(This is the first of a three part blog post wherein we review Apple’s latest mobile operating system ‘iOS7’).
Apple unveiled its latest operating system iOS 7, an exciting major release, at WWDC 2013 on June 10, 2013. After using the developer beta on my phone for three weeks, here’s my opinion on the new Apple software.
The first thing you notice on iOS 7 is the new look and feel of the user interface. Gone is the old iOS 6’s UI which concentrated highly on pixel art, visual gloss, shadows and skeuomorphic elements. The stock applications no longer have stitched leather navigation bars or green felt snooker backgrounds, but are completely redesigned with the modern aesthetics of iOS 7’s design language.
On the first glance, iOS 7 is highly typographic and the icons are filled with full of neon and pastel colors. If you are an existing iOS user, you would start finding subtle animation refinements immediately. When you tap an app icon on the home screen, you would notice a smooth zoom-in animation from the icon to the fullscreen and when you exit the app, you would see a smooth zoom out animation from fullscreen to the icon.
Apple cleverly used the built-in gyroscope (cough *Inclinometer* cough) on iOS devices to perform a 3D parallax effects of the wallpaper background and icons on both the homescreen and the lockscreen.
The best way to understand and appreciate iOS 7 is to see it live. For example, looking at just a screenshot of Messages app will not do full justice of what went in the design process. When you see it in action, you would slowly realize how beautiful and subtle the message animations appear when you hit the send button, and how beautiful the chat bubbles wiggle on scrolling.
In 2007, when Apple released the first iPhone, the world roared. The touch animations, smooth scrolling and the entire user experience was one of a kind. 5 years later, today, from the inexpensive phones to the web apps, most of the animations which were iOS exclusive in the beginning, are being emulated successfully everywhere.
iOS 7 introduces faux 3d effects, perspective layer shifting, translucence, background blurring along with a future proof design that incorporates physics in and out. An effect such as blurring involves tremendous GPU computations and is not an easy task to incorporate it so beautifully and so liberally throughout the operating system. Thanks to the wonderful hardware present in the iOS devices.
In the next post we will discuss software features and improvements from iOS6. Stay tuned!