Apple decided to join the Club of Flat and Blur with iOS 7 sporting bubble gum inspired pastel icons floating mysteriously over blurred backgrounds instead of gloss and shine, shadows and borders over linen or custom backgrounds. As I dig through the mounds of articles on iOS 7, and try to digest what Apple has made public on the website via image and video, a few questions come to mind.
First, what’s better in iOS 7 than what I have now in iOS 6 on my iPhone 5? Second, what’s worse? And, third, will iOS 7 make my iPhone 5 run better than with iOS 6? Finally, will all that candy coated sugar and blur make my iPad as appealing as it is now?
I’m stuck for another year on my iPhone 5’s contract, so I’m more concerned about how iOS will make life better on an older phone. My husband has an iPhone 4S and a contract which expires at the end of the year, so we’ll want iOS 7 to work well on his older phone.
So, let me give you an example of what’s worse. Much worse.
It’s as if I died and was resurrected at age 14, and God gave me a new phone. For 14-year-olds. What is with all the light and airy pastels? Yes, this type of design is different than iOS 6, different than anything in the Android world, still different than Microsoft Windows Phone, and BlackBerry.
It’s also the signature phone for Tiger Beat magazine. Most of the Apple watching community expected a flat design, and that’s what iOS 7 seems to be (devoid of the icon depth, gloss, shine, and shadows).
What other direction could Apple go? Goth? Punk? Grunge?
Here are a couple of examples of what I don’t mind, although I don’t understand the need for the change.
Not bad, right? Yes, it’s somewhat reminiscent of Microsoft’s Windows Phone flat design, and buttons don’t really look like actual buttons, but it’s obvious what each so-called button does and needs you to do.
Some of iOS 7 is appealing, of course. I like the improvements in Notification Center, and the easy access to app control settings. I don’t particularly care for the pastel and neon movement. It’s different, yes. But does it communicate better? I don’t see how.
Finally, will iOS 7 make my iPhone 5 appear and run like a new iPhone? Probably not. If anything, iOS 7 will be a Jekyll and Hyde experience as page after page of onscreen icons will be a mixture of Apple’s new neon and pastel and traditional icons from apps that have yet to be upgraded.
My fear is that Apple’s competitors and late night comedians will rip the neon and pastel design to shreds in a media frenzy of Apple mocking that won’t end until iOS 8.