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Ars Technica Reviews iOS 7 233

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the flat-is-in dept.
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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Ars Technica Reviews iOS 7

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  • The short version... (Score:5, Informative)

    by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @11:05AM (#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:Skip to page 6 (Score:4, Informative)

    by h4rr4r (612664) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @11:09AM (#44884069)

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

  • by Sockatume (732728) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @11:10AM (#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

  • by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @11:22AM (#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.

  • by cdrudge (68377) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @11:22AM (#44884175) Homepage

    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.

  • by StoneyMahoney (1488261) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @11:34AM (#44884283)

    You missed:

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @11:37AM (#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.

  • by kirkc99 (2882627) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @12:21PM (#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

  • by DdJ (10790) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @12:27PM (#44884785) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by noh8rz10 (2716597) on Wednesday September 18, 2013 @01:56PM (#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

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