Today I finally had the time to upgrade my iPad 3 Wi-Fi version to the latest iOS 7 Beta 3 IPSW and take a first hands look at Apple’s upcoming mobile OS. The entire setup and installation process took about 10 minutes (excluding the actual IPSW firmware download time) and it seemed that my heart was getting impatient to see the new look with every passing second. My iPad restarted twice and then popped up an all-white screen with a thin font saying “Hallo”. After going through a similar setup process I was out of words to see the gorgeous home screen marked with new distinctive flat app icons. In this blog post I am going to share with you my thoughts about iOS 7 and whether you should update to this beta from the latest iOS 6.1.3.
Parallax adds new dimensions to iPad wallpapers
While we still don’t have a feasible technology that allows us to play with holographic imagery, the new parallax feature in iOS 7 is a commendable step towards this vision. There is a new wallpaper category in the settings panel called Dynamic wallpapers that are somewhat similar to Android’s live wallpaper concept. On the other hand the static wallpaper moves cordially with the movement of your device giving the entire experience a parallax feel and making your icons pop out more. I mean you need to see it first hand in order to understand how the whole system works. I must say I am really impressed with the parallax concept and somehow Apple manages to show the icons in a separate layer compared to the background image.
All New Control Center
One of the best additions (a pretty handy one) is the all new Control Center in iOS 7. You need to swipe your finger from the bottom of the screen in order to access the Control Center. One cool feature of this new system is that the color of the panel actually changes depending on the application you are in. For Example, let’s say you are playing a game on your iPad with an all yellow background and a bright blue character. When you open the control center, the background color actually reflects that of the running app. This concept is inspired by the natural color changes of a chameleon in real life. The changes are deadly accurate and this feature alone gives the Control Center a very vibrant feel.
Let’s talk about some of the functionalities you are going to get with this new feature. First and foremost I loved the thin minimalistic icon designs representing various essential features on your iOS 7 device. On the left you have the essential music controls that can be used to play, skip and control the volume of your songs. Next, you have some handy shortcut icons like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Orientation Lock etc. that allows you to control the essential system features. Finally, on the right hand corner you have the brightness and dedicated camera button making the entire control center a one stop expressway to jump anywhere in iOS 7.
Translucent Layered Interface of iOS 7
Another key area where Apple worked hard with their latest iOS 7 is the all new translucency effect throughout their interface. The use of translucency is something we all have experienced with various cydia tweaks on previous versions of iOS. This time however, Apple managed to use the effect and define depth within iOS 7’s ecosystem. Starting with subtle things like the Safari address bar to the entire notifications panel, all of them react to the background giving it a hazy diffracted feel.
Flat Clean UI
Undoubtedly, if there is one thing that’s most talked about with the recently launched iOS 7 Beta its John Ive’s vision of a cleaner, texture free cohesive flat UI throughout the operating system. All the icons are redesigned using simple color palette and avoiding heavy textures wherever possible. I also noticed that they are using some sort of a standardized schematic layout in order to maintain consistency in their icon designs.
It’s not just icons but iOS 7 brings a whole new look to some of the most popular Apple applications like Safari, Calendar, Reminders, iTunes and many more. I particularly fell in love with their use of thin lines and sharp texts to create something that is easy to understand. Many of you might argue that the older texture based layouts were more eye-catching but I believe that the new design principle will enable you to be much more efficient. Even the App Store is redesigned that now showcases recommended applications based on your current locations. One of the best things about the Flat UI is the brand new keyboard which looks more beautiful and elegant then previous versions of iOS.
Well, that’s pretty much it! Although iOS 7 is still in the beta stages I am already getting a feel towards where Apple is heading. One of the most disappointing things about this update is their approach towards multitasking. They could have done something like Mission control or the ability to do real time changes on multiple apps. I am sure that they will continue to improve with their initial launch and upcoming updates. If you are a developer and using iOS 7 then please share your experiences in the comments section below.