iOS7 – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
On Monday Apple shared iOS7 with everyone during the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) to mixed reviews. Some people are really happy with the new flat look, while others criticize it for looking to much like the latest Windows 8 design, a poor colour palette and for just being confusing. Below I classify what’s people think are good, bad and ugly about the next version of iOS.
I’m sure we’ll be seeing more changes in the iOS 7 beta period than ever before. Which makes a lot of sense, given that it’s the biggest change in iOS ever. There is also 1500+ new APIs for developers to use. I can’t talk about those until iOS7 is released publicly in the fall because of the developer NDA but there are some cool new features you’ll start to see in third party apps.
News: iOS7 Rumors
It’s almost June and that means WWDC! This year the Apple World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be held from June 10 – 14 in San Francisco. During WWDC we get to hear about the next version of iOS. This is a highly anticipated version since iOS7 will be the first release without any input from Steve Jobs & Scott Forstall who previously was Senior VP of iOS Software at Apple. iOS will now be controlled by Jonathan Ive who is also responsible for the design of all Apple hardware.
There is expected to be big changes in iOS this year, most notably will be the loss of the skeuomorphic design that we’ve seen in previous versions of the OS. Skeuomorphism means to design based on real-world products, i.e. Notes looks just like a real notepad or the calculator looked like a standard button calculator. Jobs & Forstall were big believers in skeumorphic design but Apple has been criticized because it looks dated compared to new user interfaces that are coming out. Jonathan Ive is said to have been given a free-hand, allowing him to completely redesign the OS and interface. That will mean something completely different to what we’ve seen so far. It’s be rumored that Ivy will apply a more flat design similar to the Microsoft Windows 8 style. A flat approach will make the OS more streamlined and cleaner. The core functionality of the operating system will be left unchanged, but look for most of the Apple apps to have a fresh redesign, including the icons.
Further Social Integration
Apple has been making efforts to offer deep social network integration in its mobile operating system, first offering Twitter integration in iOS 5 and then Facebook integration in iOS 6. According to rumors, Apple will expand its social network integration even further with iOS 7, including support for both photo sharing site Flickr and video sharing site Vimeo. As with Facebook and Twitter integration, Vimeo and Flickr integration will allow users to be able to sign in to the social networks in the Settings menu. Those one-time sign-in credentials will be usable across iOS, providing comprehensive sharing options and easy integration with other downloaded apps.
Apple is reportedly planning to enter the in-car integration game, attempting to stuff iOS’s Maps and Siri services deep into vehicle interfaces, moving even beyond iOS-based consoles, like the one Volkswagen is incorporating into its iBeetle. Cupertino wants to allow drivers to plug their iPhone into a car and interact with an optimized version of Apple Maps on the vehicle’s built-in display, instead of a propriety GPS system.
Apple is also rumored to be looking to overhaul the notification system in the software, providing more information and actionable notifications to the pull-down bar – a similar approach taken by Google for recent versions of its open-source Android mobile operating system. Rumors of OS X Mountain Lion-inspired swipe-able gestures are also spreading, although it’s not yet known how such functionality would translate to a mobile device.
Near field communication (NFC)
One of the big rumors about the upcoming iOS devices is integrated NFC and the ability to pay for goods with your phone. This would most likely require an updated version of Passbook that supports these kinds of payments.
The main problem: with Apple being as tight lipped as they always are, we have no idea what to expect from the upcoming design when it comes to specifics. That’s where iOS 7 concept videos come in. This latest one from Youtube user SimplyZesty (seen below) depicts not only new icons, but new animations as well as totally redesigned apps.
You can expect to see the new version of iOS7 on your phones in September or October. This usually coincides with the release of the latest iPhone. Expect a more definitive answer at WWDC.
News: The Next iPhone
There have been a lot of rumors circling around the internet lately about the next version of the iPhone. We won’t know for sure until Apple announces it later this year, but it’s nice to look forward to a brand new iPhone.
Here’s a list of the latest iPhone news to keep you up to date:
- iPhone 5S will have new color options – The next iPhone will reportedly be available with three or five different color options, including one to three new colors on top of the current black and white options.
- iPhone 5S will reportedly be available with ‘at least’ two screen sizes – Many Android smartphones offer different screen sizes, but Apple has always only provided one size per model. Reports suggest that Apple is considering the next-generation iPhone will have at least two sizes this summer.
- iPhone 5S Rumored To Be Fingerprint Scanning – Fingerprint identification technology could be part of the iPhone 5S and this is likely to be the major new feature used to market the iPhone 5S, similar to what Siri was to the iPhone 4S
- iPhone 5S said to feature new 12-megapixel camera – It’s reported that the new iPhone 5S will feature an upgraded 12-megapixel camera with improved image capture capabilities in low light.
- A New Entry-Level iPhone – It is looking increasingly likely that after years of rumors, Apple will finally launch a cheaper iPhone model in an effort to attack emerging markets. Apple is prepping a cheaper iPhone model that will launch in late 2013. The new iPhone may cost as little as $99 or $149.
News: New Apple Developer Provisioning Profile
Check out the new provisioning portal at developer.apple.com.
The whole portal has been redesigned and now under the “Member Center” and listed as “Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles”.
Apple has finally updated its official developer website with a new, easier-to-manage unified view for managing certificates, identifiers, devices, and provisioning profiles.
Developers were sent an email about the changes, here’s the full note:
Now it’s even easier to manage your development assets. The new Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles section in Member Center provides a unified view and intuitive interface to help you manage all your certificates, identifiers, devices, and provisioning profiles. This new section replaces the iOS Provisioning Portal and the Developer Certificate Utility.
To learn more about testing and distributing apps, read the new App Distribution Guide.
News: Facebook Home
Last week Facebook announced “Facebook Home” for Android. It allows Facebook users to stay connected with their Facebook friends on their home screen instead of having to go into the Facebook app. Latest status updates, photos and messages can be seen as soon as a user turns on their phone. Chat messages can be replied to on the home screen or within any app with the cool Chat Heads feature. Facebook Home is not a new OS, it’s built on Android, but it will feel like a new OS to the user giving the launcher that allows apps to be categorized.
Facebook Home is available April 12th for download on HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung Galaxy S III and Samsung Galaxy Note II, as well as the new HTC One and Samsung Galaxy S4 devices.
Check out the full Keynote and Demo in the video below:
You have to be a pretty big Facebook user to want it integrated that much into your device. If this was available for the iPhone I wouldn’t install it since I don’t prioritize Facebook over the rest of my apps. This news does get me excited to see the new iOS 7 that should be announced at this years WWDC in June. What does Jony Ivy have in store for the new version of iOS? I am sure it will be a fresh new update unlike we have seen in the last couple of versions. Ivy is sure to make a statement!