Sleek, and minimalistic and refreshed, Apple’s new operating system iOS7 was – until the new iPhone was confirmed – the most eagerly anticipated release from the corporation in 2013. Senior Vice President of Design at Apple, JonyIve, promised to completely overhaul the appearance of iPhones and iPads across the globe, and the new operating system certainly gives what it said it would. Here we round-up the key graphical changes in Apple’s iOS7 software.
Apple’s latest iOS offering does away with the skeumorphic, hyper-realistic design of their past iOS software, which the late Steve Jobs used to provide a ‘familiar’ feeling of reality on-screen for iOS users. Instead, iOS7 embraces flat design for its app icons and backgrounds, giving the whole interface a minimalist aura. The cleanest of the fonts, Helvetica Neue, underpins the app icons on the home screen, and is also used on each of the textual elements within Apple’s factory-standard apps.
Both the home and lock screens look smooth and coherent in iOS7, with app icons that match with one another perfectly. The bright colour scheme of the apps alongside the white backgrounds in-app also gives a light and airy touch to the overall graphics within the software.
One key difference between iOS6 and iOS7 is that all of the borders have disappeared. The black backgrounds that side behind the clock and lock slider in the lock screen have been ejected, whilst the black bar at the top of the home screen – which provided a background for the clock, signal bar and battery icon – has also been removed. This means that wallpapers can now evoke their full effect on both the home and lock screens, without the need for the cropping and positioning that was necessary in iOS6.
Gone are the harshly cornered keypads in the ‘Phone’ app, and in come circular keypad buttons that provide a more fun, informal feel to dialling your friends’ digits. The round appearance of the dialling interface is so much easier on the eye – and almost feels a little futuristic at the same time!
All white on the keyboard
The QWERTY keyboard dock has also been given a refurb, with a brighter white colour scheme against a very light grey background. Although it causes a little eye pain on occasion – especially if you’re typing on it in the dark – the brighter keyboard upgrade is certainly beautiful to look at, and maintains Apple’s new love for basic interface design.
Subtle Notification Centre
The Notification Centre is known as being a hub of information on iOS devices, and it is no different within iOS7. The skeumorphically-textured Notification Centre is nowgone, instead replaced by a blurry translucent dock that appears when one slides their thumb down the screen. The home screen icons can still be seen through the dock, giving it a subtle hint of colour, whilst the notifications are also arranged neatly – left-aligned – in that designer-favourited Helvetica Neue font. The notifications are also split into relevant tabs, allowing you to tailor your Centre to your own personal needs.
Safari is stacked
Whilst Safari’s open pages were previously displayed as WebOS-style thumbnails, iOS7 has adopted a different approach, instead ‘stacking’ the pages like a deck of cards. Simply swipe up and down to switch between pages, in this newly animated yet amusing method of browsing.
There’s no denying that Apple’siOS software has finally become a modern operating system. Whilst skeumorphic design was relatable and comforting to us thanks to its realism – for example on real wood effects within Newsstand and ‘glass-like’ message bubbles in ‘Messages’ – there’s something about the new flat design of iOS7 that is so much more attractive on the eye. Well done Apple; your advanced operating system finally matches your advanced technology – graphically speaking, anyway.