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.

The Good


  • The Control Center, a new option which can be summoned with a quick swipe up from the bottom of the screen.
  • Active icons, calendar displays the correct date, and the clock icon is updated with the current time.
  • Translucency underscoring the fact that your app is right there waiting for you behind whatever it is you’re doing.
  • Safari rearranging tabs vertically avoids overloading the left-right relationships between the screens, while also making it faster to browse.
  • Launching an application zooms into its icon, and quitting it zooms back out.
  • Spotlight no longer gets its own page to the left of the home screen, leaving the home button to only bring you home.
  • The typography in the majority of the apps is gorgeous, leaning heavily on Helvetica Neue and putting an emphasis on bigger, more readable type.
  • Calendar to the Camera introduce welcome changes.
  • Gyroscope-responsive parallax wallpapers.
  • Notifications and controls on your lockscreen
  • AirDrop lets you quickly and easily share photos, videos, contacts — and anything else from any app with a Share button.
  • “Activation Lock” will make it impossible to reformat or reuse a phone if it has been remotely wiped, unless the Apple ID that was used to wipe it is entered.
  • Double-clicking on the home button brings up the apps in a horizontal scrolling list. You can dismiss an app by swiping it upwards.
  • Photos sorted by date & location makes it much cleaner and easier to find your photos to share.
  • Free (ad supported) iTunes Radio

    The Bad

  • This will be everyone’s first experience with iOS 7:
  • Looks highly influenced by Google & Microsoft on mobile.
  • Weather app looks very similar to the Yahoo! Weather app.
  • Instead of correcting issues with the notification panel and alerts, Apple has simply given them a fresh coat of paint and several layers of sub-navigation.
  • What about the iPad? Will it be different from what we’ve seen on the iPhone?
  • Siri has new voices, but the features are pretty much the same except she can answer a couple more questions.

    The Ugly

  • Iconography has been transported from the familiar to the confusing. Take a look at those new controls in the Safari bottom navigation.
  • The icon styles vary wildly from app to app (i.e. Game Center vs. Camera App).
  • The problem with Game Center is not the felt, its the *service*. Visuals are a distraction from what actually needs to change.

    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.