After continually using the new version for the past few weeks, I’ve begun to shape an image for the future of Apple design. And the results are in.
When I think of what to write about iOS 7, I return to Don Draper’s describing nostalgia: delicate but potent. The simple language. Text transcending graphics. Iconography serving a universal language. The new interface is genuine to touch input. Little nooks and crannies of design like background blurs, 3D and parallax effects, as well as sweeping zoom and pinch animations. iOS 7 emphasizes user control through its restrained design while bringing a dose of realism to my iPhone.
It’s also incredible how my old device is receiving a new lease on life in speed and design. Speed is given directly to the user. Every tap, every touch enables control of your productivity. Press an icon and you can be sure it loads quickly. Apple’s built in apps are carefully executed, requiring less taps and showing more information. You are engaged and commanding of your device with your action.
But more importantly, Jony Ive and the team really honed in on the design. Due to the overhaul to the interface, it isn’t just faster, it feels faster. For example, when you first launch the multi-task switcher, you zoom out and see an overview of your recent apps. A swift flick and you push away any app that isn’t needed. Swipe slowly through screenshots or quickly through icons, get to the next app, and transition to the next job. It’s functional but also empowering.
Apple’s restraint in design creates a perception of control of your device, even if you are limited in your flexibility. It makes you treat your phone even more of a companion. Whether I’m on the train listening to some new tracks or reading an article on Instapaper or sending a tweet, the tasks don’t feel clouded by operating system. You are not encased in a box between the status bar. Your app has become truly yours.
The future of design will be focused on bringing human qualities to material objects. Feelings are a requirement when it comes to design. You must design emotionally as well as aesthetically. And iOS 7 drives this point home. I feel more connected and in control of my phone than ever. It feels tangible and personal. It’s an extension of me.
Ultimately, the highest praise I can give iOS 7 is that it’s the first version that feels just right on my phone. The new version speaks volumes of well-crafted, foward-thinking design and engineering.
It’s a pleasure to use and I applaud Apple for continuing to lead in design innovation.