app organization on android is far superior, even though from a distance, they may look similar.

    • Josh Brown

      What you described was an android Phone/tablet. Just get a nexus 7 problem solved.

    • thomas nguyen

      what i described are gripes about the ios, not necessary the description of an android device.
      you can say that to alot of functionality that ios used to not have an have now, a recent one was the “control center”.
      last year, if i described to you that i dont have any quick way to turn off mobile data, or toggle BT from the main screen with a simple swipe up / down without going into the settings. you could have said what i described was an android function and that everything i wanted to do was simply go into settings and the options are right there.

      but I hope to provide a view / issue i have in a neutral light, not bashing / praising one OS or another. but merely praise the functionality and utilization of the individual part of the OS.

    • Josh Brown

      I wasn’t bashing I was just being realistic.

    • thomas nguyen

      That’s why I just ordered my Nex 7 LTE. looks like this is the end of the line for IOS platform for me. I hope they change it enough for me to come back at a later time!

      I had a good run with the IOS platform, but I think i’ve matured away from it with all the other options available.

  • Jason K

    As I mentioned on another post, I was looking to sell my Sammy Note II in order to pick up a used iPhone 5 specifically because of iOS7. Luckily enough a guy on Kijiji traded me his 32gb iPhone 5 last week (No, not because he hated iOS7) so I didn’t have to deal with all the low ball offers for my phone ($250? Really?). Kijiji takes a lot of patients and a lot of sifting through crap.

    Have been an Android fanboy since the day in October 2010 when upgrading from my old iPhone 3 to a Galaxy S Captivate, moving to a Galaxy Nexus and then finally to the Note II. Along the way I moved almost all of my close friends and family from the iOS platform to Android. Now I feel like a huge @$$hole and a total hypocrite but whatever. It’s a nice change and I’m sticking with it!

    Android has come a long way since the first time I remember using it on Eclair. Android has made big changes with every update that followed. I can’t say that I am as familiar with the milestone updates of iOS because I completely left the platform for that period between 2010 and now, I believe it was iOS3 although I can’t be certain. The thing that always bothered me about all of my Android devices was that they never felt complete, never polished. Almost as if Google would just move onto the next X.0.0 rather then perfect the previous version. Little hiccups, glitches, reboots, lockups, etc. Having to wait for your OEM to build updates and finally push them out to the public long after Google released the code. Little things.

    Apple tends to keep it simple. Everything (or at least 99% of things) just seems to work as it should. Yes, iOS lacks the “customization” that is inherent in Android, but that doesn’t make it a lesser OS, just a different take on what a Phone UI should be. Personally I don’t miss the customization at all.The one thing I always disliked about iOS was how bland and boring it APPEARED. The icons lacked color and coupled with the greys and neutral blues, it was really nothing special to look at. I actually prefer the way the user interface works as compared to Android. Simple, straight forward, and for the most part, streamlined (Yes, Control center was well overdue).

    iOS7 is clearly a polarizing OS upgraded. The majority of people that liked the color scheme and design cues in iOS6 and previous will obviously dislike the newest version initially. I personally feel like this was long overdue, and it’s a great sign that Apple is willing to deviate from it’s design language even if it may not cater to some of it’s die hard fans. From a design standpoint iOS7 is beautiful. As Daniel points out in this review, the use of semi-transparent glass layers is a very nice touch, and I think a color palette as vibrant as the one used was required to really showcase the “layering”. Small things in the design I’m sure will be adjusted in later 7.x.x updates I’m sure.

    For those that are implying that Apple is going the way of Blackberry, I don’t think I can help you.

    • Josh Brown

      1) Your note 2 is running 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, what features from 4.2 are you really missing? Also they announced that 4.3 is coming by October for the Note 2 and S3,

      2) If you need the latest OS upgrades you should have gotten a Nexus device, it is not like it is surprising that samsung is slow on updates.

      3) How the crap can you go from a 5.5″ to a 4″ screen? I have a hard time going from my note 2 to my wifes S4.

    • Guyrogers

      Josh, in regards to your third point, I have an HTC One and an iPod Touch 5th gen and I’ve got to say it’s much nicer to pocket the 4 inch screen than the 4.7 inch one. I can’t imagine it would get more comfortable walking around with a 5.5 inch Note stuffed in my pocket.

      Don’t get me wrong, the screen on the One is beautiful but having a larger screen also makes it less comfortable to carry around in my jeans (but I carry it around anyway as it’s my main form of communication).

      Sorry to address your points out of order by the way…

      Next, the argument that “If you wanted the latest OS updates faster, you should’ve bought a Nexus” is a bit of a cop out. What if I don’t want a Nexus? I liked the HTC One, so I went that route… Oh darn, my new top of the line phone has to wait a year for the latest OS update. I shouldn’t have to compromise on the device I like because of wanting great hardware AND current software (plus prompt updates).

      I know Google doesn’t control the update schedules by the phone manufacturers or the cell providers, but it’s still a bummer that people who invest so much in a great piece of tech get left waiting in line, so to speak… Furthermore, I don’t NEED the update to 4.3… my One works fine with 4.1.2 but am I not allowed to want the current OS updates? Or should I just go buy a phone I don’t want so I can have that?

      I love the HTC One, it’s a beautiful device, and heck, I like Android a lot, but I also enjoy iOS and I agree with Jason and think 7 looks and feels great. Spend some time finding a background image that compliments the transparency effects and it goes a long way in terms of looks.

      Both iOS and Android have great features and they also both have shortcomings. I don’t understand why people get their undies in such a bind over one vs. the other (I’m not accusing you of this by the way Josh, just stating something I find confusing).

    • Josh Brown

      I have never had a problem with something that large in my pants pocket I guess I am just used to it. I just don’t understand how people can use such a small screen. I know a lot of people do but I also think that the majority of those people are not smartphone power users as the size limits what you can do with it.

      In a previous post I also said that I understand why some people like IOS, because it just works. But because of this “it has to work perfect” view on things it limits the OS a great deal. For instance, I did not like how the driving mode on my phone handled the reading of my sms over driving mode so i disabled it and made my own sms read and response script with tasker. I also did not like the program that ran when I hit the bluetooth button on my stereo, so I was able to disable the system app and install a small app that runs in the back ground just when my stereo in my car is connected and activates Google now when it is pressed. I also don’t understand how come the phone that hipsters buy to be different looks the exact same for every one. I have a Note 2 and my wife has a S4 these phones should look almost identical as they are both samsungs. But because of all the different launchers and themes you can barely tell it is the same operating system let alone the same OEM.

      I also love that it is a computer in your pocket. Torrents, file managers, proxies, tasker, Game controllers, etc. If i can imagine doing something on my phone there is a way to do it. I would not trade anything for that.

      Yes waiting for updates does stink but there is also alot of options out there to load it for yourself, and chances are if you care enough about the updates you care enough to do 20 min of reading to load a Rom yourself. Plus Google is getting better at doing system upgrades with out updating the version number, thus taking it out of the OEM’s hands. I think Google will eventually use the play store to update all aspects of the OS

    • Josh Brown

      Sorry I forgot to add this to my first rant, “You should have bought a nexus” is not a cop out. It is the truth, HTC has a well documented history of not updating there phones. Google provides the software to them and can not hold a gun to their head to update the OS, and if they could it would prevent a lot of cheaper tablets and phones from entering the market, which means only those that can afford $790 for a new phone are aloud to have a smartphone. And if you did not do your research then that is not Googles fault, you are just a bad consumer. IOS 7 was announced June 10th, android 4.3 was announced July 24th, so samsung and HTC still have a little under a month and a half to get it to those devices. People expect it the day it is announced, yet even apple does not live to those standards.

      IOS is going to face the same problems that Android is facing as they try to match variety of the Android devices, the reason apple had no fragmentation issues before was because they only used one screen size now that they are venturing out into different resolutions you will start to see more and more compatibility issues. I have even noticed it on my bosses iPhone 4 that somethings on IOS7 just don’t look 100% right on a 3.5″ screen.

  • Nikesh Patel

    I love my iOS 7 but why does ever reviewer have to try and sound like a novelist when writing their reviews for this thing?

  • Nikesh Patel

    I love my iOS 7 but why does ever reviewer have to try and sound like a novelist when writing their reviews for this thing?

  • Alex McIlwaine

    So the design “works”…but also needs more work? Which is it? It can’t be both.

    And you think ios7 is “flat”?

    Ok pal…

  • jskardzius

    Windows vista aero revisited. Android like gestures and wp8 design aesthetics. The industry is mature…good. 3 Ecosystems equals choice and strong markets for developers.

  • Josh Brown

    I was using it for a while this morning helping my boss and there is a few things that I think really hurt the IOS platform.

    No back button – this wouldn’t be a huge deal if they had a very strict location for a “back” button on the screen, but they dont. people have gotten used to web browsers that use back buttons and I watch people get so frustrated when they hit the only button and it takes them to the home screen instead of going back one screen.

    Lack of customization – It makes it simple and probably is easier to use than android but at the end of the day, people like to add there own style to a phone. IOS is very limited in this respect and is a symptom of the Steve Jobs era of TELLING people what they want.

    Lack of a file manager- People are still tied to windows/mac OS’s and not being able to see the file structure can be very limiting. if you download a file being able to see the file and be able to open it, share it, delete it, etc. is a big feature. When sitting in a meeting and you have a pdf of word doc. or picture to share with some one there is always a way to send it to someone with a whole host of tech. Through apps, galleries, cloud storage, using NFC wifi direct, bluetooth, print, cloud storage, email, sms, IM, twitter, facebook, instagram, reddit, imgur, really there is no limit in the choices.

    Also the lack of short cuts in the notification bar – This should be your one stop shop for short cuts. I know there is the new control centre but why have all of these different gestures when you can have one that will bring you to everything, it just is not very intuitive for people unfamiliar to the platform.

    I am not saying IOS is terrible it can be very easy to use when you are used to it, and because of the lack of some of these features there are less quirks. But in my opinion these features would be very hard to give up.

    • thomas nguyen

      i think the main reason for ios to have multiple swipe feature instead of a “one stop shop” is they dont want to make it look or resemble android, yes it has all the functionality now of the android notification bar, but to the masses, having a dedicated control center makes it stand out, like it is their own invention, their own idea, incorporating a “simple” gesture to flick up and down.

  • Pat

    It’s interesting to me that we can’t simply talk about the merits of iOS7 on its own, we have to turn it into yet another iOS vs Android brawl that nobody walks away happy from. I updated my iPhone 4 and 4th gen iPad on the first day and I have to say I love it. Did the same for my wife and my mother in law.

    Will be buying iPhone 5s’ for me and the wife in December when I can upgrade without penalty. Thanks Apple, good work!

    • thomas nguyen

      it is better iteration to iteration i agree, but i think it’s hard not to compare android to ios. since without one, there isnt the other, similar to if you buy a car without features you expect in 2013, you would compare it to something similar, which would be another car by a different brand.

      so i think now when both os has matured, and taken key steps in different directions, I think its good to critically compare one to the other, and see the pros and cons. yes there is good things about both OS, and there are bad things about both OS. but in general, i think android is better overall, and for someone that has and IOS device, and uses it daily. its good to look outside the box, and see what others did, and what limitations one has.

    • Pat

      Fair enough, and I’ve recently spend a significant amount of time with a Samsung Galaxy S3 and discovered that Android is not for me. However the name calling petty bickering that constantly goes on on MS forums is childish and unnecessary, that’s all I’m really getting at.

    • thomas nguyen

      yea, its definitely not for everyone, but I think thats what makes the current generation so good, there is a phone for everyone, and even on android they understand it, and developed a “simplified” version option, like the galaxy 3 and note 2 and s4.

    • Josh Brown

      I am not saying this to start an argument or belittle anyone, but when I use an IOS device, it feels like a feature phone, like we will let you do some things but we will restrict you in most place to what we want you to do.

      Android to me feels like a full fledge computer in your pocket, people ask me what can I do on an android, honestly I tell them what can’t you do, because I have never said I wish my phone could do that, and not found a way to do it. I challenge people to do something on their computer they can’t do on their androids.

      But I understand that some people don’t care about having a computer in their pocket and that is cool, but what I find funny is that some people get mad when you show them some cool feature that your phone can do but theirs can’t.

  • thusguy

    nope nope nope

  • Josh Brown

    Of all the years of my arguing if IOS is better than Android, I have come to this conclusion, and it has to do with your personality type, and no matter what people tell you, you will like one over the other. And it is even down to the core beliefs of Google and Apple.

    Google/Android = For people that like tinkering with stuff and want to push the limits of what something can do.

    Apple/IOS = I just works. You get what you get, but at the same time it works.

    If you like to mess around with your car or computer, tweak things to look better or run better, than Android is probably for you.

    If you go buy a brand new car or Computer because you don’t want to bother keeping it up or upgrading it, than IOS is probably for you.

    Notice I said probably for you, I am not saying it applies to everyone but it is what I have noticed about people. But if that is what your personality is than I don’t care how much we tell each other the one is better than the other will we be able to convince each other. But that being said do your research when you buy a phone realize the differences in the OS’s and make the proper decision and don’t complain about it.

    • Kienerman

      I totally agree they’re both good but just preference in what you want.

      but for me i also find there’s difference when it comes to Apps I do find apps from apple are far superior and they run much smoother. With Android it’s a hit an miss. Majority of the problems with android apps there are way to many different phones when you create an app it’s not just creating them for the os you also need to make sure it works with with that specific model. So that’s why apple has a benefit. One my argue about my point but it’s a true fact.

      I used to own an iphone 4 and now i’m an S4 user just incase someone thinks that i’m picking on Android.

    • Josh Brown

      What apps? I never have a problem with any crashing or looking weird and I have a note 2 which is not a normal phone size. Also apple is going to face that exact same problem as they start rolling out different sizes, if they stick with 3.5″ and 4″ they will not be around long. So yes it is a disadvantage but they have a head start on dealing with those problems.

    • Kienerman

      for example I was looking for a car utility app for maintenance so i can monitor and track what i need to do with my car. I find with apple there’s a lot more option with Android they had only a few and the ones they have they’re poorly designed not very user friendly. Ones that I try just crash in between i’m not implying that all apple apps are perfect but i’m just saying as far as selections goes IOS is more favored.

    • Josh Brown

      Car utility app is a little vague is it a OBD2 reader app?

    • Josh Brown

      Actually this is my point, if you would prefer everything to work perfectly and lose the ability to tinker and customize your phone than IOS is for you.

    • Ryan

      I have a Windows Phone (Lumia 520), iPhone 4s (used as an iPod) and a Nexus 7.
      I can’t say I actually prefer one OS or device over another. If I had only one of them I’d be happy with it. In the end as long as it has a browser, email, twitter & flickr, I’m fine with any of them.

      App wise it can be hit and miss on the devices. Flickr for example is (IMO) overall better on my Android, and then my WP8 and iOS is iffy as it often crashes (more so with the iOS7), however the official Twitter app is better on iOS, then a toss up between the other two.

      When you have no loyalty to a mobile OS/device, it can become humorous watching the battles rage on between the fanboys on all sides.

  • Tomasz Maslowski

    So random question to anyone that may know the answer. I updated my ipad mini to iOS7 and one thing I can’t seem to figure out. Where is the Weather app? I get weather updates in my Notification menu, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to change from farenheit to celcius. It’s driving me a little nuts. Aside from that, I haven’t run into any performance issues.

  • kk

    All I can say is that the ios 7 features have now, have actually been around for the past few years on android, so its really funny when people say o look we can slide up and we have all the short cuts here. Nothing innovative. .

  • nativ rozental

    my brother have ios 7 and he dont like it