I’ve had a chance to check out iOS 7 on an iPod Touch for a few days now and I thought I’d add my notes here. Since buying my first Windows Phone last year, I’ve loved how simple and unified the experience feels. Android continues to have a designed-by-committee style—even with the influence of Matias Duarte, it continues to be a bit of a mess. So, as far as I’m concerned, from a design perspective, there are only two relevant mobile phone OSes—iOS and Windows Phone 8.
Comparing the two might seem like it makes sense on the surface. Apple wholeheartedly bought into the so-called skeuomorphic design with prior iOS versions. The wood grain, stitched leather and green felt diminished the overall experience, undermining any decent UI work going on in the OS. Some apps, famously, went far off the deep end. The voice memos app displayed a big microphone instead of giving users more useful information, and the podcasting app looked like a 1970s reel-to-reel tape machine—something that most iOS users have probably never seen outside of the movies.
iOS 7 is supposed to clean up the mess left behind by Scott Forstall’s cronies. Steve Jobs might have been a fan of the style, but let’s remember that he also thought the iPod Hi-Fi was good enough to replace his primo home audio system. It’s the first effort from a team headed by Jony Ive.