Friday, June 28, 2013

My take on iOS 7

So here's the basis of my whole article.  Why did Apple decide to do this?  I am not flaming them outright for their design changes nor am I praising them outright.  In my opinion the one main thing that they didn't discuss when changing iOS was why are they doing this.  Sure tech geek consumers, developers, general consumers, and journalist can speculate why they did this and why they did that but what really matters is Apple's reasons.  

If you didn't watch the keynote speech the main changes are:

-Icons and overall color lean to florescent

-Swipe from the bottom of your screen brings up Control Center.  A tab with most shortcuts to turn wifi on and off, control screen brightness, sound, and more
-Your wallpaper will parallax when you move your phone around.  You will get the effect of seeing "behind" your icons to get a better view of your wallpaper
-Notification center is changed
-Icons are different
-You can swipe back instead of hitting back in the upper left hand corner
-And more here:

There is a whole community made up of tech geeks, journalists, developers, etc who eat, sleep, and breathe technology that can tell you that iOS look the same as it did when it came out with the first ever iphone and that Apple needed to change it up so it wasn't boring anymore.  Then there are the general consumers who are Apple's bread and butter group who really don't care to have it ever change as much as it's going to because they like familiarity in what they have learned to use over the past 6 years.    Those are going to be the people most hard hit with iOS 7 on their iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and iPad mini.  Those people like my wife's aunt who just got an iPad2 (and her first email address) a few months ago and she is 60.  Her iPad's going to tell her she has an update and she will either hit yes automatically because updates are always suppose to be good things, or she will call me first and ask is it safe to hit ok.  Either way, when it updates and her device reboots, she is going to freak out and so will tens, if not hundreds, of millions of Apple mobile products owners.

So why do this (The Geek Argument)?

As I said before iOS has gone through updates here and there adding in Notification center, iCloud, folders for similar apps, etc. over the years but if you had the same apps, same wallpaper, and held a iPhone and a iPhone 5 together, barring the hardware, they would look nearly identical.  So the change "camp" thinks Apple needs to add and change things to make it more relevant since Google's Android operating system is growing leaps and bounds and giving people more options with how they want their phone to look and work when they unlock it.  Example, with iOS to turn on my wifi I have to make a minimum of three screen presses to turn it on or off and that is if the Settings App is right there on the first page and not in a folder.  With Android, you swipe down from the top of the screen and push the toggle button to turn it on or off.  

Changes like that where you have so many steps with Apple and so few with Android are why geeks think Android is easier.  Google was making small changes at a faster pace than Apple to make using your phone easier and they more they did that, the more Apple lost ground on its claim that the phone always has been and always will be intuitive.  Change was needed to keep up with more and more things people do with their phones and it was needed to make them easier to use.

Don't change it (The general consumer)!

"Who cares?!  I pick it up and it works.  It does what I want it to do when I want it to do it and when I upgrade to a new one, I don't have to relearn my phone."

This is very true and change runs the risk of alienating the people who have come to rely on Apple to work when they need it to.  Granted Android does work too, and over the years, Google has gotten very good and making it work, but there is simplicity in "i" devices.  If that simplicity gets complicated people will get upset but if those people have had an iPhone for a few years, staying with it will still be easier than switching to something else.  Apple will have a few upset users, those stuck in their ways and I like that but they won't lose people with these changes they are gradual enough that with time a little time anyone can pick up on.

iOS 7 is a good start to start making changes to their previously "perfect" operating system.  I think people in the industry or who pay close attention to it are giving Apple a hard time because of Steve Jobs marketing, which Apple needs to get away from.  Steve always promoted that at each release of a product that they got it right the very first time.  But as we know that is never possible.  Things will always change, whether in small ways or big ways.  I applaud Apple on this first start to change and hopefully they will continue this and market themselves as a company evolving for their consumers.

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