Apple's iOS 7 hands-on, in pictures (gallery)

Apple's iOS 7 hands-on, in pictures (gallery)

Summary: The iPhone and iPad maker on Monday announced iOS 7, its latest mobile operating system. ZDNet takes it for a test drive and shows you the new user interface and some of the new features.

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  • Wi-Fi network and activation

    At this screen, it's already not immediately apparent why some text is in blue, some is in a thin, black font, or why others are in thick, black fonts. iOS 7 is currently in "beta," meaning it is far from finished — we will avoid overly criticizing the software, as many things are not functional or broken. Already, the new user interface at this point feels a little haphazard, however.

  • New style keyboard, input entry user interface

    The new keyboard, which retains its functionality and feature set from previous releases — it fits more in with the monochrome color scheme. It does not come with "next" or "previous" buttons, unlike iOS 6.

  • Activation

    Activation only takes a few moments. The standard iOS 6 spinner remains on this screen, but some progress has been made in other apps, such as Music, when a single progressing thin circle spins as something is downloading.

Topics: Apple, iOS, Mobility, Software, Software Development

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73 comments
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  • Dark Thin Fonts + Bright White Background = Bad Idea

    I saw a comment by a UI expert who pointed out that thin dark areas against large white backgrounds are prone to a phenomenon called "halation" (glowing of the light areas bleeding into the dark areas), which reduces legibility. This is particularly bad for users with any kind of astigmatism condition.
    ldo17
    • Apple still playing follow the leader ANDROID

      3d screens, Android had them 3 years ago
      True multitasking Android had it from the get go
      Notifications. Ditto
      Swype to delete an active app follows Android.

      Apple is just blatantly copying all Android features. Oh yeah, just trying to catch up. No innovation here.
      Uralbas
      • Huh???

        Apple doesn't need to prove its bona fides as an innovator to people with your limited sense of history. In consolidating existing technologies, both hardware and software, into the first significant touch based smartphone, they changed the world and paved the way for everyone else.

        Google bought Android months before we knew what that meant. I'm willing to assume that they had some interests in the mobile universe on their own, maybe even before they knew about the iPhone. But not much before if at all.

        Apple collaborated with Google to make Google search available on the first iPhone and Google maps on the next one. Eric Schmidt, then Google's chief exectutive, sat on Apple's board throughout that process. He had a front row seat at presentations about the iPhone that were not available to others.

        After Android was announced, no one defended Apple when Mr. Jobs threw a spit fit, threatened lawsuits, and in general threw a two year old's tantrum. Let the free market reign!

        Since that time new ideas have flowed freely from Google, Apple, Web OS, Symbian, Blackberry and most recently (finally) Windows. All of these ideas have inspired everyone. That's how it works.

        As for multitasking, Android didn't invent it. Yes they threw it into version 1 along with the kitchen sink. Google is not focused on performance; they leave that up to the OEM's. So why not throw in everything? I'm sure that's one reason that Android phones were sluggish for the first few years.

        Apple held off on cut and paste and multi-tasking because batteries and processors for its small phones didn't support having these things work well. It has added them when the time felt right, meaning that the market cared and they could be made to work well. Different priorities, both defensible.

        Notifications? Again, not unique to Google. Best execution Web OS in my book. So sorry that didn't make the cut. Etc., etc., etc.

        As I've said before, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And let's be honest: Google flattered Apple at least as much as Apple is now flattering back. As a user of both systems, I'm glad of that.
        Technologist6
      • Re: No innovation here.

        Do you understand the difference between innovation and invention?
        danbi
      • Nope

        Nothing wrong with what Apple is doing here. It's ok to copy some ideas as they are good ones. It doesn't mean Apple is not an innovator. It is more of a compliment to Android.

        By the way, now you know what the next iteration of Android is gonna look like cause all they do is copy Apple.
        Maha888
        • "All they do is copy Apple"...WHAT?!?

          No...not true. Apple phones are page after page of boring cartoon icons...Androids have something called widgets and Apple doesn't...makes the owner of the Android able to configure all of the screens the way the owner wants...not the way Apple requires...try again fanboi...
          ltlgeneral64
          • Re: "Androids have something called widgets and Apple doesn’t.."

            Mac OS X has had widgets for roughly a decade. Widgets are one of the features that Apple stripped out of OS X, along with multi-tasking, to create iOS.

            If Apple wanted to reintroduce widgets into iOS, it would probably take their coders a few hours; And I’m sure that you’d be screaming that they’d stolen the idea from Android ;-)
            Slurry
      • Apple 4S?

        The screen above looks smaller than a 5. Are the animations of a 4S? I'm nervous about performance and wondering how it will work on 4S.

        To other comments: If we care about firsts, multitasking, notifications and swipe to delete were first on webOS devices. I don't care as I'm just happy to see others catching up to an OS ahead of its time (and the hardware it was installed on).
        phillaube
      • IRONY from the Androidiots.... Gotta love 'em...

        "3d screens, Android had them 3 years ago
        True multitasking Android had it from the get go
        Notifications. Ditto
        Swype to delete an active app follows Android.

        Apple is just blatantly copying all Android features. Oh yeah, just trying to catch up. No innovation here."
        MacUeber
      • More nonsense from the Androidiots...

        "3d screens, Android had them 3 years ago
        True multitasking Android had it from the get go
        Notifications. Ditto
        Swype to delete an active app follows Android.

        Apple is just blatantly copying all Android features. Oh yeah, just trying to catch up. No innovation here."

        Once again, your inane drivel precludes fact...

        FACT - Android "smart" phones would not exist if not for the iPhone. Android and by definition all devices running Android are shameless rip-offs of the original iPhone & iPad. They are largely plasticated, cheap knock-offs made specifically for those who are too unrefined, uneducated and unintelligent to discern the difference between quality and garbage.

        I would say you Uralbas, are a textbook example of the type of knuckle dragging dullard the Android designed for. People who are too cheap or limited of means to pony up to a true quality product.

        It is to laugh...
        MacUeber
    • That Explains My Dislike for White/Light Backgrounds

      They always seem to have too much glare for me, and are unpleasant to look at/harder to read. I like dark backgrounds much better (as long as the text is light/bright for good contrast). This new UI is as bad as the web stylistic trend to grey/thin/sans serif text on light backgrounds with very little contrast and poor readability (for me at least).

      YMMV
      aroc
      • So agree with that

        I have an intense dislike of bright light layouts - yep, my eyes.
        Besides, this looks fugly as all get out.
        rhonin
    • Looks more like a toy now

      The iOS7 user interface seems more toy-like or "cartoony" in appearance now. Frankly, I liked the old look better. Change for the sake of change is such a waste. I say spend the resources making the devices more functional, not making them look slightly different and calling the slight difference a "feature."
      BillDem
      • They used to be called 'skins' or 'themes'

        Wouldn't it be nice to choose a theme instead of it being thrust upon us? But then Apple know best. Just like the 'put down' I got from the Apple rep when I asked if I might see a touchscreen on my MacBook air. Apparently nobody needs it and what would be the point in that????? Looks like the customer can very often be wrong LOL.
        johnmckay
  • hmmm

    so when will samsung / google sue for 'look and feel' ??? :)
    comnut2k
    • Sorry...

      Apple already has the patent on round O's.
      jsargent
  • Before you get into this article...

    There are 64 photos with nothing but a description of what you see in each - no verdict or conclusion at the end.

    Just warning in case you're now upto page 8 and wondering how much longer to go... ;)
    MarknWill
    • stopped at 2

      I refuse to play ZDNet's game here. Really can't be arsed
      keithc
  • Mish mash...

    It seems very schizophrenic.

    You have the Kindergarten style home screen, then you have the nice, spartan apps like Mail, with everything squared off, but you have the 'phone app, which is all curves, then there are apps like weather, which have dark coloured backgrounds.

    The stark white and the dark apps (mail, calendar, weather, for example) look very nice in and of themselves.

    The 'phone app looks horrible and totally out of place, compared to the other apps.

    And the start screen looks like they were scared to do too much, in case it scared people.

    In general, it looks like it was developed by 3 or 4 different teams that didn't get the same memo.
    wright_is
    • Not Apple's best effort

      Sorry, but this UI on IOS7 is not Apple's best effort. Once it's released, if I had to make a choice of a smartphone, I'd have to go with a Windows Phone. On it, the METRO-style UI actually works great and looks great. Not saying that IOS7 won't work but it reminds me of something you'd find on a phone with the word Mattel stamped on the side.
      jrbales2