x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

iOS 7 Preview

Posted: , by Ray S.

Tags :

iOS 7 Preview
Apple has announced that iOS 7 is coming this fall, but how can one just stand here and wait? We mean, boy it's painful! And knowing that there's actually a way of getting 'iOS 7 beta 1' that is currently available to developers, we decided to go ahead and install the thing on an iPhone 5.

After playing with the software for a while, we feel we're ready to give you our first impressions of Apple's new mobile platform. After all, iOS 7 is supposed to be a pretty big deal - it'll dramatically alter the look of your iPhones and iPads, so go ahead and read on if you want to know what your iOS device is going to be like when it gets the new OS in just a few months. Still, keep in mind that these impressions are based on the first beta version of iOS 7, so we guess that quite a few things may get fixed or changed by the time the final software arrives.

Lockscreen and Homescreen

So, the biggest thing about iOS 7 is that is comes with a brand new user interface, since this is actually the very first major redesign of the platform since 2007. The changes hit you right from the new lockscreen. It's very simplistic with the clock and date at the top, "slide to unlock" text at the bottom and a small camera icon in the bottom right corner for quick camera access. There are also two small arrows at the top and bottom, with the first showing the swipe direction for the Notification Center, and the second for the new Control Center. Of course, your notifications will take the center of the lockscreen.

This is the first iOS lockscreen ever that will make you wonder which direction you need to slide in order to unlock your phone. The arrow below the "slide to unlock" text will try to confuse you that the correct answer is 'up', but it's not. You can also slide to the left, which will make the on-screen elements move to the left, but this will not unlock the phone as well. As before, the correct direction to slide to is 'right', though now that the big arrow pointing to the right is gone, you'll easily mistake it the first few times. Of course, that's something that you'll quickly get used to, but it's the first sign that something's not quite right with the new iOS.

Now that we've arrived at the homescreen, we can start enjoying the beauty of the brand new icons, right? Well, not exactly. Those of us who hoped iOS will get some kind of widget functionality will be disappointed, but what's worse is that the iOS 7 homescreen actually looks like the old iOS homescreen, but with a 'Cartoon' theme applied. Seriously, it's like the more we stare at our iPhone 5 with iOS 7, the more it starts to look like a kids' phone. It is not bad, it's not ugly, but it's certainly not better than what it used to be. And if we simply have to compare it to the old homescreen look, we'd rather say that the new one is worse. But that's just our opinion. Aside from being a bit too cartoony, the new icons are also somewhat inconsistent, with some being truly flat, and others using a very generic-looking gradient effect for a background.

You may also notice that the leftmost homescreen page, which used to be dedicated to the universal 'Search' function, is no longer present. At first, we thought that Apple has simply decided to get rid of it, but after a few hours of playing with iOS 7, we finally found it (entirely by accident)! It turns out that you have swipe down (but not from the top, because that will reveal the Notification Center), and a search bar appears on top of the icons. Not bad, but we would have appreciated it if someone had told us how we're supposed to access the feature.

iOS 7 Preview
iOS 7 Preview
iOS 7 Preview

As we said, you can easily reveal the Notification Center by swiping from the top, and surprise, surprise, it's a brand new Notification Center. The new one is not bad at all, as it tries to be a bit more human by showing notes like "The first thing on your calendar today is "Visit grandma", in 30 minutes," or "Tomorrow: There is one event scheduled for 10:00 AM. Your calendar looks clear in the afternoon." It's OK, but it's not necessarily better than the previous Notification Center. In fact, it has even lost some functionality, previously you could, say, select one of your appointments from the Notification Center, and it would send you straight to your calendar. Now, however, you once again see a list with your appointments, but you can't select, or do anything else with them.

The so-called Control Center is a much-appreciated new addition to iOS, as it gives you quick access to frequently used toggles, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Screen Rotation. It also let's you set the display brightness, use the music player controls, the torch, or some other functions such as the new AirDrop, which allows you to wirelessly share content with other iOS 7 users. The problem with Control Center, is that you can accidentally pull it up if you are scrolling through a list of something (contacts, apps, emails, messages, a web page, etc.), and unfortunately, it may happens quite often, especially if you're using the phone in landscape mode.

Aside from all that, Apple has incorporated some cool effects like animated wallpapers (as in Android), which look pretty cool and can be interacted with using the accelerometer. Static wallpapers also move around as you tilt your device in various directions, providing a sense of depth.

iOS 7 Preview
iOS 7 Preview
iOS 7 Preview


Naturally, the built-in applications have been redesigned in order to match the new look and feel of the system. In short, they are much more simplistic and have lost the skeuomorphic elements that made them resemble objects from real life. For example, the Notes app no longer resembles a pin board. As a whole, we're OK with the simplification, but we have to say that some app elements have become a bit too basic, like the Stopwatch or Timer, for example. So basic, in fact, that they remind us of a badly-designed third-party Android app made by an indie developer. Thankfully, though, such sights in iOS 7 aren't too many.

Some apps look much better, like the Calendar, for example, though it doesn't really do anything new or different. It's safe to say that other apps work as advertised, meaning that we didn't encounter any real issues there. The stock Camera app has gotten a nice upgrade as it now allows you to choose from a set of 8 photo filters, and it also sports a 'square' photo mode, for those of you who enjoy snapping square photos.

The Safari browser has also been improved, as it now features a more convenient tab view, which is dangerously similar to that of mobile Chrome. The browser also has an almost full-screen view, since it hides the navigation controls at the bottom and shrinks the address bar once you start scrolling, but strangely, those elements tend to pop back up at times while scrolling, and we aren't really sure exactly when and why that happens.

iOS 7 also brings a new multitasking system which allows all apps to run in the background. You're accessing the multitasking UI in the same way - by double-pressing the Home key, and we have to say that the new multitasking view works quite well. It's quite reminiscent of Windows Phone's multitasking menu, but better.

iOS 7 Preview
iOS 7 Preview
iOS 7 Preview
iOS 7 Preview
iOS 7 Preview
iOS 7 Preview


It's a bit early to make any conclusions, since we tested a beta version of iOS 7, which means that there's still a lot of work to be done on the platform, but we have to say that we're not impressed by what we saw. There seem to be a lot of elements which have gotten worse after the redesign, and the overly simplistic look of  iOS 7 doesn't work in some situations, making for a weird-looking or somewhat frustrating sights.

We guess our biggest complaint about iOS 7 is that it fails to be better than its predecessor, at least visually. Still, it does feature some cool new transitions and effects that make it look fresh and fun, but that's not enough. In its effort to simplify the looks of iOS, Apple has actually made its platform a bit harder to figure out, and that's a pity. We're looking forward to checking out the final iOS 7; not because the beta got us excited, but because we would like to see these issues fixed.

  • Options

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 11:45 43

1. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)

Apple claim that they put a lot of effort into iOS 7, but apart multitasking they have done nothing significant. Apart multitasking they have changed only "skin" of iOS 6 and I think that the new "skin" is totally fail, I think that iOS 6 user interface was better than new one. And I think that Android OS is still better!

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 12:16 31

10. SleepingOz (unregistered)

Right, even their new multitasking is the same old preemptive pseudo-multithreading one. They just extended its usability to 3rd party apps and gave it a WebOS-like ui.
iOS7 is nothing more than an Android/MIUI wannabe on acid!


posted on 12 Jun 2013, 12:25 12

14. SleepingOz (unregistered)

goo.gl link is no longer available..

Here it is, lol..

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 12:29 20

17. Seymur (Posts: 19; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)

Everything is OK but changing icons was extremely bad idea.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 12:35 2

19. PunyPoop (Posts: 752; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)

It's called RETRO THEMED.. Clothing, music, almost everything is turning back to time, I think it's a good move, but the icons, it's inconsistent..

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 13:17 7

31. phonemonkey (Posts: 168; Member since: 13 Feb 2012)

these are your opinions.
if you think you know better than a company raking in billions you are so full of pride

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 13:22 12

32. appleDOESNT.com (banned) (Posts: 456; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)

Candy coated, lolipop lookin iOS7 was designed for 13 year old girls, their target audience. I mean adults choose Windows and Android already, they are just playin to their audience. And for that, they nailed it lol

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 15:03 6

41. darkkjedii (Posts: 23675; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Haters gotta hate lol

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 15:22 17

45. appleDOESNT.com (banned) (Posts: 456; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)

for someone on the dark side of the force, you like all the cutsie colors and overally girly look? You are no sith bro

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 15:28 7

46. stealthd (unregistered)

Don't be silly, no one chooses Windows.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 15:30 4

47. appleDOESNT.com (banned) (Posts: 456; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)

the 1% do... ooops i mean 1% do but still, add android's 77% plus 1% and they ape iOS in marketshare

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 15:48 2

48. darkkjedii (Posts: 23675; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

No I'm not a sith lol, but yeah I like the new look.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 15:49 7

50. InspectorGadget80 (unregistered)

Plus 1 for u appleDOESNT.com

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 15:52 3

51. Googler (Posts: 813; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)

Too vibrant. Flat is one thing but the colors are really loud right now, and not in a good way.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 16:45 10

57. Dorothy69 (banned) (Posts: 498; Member since: 21 May 2013)

What are you talking about?? I simply love the new color scheme, it reminds of someplace over the rainbow!!

It's perfect for anyone who wants to be in touch with their femininity!

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 17:38 5

60. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)

Your comment is silly, next time try to use logics!

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 17:39 3

61. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)

Where do you see hate in my comment?

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 18:36 9

63. darkkjedii (Posts: 23675; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

No, actually his comment is right and exact.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 18:36 3

64. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1733; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

Thank you captain obvious. But seriously it looks like a kiddy version of Miui that ate and sh*t a rainbow.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 20:04 4

71. darkkjedii (Posts: 23675; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Just how bad do you hate apple? What exactly did this huge multi billion dollar company do to little old you?

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 22:33 4

73. whysoserious (Posts: 318; Member since: 20 Jul 2012)

F*ck yea couldn't agree with you more! The bokeh-ish background, the icons and some of the font looks like a MIUI-ice cream sandwich rip-off.

posted on 12 Jun 2013, 23:09 5

74. lexingtonsteeley (Posts: 16; Member since: 12 Jun 2013)

Regardless, isheep will still think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 00:06 2

77. Daftama (Posts: 619; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)

I could almost swear that cook is using Android covered with Apple case..maybe its just me but it was all about attacking android. And Air Drop is limited while sbeam or nfc isn't

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 03:21 10

79. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5498; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)

No, his coment is silly because:
1) He contradicts himself.
2) He thinks that big rich companies doesn't make mistakes.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 07:37 1

83. alihass333 (Posts: 3; Member since: 12 Jun 2013)

When we saw the Apple IOS 7 skin no one had a problem about the skin version now just because one person comments something bad about it you guys need to jump in (Not a apple fan just saying)

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 13:42 5

84. appleDOESNT.com (banned) (Posts: 456; Member since: 19 Nov 2011)

iHate apple less than iHate the arrogance of iFans and ya, iM not a fan of how Apple does business. Ya know, offering less for more, highest possible margins, lowest possible tech return. iMean really Apple, the ridiculously overpriced iPad, 3 years later and coming up on 5 releases has never sen a price cut? Ya, $5-800 for a iPad is embarrassingly overpriced then and now. Just not a iFan sorry

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 07:04

87. taikucing (unregistered)

yeah right. iOS7 is MIUI wannabe

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 10:25 3

92. iami67 (Posts: 321; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

The new multi-tasking is an exact rip off from android all the way down to swiping away the app to close it. Only thing diferent is it still doesnt do true multi-tasking. And the images on the phone looks like a 3rd grader designed it

posted on 14 Jun 2013, 10:29 3

94. iami67 (Posts: 321; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)

no the comment is not right and exact. Just like in the movies the Dark Jedi always fails so does your comment. The company has been losing millions since steve jobs died. They were so far in the black that it will take atleast another 10 yrs before you see any real damage. But facts are check the stocks you will see it has been going down month after month and android is taking over the maket share and since begining of 2013 android has sold more phones worldwide.

posted on 18 Jun 2013, 06:15

102. sadiqhashim (unregistered)

Android is better but I really like what they did on iOS 7, I am jealous!

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Latest stories