Is iOS 7 improving the mobile experience?

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Apple yesterday announced iOS7 to the public, together with two new phones, the iPhone 5S and a cheaper 5C.

Definitely take a look at the keynote from Apple’s WWDC if you’re interested, all you need to know is being presented.

From a design perspective, iOS7 is a complete new release and remake of Apple’s fabled smartphone OS. That’s NEW!  To be honest, its user interface really had to be updated, compared to the constant force of Samsung’s Android attacks, iOS6 lacked behind a bit.

So, how did Apple succeed in that? Here’s our opinion.

We believe that from a design perspective Apple embraced the concept that hardware and software are one, to be developed synchronously and based on a more common vision. Take a look at the old icons for example, don’t you think they sometimes look a bit ‘old fashioned’, ‘out of date’ with to many skeuomorphisms (overlapping design concepts) To compare: take a closer look at these American station wagons with their ‘wooden’ coachwork. Maybe, within Apple’s organization, hardware and software design grew apart, managed by different departments and people. What we do know, is that Apple now promoted Sir Jonathan Ive to head both hardware and software design.

So, Apple redesigned the whole user interface. To fit modern times and trends. In our opinion, they succeeded marvelously and did a great job. How did they do it?

The answer to that question, according to Apple, is a combination of simplicity, clarity, efficiency and bringing order to complexity. It has a whole new structure that is coherent and applied across the entire system. The tiniest details have been considered, from typography, icons, a new grid system for harmony across individual elements, a new palette of colors. Distinct, functional layers, help establish hierarchy and order. The use of translucency gives you a sense of your context. The iPhone, responding to your movements, drives the parallax to create a whole new experience of depth. In many ways, Apple created an interface that is unobtrusive and differential. One where design recedes and in doing so, actually elevates your content. And in such a way, that it will be instantly familiar to the user, but more useful and enjoyable, Apple says that in creating iOS7, with large teams of designers and engineers, an important new direction has been defined, in many ways a new beginning.  

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