iOS 7… It’s one small step forward for Jony Ive’s ego, one giant leap backward into mediocrity for iPhone and iPad.
Hello. I work in IT and I’ve been an Apple user and fan for over 20 years (and I’m in my thirties.) I’m a big geek and an influencer when it comes to technology.
Last week, you would have had to pry my iPhone 4S out of my cold dead hands. Now, after the catastrophe that is iOS 7, I’m ready to return my iPhone and iPad to the Apple Store and ask for a full refund. Here’s my Top 25 reasons I feel betrayed by iOS 7:
- Battery life is less!
- Performance is worse!
- Gimmicky mandatory animations are a horrible waste of precious time and battery.
- Parallax is so unbelievably stupid, I don’t know where to begin. You had to add this battery wasting, disorienting feature, to make up for all the texture and shadows that were removed? This is misguided and borderline insane.
- The new icons are completely childish. Did a 9-year old girl design them?
- Screen fade-in when screen powers on. Give me a break. Thanks for wasting 2 seconds of my life EVERY TIME I WANT TO TURN ON MY PHONE.
- Notifications on lock screen don’t have a clear slider. Dumb.
- Keyboard is now too tall, consuming too much space on iPhone 4S. This update was clearly not designed for my phone, and it’s apparent everywhere.
- Folders / groups of apps. Previously, I could see 12 apps in a group inside a “folder”, as well as the source. Now with “improved” design, there is a GIANT title and I only see 9 apps at a time and have to scroll horizontally. The source folder is hidden behind frosty glass. This is even worse on my iPad, where the behavior is no different than iPhone! (iOS 6 took account of the screen size difference and displayed more icons accordingly.)
- In Safari, push the “box with arrow” button to send the URL somewhere. Why are all the actions here in a horizontally scrolling list that doesn’t fit on my screen? This is really, really dumb design.
- Home screen bottom row of fixed icons is too tall.
- Notification Center and Search now have the same gesture. Stupid.
- Buttons are gone. Contrast is gone. Every single page of the OS is a stupid white screen with horizontal lines and text, where there used to be buttons, fields, textures, and a background with contrast. Look at one of your contact records. Have you ever seen anything so ugly? Is this Netscape Navigator 1.0? Come on!
- Thin-lined icons and text. Everywhere. This is bullshit, I can barely see what I’m doing. Where are the buttons?
- Wiz-bang App and Safari page switching might look great in a sci-fi movie, but isn’t very practical in real life. I don’t need the series of floating screens above app icons that don’t accelerate predictably as you scroll. Why replace the previous unintuitive gesture to close apps with another unintuitive gesture? Also in Safari, the representation of a stack of web pages (most of which are just blank white pages due to expired caching) is really not helpful at all.
- Notes – looks like shit. Doesn’t match the Notes app in Mac OS X.
- Calendar – NO LIST VIEW. Oh wait, it’s there, you just have to click Search. Stupid beyond belief. Jony Ive say’s he’s making it simpler while hiding key functionality – the lack of this single feature is enough to make iOS 7 an Epic Fail.
- Dots instead of bars for signal strength. This is really misguided, especially since the “unfilled” dots are always there to confuse you. Just be consistent with every other phone on the planet, please!
- Round progress bars for App Updates. This is very unintuitive not to mention very ugly as an overlay. The previous design allowed you to see the App and the progress at the same time, this delivers neither well.
- Message bubbles use WHITE text inside of flat blue and green bubbles. This is ugly as hell and nearly unusable.
- Message bubbles “bounce”. This is an incredibly lame gimmick. Jony, do you really think you can dazzle me out of noticing how ugly this design is?
- I have watched all the keynote presentations (as I have since 1997) – and I understand what Apple executives were trying to do by making the interface simpler. And I WANT to believe in it. But, somehow, in their effort to do so, they ended up making it more complex and less intuitive. Intention is NOT matching the results.
- Clearly, hardware designers do not make great software designers. This is a huge lesson learned and a mistake that should never be made again. Jony Ive, Steve trusted you and gave you a great deal of power, but you need to understand the limits of your expertise.
- Re-thinking the entire user interface is simply not innovation. This whole release was a complete waste of resources, and it was clearly driven by one thing: Apple executives trying (and failing) to take over the creative void left by Steve Jobs, especially after the ouster of Scott Forestall. These people clearly have no vision, and just want to stamp their personal preferences for lightweight fonts, etc on the rest of us and return to the successes of 2007. This is really the best idea they have right now – doing the same thing over again, just different his time. Ain’t gonna work.
- The Android/Windows-esque interface erodes one of Apple’s most significant competitive advantage in the smartphone market. This is absolutely suicidal and driven only by the egos of Apple executives. Now millions of loyal users who had mastered the platform have to re-learn it. What more excuse does anyone need to now try Android or Windows? Unfortunately, a few years from now we will look back on this as the turning point, the single most bone-headed business move that Apple made that destroyed their market share leadership advantage in one fell swoop.
Look, I’m a huge Apple fan. I’m posting this because I’m broken-hearted that Apple executives have chosen such a short-sighted strategic path. I have been optimistic, but now it is becoming clear that the future without Steve Jobs is not looking very bright.
What can they do now? There’s only one that I see out of this mess. They need to add “skins” or “themes” to the iOS architecture, and allow people to choose what look & feel they want to use – preserve the old, while offering something new. Give people choices, and preserve your base.
Otherwise, iPhone just went from industry leader to a mediocre me-too player that is failing use its limited resources to properly innovate. Instead, it is allow power struggles and executive egos to dominate, and delivering sub-par products that consumers will not tolerate.
I think Steve Jobs would be very sad if he was alive to see iOS 7 today. Apple has lost its way, creating a lose-lose situation for the company and its customers.