By Cameron M. Bray ’16
An old adage says: “Don’t fix what ain’t broke.”
Sadly, Apple hasn’t followed this advice, evidenced by its new operating system, iOS 7.
iOS 7 takes a huge step backwards as a whole, making only a few steps forwards in the right direction.
So, what is it new and why has it caused so much bitterness?
First, Apple has completely redesigned the look of the iOS.
The brighter, flashier colors of iOS 7 replaced the more stylish, simplistic design of iOS 6, creating a more “modern-looking” design and feel.
Apple’s built-in app icons have also undergone an aesthetic change, which may have been a good idea in theory, but again, falls short.
Only certain app icons have changed, making these icons out of place when situated alongside other icons that have not been updated.
A parallax effect has been added to the home screen, causing the app icons to move slightly when the device is tilted.
This feature is annoying, unnecessary and favors the form, which pretty much describes iOS 7 as a whole.
Thankfully, this feature can be turned off in settings.
These things alone are tolerable, but one elephant in the room tips it over the edge: The dominance of white.
White is rampant amongst the newly-updated apps of iOS 7. In Safari, the toolbar and keyboard are white.
In Photos, the chrome gray border has been replaced by a white one. Everywhere there is white, a glaring and visually undesirable flavor.
Others may say these style changes have been added in favor of a more modern time and feel.
If that is the case, then modernism is a step in the wrong direction for Apple, since iOS 6’s strong points were its strong, simplistic functionality and design.
Some argue Apple is forwarding modern design, creating the new visual cool the ways they always have.
While true Apple remains a powerful influence in technological design, this does not mean iOS 6 was in need of a change.
In terms of new features, users can now swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up the control center.
Control center is generally useful, allowing users to change settings quickly, but fails from a lack of customization. Users can’t change what settings appear, making it useful only in a hurry.
Apple has also changed the design of the search bar and Siri.
Users can now swipe down (not from the very top) to access the search bar in any app instead of swiping to the right in the home screen, making it one of the more useful features of iOS 7.
Siri now has a more human voice and recognizes Wikipedia, Facebook and Twitter. However, Siri still doesn’t recognize 3rd party apps, making Siri barely more useful than its iOS 6 predecessor.
Lastly, iOS 7 feels clunkier and less smooth than iOS 6. Force closing apps takes longer than before, because each app displays as a screen that has to be swiped up to close them.
Swiping between apps also is made more difficult since the app screens are very sensitive. Inevitably, the user will accidentally close the app they wanted to run.
iOS 7 also crashes and bugs out a lot. Switching between apps can slow down the device and cause crashes with the obnoxious Apple icon popping up.
As a whole, Apple’s iOS 7 makes some useful improvements such as the control center and search bar, but its graphic design ultimately condemns it.
In two months from now, iOS 6 may be completely forgotten, but for now iOS 7 favors form over function, adding graphic features that ruin the strong points of the old iOS 6, generally breaking what worked and fixing what didn’t need to be fixed.