With a completely overhauled design, and a appreciable list of awesome new features, iOS 7 is arguably the most exciting version of iOS to date. But not everyone is a fan of the new design. Based on my own observations of the people I follow on Facebook and Twitter, half of them really, really like the change, while the other half thinks this signals the end of iOS as we know it. In this Ask The Readers feature article, we briefly discuss iOS 7’s design, and then ask you to chime in with your opinion.
The overall structure of iOS remains the same with iOS 7. You have a grid of app icons spread over multiple pages and folders, you can double-click the Home button to get to the app switcher, swiping down from the top edge reveals the Notification Center, etc.
What has changed is how all of this looks and, consequently, how it works.
The new look cannot be called “flat” design, strictly speaking. It’s certainly flatter than before, there’s a stronger focus on typography, drop shadows are nowhere to be found, and skeumorphism has been completely removed, but iOS 7 does things like making heavy use of translucency to express layering of UI elements. For example, the new SBSettings-like Control Center with its myriad of toggles and buttons and sliders appears on top of the home screen grid.
I really love the use of bright, bold colors over white background throughout the OS, but the iconography is just bad, plain bad. The black Stocks/Compass app icon stands out like a sore thumb on the home screen, while the Safari and Mail icons simply look cheap.
And it’s not just the app icons, but also the icons in use within apps and menus that look like mockups instead of real icons.
When making big, sweeping changes like these, you will get some backlash from the community. A design overhaul was long overdue for iOS, and that’s just what Apple has given us. They’ve gone off-track in a few areas, but they will take notice of the criticisms, and improve the design as time goes by.
iOS 7 is to iOS what Ice Cream Sandwich was to Android (Editor’s note: Oh no he didn’t!). It’s different, but it is better, and it will only get better in the future.
So, what do you think about the new design in iOS 7? Like it? Hate it? Join our poll or sound off in the comments section!