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Ars Technica Reviews iOS 7

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the flat-is-in dept.

IOS 233

Ars Technica has posted a pretty thorough review of iOS 7, which brings a few radical changes to at least the visual design of the system. From the article: "In one sense, iOS 7 changes nearly everything about iOS. A couple of wallpapers have made the jump, but otherwise you'd be hard-pressed to find anything in iOS 7 that looks quite like it did in iOS 6. In another sense, iOS 7 is the latest in a string of incremental updates. It adds a few new features and changes some existing ones, but this doesn't radically alter the way that you use the OS from day to day." Breaking with the design trajectory of the last few releases of most of Apple's software, the oft maligned skeumorphism of the interface has been considerably toned down.

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AND IT IS GOOD !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44883969)

Let there be LIGHT !!

iOS 7 release (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 7 months ago | (#44885649)

And... it's in the wild! hit software update under general settings to grab it. Mine was a 750MB download.

I loved the skeumorphism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44883979)

Except for the one that looked like a hermaphrodite.

Today, top news is this.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20130918/t10014622231000.html

It is a new railway.

First, it runs the only underground.

It is 86% of the total.

Furthermore, because of the noise prevention, It runs through the shelter on the ground.

In other words, the new railway, we can not enjoy the scenery.

Next, Construction costs is 9 trillion 30 billion JPY.

JR Tokai will pay all.

They are railway companies.

Usually, If for infrastructure development, the government also bear it.

By the way, What do you think of infrastructure development?

We call it this way.

That is, It is for everyone.

So, it is very important.

However, Enormous cost to it.

It is a tax.

We should have an interest in Koukyou jigyou(Infrastructure development).

However, this new railway will not have that issue.

It may be the future of Koukyou jigyou(Infrastructure development).

Released? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44883987)

Is there a staggered release for ios7? I'm hoping this update fixes some of the stupid behavior of Siri on my work phone, but don't see the update as being available yet.

Re:Released? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#44884041)

It'll be on general availability today, in about two hours if previous releases are any indication. IIRC it'll show up in this order:

1) Manual update in iTunes
2) Manual update in iOS settings
3) Prompted update in iOS settings
4) Prompted updated in iTunes

One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (2, Interesting)

kaka.mala.vachva (1164605) | about 7 months ago | (#44883991)

My problem with my wife's iPhone is that everything about the app has to be on-screen - no "menu" or "back" buttons like android. Clutters up the screen needlessly in some apps - and getting to the settings for the app means leaving the app, something I really dislike. Apparently I'm not the only one who dislikes that - my wife, who should fit the ideal iPhone use profile, dislikes it too - to the extent that she prefers to use my phone and doesn't want an iPhone anymore. Has Apple added extra buttons for a menu and a back button? That would be the most useful UI design change.

Re:One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about 7 months ago | (#44884079)

It's been conventional to keep all settings in the app, except for seldom-needed or particularly technical settings, for several years now. I don't know what apps you're using but I only need to drop out into Settings once every few months unless I'm modifying something system-wide.

The idea of not including physical "back" and "menu" buttons is:

1) Nobody's quite sure where "back" should go back to, and what menu "menu" should open
2) You're using up space on the device on functions that not every app needs

Re:One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (5, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | about 7 months ago | (#44884175)

The idea of not including physical "back" and "menu" buttons is:

1) Nobody's quite sure where "back" should go back to, and what menu "menu" should open

Leave that up to the app to decide maybe? I've never had a problem on my Android phones understanding what the back button did after pressing it once or twice with a new app.

With apps that have multiple screens that change, it usually takes you back a screen, such as back to the main menu. If you're at the main menu, it exits. With apps that do everything in the same screen, such as a web browser, it takes you back a page or back to your home screen. Press it again or double tap it at any point and it closes the app.

Not saying that the indeterminate nature of letting the programmer is better or worse than the IOS nature. It's just another example where Apple has chosen to rigorously enforce what they think is best, where Android has chosen to allow the app developer or the end user what is best.

2) You're using up space on the device on functions that not every app needs

You mean the empty space on the left and right of the button on all iPhones that's essentially wasted? If the entire face of the phone was the screen and the phone relied exclusively on soft buttons then you'd have a point. But as it stands now, there could be buttons on either side. Look at the S4 for an example.

Re:One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (0)

AuMatar (183847) | about 7 months ago | (#44884223)

If you're at the main menu, it exits

No, it puts the app into the background- like a minimize button on a PC. This is an important difference- it does not log you out of an app, it does not lose any saved data. Sometimes this is useful, other times its a major security hole.

Apps on Android do not exit unless you run out of memory and the OS kills it.

Re: One button to the main screen! Is that changed (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884317)

Bull. Home puts the app into the background. Back goes back to previous screen of the app, unless there isn't one - in which case it exits the app.

Re:One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884511)

If you're at the main menu, it exits

No, it puts the app into the background- like a minimize button on a PC. This is an important difference- it does not log you out of an app, it does not lose any saved data. Sometimes this is useful, other times its a major security hole.

Apps on Android do not exit unless you run out of memory and the OS kills it.

The difference between backgrounded and closed should not be apparent to the user unless the app is supposed to be doing something while unattended (playing music, downloading a file, etc). Apps that contain security concerns that dont wipe/logout/whatever when backgrounded are the problem, not the backgrounding system itself.

Re:One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (1)

jareth-0205 (525594) | about 7 months ago | (#44885049)

If you press back on the first screen of an app, it *will* close that app. If you press Home, usually that will not immediately close the app.

This certainly isn't a security hole unless your developer has done something very bizarre (which app ever logs you out on exit these days? All apps maintain permanent sessions for convenience on all platforms), and apps should save data when they are not visible.

The idea that you need to manually close apps is an archaic leftover from the Windows world. This stuff *should* be managed by the OS.

Re:One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about 7 months ago | (#44885039)

I'm not even an iOS developer..

but isn't one of the new guidelines that the back button goes to the upper left corner? it sucks though that most android manufacturers have gone for non physical buttons as well.

there's a VERY SIMPLE REASON for not having those as physical buttons. that simple reason is cost(in simplified manufacturing), a minor reason is reliability since apple can't seem to keep the buttons already in iphone actually working. for that same cost reason android manufacturers have gone with onscreen or capacitive buttons as well and frankly they suck ass, especially since many apps put onscreen buttons on bottom of the screen. try to then hit those onscreen buttons and not the home, back or menu buttons...

but now you're going to need to use screenspace for application settings icon you go into only twice a month, so have fun with that - that's exactly the point of having it offscreen, even if nowadays there's some onscreen menu button that hides the settings link anyways along with some features you need to use more often, point being again that you need to spend precious screen space for that. of course you can buy a huge phone so the screenspace isn't at premium but then you're stuck with a huge phone..

iphones are designed for human drone manufacturing and that has lead to several of the lacking features and how it is - not that much of the design is actually born out of what is good for the user. if they designed it the other way around it would be more complicated process to setup the assembly line(you know, if they did it german style in a fashion where they could actually produce them in the united states while churning out a profit - but they don't want the upfront cost of designing complex assembly lines so they just design the products to be simple and sell that off as elegant).

Re:One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44885255)

You know exactly nothing about manufacturing in general, and less than nothing about Apple's manufacturing. STFU and quit embarrassing yourself.

Re:One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (1)

tom229 (1640685) | about 7 months ago | (#44884103)

Although I'd agree with you, it's important to note that this only applies to Samsung phones (and maybe HTC, I've never had one). Stock android (ie. google) phones have a back button, but no menu. They rely on "in-app" onscreen menus.

Re:One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about 7 months ago | (#44884249)

This is actually fairly new. Pre-4.0, all devices has a hardware menu and back button. 4.0 introduced software back buttons and the on screen action bar with menu button in there. Its actually something that causes a fair amount of pain in app design and documentation (depending on screen size/density and model, an option may be an icon on the action bar, or in a menu behind a hardware button, or in a menu behind a software button on screen. Or both).

Re: One button to the main screen! Is that changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44885025)

New? Pre-4.0 is 2 years ago now.

Re: One button to the main screen! Is that changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44885529)

That's... not that long ago. You must be young.

Re: One button to the main screen! Is that changed (1)

techprophet (1281752) | about 7 months ago | (#44884287)

That is a recent change. Most android devices (except maybe the very new) have menu keys. My old Motorola did, as did the HTC and the Samsung I currently own.

Re: One button to the main screen! Is that changed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884487)

My Nexus (the only Andriod phone worth owning, imo) has no menu keys.

Re:One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (4, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 7 months ago | (#44884607)

Although I'd agree with you, it's important to note that this only applies to Samsung phones (and maybe HTC, I've never had one). Stock android (ie. google) phones have a back button, but no menu. They rely on "in-app" onscreen menus.

That's an Android 4.0 thing, actually. The menu button is deprecated and having used both Android and iOS, I really dislike the menu button.

I tend to find it easily forgettable - and it seems a lot of devs like to hide essential functionality inside a menu leading to all sorts of "this app doesn't have X feature" type things because people forget to hit the menu bar.

Since ICS, it's a LOT better - the triple dot thing isn't intuitive, but at least it seems to imply tapping it does something when it shows up.

As for back, I do prefer the iOS way - the pentagon at the top telling you where you're going back to (especially if you're entering a screen layout from multiple paths). Of course, it's very frustrating in things that don't obey the conventions like games that put the back button on some other corner of the screen. Or on Android where the back button may or may not work in a game.

In the end, it comes down to preferences. I prefer the iOS way where an app is forced to expose all its functionality and not hide it. I think this comes from the whole "single mouse button" mentality where you're not supposed to hide any functions that are only accessible via a right-click menu. I'm sure everyone has dozens of applications on Windows and Linux where unless you right click, you won't realize there's a lot more depth to what can be done.

Re:One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884135)

By "added extra buttons" I sure as hell hope you don't mean off-screen ones like you find on (most) android phones. Apple has fought for so long to make the iphone a one-button UI (the home button) that there is no turning back now. For their part google has tried to go that direction with on-screen navigation buttons and no off-screen buttons so that apps can implement a more consistent look/feel but that has really gone nowhere (its only used on "nexus" devices and none of the flagship phones). I agree with you and your wife, off-screen nav buttons for the most common app features (menu, back, search) really are essential to a handheld and can be implemented well (but they are not always). Trying to do the same with on-screen equivalents just eats useful screen space for something that is supposed to look/work the same in every app anyway.

Re:One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884161)

Has Apple added extra buttons[...]

Woah, did anyone else just hear that? It sounded like the ghost of Steve Jobs howling with incoherent, supernatural rage. Man, that's weird to hear.

Re:One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44885271)

Steve's reaction to that wouldn't be rage, it would be a dismissive chuckle.

Re:One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884187)

Yes. iOS 7 software update magically adds a physical button on her iPhone when she installs it. If the button is still not visible after the update, sticking a fist up her arse might also help.

Re:One button to the main screen! Is that changed? (2)

kirkc99 (2882627) | about 7 months ago | (#44884361)

Has Apple added extra buttons for a menu and a back button? That would be the most useful UI design change.

There is a new "back" gesture. In some apps (e.g., Safari, Settings, Mail, etc.) a swipe to the right from the left bezel will perform a back function.

Wait, what? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884003)

"iOS 7 changes nearly everything about iOS..." "...but this doesn't radically alter the way that you use the OS from day to day."

mind blown [reactiongifs.com]

The short version... (4, Informative)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about 7 months ago | (#44884029)

I RTFA'ed. The short version seems to be:
1) Icons and dialogs are "flat" (similar to Windows 7, etc.)
2) "iOS 7’s animations are the kind that will prompt an 'ooh, neat' upon first use and then a slowly increasing sense of frustration as you begin noticing that trivial tasks take just a bit longer than they used to."
3) There's more content on the screen when browsing because common toolbars are shorter or disappear when not in use
4) Safari's new tabs view is cool because it displays content on multiple tabs at once (think looking down from a 3d perspective on the old tab views)

Re:The short version... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884105)

Those rounded icons are so passe.

Re:The short version... (5, Informative)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 7 months ago | (#44884171)

I RTFA'ed. The short version seems to be:
1) Icons and dialogs are "flat" (similar to Windows 7, etc.)
2) "iOS 7’s animations are the kind that will prompt an 'ooh, neat' upon first use and then a slowly increasing sense of frustration as you begin noticing that trivial tasks take just a bit longer than they used to."
3) There's more content on the screen when browsing because common toolbars are shorter or disappear when not in use
4) Safari's new tabs view is cool because it displays content on multiple tabs at once (think looking down from a 3d perspective on the old tab views)

5) settings page accessible from home screen
6) full multitasking and better app switcher.
7) User can turn multitasking off on an app-by-app basis and track cellular usage on an app-by-app basis
8) revamped camera and photos app
9) revamped calendar app)
10) revamped notifications and alerts
11) all sorts of API improvements, the benefits of which will only become apparent when apps start to implement them right
12) revamped app updates

That's all I can think of. Don't listen to the haters who say this is about pretty icons.

Re:The short version... (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 7 months ago | (#44884471)

For #12, I'm curious about the app updates, especially the fingerprint scanner. I wonder how authentication info is passed to the app, be it a salted value, or an "ACK/NAK" return.

If I were writing an app that used custom user private/public keys, a salted value would be useful because that could be made as part of the encryption key that is used to protected the stored private keys. With that in place, even if an attacker gets the user's screen unlock PIN and the key passphrase, the encryption keys are pretty much still tightly locked up.

A simple "ack/nak" would mean a lot less security, but would help with making sure that each decrypt/sign is acknowledged by the user by a fingerprint swipe.

Re:The short version... (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 7 months ago | (#44884503)

I don't think individual apps get any access to the fingerprint thing. I think it will only be used for phone unlock, app store, and itunes store.

The touchID will be cool, but iOS 7 is going out to many phone and ipad models that are older, so most people won't get that functionality. I have a 5 so I'm on an upgrade cycle that will make me eligible next year.

Re:The short version... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884581)

As of right now, the fingerprint info is sandboxed. There are no APIs to access it .

Re:The short version... (4, Informative)

kirkc99 (2882627) | about 7 months ago | (#44884723)

I RTFA'ed. The short version seems to be:
1) Icons and dialogs are "flat" (similar to Windows 7, etc.)
2) "iOS 7’s animations are the kind that will prompt an 'ooh, neat' upon first use and then a slowly increasing sense of frustration as you begin noticing that trivial tasks take just a bit longer than they used to."
3) There's more content on the screen when browsing because common toolbars are shorter or disappear when not in use
4) Safari's new tabs view is cool because it displays content on multiple tabs at once (think looking down from a 3d perspective on the old tab views)

5) settings page accessible from home screen
6) full multitasking and better app switcher.
7) User can turn multitasking off on an app-by-app basis and track cellular usage on an app-by-app basis
8) revamped camera and photos app
9) revamped calendar app)
10) revamped notifications and alerts
11) all sorts of API improvements, the benefits of which will only become apparent when apps start to implement them right
12) revamped app updates

A few more off the top of my head...

13) Massively improved Siri (in a week's use, she's only misunderstood me a couple of times, she responds almost instantaneously, her results are much better, and her voice is much improved--and she's out of Beta on Apple's website)
14) App auto-updating (yes, realize this is an Android catch-up, and is somewhat a dupe of (12)...)
15) Handy new back gesture
16) Built-in itunes radio--handy for starting radio stations over Siri, such as while i'm on my motorcycle
17) Multi-page folders
18) Flickr and Vimeo deep integration
19) The ability to block numbers for calls, SMS, MMS, iMessages, FaceTime, etc.
20) Activation Lock
21) Apps popular near current location
22) Dynamic and Parallax wallpapers

Re:The short version... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884987)

13) Massively improved Siri (in a week's use, she's only misunderstood me a couple of times, she responds almost instantaneously, her results are much better, and her voice is much improved--and she's out of Beta on Apple's website)

*It* not *she*

Re:The short version... (4, Informative)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 7 months ago | (#44885787)

Here's apple's list

This update features a beautiful new design and also contains hundreds of new features, including the following:
New design
Redesigned interface updates the entire system and every built-in app
Subtle motion and animation; layers and translucency provide depth
Elegant new color palette and refined typography
Updated system sounds and ringtones
Control Center
Quick access to commonly used controls and apps with a swipe up from the bottom of the screen
Turn on & off Airplane Mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb; adjust screen brightness; access media controls; turn on AirPlay and AirDrop
Quickly access flashlight, timer, calculator, camera and music controls
Notification Center improvements
New Today view gives you an overview of your day, including weather, calendar, and stocks
Notifications dismissed on one device dismisses across all your devices
Multitasking improvements
Preview screens of open apps when you switch between them
Permits any app to keep content up to date in the background
Camera improvements
Swipe through different camera modes – video, still photo, square aspect, and panorama
Real-time photo filters with iPhone 4S or later, and iPod touch (5th generation)
Photos improvements
Automatically organizes your photos and videos based on time and location into Moments
iCloud Photo Sharing supports multiple contributors and videos, plus a new Activity view
Add photo filter effects
Flickr and Vimeo support
AirDrop
Quickly and easily share content with people nearby
Securely encrypted transfers with no network or setup required
Supported on iPhone 5, iPad (4th generation), iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation) and requires an iCloud account
Safari improvements
New iPhone tab view that lets you easily switch between open web pages
Unified smart search field for both search terms and web addresses
Shared Links shows web pages shared by people you follow on Twitter
iTunes Radio
Streaming radio service
Pick from over 250 featured and genre-focused stations
Start your own station from your favorite artist or song
Siri improvements
New, more natural sounding male and female voices for US English, French and German
Integrated Wikipedia, Twitter search, and Bing web search results
Change settings including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and brightness
Supported on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad with Retina display, iPad mini, and iPod touch (5th generation)
App Store improvements
See apps relevant to your current location with Popular Near Me
Discover age-appropriate apps in the Kids category
Keep your apps up to date automatically
Find My iPhone Activation Lock
Turning off Find My iPhone, erasing your device, reactivation, and signing out of iCloud requires your Apple ID password
A custom message can be displayed on your device even after a remote erase
iTunes Store improvements
Preview and buy songs you've heard on iTunes Radio while inside the iTunes Store
Add to, and shop from, your iTunes Wish List
Scan code with camera to redeem iTunes Gift Cards
Music improvements
Play music purchases from iCloud
Rotate your iPhone or iPod touch to browse your music with the Album Wall
Videos improvements
Play movie and TV show purchases from iCloud
View similar movies and TV shows from Related
Maps improvements
Turn-by-turn walking directions
Automatic night mode
Bookmarks shared across devices via iCloud
Mail improvements
New Smart Mailboxes, including Unread, Attachments, All Drafts and To or CC
Improved search
View PDF annotations
FaceTime audio calling
Block unwanted Phone, Messages and FaceTime callers
Support for sending long MMS messages
Pull down on any Home Screen to reveal Spotlight search
Scan to acquire Passbook passes
New ringtones, alarms, alerts and system sounds
Definitions of a selected word for additional languages: Italian, Korean, and Dutch
Inclinometer in the Compass app
Wi-Fi HotSpot 2.0 support
Accessibility features
Individuals with limited physical motor skills can now control their device using Switch Control
Customize closed caption style
Handwriting input support in VoiceOver
Math input support using Nemeth Braille in VoiceOver
Select from multiple premium voices for speak selection and VoiceOver
Support for Made for iPhone Hearing Aids and stereo audio for iPhone 5 and iPod touch (5th generation)
Enterprise features
Manage which apps and accounts are used to open documents and attachments
Per App VPN
App Store license management
Enterprise single sign-on
Remote configuration of managed apps
Automatic data protection for third-party apps
Exchange Notes syncing
Install custom fonts
New management queries and restrictions
Education features
Mobile device management for Apple TV
Request AirPlay Mirroring from a student device to Apple TV
Pre-configure AirPlay destinations and AirPrint printers
Streamlined MDM enrollment
Ability to restrict changes to accounts
Web content filtering
Authorized apps can initiate single app mode
Configure accessibility settings for single app mode
Features for China
Tencent Weibo integration
Chinese-English bilingual dictionary
Improved handwriting input with improved accuracy, stroke order independence and support for simultaneous multiple character input

Re:The short version... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884745)

7) User can turn multitasking off on an app-by-app basis and track cellular usage on an app-by-app basis

BOOYAH! Name and shame! My favorite.

Re:The short version... (4, Informative)

DdJ (10790) | about 7 months ago | (#44884785)

FYI: "full multitasking" is false.

There are some slight improvements to the multitasking (eg. if it notices you run an app at the same time every day, it'll give it a background slice just before then so the data is fresh when you look). But it remains far from "full multitasking".

They're trying to get to the point where most users won't notice the difference. They're not likely to ever get to the point where developers won't notice the difference.

Re:The short version... (2)

FellowConspirator (882908) | about 7 months ago | (#44885115)

This is a semantic argument. The OS has always supported full multitasking. At first, only system services ran all the time and applications paused when they weren't in the foreground. Since iOS 4, APIs were added that allowed various registration of background activities, one of which being the Task, Task Completion, and Local Notification APIs which can be trivially used to establish a thread that would keep an application doing whatever it chose to do for as long as it wanted. The thing is that the background APIs in iOS require explicitly setting up background activity, otherwise an app sleeps when not in the foreground. I don't really see a problem with this as it effectively manages CPU and battery resources in a sensible way, yet it still lets the developer work around them, if necessary, provided that he's willing to go to the effort.

Re:The short version... (5, Insightful)

DdJ (10790) | about 7 months ago | (#44885219)

I'll agree with you that I don't see a problem with the way it happens, but it's not just a semantic argument.

There are an awful lot of people here on slashdot who would assert that "full multitasking" means that every app has full access to its entire code path all the time, and can do anything in the background that it could do in the foreground, like desktop apps on a Linux system. That switching between foreground execution and background execution isn't even something an app has to notice.

The reality is basically that the app can only fully run in the foreground. In other situations it, in practice, can set up little scripts or daemons to handle specific enumerated things on its behalf when it's not in the foreground.

Some of that code fires off when a trigger condition comes up, and then have a limited time to do their business (eg. geofencing). Some keeps running in the background as long as its fulfilling a specific purpose (eg. background audio).

Has iOS got multitasking? Yes. Has it got multitasking that's more than enough for most normal users who aren't doing exotic things? Yes.

Has it got full multitasking? No, it really really doesn't. Just try running a Jabber client that lets you stay logged in all day long, or a mail client that downloads your mail before you open it without push notifications.

(Of course this isn't a bad thing, as long as the multitasking it's got is sufficient. True full multitasking would actually be a bad thing.)

Re:The short version... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44885169)

Sounds like they're playing catch-up on features with Android now...

Re:The short version... (4, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#44885199)

Here goes my karma, but it has to be pointed out:

1) Icons and dialogs are "flat" (similar to Windows 7, etc.)

Like Android.

3) There's more content on the screen when browsing because common toolbars are shorter or disappear when not in use

Like Chrome for Android and the stock Android browser.

5) settings page accessible from home screen

Like Android.

6) full multitasking and better app switcher.

Kinda, most apps still can't really process in the background the way they do on a true multitasking OS. For example I run a speed camera warning app in the background with voice alerts, with GMaps/navigation on top, and another podcast app in the background but able to respond to play/pause /skip buttons.

10) revamped notifications and alerts

Like Android. Really, the cheek of ripping off the notification shade and still complaining about other companies copying them is beyond a joke.

11) all sorts of API improvements, the benefits of which will only become apparent when apps start to implement them right

Nice try.

12) revamped app updates

Like Android. For example the availability of old versions of apps for older version of iOS (I thought there was no fragmentation?!?) is something Android users have enjoyed for quite some time now.

Bye bye karma, it was nice knowin' ya.

Re: The short version... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44885381)

Well you certainly deserve to be slammed for such hollow karma whoring.

Re:The short version... (4, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 7 months ago | (#44885545)

Sep 17: Apple suxors! the iphone lacks features found on Android!
Sep 18: Apple suxors! they added features found on Android!

Re: The short version... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44885711)

Of course, it's easy to forget that the entirety of Android's initial design was a wholesale lift from iOS. But hey, who's keeping track of which company steals what from who in what calendar year, especially when it's a standard capitalist practice not specific to the tech sector? Only the insufferable who actually have nothing of intellectual worth to add.

Re:The short version... (0)

Sez Zero (586611) | about 7 months ago | (#44885781)

Android fan says "we had all that a long time ago" and this is somehow Interesting or Insightful?

Re:The short version... (4, Informative)

StoneyMahoney (1488261) | about 7 months ago | (#44884283)

You missed:

5) Safari performance is up
6) Battery life is down
7) Non-Retina displays have legibility issues

Skip to page 6 (1, Insightful)

EMG at MU (1194965) | about 7 months ago | (#44884033)

1) Multi page stories are really annoying.
2) I guess I never read Ars a lot before but there is so little technical detail in the article I don't really understand how Ars can consider itself a technical oriented website. Seems more like a huff post story.
3) Skip to page 6 if you want to see anything about performance/benchmarks. Most of the other 5 pages are thoughts on UI changes.

Re:Skip to page 6 (3, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 7 months ago | (#44884069)

Ars is not a technical website. They are a tech news site.

Re:Skip to page 6 (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884325)

Correction, they are an Apple blogsite. Anything else on that site doesn't get the respect it deserves. I used to follow them until I realized all that they cared about was Apple products.

Re:Skip to page 6 (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884109)

Ars used to be a tech site. Now they're a news site, with a slight tech leaning. Oh, and anything you post there, they'll turn into a news story if it will get them ad clicks. They'll out your girlfriend/boyfriend as well.

They've said they want to join the ranks of journalists and not just be a tech board. Unfortunately, the journalists they've joined are the National Enquirer and Daily Mail.

Re:Skip to page 6 (3, Insightful)

Quila (201335) | about 7 months ago | (#44885489)

We've had such a backlash against the current habit of putting one paragraph per page in order to increase hits that we've forgotten pagination does have it's place, such as when the pages are very long as in this case.

Contact blocking (1)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 7 months ago | (#44884203)

Blocking on a number is pretty pointless, unless you actually want to block a specific person. If you're wanting to block a spam SMS message, then you'll be out of luck since they're sent from throw away numbers (well, at least in the UK they are).

Re:Contact blocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884257)

I just about smashed my phone this week when I received over 200 worthless text messages, each from a unique number, in the space of a few minutes.

Re:Contact blocking (1)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 7 months ago | (#44884389)

I just about smashed my phone this week when I received over 200 worthless text messages, each from a unique number, in the space of a few minutes.

amber alerts?

Re:Contact blocking (1)

mlts (1038732) | about 7 months ago | (#44884307)

The block combined with YouMail (you forward your voice mails to their service, and they give specific messages for callers, or just ditch them with "number not in service" messages.) is better than nothing.

Of course, the ideal is the app Mr. Number in Android, which does a search to see if the number is flagged as a robodialer or spam, then drops the call if that is the case. No having to block tons of numbers.

Sort of sad that iOS took this long to get this functionality. With robodialers a big money source and the FCC a laughingstock (good luck catching a VoIP spammer offshore), number blacklists are the main line of defense these days.

New look, not sure I like. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884209)

Not sure I like the new look, but I'll have to wait and see it on my phone/tablet before I pass judgment. Looks very clean and very flat and very.. Different.

I guess people were bitching about the look of iOS getting dated and crufty and full of unnecessary "skewmorphisims" or whatever. Flat shading, flat shapes, and pastel colors are what's in now. I guess we have Microsoft to thank for that, which is pretty funny. Everyone loves the look and feel and UI of metro, but hates the lack of apps... ...So Microsoft has the new UI hotness and a lack of apps.. Apple now playing catchup on the look/feel but having all the apps? Fucking surreal.

Of course some people are going to bitch that apple is copying everyone. These are the same people that would have bitched and blasted Apple for stagnating if the 7's look/feel remained the same.

Re:New look, not sure I like. (5, Insightful)

mlts (1038732) | about 7 months ago | (#44884233)

IMHO, all operating systems follow design trends. First it was just plain buttons. Then 3D buttons in the early 1990s. Then color and graphics.

Now, the cycle has begun anew and we are back to flat buttons. Next thing we will see will be NeXTStep style black/white icons with a philosophy of "the content in the app is the stuff with colors, everything else is black/white/grey to support it."

Re:New look, not sure I like. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44885451)

Next thing we will see will be NeXTStep style black/white icons with a philosophy of "the content in the app is the stuff with colors, everything else is black/white/grey to support it."

So we're all going to start using fluxbox or twm? :)

Re:New look, not sure I like. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44885599)

Perhaps a renaissance in FVWM95?

Good Long Review (1)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 7 months ago | (#44884279)

Did not see iBeacon noted in the excellent review & the implications for new apps and hardware accessories. I'll ave to read it several times.

My review after a couple months (5, Insightful)

mrjatsun (543322) | about 7 months ago | (#44884331)

Most of the reviews I've read just parrot what Apple said which is sad.

Been using it for a couple months. The control panel is great. They killed the calendar, much less usable. I don't use siri so I can't comment there. Being able to have more than 9 icons in a folder is nice.

The rest is fluff. They exchanged textures for a bunch of superfluous animation and transparency. It looks a lot different obviously. No easier or harder to use though. I'm not a big fan of the new look but was tired of the old look. Other than getting used to a different look, I didn't notice a big improvement or drop off in the other apps.

In the end, if you already have an iphone, I would recommend it for the control panel.

Re:My review after a couple months (1)

mrjatsun (543322) | about 7 months ago | (#44884355)

Oh, not a big fan of the safari changes switching between multiple pages either. gratuitous 3d with less performance for no benefit.

Re:My review after a couple months (2)

DdJ (10790) | about 7 months ago | (#44884827)

They killed the calendar, much less usable.

It's non-intuitive, but try tapping the little magnifying glass, even when you're not interested in doing a search.

Go ahead, try it! I'll wait.

Re:My review after a couple months (1)

mrjatsun (543322) | about 7 months ago | (#44884927)

> It's non-intuitive, but try tapping the little magnifying glass

Yep, already knew that. :-) Now exit the app and start it up again, not in list
mode anymore. I want it in list mode by default, occasionally dropping out to
month or yearly view. The day overview is useless to me on the phone (I'm sure it
would be fine on a tablet or computer).

Plus, the done button sitting there waiting for me to hit it makes my eye twitch.

After two months, I still hate the calendar app... Your mileage may vary.

Not much of an improvement. (5, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about 7 months ago | (#44884353)

The only reason skeumorphism is maligned is because it's become unfashionable, not because of any inherent flaw in the aesthetic. Mind you, I've a big fan of Microsoft's flat look, but I also think Apple's former approach was distinctive and quite good. All it needed was a refresh, akin to what Google has done with their aesthetic. Instead, Apple goes and dumps the design resulting in a design that looks like Android with a bit of Windows Phone mixed in. Fortunately for Apple, unlike any other company on Earth, they're being lavished with praise instead of maligned for coming up with such a derivative design.

I get the impression that Apple well aware of how derivative the OS feels, hence the low contrast aesthetic and heavy use of blur filters. The problem is that there isn't enough contrast throughout; at times it feels like trying to use the phone through a frosted screen protector. This isn't helped by the fact that Apple's designers generally seem a too impressed with themselves. So they approached the design with the mindset that too much of a good thing is a great thing. And they're so intent on your savoring their design that they actually hinder usability, as evidenced by the slower animations.

There are plenty of things that iOS has never done right. The argument Apple fans inevitably use to defend iOS is that it "just works". But all that means is that they're used to Apple's particular set of quirks and are unwilling to learning anything new. With Windows Phone, personal preferences aside, at least it's evident that Microsoft placed clarity of the UI and user experience as high priorities. They dropped the ball in a few aspects, the lack of a traditional notifications list and quick-access control center being two examples. But otherwise the experience is excellent. It seems Apple's only goal was to make iOS 7 look relevant by following prevailing design trends which, ironically, Microsoft helped establish.

If the future of smartphones is at the software level, then Apple is screwed because that's where they're furthest behind. The only thing they've still got going for them is the App Store and even there their days are numbered.

Re:Not much of an improvement. (4, Insightful)

DdJ (10790) | about 7 months ago | (#44884983)

The only reason skeumorphism is maligned is because it's become unfashionable, not because of any inherent flaw in the aesthetic.

I do not agree with you that it's just a matter of fashion.

So, anyone who uses enough cross-platform software on an OS that has UI guidelines should be familiar with a basic dichotomy: should various apps on a single system be "like" each other, or should a single app always be the "same" regardless of what system it's on.

(For example: should Firefox on MacOS look like a MacOS app, or look like Firefox for Windows or Linux?)

If you're in the "apps should always comply with the 'local' UI guidelines, even if that makes the same app look and behave dramatically different than it does in other environments" camp -- and there are non-fashion reasons to have that point of view -- then that's an argument against skeumorphism with an actual legitimate basis.

Now, not everyone is in that camp, sure. If that point of view makes no sense to you, then you may not understand this argument against skeumorphism. But that's because you're missing something, not because the argument isn't there (or because you disagree, not because the argument is fundamentally invalid).

I will observe that this argument is going to be a little alien to folks who normally use Linux, because in general there are no enforced UI guidelines and no consistency of user interface experience. Unless you deliberately engineer your setup otherwise and refuse to install any "outside" software, that is. I mean to the point of a GNOME user refusing to run any browser other than Epiphany, for example.

But, such UI consistency is somewhat better on Windows (before 8, anyhow), and is something a lot of MacOS users took for granted for years. That's part of where the somewhat widespread visceral negative reaction to Apple's embracing of skeumorphism came from, even if many of the ranting users couldn't articulate that.

(Myself: I got addicted to UI consistency back when I ran NeXTstep, and it's the primary reason I try not to run Firefox or Chrome on a daily basis. While I won't say I hated skeumorphism, it never sat quite right with me in most cases.)

Re:Not much of an improvement. (1, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | about 7 months ago | (#44885351)

I agree with you in principle, but what you're describing applies mostly to desktop OSs. Visual consistency is expected when you're dealing with a windowed environment. While it's ideal, however, that all apps follow operating system conventions I don't think it's critical, by any stretch of the imagination. I'd rather see an app optimized for it's particular function than a slave to OS aesthetic requirements. That said, core system functions should remain consistent across the board.

I do find it a bit amusing that you mention visual visual consistency in MacOS being taken for granted considering that they're one of the worst offenders of pointlessly inconsistent interfaces. Look at iCal and the whole iLife suite. But I never considered it to be a problem; I liked the whimsy.

A mobile OS, however, follows a different set of rules. All apps run full screen so there's less dependency on any single template. And the fact is that the range of functionality is so vast that there's no realistic hope of imposing a single experience beyond certain core functions. I do think Android handles it reasonably well with a tool bar. However, persistence is valuable and that's why I prefer Android's old approach where, like Windows Phone, you have ever present capacitive buttons. Sure, there's the annoyance of accidental presses, but at least I can quickly access home or other functions without that functionality consuming screen real estate.

Currently, however, no one offers a consistent experience like Windows Phone does. It's on a level even Apple can't match, and from which they've strayed with iOS 7. Although, given Microsoft's track record they'll probably screw it up at some point.

Re:Not much of an improvement. (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#44885249)

The only reason skeumorphism is maligned is because it's become unfashionable, not because of any inherent flaw in the aesthetic

It's flawed, and we have known that for a long time. It's what I call "maybe the cheese plant syndrome". Old management games from the 80s/early 90s often had an office as their main screen, where you could click on various objects to access all the different functions. The problem is that you ended up hunting for things to click on, eventually trying the cheese plant in the corner out of frustration. The same thing happens when your calendar apps looks like a book and it isn't immediately obvious how to get beyond the basic functions.

Too retro for my taste (2)

Powercntrl (458442) | about 7 months ago | (#44884363)

The actual usability improvements in iOS 7 are mostly good. The task switcher copied from Palm is nice and the quick settings copied from Android is also a welcome change. But man, I just can't get past the way the whole thing looks. It looks like someone took iOS, Windows Phone 8 and Tandy's Deskmate (an old DOS GUI RadioShack's brand of PCs shipped with) and threw them into a blender.

3g (2)

beefoot (2250164) | about 7 months ago | (#44884407)

The interface looks more or less the same as I remember on my wife's iphone 3G years ago.

Re:3g (4, Funny)

noh8rz10 (2716597) | about 7 months ago | (#44884429)

The interface looks more or less the same as I remember on my wife's iphone 3G years ago.

you sir have a very poor memory. you should have that checked.

Welcome to the Brutalist era of UI design (5, Interesting)

JDG1980 (2438906) | about 7 months ago | (#44884593)

In the post-WWII era, there was an architectural trend called Brutalism. This school of thought held that ornamentation was unnecessary and that buildings were "machines for living in". They should therefore be made out of raw, unadorned concrete. These buildings are still around, especially in large cities, and most people hate them. Turns out that functionality isn't enough; people actually want things to look nice.

It appears that UI designers are in the process of making the same mistakes that architects did decades ago. The new crusade against "skeuomorphism" is, in practice, a campaign for ugly square boxes with low-color icons. It's basically a return to the graphics of the early 1990s, except this time there isn't the excuse of technical limitations to justify it. I had hoped that this trend would stop with Windows 8, but for some inexplicable reason, Apple seems to have decided to degrade their far superior touch OS to a similar degree. The sublime beauty of Aero and iOS 6 gives way to the stark ugliness of Metro and iOS 7. For God's sake, why?

Re:Welcome to the Brutalist era of UI design (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884709)

I don't mean to sound rude, but many of us don't need to feel our soul lifted by careful, artistic style in machines whose primary function to to facilitate communication and exchange of information. We just want it to work. There is a lot to be said for minimalist design for a challenged and cluttered mind. Shiny IS superfluous when you need to concentrate on the thing that you are doing.

Re:Welcome to the Brutalist era of UI design (1)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | about 7 months ago | (#44884951)

To each their own, dude!! I still use the Win95 Classic look on all my Windows PCs (Win7 and Win8). I disable all animations on my Android devices.

I hate anything that slows me down.

Re:Welcome to the Brutalist era of UI design (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44885063)

I agree completely. I finally went with an iPhone 5, in large part because I liked the way iOS6 looked. Now apparently each iPhone is dipped in a cotton candy rotator before being shipped out, which is great for circus clowns and children, I suppose, but not for me. I'll stick with iOS6, and I guess when my iPhone 5 finally kicks the bucket, I'll have to move back to Android, whether I like it or not.

Re:Welcome to the Brutalist era of UI design (4, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#44885373)

Flat UIs are not brutalist, they are minimalist. People like minimalism, and it works well in a UI because it simplifies and unclutters. Of course not everyone does it well, but in principal it is a good way to design an interface.

In any case, brutalism isn't what you seem to think it is. The idea behind brutalism was not that ornamentation was unnecessary, and in fact most brutalist buildings feature adornments like jutting out sections or spiral ramps into car parks. Brutalism tries to expose the way the building works and the way human beings use it, rather than hiding it behind walls or drawing the eye away with features and exterior windows. Few people like it but not because it is unadorned, because it is adorned with angular concrete features that are rarely maintained or cleaned properly.

Try a Windows phone, that's an experience (4, Interesting)

Ravaldy (2621787) | about 7 months ago | (#44884603)

From a interface stand point I find the Windows Phone to provide the best experience. The new iOS does nothing but pretty up and old way of using a mobile device. I know I'm going to get the boot for mentioning an MS product on /. but if you try one you will agree with me that it is a very good experience. Like the Android phone it has a back button.

FYI, I have owned all 3 phones. More recently I have purchased an S3 but use a Ativ day to day. Best phone I owned.

Re:Try a Windows phone, that's an experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884641)

From a interface stand point I find the Windows Phone to provide the best experience. The new iOS does nothing but pretty up and old way of using a mobile device. I know I'm going to get the boot for mentioning an MS product on /. but if you try one you will agree with me that it is a very good experience. Like the Android phone it has a back button.

FYI, I have owned all 3 phones. More recently I have purchased an S3 but use a Ativ day to day. Best phone I owned.

I owned windows phone and interface is totally confusing. I could never use the home and back buttons for anything useful.

Re:Try a Windows phone, that's an experience (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884771)

I know--man, I wonder what a home button does. I mean, I guess it might take you HOME. Like the home button on every other friggin' device that has a home button does. Now about that "BACK" button. does it take you...BACK?!?

Re:Try a Windows phone, that's an experience (3, Insightful)

SenseiLeNoir (699164) | about 7 months ago | (#44884757)

You are not going to get hammered. I agree, the Windows Phone interface is actually very good from what I felt when I played around with a Lumia. Its other things about the OS that makes me stick with Android.

To be honest, although I myself would NOT be interested in a Windows OS phone, I can see my parents being quite comfortable with one.

Now coming to windows 8.... thats a different kettle of fish! They should have kept a limited aero for desktop use. I completely hate the lack of contrast on the new desktop (I do not mind the metro interface in "metro" world, I just HATE the desktop interface)

Re:Try a Windows phone, that's an experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44884959)

I've owned one and I disagree with you. The lack of emphasis on common actions is what ultimately made me decide it wasn't right for me. I found nothing intuitive. They also made all the wrong default decisions, why isn't the phone button locked on the desktop by default? I have to search for the button to use one of the core features?! Thats terrible.

I don't love Android or iOS but I definitely think the Windows UI is the absolute worst of all the products.

Re:Try a Windows phone, that's an experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44885223)

If your experience with Android is solely from a Samsung device (S3), then you're getting a distorted view of the Android UI.
Samsung butchered the nice UI conventions Google introduced in ICS to a point where I'd really recommend people stay away from Samsung completely - even if the hardware is nice.

Re:Try a Windows phone, that's an experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44885891)

I know I'm going to get the boot for mentioning an MS product on /.

No, you're not. But since you've played the Karma Martyr card, you deserve to.

Its lipstick on a pig (1, Flamebait)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about 7 months ago | (#44884907)

Apple just put lipstick on the pig and expect everyone to embrace iOS 7 as some significant leap forward.

While I am sure there are some efficiency improvements in iOS 7 UI and features, overall people should be keenly aware that not much has really changed under the hood. I mean turning on 64bit when compiling iOS 7 is not innovative, neither is a 64bit CPU. Apple is pulling the wool over everyone's eyes and making it seem like iOS 7 and iPhone 5s are significant upgrades, when in reality they are barely incremental updates. Apple needs this deception if they want to improve their stock performance.

Basically iOS 7 represents the first divergence of the legacy left by Steve Jobs. Once he left the planet, the internal rifts between skeuomorphism vs UI simplicity shifted weight over to Jony Ives, who simply ripped all the leather, glass, metal and felt out of iOS free from any repercussions because Tim Cook is a spineless half-wit who is barely aware of anything Apple does these days except what he is told to regurgitate in a keynote.

Look, Apple is even aware of all this. They spent exactly 5 minutes talking about iOS 7 at the iPhone release. No real weight to its release. They spent the next 20 minutes talking about the beautiful colors if plastic (again, the ONLY thing new about iPhone 5c), and then raved about how fast and 64 bitty their new CPU is and how they brought their camera into the 21st century by focusing on quality rather than simply "having a camera" on a phone like their competition has already realized. Finally while the iTouch is cool, without support for User Profiles iTouch is just a useless contrivance for people too-stupid to remember a 4 digit passcode. There is no point "knowing" who is using the iDevice when there is no simply no iOS feature that is aware of who is using the device.

So, while everyone is tripping over to glow about all the "new" things Apple released last week, investors are pulling out of Apple because they can see past the lipstick and realize Apple hasn't innovated since Jobs passed away.

Re:Its lipstick on a pig (1)

dugancent (2616577) | about 7 months ago | (#44885339)

The talked about iOS 7 for 5 minutes because they devoted an entire talk about it at WWDC, no need to re-hash.

There is a lot more to the update than 64bit and aesthetic changes, but feel free to ignore all of it. You will anyway.

Skeuomorphism? Still? (1)

mothlos (832302) | about 7 months ago | (#44884917)

The small minority of designers with an axe to grind about skeuomorphic interfaces does not deserve a shout-out. Interface design is just generally bad on consumer products, trading long-term productivity for short-term accessability. These designers who eschew skeuomorphic design rarely are proposing anything of real value aside from asthetic alterations; they don't like putting spiral binder holes on the interface, waah. If they were proposing real long-term productivity improvements and had decent arguments about how skeuomorphic details are impeding this, then I would be happy to listen, but comparing these designs vs. the sorts of designs I see the anti-skeumorphic community proposing and it just seems like they don't enjoy the asthetic.

'pretty thorough review' quite a understatement (1)

JoeyRox (2711699) | about 7 months ago | (#44885337)

That was one hell of an exhaustive review of the new UI. Kudos to Ars Technica. And thanks to the /. article submitter.

iPhone 4 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#44885393)

How slow will it be on an iPhone 4? Same as previous or will it slow things down even more?

Too much of a change (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 7 months ago | (#44885463)

I find the new interface enough of a change that it will alienate a lot of people used to the "old way". People don't like change and there's enough different in ios 7 that I can see people leaving in droves. It will be interesting to see what happens. Eye candy has always ruled userspace and Apple has effectively killed off most of it's candy in lieu of something resembling a monochromatic cousin of Metro.

My one question: readability? (1)

sootman (158191) | about 7 months ago | (#44885653)

For those with bad eyes, is the new OS easier to read, harder, or about the same? Several people in my family are now at the "hold phone at arm's length to read it" age, and initial screenshots of thin grey text on white have me worried.

Bumping up the font size only helps some, and it reduces how much text you can see on a screen at once. Also, it's not a system-wide setting -- you can make notes and texts bigger but not the names of icons on the home screens or the words in alerts.

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