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First Impressions of Apple’s “Flat” New iOSAfter weeks of rumors that design-guru Jony Ive was developing at “flatter” iOS operating system, Apple revealed the revamped software at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. Noting that it is “the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone,” iOS 7 features a minimalist look, more intuitive controls and an all new dashboard, along with dozens of other features. Early returns indicate Apple hit a home run with the update. That’s good news for the Cupertino-based company on the heels of research firm Canaccord Genuity’s report that indicated Samsung smartphones outsold iPhones in May.

Available in the fall (presumably with a new iPhone), iOS 7 is Apple’s first mobile release of 2013. Rumors of iPhone’s demise are greatly exaggerated, and with iOS 7, Ive and co. are out to prove it.

Flat Is In

When Steve Jobs introduced the first iPhone in 2007, he unveiled an interface design with life-like detail. Dubbed “skeuomorphic” in the design world, this design promoted Apple’s sensational screen. Users could see the binding on the Contacts app and the second hand on the Clock icon. As Apple released updated versions of its iOS, the display got more detail, until now. With iOS 7, Jony Ive ditched the skeumorphic design for a clean, chic look. In design terms, the new look is “flat,” meaning it features less detail, few 3D graphics and a simpler interface. Proponents of flat design point to Windows Phone as the new trend in design. Cnet.com noted that with the new design, Apple has advanced its commitment to sharp, modern design. Daringfireball.net author John Gruber tweeted, “If you don’t think iOS 7 is beautiful, I don’t know what to say to you.”

Apple drummed up plenty of excitement about the new design. We’ll see if it lasts until Fall.

Not Just a New Coat of Paint

Along with the new look, iOS 7 comes equipped with some exciting, albeit overdue, features. Most notably, the new Control Center provides access to many of the most-used settings on one dashboard. Swipe up from the bottom of the phone to adjust the volume, turn on WiFi and enable Airplane mode. Control Center will save users the time and hassle of sifting through the crowded Settings app. Apple also integrated AirDrop, a file-sharing service previously only available on Mac computers. Multitasking will feature large previews of each app rather than just the small icons, and Siri learned a few new tricks. Now she can search Wikipedia, play a voicemail and increase the brightness settings. Did I say she? Siri is now available as a male or female voice.

Early Speculation About iPhone 5S

With iOS 7 out in the open, the rumor mill shifts to the next iPhone. According to Cnet.com, Apple will follow its established pattern. That means no redesigned iPhone in 2013. Rather, the “Think Different” brand will rely on iOS 7 to give the phone a new feel and make subtle changes to enhance performance. One such change could be an updated screen. While fans may be clamoring for a larger screen to rival HTC and Samsung phones, Apple has always placed a premium on quality over size, so a high-resolution display is more likely. That’s good news for users who watch TV through the DirecTV app, (with a subscription to the service, available at www.ClearTVBundle.com)along with other streaming services. Higher resolution means an even better viewing experience on a phone that already set the bar with its retina display.

image by Janitors

 

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
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