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Mini Personal Review of iOS7


A few days ago, I caved in and installed iOS7 on my iPad 3. Since I don't use the iPad for anything mission-critical, this was my chance to try out the new OS. Since tweeting is too short, I'm noting my impressions here.

Colors & Icons

Yeah, a lot more pastel colors, although changing the backgroud can make a big difference. The space/Milky Way/star wallpaper that comes with iOS7 looks great on the lockscreen.

The icons though... I know everyone says you get used to it, but I just can't. It's not that they are not representative of their function, they just look so simple. Too simple. Too flat. A little background shadow, even those flat-style shadows as seen on the Google icon, would have given a little more life to these boring, flat icons. And seriously, when was a navy blue-to-flashy azure gradient ever a good idea? That mail app icon looks terrible. My personal least favorite.

I also find there is too much use of white in general (Mail app again, Calendar, etc). In a dark room it can be blinding. I wish there was a night mode.

Effects

I love the parallax effect, although it's not very useful. When are you going to move your iPad around to make the background move? I feel like this effect was added to give life to those otherwise lifeless, bland icons. The zoom in/zoom out effects are great additions as it unconsciously trains you to find your icons on your main screen more easily, but the animation could be sped up just a tiny bit.

Features

The only feature that I find is a big deal is the Control Center. I assume on an iPhone it's an even bigger deal as it lets you easily turn on/off Wifi, data, GPS, etc. On an iPad, the choice of controls is limited, but more than what was available on iOS6. The flat design though... I feel the controls are too thin, too simple, have no life to them. Maybe this is because I'm on an iPad 3, but I get no stain-glass background: just a boring gray.

I can't think of any other feature that really stands out. I didn't use Siri before and likely won't use it now, because let's face it, who likes to talk in a machine with a small chance of getting things wrong? Because of that, clicking or typing what I'm looking for seems quicker to me.

Performance

iOS7 is slower on iPad 3. The parallax effect seems to occasionally have trouble moving the background, creating an unnatural jerk trying to refresh. Don't try changing your background too often either: I found it crashes the OS sometimes. The keyboard can be unresponsive at times, especially more resource intensive ones such as Japanese. Oh, and the battery drains very quickly with all features turned on, but still drains more than on iOS6 after leaving only the motion effects.

Conclusion

In general iOS7 made me wonder: was all this necessary? Besides the control center, the rest is fluff. In some cases some not-so-great fluff. I agree something had to be done about the old iOS6 look and functionality, but iOS7 feels like too much in the other direction, and not enough improvement where it needed it. Of course we'll have to get used to it, but I was expecting more innovation, not just a generally new layer of paint.