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iOS 7 (apple.com)
289 points by acrum on June 10, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 296 comments

This comment thread is why the internet is bashing so hard on HN. This is so extremely negative and hyperbolic, It's hard to understand. There are certainly things to be criticized in iOS 7, but invoking a plea to the holy lord for answers, is a bit extreme.

Can't we at least temper our criticisms with a few things we found positive and a good attitude?

Let me give it a try.

I am really excited about the control panel. It has a lot of very useful features that will save me time and frustration. However, I am concerned that the design of the control panel is busy and may make it difficult to make the correct selection quickly, we'll see.

I think the replies are symbolic of what commenting on HN has become in general.

I have to agree. I was pleasantly surprised by the UI changes for iOS 7, as I think the developers at WWDC were as well (a standing ovation, no less - even from fanboys)

This isn't Apple's UI, it's everybody who owns an iDevice's UI, and it looks like people are taking this redesign quite personally...time to switch? :/

...especially because it seems natural that OS X will follow! Switching away from the iPhone is easy for me, iPad might be harder, but leaving OS X is just impossible for me right now.

I think I'd still prefer to look at iOS7 everyday than the turd of an interface that Android ships with

Which specific Android UI are you talking about? Touchwiz? Sense? LG's UI? Sony's UI? Stock Android?

Personally I can't talk about the other stuff but think stock Android looks and feels great while being extremely functional at the same time.

Honestly, theyre starting to look very similar.

Unless you've heavily modified your rooted android then yes. Otherwise, at least for me, iOS7 is so much more elegance and eye pleasing.

+1 on stock Android 4.2 looking great and being very usable. +1 on iOS7 and stock Android 4.2 looking way too similar.

Playing with the beta right now and the control panel is by far my favorite feature. It does look kind of busy at first with so many actions available, but the layout is well done and its easy to find what you are looking for.

Oh God why. I've got nothing against flat design done well, but this just makes everything so much harder to SEE.

Look at the example screen for "Control Center" -- it looks like a geometric indistinguishable mess. The line around buttons is the same as the line dividing sections is almost the same as the line in sliders.

The example screen for weather shows thin white text against a light blue background, which I can barely make out on my monitor, let alone on a phone.

If anything, phones need extra affordance as what is a label and what is tappable, since we have fat fingers, hold phones faraway where things are small, and often in bright sunlight where there's little contrast we can make out. Phones need extra contrast, not less.

I'm really not one for hyperbole, but Steve Jobs must be rolling in his grave. This isn't about an aesthetic choice, it's just about common-sense usability and quality control. That weather app looks completely useless in the real world, and the fact that Apple's internal processes have allowed this to be launched does not bode well.

At the risk of getting flamed, you haven't actually tried it in the real world yet - you've looked at it on you monitor ...

I have. I'm typing this from iOS 7. My opinion has changed little from seeing it on the Keynote to actually using it. Some graphic details don't seem as bad in person and others are much worse.

On the plus side, it's very speedy. Plus, it makes existing 3rd party apps look glorious, with their attractive, last-generation looks.

I have a theory that the accelerometer-linked 3D "layer" effects might make the flat interface more usable in person. As in, the subtle perspective shift would make it obvious that a button is a button, etc. Can you comment on that? Are those effects extended to all of the UI elements?

It seems like a pretty gimmicky effect right now, although if you hold it in a certain way it does have a cool 3D effect. The scrolling animation stutters quite a bit currently. I anticipate they'll have that fixed by release.

Interesting, thanks!

I personally hope the accelerometer-linked 3D will not also help to make flat the battery which already does not last long.

They aren't, and even the little layer effect on the home screen is nothing but a gimmick. I don't wave around with my phone while I use it and would never have noticed the iOS6 volume slider effect if blogs hadn't pointed it out.

I have the beta, and as of right now they aren't - the effects are only for the wallpaper.

Are you running the same iOS 7 as I am? "Very speedy" is the last thing I would call it. Every animation seems to have horrible lag on my iPhone 5.

This early build doesn't seem to be optimized very much.

Yep, it's much speedier than iOS 6 on my Verizon iPhone 5, and I'm coming from the bias "WTF are you doing Apple?!". Like I said, the only performance issues I've noticed are with the parallax scrolling background, it's still a bit stuttery.

The same can be said for Windows Phone.

That nobody in the real world has actually tried it yet?

Fair enough. But I remember when Apple first made the iTunes icons monochromatic, and everyone complained that they'd no longer be able to distinguish the icons. People seemed to adapt pretty quickly though.

This is because no one gives Windows Phone a chance. I'm now a Windows Phone user and I don't see myself going back to iOS/Android any time soon.

> That nobody in the real world has actually tried it yet?

Surely someone somewhere has bought a Windows phone ;)

I have one :). I will say that it's surprisingly a lot better than I thought it would be.

I haven't met a person yet who hates their windows phone.

Some things, like the alarm app, really annoy me, but overall the interface is nice. If only there were more third party apps, we don't even have facebook or skype on the marketplace my phone supports (which is hardware locked dammit!).

Ah, I only have experience in the US store where there is Facebook, Skype and a ton of other good stuff. I suppose its only a matter of time, but for now I agree that is kind of unacceptable .

The app ecosystem is the only thing that's really missing and I tell my friends; If I had Instagram and Googles ecosystem of apps, I'd be set.

We have full-featured instagram (3rd party app call led instance), we have a Facebook app and you can definitely upload pictures, and there's even a snapchat client too. But I agree, the app situation is undoubtedly worse on WP. I don't use very many apps personally, so it works for me.

Not all markets have these, and some phones are hard coded to specific markets even if unlocked.

I wish I could even get that far. I hear that the WP8 app ecosystem in the states isn't that bad, but I can't experience it.

Really, all I want is a phone that will upload pictures directly to Facebook.

Yeh, I have a friend that went from a Lumia 920 to an S3 and then an HTC One and he want's to come back. I live in San Francisco so I get joked a lot about my phone until it's time to take a picture :)

I love my new Nokia 928. Windows 8 phone is really smooth and everything can be accomplished using one hand. iOS 7 also looks pretty nice so it will fun comparing the two when it gets released.

Isn't the whole point of flat design replacing the loud superfluousness of skeuomorphism's textures with equally jarring psychedelic colour schemes? That's how designers prove their worth, by adding more stuff, right?

Except neither Android nor WP8 follow that assumption/conclusion.

And neither does iOS 7.

I mean, where do you see the: "jarring psychedelic colour schemes"?

If anything the grant-parent brings up the example of the Control Center, which is the opposite of that, just a two-color subdued thing.

Sorry, I wasn't really agreeing with any of the GP comment - I think iOS7-UI was exactly what they needed. A very modern refresh and I think it's sharp (and I love Holo and WP8 has a very unique style certainly).

I don't like the background of CC myself, but I think that's actually because they're letting the hue of the homescreen icons below bleed through too much. It's "neat" but I think it's kinda visually gross :S

Agreed. Did they do any kind of usability / legibility studies on the thinner typeface? I mean, I mostly use my phone to read email. Why would they reduce contrast on the default text and make it even harder to read?! Just because you have higher resolution screens, doesn't mean you can get away with a thinner sans serif. What's the point if everyone has to increase the size of the text to read it?

> Agreed. Did they do any kind of usability / legibility studies on the thinner typeface?

No, of course they didn't. Apple is widely acknowledged in the industry as having amateurish design and an utter lack of anything resembling perfectionism or attention to detail.

Seriously, this may be a flop from them, but I cannot comprehend the mindset that would surmise they did no usability testing off a few screenshots.

> Apple is widely acknowledged in the industry as having amateurish design and an utter lack of anything resembling perfectionism or attention to detail.

I would love to see your source on this one, because I never stop hearing the opposite.


If they did usability testing with a wide range of people, I am pretty sure one of them would have leaked the design. I'm not sure how would have done usability testing with non-employees.

> Just because you have higher resolution screens, doesn't mean you can get away with a thinner sans serif.

Yes, it does, actually. As resolution increases, so does the Nyquist frequency, which means you can accurately convey higher-frequency signals. In spatial terms, more resolution means finer lines without aliasing errors.

Surely there is a hard limit on this though (unless we have bionic eyes and/or small expanding robot fingers (like in ghost in the shell (http://youtu.be/PkyZGZRnQb4)))

Certainly, there is. Laser printers print at about 300 dpi and most users can't see any visible pixels there, so at normal reading distance, that seems to be close to the maximum resolution you need to visibly pixel-free from the user's perspective.

Going higher than that probably means thinner blank lines will just appear fainter and not thinner.

Are you seriously asking if Apple did usability testing for a design decision? Really?

Comments with "Really?" on the end are extremely disrespectful, and I see it all the time. Just because something is obvious and common-sense to you, does not mean it is to someone else. Offending someone is not a good form of persuasion. Please consider not doing that in future because you probably do have good ideas, and it would be nice if people heard them.

Speaking of this design, the icons are asymmetric. More so by the unharmonious colour selection. However, the notification centre and animations are well done.

Good point about the 'really?', wasn't trying to get that effect.

Rabino - I'm not sure what you are suggesting here. I'm trying to understand if you are commenting on Apple's well known philosophy of not engaging in any form of end-user design engagement, or whether you believe that a company of Apple's stature would absolutely engage in usability testing.

A lot (many? most?) of Apple's design decisions are made by designers who create the best product, based on a combination of their intuition, design sense, and overriding design principles.

Some application (Podcast App) - have clearly never seen any form of usability testing prior to release.

I've seen more than one poorly designed, poorly executed product go to market with lots of user testing. I'd love to have someone from Apple comment on their design process, because it's really just conjecture that they do or don't usability test their products, but I'm not holding my breath.

I called out the Podcast App because it was unusable by almost everyone who tried it after it shipped. I personally spent 45 minutes trying to graph out on paper the interactions between various channels/tuner, and mastering the finicky little switches on it, to no avail.

I cannot believe such an App had even a single "average" user attempt to use it - it had to have been entirely the product of one or two individuals operating in a vacuum.

Apple has significantly invested in accessibility technologies for iOS and OS X. The tail doesn't wag the dog, but I don't think they'll have out and out ignored accessibility concerns (legibility and usability for larger numbers) after convincing developers to go down that route.

One HN posting I just remembered from a while ago - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4590615

Thinner type and fullscreen layouts make the screen "look bigger" since they're too stubborn to make their phones human sized.

Why don't you wait until you have a freakin' phone in your hand and try it?

Because once the upgrade is installed there's no going back?

Backup your device-specific SHSH signatures for 6.x now!

(Or has Apple closed this hole yet with timestamping?)

Of course you can downgrade. You just can't downgrade after iOS 7 goes gold.

The copy right next to the download link explicitly says you can't. Blogs report otherwise, but that is a very fragile "of course".

Its always been possible, in the past (and now - i believe) you just need to enter dfu mode first, then restore it.

Then use one of your friends that has the developer account, or wait till it's on every phone in the Apple Store. Either way, the point is to reserve judgment until you use it. Just like everything else.

Then why do they show it.

"That is iOS7."

"It appears to be different from iOS6."

"That's an iPhone!"

"I see that Apple made this."

"Well this discussion is getting a little bit too heated for me, I think I will go and reserve my judgement somewhere else for a minute."

There is Apple marketing material they've made available. It's perfectly valid to make judgements from that in my opinion.

It's perfectly invalid to make judgements on usability without using it though.

You can absolutely pass valid judgement on quality of usability on sight alone.

If I showed you a picture of a 4 foot wide ship wheel and said I was going to install it in my Mazda Miata - you'd know instantly that it would be unusable, right? How about a screen-shot of a text editor that only shows you one giant character at a time?

Even as we move away from the ridiculous end of the spectrum of examples - you can know how usable something is based on past experience with similar environments.

I'd launch that on Kickstarter.

Those are screenshots of a beta! How categorically can you judge something until you have the final release in front of you?

One of the big reasons to put something through a beta is so people will judge it before its final release

Well, watching the "in action" videos on an iPhone is pretty darn close.

You do realize you are on a web site designed for commentary on tech matters?

Tech commentary used to be more more than baseless hipster-y. Oh the good ol' days.

Because then there would be no comments here :)

Those who knew said it would be "polarizing".


Regardless of what they had put out, is anyone doubting that the top comment of the most upvoted HN comment would be a groanfest?


That's a pretty easy prediction though, the previous skeuomorphism was already polarizing and thus removing it would also be polarizing.

the white text on light backgrounds is unbelievable

They could have at least added a little shadow or something, like they would usually. I don't know what they were thinking. I usually trust Apple with these design matters.

seems pretty inconsiderate toward those with impaired vision. there's little contrast, lots of light gray on white with pastel accents.

I guess that's why for people with impaired vision, there's always been a High Contrast mode in iOS

They will never see the button to activate it !

Sssssshhhh, let the people whinge. They need to complain about something, don't contradict them with facts.

It gets worse. In their design guidelines they say that instead of visual cues for buttons you should use COLORS. As a colorblind dude I'm fucking apalled.

If only we could get great quality text on all OSX retina display's now.. All my apps lag behind with blurry text on my macbook pro

yeah, the thin, light text didn't look great during the presentation, but i can't imagine they wouldn't test it in bright sunlight/normal mobile phone situations, so I'm gonna wait til its actually out and in front of me to judge.

I'm inside and I find it straining to read the labels of the four dock apps. Of course I know what they are, but I always find low-contrast, Helvetica Superthin designer porn very insulting to the user. Either show something or don't.

That could look just fine on a phone when looking hard to read on a projector in a auditorium

I watched the key note with my girl friend - she is technical but still very much has a girls perspective and can be taken as a good representation of her friends.

She flipping loves this redesign and I'm pretty certain my not techie iPhone/iPad using parents will too - and that, is was really matters to Apple, that 98% of their market will love it and not just the 2% of us who build for their platform.

I like most of it, the colours are a bit much for me but in the main it will be refreshing to move on to something new. I have been toying with moving to Android but this redesign is enough to keep me on board - if I'm going to have to learn a new OS I may as well plump for the one most similar to what I already know

she is technical but still very much has a girls perspective

You take issue with the assumption that "being technical" may lead you to a less gender specific view of tech?

Or do you take issue with gender specific viewpoints in general?

In either case, simply quoting an excerpt is fairly pointless, as individual readers will make their own assumption, as I have that you did so because you have a problem with the statement.

I won't point out just how much is wrong with the excerpt that OP has quoted (because HN is a gender-troll breeding ground unworthy of my time), but you should definitely research gender-based descrimination. It will make you a better person and a more successful leader!

    "because HN is a gender-troll breeding ground unworthy of my time"
It's pretty impressive to discount the views of thousands of other people and pontify yourself in the same sentence - all while adding nothing to the conversation too!

I'm going to assume you meant this as an aside, and not in response to my comment, as to do otherwise would be... uncharitable of me.

I believe there are interpretations of the OP that are not discriminatory or sexist, assuming you believe there can be any difference in the point of view of a particular gender given the culture they are brought up in.

I believe it's our responsibility as participants in the discussion to attempt to understand one another before levying charges, not only because it's the charitable thing to do, but because I wholeheartedly believe it leads to better, more rational discourse.

To do otherwise leads to, to paraphrase you, a gender-troll breeding ground unworthy of our time.

Also, it seems borderline crazy to think you can judge how well the colors will work from a screenshot.

I've never thought a screenshot of a mobile device's screen felt even remotely like holding the thing in my hand.

If you have an iPhone you can basically see how it looks already; just go to apple.com and watch the example videos from your phone.

  I've never thought a screenshot of a mobile device's screen felt even remotely like holding the thing in my hand.
Exactly why it's foolish to only test mobile development on the Simulator/Emulators. I never use the Simulator for app development - it's not even remotely close to the same experience.

Agreed, my "the colours are a bit much for me" is an initial reaction. I'm sure my opinion will change once I get it in my hand as will many others I'm sure

On my old feature phone, I switched from the red color theme to the blue every other week. It looked good every single time just because it was different.

(Of course, nothing under the hood has changed. So all the reasons for going Android are still valid.)

I am the 2% and I still love it

What is a "girls perspective" ?

has to be a homerun.

the last time the entire neckbeard web went apeshit like that was when they announced the iPad. and the iPhone before that. practically all forums are useless right now, including here.

guess that a lot of people also only see the screenshot, have not watched the screencast. iOS looks different in movement, the animations, parallax effect, etc. all add up.

the under the hood stuff is super, multitasking, app updates, per app vpn, etc. like christmas.

iOS7 will trigger a redesign of our own iPad app, it is a welcome agent of change as our (corporate) customers will not be able to hold these upgrades to iOS back as they did with Windows.

The nuts and bolts do indeed look pretty exciting. I can't wait to put it on my dev iPad tonight and start hacking away on my app.

Unlike my competition, I went 'flat' out of necessity when I launched last year (I found I could write 'bezierPathWithRoundedRect' a lot easier than I could draw a button in PixelMator). Who knows, maybe my app will look fresher in an iOS 7 context. It already looks utterly different to its competition (synthesizer apps), which are universally retro and skeuomorphic. Thanks to Apple for vindicating my laziness!

(Apologies to real designers: I do know there's more to flat design than not bothering to draw textures).

The beta is only for the iPhone/iPod Touch.

Not available on iPad yet.

Just got home and found that out; shame, but I don't mind waiting.

The choice of colors and gradients look terrible. They made iOS look worse. They swung too far away from skeuomorphic design. Even the art on the icons, without considering the colors, look like an amateur drew them. Look at the SDK icon:


That is ugly. So is the iTunes icon, so is the Safari icon. Not a fan.

Skeuomorphic vs. flat is a red herring. Either one can be tastefully or tastelessly done. Today's iOS 7 unveil was unfortunately the latter.

The sad truth is: once Steve Jobs passed on, the quality of designs coming out of Apple started to decline. The ousting of Scott Forstall and the rumored eschewing of anything resembling skeuomorphic design was heralded as the coming of a great new era, however now that we can see the first results it's apparent that Apple is no longer capable of producing great design at all, no matter where it lands on the skeu vs. flat spectrum. The new designs are still as ugly as the Forstall-era stuff; it's just a different kind of ugly.

It makes me really sad, because the original iPhone was an incredible triumph that led the way of the industry for the next several years. I fear we will not see something of such high quality for a very long time after this. Nothing will change until there is once again someone in place at the top of Apple's hierarchy who can enforce the notion of good taste, regardless of the current fashion or style.

They tried to get away from skeuomorphism, but still some remains. Just look at PassBook or the ugly 3D browsing through tabs.

The whole design simply is not well thought out. This has clearly been rushed, which is not something I expect from Apple. If iOS 7 was leaked, people wouldn't believe it's the real thing. Sadly, it is.

I'm staying with Windows Phone.

I didn't know what Microsoft meant in their description of Windows Phone as "Authentically Digital" until I just saw the ugly bombshell Apple just left.

The new iOS looks half-baked, they can't do anything too bold, else they lose their metaphors, yet they can't do anything radical like Microsoft did without redefining their platform and re-educating their users.

Run away. Fast.

>Run away. Fast.

Towards an Applestore? I've been using an iPhone since 3GS, and this is the best release ever. Both in features and looks.

You don't seem to understand how design works. Tell me you like those new icons.

>You don't seem to understand how design works.

Yes. Along with those high profile designers in Cupertino.

>Tell me you like those new icons.

You don't seem to understand how design works.

It's not about "liking" the icons. Icons are not pretty pictures for you to "like" or not. It's about how the thing works, and if they fit their role.

"Liking them" has little to do with it. If you check top downloaded themes for Gnome, KDE, or Windows theme managers, you'll find out that people "like" all kinds of BS junk.

Perhaps if you like unicorns puking all over your phone...


I'm not sure if flipping through 3D browser tabs mimics a real-life affordance.

It's a card index. (I happen to think it's a decent metaphor, but whatever, it's Internet Hate Week today.)

>They tried to get away from skeuomorphism, but still some remains. Just look at PassBook or the ugly 3D browsing through tabs.

What's ugly about those tabs?

And what's ...skeuomorphic about them? They remind you of real life huge rectangles with webpages on them that you browse through 3D space at home?

>They tried to get away from skeuomorphism, but still some remains. Just look at PassBook or the ugly 3D browsing through tabs.

What's ugly about those tabs?

And what's ...skeuomorphic about them? They remind you of real life huge rectangles with webpages on them that you browse through 3D space at home?

>The whole design simply is not well thought out. This has clearly been rushed, which is not something I expect from Apple.

BS, if they didn't make any drastic changes the same people would say "oh, they didn't go far enough" etc.

The new UI looks extremely polished and well thought out. And it wasn't just a design overhaul, they changed tons of behaviour and added lots of features too.

>I'm staying with Windows Phone.

Well, if you already have a Windows Phone, I don't think you're the kind of person that would appreciate iOS, anyway.

> Well, if you already have a Windows Phone, I don't think you're the kind of person that would appreciate iOS, anyway.

That's an arrogant and elitist thing to say. Your iWhatever doesn't make you a better human being, it just makes you think you have the right to tell that to others.

Don't be an iAsshole.

Totally agree, when you see the screenshots all you see is white. I understand moving away from skeuomorphism but it doesn't feel distinctive anymore.

As opposed to the Generic Blue Square icons Apple used for everything previously?

iOS < 7 had totally non-distinctive icons for Safari, Mail, App Store, Weather and Stocks. I don't think a lack of distinction compared to previous editions is a valid complaint here.

The more I see screenshots, the less I like it. I agree the icons look amateur. The padding inside the edges of the icons is too small. I also don't like the color palette, they are far too in-your-face and gaudy.

The pictures of iOS7 on the white iPhone look like those iPhone fakes from Asia.

>Look at the SDK icon. That is ugly.

It's ugly because nobody gives a fuck about the SDK icon. It's not even an icon anyway -- there's no "SDK" app.

It's just a picture they put on the slides to represent the new SDK.

Don't you think if you want to make sweeping statements you'd better start with the icons people will actually see everyday? How about the home screen?

The Settings icon is terrible as well, compared to the current one. http://cl.ly/PYkr

yea, I might faint if I look at it long enough.

The Mail and Newsstand are my least favorite

The icons are awful. They are midway between photorealistic and pictograms, ends up looking childish, tacky, unpolished.

John Ive has a minimalist approach on hardware that works really well, because the hardware is not at the center, it's the software. But on UIs, you can't be too minimal, since you only have one sense to work with (vision), so you have to work with strokes, textures, depth and color (the full gamut, you're not limited to primary colors).

It has better usability in many areas, but it was a bad idea making a 180 degree turn on the UI design with Ive at the wheel. Jobs would never let this out so unpolished.

This SDK icon is only to be used for the presentation.

They certainly have gone for a very bright look.

Maybe they left some rubber duckies in there to remove later followed by huge applauses ;)

I like the overall new style, however a bit of redefining here and there would be good, like some of the icons. Great update.

Strange, am I the only one who likes it?

Parallax is a nice touch.

At first glance, iOS 7 looks like a hybrid of Android and WebOS. Especially the card multi-tasking approach.

Notification center is cleaner but the colors are all over the place.

Lock screen is pure Android (animated wallpapers, etc.)

They might have made it too flat actually. A lot of text everywhere (the user will definitely get confused on what to tap and what not to tap) Cupertino might be used to UI but a lot of "ordinary" people are still pretty clueless when it comes to interacting with devices whether physical or virtual.

The Safari icon is simply atrocious, although the new Mac Pro looks like a really expensive trash can - I CANNOT believe Ive designed that product. It is just godawful.

Flashlight app? OK cool (RIP Flashlight app people)

Activation lock is a neat feature, probably a top-5.

Oh yeah, and photo filters - PHOTO FILTERS!!! They even included a square Instagram-like camera UI. Are you kidding me?

Apple did a great job of selling a BRAND much less so than selling great new products and features.

Activation lock is definitely the coolest bit in there, but from a technical perspective, what does that mean? You're still talking about client-enforced security; will jailbreaks (/similar classes of exploits) be able work around it?

This one is a big question mark, since it means that the device is either really locked down, or activation lock is just a marketing bullet point that won't mean much in reality. I'm not sure which of those choices I prefer.

Not sure. They might have (assuming) built it into the firmware... But there are always ways to get around things.

And what about resale? Will I need to specifically transfer my ownership via Apple?

That was my second thought. Seems like a great way to screw people over via Craigslist.

>They might have made it too flat actually. A lot of text everywhere (the user will definitely get confused on what to tap and what not to tap)

Yea, that's one thing which Skeuomorphism does well is I know instantly what I can interact with and what I can't. I still may not know what to 'tap-and-hold' but at least I know what scrolls, what turns, what swipes.

> Yea, that's one thing which Skeuomorphism does well is I know instantly what I can interact with and what I can't.

It does it well when it is done well.

Then there are elements like the red book mark in Contacts. where you think - what the hell is that meant to do?

Apple had certainly gone too far in some cases (the Podcasts app is my personal favorite with a reel-to-reel acting as UI), but many apps were finally striking a good balance. The Google Search iOS app, for example, uses dimension and light beautifully to represent what's part of the chrome, what's active, what's tappable, etc. Facebook is also finding a decent rhythm.

I thought the same thing. WebOS or maybe an Asha phone from Nokia.

Agree 100% with you on the Mac Pro. It's a novel design, but I have no idea why they went with AMD processors instead of the upcoming Ivy Bridge E Xeon E5s, which will run circles around the best AMD has to offer...

The new Mac Pro is Xeon E5. The GPU is AMD, not the CPU.

What? They did use Xeons, they said so right in the keynote.

The Verge's liveblog was confused, they saw the AMD GPU logos and thought they were talking about the CPUs.

I don't know why someone would use a liveblog when they offered a very capable livestream. Also quite the rookie mistake considering the AMD logo they showed had "FireGL" written right on it.

It wasn't available on Windows, which many of us work on. Also, some work networks are more restrictive and block it.

It was, just not via any typical Windows browser because of their lack of support for HLS. Simply copying the URL into VLC would have worked.

Livestream from Apple was OSX-only.

More like Safari-only. I couldn't watch it on Chrome on OSX (unless I changed my user agent to Safari)

Whether or not HLS is supported by Chrome is quite confusing. I'm not surprised they blocked it at a User Agent level (which Google does all the time for their services, Reverse Image Search & Maps being good examples).

While Chrome has supported HLS for a WebM backend for some time now, documentation on their support for HLS with an MP4 backend is unclear. It seems to work now as of Chrome 26, but that wasn't always the case. It also works fine on Android devices past 3.2 because of Google TV.

Seriously, that was a little absurd. Why exactly does Apple want to limit its audience by only allowing people using Safari on OSX to watch it? I doubt all the markets are so saturated that every potential iPhone, Macbook, and Mac Pro customer is already on OS X.

If I didn't happen to have a Macbook as a work PC for the summer, I'd have missed the Macbook Air announcement. But god, do I want one.

It's not about limiting the audience. HTTP Live Streaming is just a better technology. Watching the keynote it was blatantly obvious. I have more outright pauses in the average Youtube video than an HTTP Live Stream. It required some rapid and noticeable quality changes but I would much prefer that over the video simply dropping out entirely.

The technology is there and can be implemented: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_Live_Streaming

Most just choose not to. That's not Apple's fault, nor is it a reason to fall back to a worse technology that degrades the experience for all watching to help out those on other platforms.

For the record, it wasn't at all limited to "Safari on OS X". Any device or program that properly implements HTTP Live Streaming could easily view the keynote. Apple listed Safari on OS X, the Apple TV, iPod touch, iPhone and iPad as all being verified, but other devices supported it too.

I guess he confused that with the GPUs.

I was following The Verge because my live stream cut out on my AppleTV. Sorry about my confusion...

It's novel, absolutely. But man is that thing ugly!

-- Comes with an Intel XEON E5

AMD GPUs, not CPUs.

I realize that a lot of people will be focusing on the UI redesign for iOS 7, but the standout thing for me was automatic updates from the App Store. I think it's a huge thing for developers.

One of the biggest pains I think we face as developers is software fragmentation. So far Apple has done a very good job of having users update versions of iOS and keeping consistent with hardware specifications - it's probably one of the top three main drivers for why I develop primarily for iOS (sometimes solely for iOS). I'm thinking this reinforces that build-for-iOS-first mentality for developers. If the quality of apps is such a large factor in what's keep users loyal to the platform, this is an important point.

Yeah although a big question is: what will that do to battery life? People who install lots of gimmicky, frequently-updated apps and forget about them after trying them once will suddenly be at a loss as to why their device suddenly doesn't hold a charge as long as it did before.

I fear the auto-update feature combined with multitasking will drastically reduce the typical battery life of an iOS device.

Nothing indicated that updates would be instantaneous. It can wait until the phone is plugged in. They also seem to have gone out of their way to minimize battery impact. Apps lifecycles are still controlled by the system, which can presumably decide to suspect those activities if things get dire.

That's very true. Though, given the volume of apps and the frequency of updates, I doubt it creates nearly as big of a battery suck than constant background running apps do (I'm looking at you Facebook).

Another point is that unless updates are being pushed constantly, I don't see why it would suddenly kill battery life more so than if they were pulled - it is just the timing of when to do updates (over time or "update all" as a batch - I doubt people actually distribute their updates according to battery usage).

I couldn't agree with you more. There was huge version fragmentation for my apps, and this is going to totally take care of that. I had been thinking about doing some kind of hybrid web view thing to compensate for the lack of automatic updates. This is a huge win for me personally as well because I have like 24 app updates all the time.

Still, it would be nice to have more composability in apps. I'm working on a UI plugin / framework for apps and I really wish that I could do incremental updates without developers having to redeploy their entire app. If only you could include app dependencies so that when you downloaded an app that used Dropbox, for example, it would download Dropbox too. That way, when Dropbox wanted to update their SDK, they could just push an update to their app instead.

I've been using the hybrid native/web approach to circumvent the downloads as well. I didn't go so far as push actual UI a la HTML to load in a webview, but I made dynamic native UIs that changed according to certain responses made on startup (think sending a news update with a picture url loaded into a UILabel/UIImageView)

The composability point is interesting. I like the idea of dependencies, and I've used url schemes to do it. You can test for whether or not an app is installed (given that it has a scheme) by testing invoking - (BOOL)canOpenURL:(NSURL *)url from UIApplication. Something interesting would be for Apple to require that each app have a custom URL scheme, and possibly generate them from a unique app identifier.

Hand in the air, I don't have an iPhone. Really, they only just introduced auto-updates on iOS? Wow...

> the standout thing for me was automatic updates from the App Store

Also makes a lot of sense from a user's perspective. Click-to-update is so last decade.

Except for limited banwidth connections. I don't want my copy of Baldurs gate on my iPad deciding to update itself while connected to a 3G hotspot

It's not hard to have switch somewhere in the settings, enabling/disabling auto-updates over cellular.

Note that the (in the beta at least) the auto-update feature can be turned off in the Settings\General\Background App Refresh page

I actually like the new look, a few of the icons seem off, but I bet they grow on me. The transparency and layers makes a ton of sense to me. Really love control center, I can't wait to have easy access to my brightness. New Photos app looks amazing. Airdrop will be fantastic. New background / multitasking is a huge win.

Biggest let down, no inter-app communication improvements. I think that's a huge problem on iOS now, one I was hoping would be addressed.

The control center on the lockscreen is pretty hilarious to me. I can't wait to put my friends' iphones into airplane mode when they aren't looking, and see how long it takes them to figure it out.

Totally. If they had announced a back button, I would have been ecstatic.

Can you please explain why transparency makes sense to you?

Maybe I won't like it in practice, but they sold me on "providing context."

You can barely see anything through that. Watch the parts where hes scrolling through photos, it's just a massive blur.

Olde' Vista Aero did this better.

Aero Glass showed exactly why UI translucency isn't a good idea. It made every single window title bar noisy and hard to read.

At least iOS 7 cranks up the blur radius.

Apple is continuously playing catch up with iOS rather than innovating like they were known for in the Jobs era.

Most of these features are just copies of other popular apps/operating systems that came out over a year ago.

Obligatory flamebait response to your flamebait comment:

Android is a great R&D department. As long as it takes Apple less than three years to develop and deploy a feature they copy, Apple will still have it in the field on their devices before Android vendors do!

My comment isn't flamebait - I genuinely think iOS has played catch up to Android for the past 2-3 years.

But ya, vendors taking forever to update Android is a big problem. That's why I stick with Nexus devices.

No doubt they will still be promoted as revolutionary features that will take the market by storm.

> revolutionary features that will take the market by storm

It is indeed much simpler to lead a revolution that has already happened.

More like catchup to the jailbreak tweaks that came out 3 years ago.

Jailbreak tweaks are cool, but they certainly don't have the focus on battery life that Apple's implementations offer.

Couldn't agree more with this statement.

WebOS + Android into one and the fanboys clapping

Really, you don't see the refinements?

At first glance the multitasking UI looks like Palm's. But, if you listen to the keynote there is a whole lot of logic built on how it's done.

Unlike my understanding of Palm/Android the apps are not continuously running and draining battery. Instead the OS chooses when to give the app cycles. E.g. the heuristic explained is something like: The radio is on and there is a strong connection, the phone just went into standby, so before powering down the radio give the most frequently used apps a few cycles to update their content.

To me that seems utterly brilliant. My phone retains its battery life while the apps stay up to date. To me that is brilliant design and why I appreciate Apple products.

> To me that seems utterly brilliant. My phone retains its battery life while the apps stay up to date. To me that is brilliant design and why I appreciate Apple products.

Apple is a lot like the old Mercedes: simultaneously innovative and conservative. Mercedes used to have a lot of new features in R&D years before the competition, but would still roll some things out after the competition, after they got it right.

I'm not sure whether you've had a look at the API diffs from 6.0 to 7.0 (or for that matter, 5.0 to 6.0) but they introduce a lot of incredible functionality with each release.

I code on competing platforms and the only one I truly enjoy creating on is iOS — I can make things move, manipulate video and audio, images and typography in ways that are simply not possible on other platforms.

If you play with the scrolling in the new messages app, for example, you will notice discrete physics and collision for each UI element within each table cell. It feels fantastic to scroll through. The new UIDynamics APIs are innovative and so simple to use.

Irrespective of how you feel about the consumer facing side of the OS, the developer facing side is really a thing of beauty (with the occasional warts like Core Data over iCloud, and Core Data migration models).

"Good artists borrow. Great artists steal."

The more I read comments on HN the more I wonder - what kind of project does the company has to release in order to get a positive comments from HN readers. It just looks like there is a bunch of losers who hate everything that other people do and complain about everything they see, instead of just being happy for something...

> what kind of project does the company has to release in order to get a positive comments from HN readers[?]

A good one?

I really can't believe they released this. The pictures are sometimes full of everything, the colour choices are especially weird (white and blue, why?) and overall I really understand Jobs' and Forstall's vision of the iOS UI better than Ive's.

The color choice is one of the least weird things in this announcement. White and blue have been Apple's (and most of the internet's) go to colors for a decade.

It's basically Helvetica vs Faux Leather. They did say it would be polarizing.


To me, that looks just like the Samsung UI. (yes, Samsung copied the icon layout but you could still tell them apart... now Apple seems to have come the rest of the way to Samsung's side)

Some of that text is so hard on the eyes. How could they not have put a shadow behind the white text?

I can't even read these comments. They swing too wildly from people loving the redesign to hating it. Apple was never, ever, going to be able to live up to everybody's aesthetic standards.

Looks like the "polarizing" prediction was right. Reactions I've seen from most people are either "I love it" or "This is terrible".

I'm going to wait until it's in my hands and can play around with it.

There has been much talk of Microsoft as the model of a floundering corporate, stagnant and lacking leadership.

So, and this is perhaps a small detail, it does seem somewhat interesting, that both Google and now Apple, appear to have adopted Microsoft's flat UI approach.

Wow. Apple basically took all the shitty parts of Google's design philosophy and scaled it to epic proportions of fail.

Take a look at the text screenshot. It is hard to tell where I should touch to start typing. It is hard to tell where the buttons are. Overall, this is incredibly shitty UI.

> Take a look at the text screenshot. It is hard to tell where I should touch to start typing.

My guess is, the text box below the message list, which in the same place as it is in every sms app on every modern phone platform, and which is the exact same shape as the text box was in the old iOS sms app (http://i.imgur.com/jSGZADn.png), and which has the word 'send' next to it.

That's just a guess, though. I could be wrong.

oh, but with transparency you get to see the context :))

Looks a lot like Windows Metro interface.

That's what I was thinking. I've had WinMo8 for about 6 months and a lot of the interface reminded me of applications on my device. It was WinMo8 with a splash of Android.

edit: And Apple made Bing the default search engine! http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/10/apple-slips-default-bing-in...

My thoughts exactly.

It's like Google's UI and Microsoft's Metro had a one night stand, then 9 months later dropped it off at the front-steps of the Jailbreak Orphanage.

Some here have said that iOS 7 has gone too far in the "flat" direction, but my feeling is that the move is an intentional repositioning on Apple's part. Removing most of the "texture" from the user interface has (outside of aesthetic concerns) been done primarily so that it can be added back in a new way in the future.

Ever since I saw this demo video for Senseg [1]:


I've thought long and hard about how Apple might use this in future iOS devices. This clean slate design feels to me like the first step to something more. I personally hope it has a lot to do with haptic feedback as adding another user interface dimension to these types of devices would be incredible.

[1] http://senseg.com/

So, this update might actually get me to switch back to iOS from Android. Anyone else?

I was thinking the exact opposite. I have been thinking about switching to Android for some time now. I think it is safe to say that I'll be switching to Android for sure now. I was not impressed with a lot of the changes to iOS 7 and think a lot of them are down right ugly (icons, blurred background everywhere).

You're gonna switch just because they changed the UI? Aren't all of those new features available on Android? Plus, Google must be cooking some good stuff for next Android, so you should hold your horses :)

The UI I could take or leave. Apps finally being able to process in the background- that's something else. But by and large, it feels like they're catching up to Android, but not surpassing them.

I'm actually curious what would make you switch, considering I didn't see anything they introduced that Android doesn't already have

Not really, I promised myself I won't go back to using iOS as a phone OS. For the next iPad Mini it'll be great but I'll just wait for Paranoid Android to innovate and get the HTC One Mini's successor. I admit though, that Android is going to be behind doing a full revamp like this.

If its any comfort, you can probably get a home screen replacement to look exactly like ios6.

Don't mind the flatness.

As someone who uses their ios devices mostly at night, I'm not looking forward to everything having a white background though.

I wish there was a theme that could be enforced on all apps that could be swapped at appropriate times. You know, like Windows 3.1 in 1990.

Or if something like f.lux[1] was built in from the start. f.lux is the entire reason why I jailbreak my phone.

[1]: http://justgetflux.com

Just use the 'Invert Color' option. Configure Triple Click for it. I use it all the time. And with this new design, it will be even better in this scenario.

Personally, I don't think I will like the super flat design though. They are swinging the pendulum into the other extreme.

I do use that actually. But since there is no standard theme, it still means you will go from dark to light to dark blinding yourself in the process. Also triple click is hard to do right consistently, and since I have to do it over and over. :/

In theory, the auto setting for brightness should alleviate that problem. There are many apps nowadays that use a white background and I can't say they are too bright at night.

The brightness doesn't go low enough unfortunately on mine. Still I'd prefer grey/sepia on black late-night.

Not liking the design. The flat design mocks that were made by random people on Dribbble are better. The gradient in the mail icon is too much. It's like someone's first design in Photoshop back in 2000.

I was hoping this would be cool to help apple get over the incredibly tired skeumorphism fetish Apple's stuck in.

but seriously meh...

it's like somebody discovered the 2 and 3 color gradient fill in illustrator and called it a day

the new airdrop stuff is cool, but no substitute for a proper intent architecture

and the backgrounds are now all white


1. The multi-tasking, switching between apps thing is exactly as it is in the android. 2. The tabbed view in safari pretty much mimics Chrome

So much for apple creating their own distinctive UI/UX. I don't think you can convince a lot of people that Apple does things differently or 'in their own unque way' that easily with this update for ios. And I say this as someone who owns and develops for iOS only.

Very unimpressed. They put lipstick on a pig. iOS was in need of a big update and this isn't it!

Whatever you wanted it was not what iOS needed.

Feels like KDE4, in a way. I think the graphical approach KDE took with KDE4, with new icons for example, made it look worse. It feels very much like Apple is no longer leading in the design department.

The flat trend was widely expected since Ive's comment, the Windows Aero overlays were kind of ironic in a silly way, a great direction nonetheless.

First feeling when i saw the icons: Shock! I still can't believe they came up with this mix of ios+windows+android UI. The whole thing looks like the phone of a 16y old girl. with candy on top. and syrup. As for the OS part, i think i no longer understand versioning.

But all the pundits will still lap this shit design up ...because its Apple. They've got some of the best designers on Earth, I just can't believe this is what they came up with for UI.

So they sold the 4th generation iPod Touch up until twelve days ago, but they won't support iOS 7 on it?


I'm sorry, is this windows phone ?

This looks like it's going to make a lot of nerds angry.

Everything Apple does always makes a lot of nerds angry.

I still can't get over the choice to push in Bing. I know that both companies are hoping that the collaboration is going to equal good things for both of them but really, it is likely going to go the other way.

That's another really baffling choice. Microsoft must be paying Apple a bundle in kickbacks in order to make Bing the default search. Trying to unite against Google? Yahoo and Bing did the same thing. I'm sorry, Bing still sucks, no matter how their commercials try to convince me otherwise.

All I have to say about the redesign is: What looks cheap in still may seem anything but when its animated on a retina screen with the weight of the device in your hand.

Even now, it looks a lot better in video than in still.

It appears that they still haven't changed the keyboard layout. You'd think in 7 revisions that they'd make some adjustments to the keyboard. I am not a fan of the always uppercase.

I can't believe everyone is going negative about this. In my opinion, the skeuomorphic aspects of IOS (and OSX) are among the biggest technology related annoyances I experience in 2013.

Imagine if Google Voice appeared as an antique telephone in the lower corner of the gMail app, and if each message was displayed as an envelope addressed with comic sans.

Flat design is simply, objectively better. The version shown today will likely evolve subtlety as Apple puts its unique stamp on flat.

I love the update on their website too... They've managed to flatten everything.

Still not moving back from Android (love my Nexus 4, 7, and 10) but this will be nice to play with on the iPad Mini I picked up a couple of weeks ago so I can stay current on iOS and help Mom with stuff remotely.

It's interesting to see how iOS and Android each go back-and-forth swiping features from each other (or from popular accessory apps; Apple's the worst at doing that).

I really like it....

I suppose coming from a art background as well as a computer science background gives me a different perspective.

Its a good way of keeping up with the new trend of flat design without losing the iOS look and feel, my biggest fear for Apple is that they would have made a rip off of windows mobile, but here they haven't, they have made a really good balance.

The biggest surprise for me was the apparent introduction of a "double tap" action to switch between apps in the new multitasking view. I couldn't understand what the advantage of that was over a single tap.

Has Apple used "double tap" in iOS before? It seems like something they'd studiously avoided in the past.

Double and triple click have been used for quite a while now http://www.flickr.com/photos/adurdin/4944720731/lightbox/

I don't mean the home button. I mean tapping the screen. I just remembered it's used for the keyboard capslock, anywhere else?

I don't think that's double tapping, I think it's just not picking up taps properly while the items are still in motion due to the momentum in the scroll. The first time he seems to be able to single tap.

Double clicking the home button brings up the recently opened apps.

The black iPhone is dead.

Two things I hope to see in Android here, multitasking UI and tabbed notifications.

After Google poached WebOS staff, their card UI is really nice and pretty Palm-like. For some reason they haven't shamelessly stolen the WebOS multitasking UI like Apple just have. I really hope they do, because it'd fit Android perfectly.

That notification bar is really nice too, although it seems to be missing quick actions like Android has. 'Today' and 'missed' tabs seem like a good idea though, I'd like to see them on Android, and I'm sure Google could use Now to make the 'today' one seriously useful.

What do you mean? Android has a perfectly servicable multitasking UI already.


Heh, this comment failed to post when HN was constantly erroring, and I posted a much more toned down version. I just prefer the orientation and layout of the webOS and iOS ones, especially on a tablet.

This honestly just looks like they are taking a bunch of apps, each with their own individual uses, and deciding which ones they want to include as part of the core package and over glorifying their uses. I can see a lot of these features being cool at first, but quickly to be turned off and remained unused in order to conserve battery. Nice presentation and seems like it'll do well selling to the general public, but doesn't seem to amount to much actual material benefits when you think it through. Of course, this is all still speculation so we shall see.

A couple of things after having played around with it on my iphone 5 for a while.

1. It "feels" slower, might be because it's not 100% optimized yet, but what I suspect is causing this feeling is the new animiations. Everything just feels sluggish, kind of like using an android feels to me.

2. It appears harder to locate things in apps.

3. The paralax animiations arent all that obvious and doesnt add as much depth as I initially thought it would.

4. Some of the app redesigns are really nice (address book for instance).

5. The thin font is really hard to see sometimes.

6. The new design of the notification view is really nice.

That's it for now.

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