Apple iOS 7 – the fireplace, blanket and hot chocolate have been stripped away

I’ve heard at least one tech columnist refer to the new Apple iOS 7 as looking like the user interface fell into a “bucket of clown makeup.” Now while I have to agree that the new interface is vastly different from its predecessor is this really an improvement? I understand that Apple wants to achieve minimalism in its products and this is definitely a step in that direction. Gone are lines and the look and feel of a pad of paper when using the “Notes” native app.

apple ios 7
apple ios 7

As a long time iPhone user it feels to me like something is missing, something familiar. You know that feeling that you get in the dead of winter when you cuddle up with a blanket in front of a fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate and a good show on the TV. To me it feels like the fireplace, blanket and hot chocolate have been stripped away.

When all I see is a white expanse in the Notes app I keep asking myself what’s missing and it’s the ruled paper look of the app. Personally it seems like the app is unfinished now. The other comparison I’m making is that Apple is copying the Windows Metro app look and feel. Take for example the Mail native app, many of the lines and dividers are gone in lieu of minimalism. Perhaps when I’m feeling sentimental I could always pull out my iPad 1 to look at the old and familiar interface though! But enough about the detractors as I would like to reflect on what has improved and the positives.

I like the fact that I can get spotlight from anywhere on any of the home screens by simply swiping down in the middle. This is a nice change and gets me quickly

apple ios 7
apple ios 7

to where I need to go. I also like the fact that I can swipe down on the lock screen to access my notifications and swipe up from the lock screen to see a bunch of other commonly used apps such as music, stopwatch, calculator and camera. The new wallpapers are also very nice and add to the sereneness of the new user interface. Another feature I really like is the new multitasking. This one was long overdue and Apple was falling behind here as vendors like Microsoft and Android were offering cleaner multitasking usability. AirDrop also sounds like a great feature as I often end up texting photos to friends with iPhones close by.

I’ve heard about a number of people suffering from bricked iPhones and so before taking on the task of updating my phone I did the following (which I cobbled together from various posts and forums):

  • Backed up and synced my iPhone with iTunes.
  • Synced my photos and videos with iPhoto and then deleted all from my iPhone to free up space.
  • Went into Settings > General > Usage and deleted any old unnecessary apps and app data which may have been taking up valuable space.
  • Updated iTunes to 11.1.x
  • Downloaded iOS 7 using the Download Only option.
  • apple ios 7
    apple ios 7

    Ensured that I had enough free space on my iPhone as issues related to bricking were happening in many cases because there were only a few MB of free space. At last check I had 15+ GB free space so no issues there.

  • Once the download completed I plugged my iPhone back into my iMac and updated via the update button in iTunes.
  • Proceeded to update my apps as they became available.

 

All went as planned and I was able to update my phone without any bricking issues. How about you? Have you had a chance to check out iOS 7? Let me know what you encountered on your upgrade journey.

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