iOS 7: first impressions of the Metro-ized iOS

iOS 7: first impressions of the Metro-ized iOS

Summary: I installed iOS 7 for my iPad and for my iPhone. My first thought was, 'OMG, it's Windows 8.' No 'live' tiles but still the look and feel of Windows 8. Looks like Apple is a fan of Metro, even if Windows users aren't.


Can I say that I like iOS 7 without having rotten tomatoes thrown at me? Probably not, so I'll don a raincoat and a laboratory face shield and say, "I like iOS 7". Even if you like iOS 7 too, you're not going to like the reason that I like it. I like it because it looks and acts like Windows 8. There, I said it. It looks and acts like Windows 8. So what? There's nothing wrong with it looking and acting like Windows 8. I think it's a good thing.

I can hear the knuckle-cracking and drink pouring already, while you prepare yourself to assault me with anti-Windows 8 rhetoric but, if you're honest with yourself, you'll admit that I'm right.

All iOS versions before 7 seemed a bit heavy. This one feels lighter, faster, and more mobile device compatible. Don't get me wrong, iOS is a cool operating system even at its clunkiest but 7 is smooth. iOS 7 is Metro for the Apple crowd. 

And I'll bet you a thousand Rupees that the next Mac OS comes out looking very similar to Windows 8 and iOS 7. Since Apple uses big cats for its OS X versions and the new look and feel is very similar to Metro, I'd like to call it MeOwS MiX. 

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My favorite thing about iOS 7 is the way you kill apps, by just tossing them away out the top of your phone. No more hold, shake, and kill. I always thought that was a little weird. I'm happier now. In fact, the way you kill apps is vaguely (OK, blatantly) like tossing out YouTube videos that you're through watching. Have you noticed that?

I like that I can swipe through my open apps and then tap to bring it to focus. That part feels very Android-esque to me. But, in general, the whole iOS 7 experience feels very Windows 8.

My middle son and daughter both agree with me about the whole Windows 8 thing too.

"iOS 7 is Metro for the Apple crowd."

In fact, my son came home from school and said, "I've been enjoying iOS 7 today." To which I responded, "Did you notice how much like Windows 8 it is?" "Yes", was his immediate response, "Yes, it is". My daughter chimed in with, "Hey, yeah, it is like Windows 8".

So, it isn't just me and I feel totally justified in making that assertion.

Oh, and the fact that someone has already discovered a security flaw convinces me that iOS 7 is very similar to Windows 8. I won't go so far as to say that iOS 7 is based on Metro or aims to be a better Metro; I just think it bears noticing that they are similar.

Even if you don't agree and think that I'm coming out of left field, it's OK. You and I are both enjoying iOS 7 for what it is: a new iOS version. And that's fun, don't you think?

Does the Control Center make you think Charms Bar?

I like the Control Center. It's something that's been sadly missing from iOS from the beginning. We needed quick access to those things without all the swiping, wiping, and tapping through a bunch of stuff to enter Airplane mode, to turn on/off WiFi, to enable/disable Bluetooth, or to change brightness.

And I really love having the flashlight and stopwatch right there. Talk about handy. The calculator is another much used item for me. I'm always fumbling around looking for that thing when I need it at the grocery store or at home for calculating the cryptic way school grades are delivered to me. What does 33/46 mean to me without a calculator?

 I'm happy with iOS 7 and if you have an iPhone, iPad, or, iPod that's supported and iOS 7 capable, go for it. It doesn't take long to upgrade and I think you'll love the "new" look and feel. Heck, at its worst, it could make you embrace Windows 8 and Metro. Thanks Apple. I'm sure Microsoft is smiling today too.

Related Stories:

Topics: Apple, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Windows 8


Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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  • How funny

    Yes, those who have used iOS 7 in beta have already noticed the similarities with Windows 8. Have you checked out the latest Jelly-bean release on Nexus7 - better take a good look... Guess what. Yep, it has a lot of similarties to Windows 8 as well. Now lets here all the folks on here critisize the "ugly, worthless, crap Metro interface" or Windows 8. Must mean they don't like iOS or Android either? So where will these people all go? No WP8, No iOS, no Android? - Hery Blackberry is still there... but guess what, its latest also has Metro/Win8 similarities!
    • People hated the ugly crap metro interface

      on DESKTOPS. Most thought it was pretty good on TABLETS and PHONES. But, hey, when you've got an agenda to sharpen...
      • The look of iOS 7, aka: MS's Metro, will also be coming to an Apple

        laptop near you. Then, you probably won't be complaining about the ugly Metro UI on desktops or laptops, because, it will be coming to you via your beloved Apple.
        • Similarities

          I can show, 2 paintings, 2 photos, ... with a lot of things in common - one of them is a work of art the other is as piece of crap.
          Flat design is a current trend, MS was eventually the first to use it on a modern OS, saying others are doing it the same way it's an exaggeration of huge proportions.
          Why would the most successful mobile OSes try to copy one that ids struggling to gain critical share?!

          So I can say aesthetics of metro interfaces are still ugly, while iOS is a lot more appealing - tastes are personal obviously.
          • Absolutely Correct, AleMartin!

            Everything you said is correct. It is a fact that iOS doesn't _function_ like Win8. BruinB88 and others have chosen to ignore that distinction. Isn't it funny how the _consumer and enterprise IT staff_ see the difference. BruinB88 and others are also ignoring the fact that one could argue that Win8 copied a lot from earlier versions of iOS.

            C'mon, all you Win8 fanboys, flag me for telling the truth.
          • The more capable mobile OS will be the one taking over,

            and that more capable OS is not iOS. And it's not Android either.

            Fact remains that, the "Metro" look is what iOS 7 is being compared to, and it's not a coincidence that iOS 7 has the looks and feel of the "metro" UI.

            Nobody with any inkling of credibility would suggest that iOS 7's UI came about by sheer coincidence and not through "copying" something that is a lot more useful.
          • Within law

            It's irrelevant if Apple is copying or not.
            When I look at iOS 7 and any windows in any form I don't have any trouble to tell them apart - I don't need to look at details, it's instantaneously.
            I don't have any trouble to conceive that Apple is going flat because of Microsoft - flat design is just a tiny part among the entire interface.

            We could say that MS it's a copy too and a reaction to others - their tablets, their smartphone OS, Zune, App stores, product presentations style, notifications center soon coming to WP, online office, Bing, use of touch, Maps,... if others are doing it right I see no problem in that even if it it's a lot easier when you get their first (with something that is desirable).

            So, what is the most capable OS? BlackBerry or windows? Who says that?
      • Spot on...

        I'm one of those. I use W8 on my desktop and WP8 on my phone.

        I think Metro is GREAT on a mobile device with a touch screen. So great it makes iOS (6) and Android look like they're from a previous century.

        I think Metro STINKS big time on a desktop device with a 27" non-touch screen an arm's length away. Luckily Start8 eliminates all trace of Metro on my W8 desktop machine and I'm left with an OS that's even better than W7.
    • What are you guys talking about?

      Because it has squared corners, unchangeable feminine icon color scheme, and a shortcuts dock at the bottom?

      iOS has had a quick settings dock at the bottom for several years now but, they added the Android like shortcut buttons.

      The pull down notification bar at the top is their expanded Android notifier where they attempt to tie widgets in as well (but, only Apple's widgets are allowed). Don't get me wrong, I like what they've done with the notification bar, it is very functional and looks good.

      Or maybe the swipe to close feature that originate with WebOS and was later brought to Android by the same guy that designed the feature for WebOS. (WebOS is open source now so I'm thinking that's why everybody has the feature now). Either way, this is way better than the stupid little x in the corner or the running apps in the system tray.
      • yeah, right...

        Know what's a lot more "feminine" than the flat, even colors and plain fonts of metro? The fruity gloss and excessive ornamentation of the old ios interface and aero. Metro (and its knockoffs) is the most professional UI design I've seen in a long time, by far.
    • Re: Yep, it has a lot of similarties to Windows 8 as well

      I have been using Jelly Bean on my Nexus 7 for a year now, and I have yet to see any empty "live tiles", restrict myself to x86 processors, battle any viruses, reassign any drive letters, or wrestle with Registry edits.

      So where are these "similarities to Windows 8", exactly?
  • Some similarities to the BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry 10 OS's too.

    "My favorite thing about iOS 7 is the way you kill apps, by just tossing them away out the top of your phone." BlackBerry came out with that with the PlayBook OS in 2011. I noticed some other similarities to the BlackBerry 10 OS.
    • Yeah right...

      That swiping to kill apps was WebOS from the start. Android has had that for awhile now as well (probably around the time Blackberry got it). Funny how Apple thinks they're innovating and all they're doing is adding features that have been around for more than 3 years!
  • I guess there really are some dumb owls

    How does it advance the conversation to say flat out that Apple has had zero innovation since 2007? Microsoft, Google, and Apple are all advancing these mobile devices at an incredible rate. We should be proud and grateful for the wonderful work they're all doing - and from which we're all benefiting. What is it with the wingnuts on this site who display such antipathy for one company or another?
  • @Owl,Net

    I think you're correct. I think that you have to innovate or you will die. Innovation is the key to survival. But as someone once said, "Good artists copy; great artists steal."

    I think if you can improve on an idea, you're golden. If you're just copying because it's trendy, that just makes you a knockoff.

    And you have to keep innovating. Remember MySpace?
    • "Good artists copy; great artists steal."

      So true, and Google took the second part of it and now it is Apple's turn.
      Ram U
  • I actually like the 2d styles

    - but it's not that which is making Metro suck for many.
    D.J. 43
  • How about some examples?

    I have never used a Windows 8 device so the only thing I know about it is the huge square tiles jammed side by side and I know the iOS7 I just installed looks nothing like this. So instead of an entire article filled with paragraphs telling us this looks like Windows 8, why don't you give us some real examples? How about screenshots of a Windows screen and then an iOS screen showing how they are identical?
    • @rfoto

      Some of it is the look and some of it is in the feel but if you want a pictorial comparison gallery, I'll have to take some time and put that together. Or maybe someone with more time can do that.
      • I can't see it.

        I've been using W8 for a while (but only when forced to do so!) and I cannot see any similarities, whatsoever, between W8 and iOS7. They could not be more different in look, feel and behaviour.