Since we’re only a few hours away from Apple’s new announcement, I thought now would be the best time to post my reflection on iOS 7.
Just before WWDC, myself and a few friends were speculating on what iOS 7 would look like. We’d heard the rumours that it would be ‘flatter’, but we were guessing that that would probably mean a reduction in all of the glossy elements, and the removal of the over-the-top skeuomorphic design elements in apps like Notes and Game Center, and that would be about it. What we actually got though… we totally did not see that coming.
So at this point, what do I think of iOS 7? It’s NOT BAD, but definitely needs TONNES of refinement.
Don’t get me wrong, I definitely agree that iOS was definitely in need of a redesign. It’s gone through 5 years of looking basically exactly the same. But on the same note, I think Apple could have gone about it in a bit more of a subtle way.
On the whole, I like the design approach and directions its adopted. The unified status bar is a stroke of genius, and I love all of the new animations. Overall, the system looks really clean. But… there are a few things that bother me:
- Making it so buttons convey their tappable nature via colour instead of a bordered edge can be extremely limiting, and sometimes messes with design pretty badly.
- The thin typography can get pretty hard to read in places (especially in some places of iComics where bold text was prevalent).
- Making heavy use of Retina pixels in design while there are still non Retina devices supported (iPad 2 + iPad mini) feels somewhat dodgy.
- The elements in the status bar feel way too small.
- ALL of the stock app icons. Yeesh.
After cruising around Dribbble for a bit, I personally find this design to be what I’d been hoping iOS 7 would have turned out as; a nice hybrid design that adopts some of the major new points of iOS 7, but still retains the major familiarity of iOS 6.
As it stands, I think the ‘flat’ motif of iOS 7 needs to be revisited a bit more. At the moment, it feels overly simple to the point where the UI feels like it’s wasting the build quality of the screen it’s being rendered on. And with the design of the current app icons, I feel like the experience may be at risk of losing its premium feel.
In any case, I have faith that Apple will fine-tune the system before iOS 7 makes the final drop.
I will most definitely be supporting iOS 7 in iComics, but I’ll also be continuing to develop it on iOS 5 and 6 to ensure all current users can continue to enjoy it.
And if worse comes to worse, there’ll always be iOS 8.