iOS 7 Preview
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.
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.
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.
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.
iOS 7 preview images
1. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5497; 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!
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!
14. SleepingOz (unregistered)
goo.gl link is no longer available..
Here it is, lol..
73. whysoserious (Posts: 317; 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.
87. taikucing (unregistered)
yeah right. iOS7 is MIUI wannabe
17. Seymur (Posts: 19; Member since: 10 Jun 2013)
Everything is OK but changing icons was extremely bad idea.
19. PunyPoop (Posts: 741; 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..
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.
128. theruleslawyer (Posts: 108; Member since: 23 Apr 2012)
I think the funniest bit of it is how long it will take all the app makers to redo their icons to fit the new theme. You're going to have a hodge-podge of styles for a good long while.
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
60. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5497; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
Your comment is silly, next time try to use logics!
63. darkkjedii (Posts: 12618; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
No, actually his comment is right and exact.
79. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5497; 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.
122. Sauce (unregistered)
Mistakes based on what? Yours and the majority of PA's sanctimoniousness users? When people tend to heed other people's thoughts, opinions, actions, and feelings it becomes one capacious statement that everyone begins to use or believe. The only one's who contradict their selves are the "sheep" that tend to breed against the favored or spoken party that favors the category that is being spoken of.
126. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5497; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
Does your comment has to do something with mine?
94. iami67 (Posts: 318; 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.
123. Sauce (unregistered)
Half the people on PA who poke and mock at Apples stock and praise Androids, Samsungs, and others rising stock (so to say) don't even know what the hell the stock market is, how it functions, and can not even analyze the data. Stop shëping everyone else and start using proper facts to deal proper insults.
132. Penywyz (banned) (Posts: 255; Member since: 13 Aug 2013)
When your stock drops after you unveil your new product, and investors walk out of a meeting upset, then there is a problem... Its is proper fact.
If you can't see that/don't know that a stock dropping almost 40% is a problem for ANY company then you clearly know nothing about business.
A store of money will not last forever if you're company is not bringing enough in to replenish it... It's not really rocket science it's simple math...
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
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
71. darkkjedii (Posts: 12618; 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?
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
108. jeck77 (Posts: 25; Member since: 09 Dec 2010)
Arrogance of iFans? This coming from someone who obviously has no idea what he's talking about. When the iPad launched, it was the first tablet to hit the market below $1000, and it listed at $499 for the 16GB. Overpriced? They're considered overpriced now because Google had to come with a much lower price point to even compete, and still can't match the quality of the iPad. Yet the Surface R/T launched at $499, the Nexus 10 at $499, the HP Touchpad at $499, the Blackberry Playbook at $499. Overpriced? Call out Google, Microsoft, HP/Palm, and Blackberry first before trying to be cool and jump on the "Hate Apple bandwagon".
Also, it sounds to me you've never used a Macbook Pro. My Macbook Pro Retina blows away any Windows laptop I've ever owned, and I've owned ones that had much higher specs, yet I'd take my "overpriced" Macbook anyday over Windows laptops. Not only do I run OS X, but I also run Windows 8 using Parallels. Not only is using my Macbook pure joy in terms of the quality of the keyboard, trackpad, screen, etc. the reliability is second to none with their warranty program. NO Windows laptop even comes close. So overpriced is all relative.
117. ady_lad (Posts: 75; Member since: 17 Jul 2013)
I would take a Surface over and iPad any day...one big reason...practicality and user experience. Now PC vs Mac(agaaain)...for the price of a Mac you buy a laptop with miles better specs that the Mac, and you are talking anout user experience? Windows is more capable, more practical and powerful that OS X...And yes, you could run a Hack-intosh too...but why would you do that?
124. Sauce (unregistered)
Nailed it. +9001.
133. Penywyz (banned) (Posts: 255; Member since: 13 Aug 2013)
I'm pretty sure he's talking about most Android Tablets having HD screens, expandable memory, etc etc and the iPad not having them. I dunno about you but, I prefer to not pay the same or more for less. I'm pretty sure appleDOESNT.com was probably talking about the same things.
The rest of your statements about the Laptops are very opinionated. So what's your point?
127. loki1618 (Posts: 22; Member since: 14 Aug 2012)
Hey stay off the Ipads! hate it or love it they are the best tablets around.
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
48. darkkjedii (Posts: 12618; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)
No I'm not a sith lol, but yeah I like the new look.
129. LG_is_the_best (unregistered)
It looks like iOS 6 barfed up skittles. Taste the rainbow apple... Taste the rainbow
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!
61. PhoneArenaUser (Posts: 5497; Member since: 05 Aug 2011)
Where do you see hate in my comment?
64. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1653; 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.
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)
125. Sauce (unregistered)
Dark, their egos and values are obviously damaged by Apple and Apple's community. Nothing better to do than hop on the Apple Hate Bandwagon and continue acting like shëp in their own way. They all talk about shëp and the act of acting like a shëp, yet all they do is shëp eachothers ideas and suck off eachother in one big circle because they have nothing better to do than inflate their deflated Android social bubbles.
74. lexingtonsteeley (Posts: 12; Member since: 12 Jun 2013)
Regardless, isheep will still think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.
77. Daftama (Posts: 575; 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
92. iami67 (Posts: 318; 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
102. sadiqhashim (unregistered)
Android is better but I really like what they did on iOS 7, I am jealous!
105. momonm1 (Posts: 23; Member since: 30 May 2011)
just wait and see the result when they launch the new iphone with ios 7...
Documentation always beat conversation...
113. rawbow (Posts: 428; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
I think iOS is better, extensively used both OS.
2. KickRocks (Posts: 120; Member since: 22 Mar 2011)
First thing my daughter said was "Daddy look how pretty and sparkly it looks, I want it", The new ios 7, what every 5 year old must have.............................LOL
58. Dorothy69 (banned) (Posts: 498; Member since: 21 May 2013)
Because it's a place we all dream of as little girls.
114. rawbow (Posts: 428; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)
so technically you like to make fun of what your daughter loves? you know kids love RC cars and aircrafts too, so by your said logic you hate that too right? Make your daughter proud, get an iPhone ;) :P
3. YourNightmare (Posts: 32; Member since: 12 Jun 2013)
Going from iOS 6 to iOS7 with this "improvements" dunno maybe I'm a hater but isn't this iOS 6.4 update? Seems poor to me..#nohate
69. alltechinside (Posts: 247; Member since: 21 Apr 2013)
ICS to Jellybean is really android 4.0 to android 4.1. It wasn't expected to be a big jump. See the difference between gingerbread (android 2.0 )to ICS (4.0). A big jump.
iOS increases their number by 1 (instead of 0.1) regardless of what they update every year. See iOS 5 and iOS 6. There wasn't any groundbreaking features. Surely it should have been iOS 5.3 or something like that.
4. kboo1995 (unregistered)
Well I don't have any problems with the OS it self
But I do hate the fact that AirDrop don't work on the IPhone 4S
Does anyone knows why?
7. ManuStar136 (Posts: 2; Member since: 13 Dec 2012)
Just iPhone 5, iPod Touch 5g and all other new devices have a new network chip build in. airdrop needs this network chip. that ist why airdrop don't work on the iPhone 4S.
8. kboo1995 (unregistered)
Thank you man
18. gustavoace (Posts: 110; Member since: 13 Nov 2012)
Or is just a planned obsolescence. I remember that multi touch was not available on iPad 1st gen, but if you change a few lines in iOs code, it just works perfectly (with not a single lag).
53. quesoesgrande (Posts: 217; Member since: 03 Aug 2011)
Um, what? I have an original iPad and it registeres all 10 of my fingers with no changes to the device. And "not a single lag" is the crappiest grammar you could possibly use. Please get your facts right before making a fool of yourself.
93. iami67 (Posts: 318; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
Cause apple is horrible the only way you can transfers pics from your phone to a friends with out a computer are from apps other people designed cause apple isnt smart enough to give the customer what they want. Try an app called BUMP it works great even to send to an android
5. abcdefgh (banned) (Posts: 471; Member since: 29 Mar 2013)
criticism aside,got to admit that this os is a damn beuty
65. EclipseGSX (Posts: 1653; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
Sure is a beautiful butterfly....*cough* gay *cough*