Well, so there’s that….

iOS7 was introduced and to say it is ‘Polarizing’ is an understatement. Some people love it, some people hate it and some people are cautiously not optimistic. It has some great new features that were really wanted and needed, and I haven’t heard anybody argue against that. Things like control center and multi-tasking. But the UI and aesthetic redesign’s are a radical change with a lot of people including me not loving and not seeing the point of. This goes beyond just the icons.

They had a good thing that they sold MILLIONS of. But yet they convinced themselves that the rumblings from the press and a small sections of users were true and the OS was so dated. Which in small areas was true, but… then they took a sledgehammer and went crazy. It makes be doubt Jony Ive’s ability as a software designer(hardware he’s brilliant, but that doesn’t guarantee his software style will have mass market appeal). I think there was a balance there between where they were and where they ended up, and they didn’t even come close to hitting it.

Most things they changed for the sake of change.

I dont get why navigation buttons can’t have borders. They’re still buttons. If you have a problem defining the edge of a touch area you are way too hung up on this skeumorphic thing. The new way looks fine in some places, but looks really bad and the text all runs together in others. And this takes away using color to represent other things.

And why does the stopwatch app have ‘circular’ edges around its start and stop buttons. Shouldn’t it just be colored text if we’re following this new “better” paradigm?

The transparency is not a great thing. It can look good, like it always did, or it can look horrible depending on the background. But the key is that in iOS6 you couldn’t really get something to look horrible based on the background.

And I don’t get the new skinny font. It doesnt look good on the small screen, and doesnt make things clearer. Just artsy, and will get dated quickly. Wait, I think it already is, most designers have even moved beyond helvetica… Oh, but some Apple apps dont even use this font.. Now, it’s just different, not better.

Animations are animations, they grow tiring. I thought the incoming icon pop out thing was corny the first time I saw it. And we did the zoom out from a location animation that is now defining the launcher and folders in our Grid Contacts app. Its a neat effect, but Im already tired of it on iOS7, after one day, and it broke some other stuff…Now, it’s just different, not better.

And folders are neat that they can scroll inside, now imagine if they weren’t defined to be that silly gray color and actually have a border, and weren’t made to be a scaled up icon size/shape. So we could have the scrolling while showing 16 icons at a time instead of 9. THAT WOULD BE WAY BETTER. Now, it’s just different, not better.

Why change the swipe to open. There is no indicator anymore of which way to swipe(Well there are arrows up and down, which neither is for this). So almost everybody that encounters this takes a while to even figure out how to open their phone the new way. Something is fundamentally wrong with your direction if this happens. Stripping away something to make it prettier and ‘simpler’. NOPE. Now, it’s just different and initially confusing, not better.

Why are we stripping out gradients in nav bars and other places where they actually look good, but they are fine and even overdone in some of our new icons.

And the icons are just plain horrid. Some people like the Easter Bunny meets Hello Kitty colors and simple oversized designs, but if designers can take those same ideas and make stuff that looks infinitely better with the exact same concepts in a couple hours, well Apple went the wrong way. But even worse. Why change the size and corner radius of the icons. The bigger corner radius is not better, its actually makes the icons look smooshed and fat. AND IT BREAKS THE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF 3RD PARTY ICONS THAT WERE DESIGNED WITH THE OLD BETTER RADIUS. It feels like a slap in the face for the sake of change and the 3 extra pixels make everything a little more crowded. Now, it’s just different(worse), not better.

It will all cause a lot of confusion for mostly young and old users to re-learn a lot of this stuff. And why, it’s NOT BETTER.

The whole thing is just really inconsistant.

The people that Ive heard love on it, most I feel fall into a category that they wanted the OS to have a facelift so bad, that they can’t see a lot of it for what it really is. Change for the sake of change. Nothing is really improved, it’s just different. The new paradigm doesn’t really have any advantages, Ive tried to come up with any for development. It just forces a different look and breaks a lot of the existing ideas.

And its puzzling their direction with 3rd Party Apps here. They want to brag about 900,000 apps, but didn’t really fix discoverability, and now are really going to break or make outdated like what ~700,000 of them. Why?

So with so many strong opinions that don’t like these bold changes, could this be a stumble. Could this ultimately lose Apple marketshare? Could this balance out the market? Could this be Apple’s ‘Vista’? It wouldn’t shock me. Or maybe I’m wrong and there is a market for a more cutesy version of iOS?!

I’m not going to say it hasn’t grown on me some since I started using it. I just hope Apple is listening, and takes the keys away from Jony a bit, and dials back some of the changes. I know its just a BETA, but does Apple? Hopefully they don’t stay stubbornly committed to their decisions, but they aren’t known to change a ton after BETA.

With all their secrecy when doing these OS’s they obviously can’t do huge usability testing. Well consider this your usability testing, you are turning off a portion of your own following, and I can’t see the changes being a catalyst to replace them with others. Ive been wrong before.

Welcome to the world iOS7…

UPDATE: It is already starting to leak that for example the Icons were designed by marketing and not Interface in Apple. So hopefully this is a good sign that some of the things mentioned will be dialed in or dialed back. Hopefully most of them… We’ll see….