Following the unveiling of iOS 7 at WWDC 2013 earlier this week, there’s been a great deal of criticism hurled at Apple, much of it coming from some of their most loyal devotees. I have to say that I disagree with most of what is being said. By and large, the most unanimous hatred is focused on the design of the new icons. Personally, I’m really pleased with them. Look at the old camera icon next to the new one:
The old icon looks totally bizarre to me now. It’s much more a disembodied cyborg’s eyeball than a camera icon. The new one in iOS 7 is simple and clean. It’s going to be much easier to find when people need to quickly snap a photo. The Verge’s Joshua Topolski, who threw the whole kit and caboodle decisively under the bus, called it “…shockingly basic, and more childish than elegant.” I generally enjoy Josh’s commentary, but here I fully disagree.
After watching the full two-hour keynote and letting it soak in over the past 48 hours, there was one moment that struck me as troublesome. When Craig Federighi demoed the new Weather app, he cheerily explained one function that Apple should revisit. It happened when he tapped on the temperature to reveal detailed weather conditions:
It’s one thing to simplify a user interface and modernize its appearance, but when you take the leap of removing visual controls altogether, in my opinion, you’ve gone too far. Here, the user is forced to learn where hidden features reside, and the only way to find them is with dumb luck. Everyday features shouldn’t be easter eggs. This will result in frustration, and the all-important user experience will take a real hit.