iOS 7 Upgrade: good, bad and worth it

IMG_2469Apple released iOS 7 today and reviews seem to be mixed.  I downloaded and installed the new OS and, myself, have mixed feelings about it.  Overall, I like the changes, but some are a bit on the childish side, like the choice of colors on the home screen icons. However, the typography is outstanding. It is very Windows 8 like, which I like.

So, what’s changed? Well, pretty much everything.  From the unlock screen to the settings panels to the App Store. One thing that is better is that the interface is a bit more consistent than the original interface.  The fonts, which are now adjustable, are more consistent and are, well, gorgeous.  Some of the changes appear to be there for the sake of change, like the keypad keys being round. Serves no real purpose to make them round.

Installing the upgrade was a long and tedious task. Downloading it was IMG_2461easy, but the install was long.  I was forced, about a third of the way in, to restart it but, once restarted, it took about an hour. During that time, of course, the phone was useless (and five rounds of Call of Duty helped with the boredom.) Once installed, I had to go through the awful setup again.  Funny thing, though, some of the questions it was asking, it already had the answers for, so I was a bit confused as to why it was necessary. I suppose it was just part of the normal install process, but I would think it could have checked and moved on. Be aware, however, the install requires 2.9 GIGABYTES, which is quite a problem for those of us with 8GB devices. Thanks to Apple, though, I was able to remove some apps and photos, install the upgrade and then restore the apps and copy the photos back that I wanted to stay on the phone.

IMG_2473The Fisher Price like home pages are just awful, though I found making the background one of the gradients helps the eyesore a bit.  As I have an iPhone 4, I do not see the parallax animation that Apple made such a big deal about during the iOS 7 reveal. In fact, many of the cooler features are missing because the phone is a 4. 

As iOS 4 is a hodgepodge of ideas taken from other operating systems, there are a few things that stand out, such as the new task switchIMG_2461er/killer. The card concept, lifted right out of webOS, the best phone/tablet OS out there. This, along with the typography, is what makes iOS 7 worth the upgrade. To use the feature, double tap the home button and then flick from left to right to see the cards. Each card represents a running application.  To activate that application. tap the card. To kill it, flick it up and the app is killed. Simple.

IMG_2461The Apple supplied applets are vastly improved. The calendar is far more useful, mail is nicer and the App Store is very nice.  They all seem faster too, thought the speed increase could be due to the new OS install.

Overall, it is a step up but, like Windows 8, it is a dramatic change from previous iterations and will not be well received from many out there.  Like Windows 8, I think the biggest complaints will be for the home screens. I also think that by the time iOS 8 rolls, this will be a dated look and will be changed again and the haters will claim victory.

Go over to the Verge or CNET to read much more in depth reviews, complete with screen shots and video.