TJ Kelly

iOS 7 Sucks – The Emperor’s New UI

Alright, first things first: I know it’s still in beta. I know that it will improve before public launch. But still, this is Apple we’re talking about. They’re better than this. iOS 7 sucks right now.

Native apps

The native apps are being advertised as “simple.” I’d call them simplistic. I love minimalist design, but I believe interfaces need clear boundaries and visual cues. Plain black text on a plain white screen might be beautiful—and it often is—but it might not be very usable.

Borders and their UI companions define interact-able objects and regions. Plain text and whitespace do not.

General impressions & comparisons

The UI looks similar to Google properties like the GMail and Google+ apps. But that’s bad for two reasons: Google is your biggest competitor so stop emulating them; and it’s not iPhone. It’s not the identity you’ve built. It’s not what your users know and love. It’s not Apple.

Apple essentially invented the mobile device UI and its guidelines. They’re the reason buttons have texture and dimension. Now they’re abandoning that in the name of “simplicity.” In my humble opinion (and it really is humble), I think Jony Ive should hand over the UI reins back to whomever held them for iOS 6. His hardware design is gorgeous and iconic. His UI design is not.

19 thoughts on “iOS 7 Sucks – The Emperor’s New UI

  1. Adam

    R.I.P Steve Jobs , you wouldn’t like what’s going on with your company … first it got bullied by other companies , and now they came up with this sh!t :(

  2. Peter

    Couldn’t agree more with this article and the author’s opinion(s). Instead of emulating Google’s visual identity, Ive should focus on what he does brilliantly – certainly not UI design.

  3. zain7478zain7478

    Couldn’t agree better … Shame on you Joni Ive, why don’t you go back to where you came from ukkchh … I regret to have updated my ipad ios6 … I bet the one in charge of the ui before – what’s his name? – is smiling wide now …

  4. IoNoSoi7

    i totally agree. i’m really disappointed with the new UI. it’s ugly. simple does not have to BE ugly, but this flavor of simple is! I wish i did not upgrade :(

  5. Trevor

    No need to be humble. IOS7 is the fall of an empire. I took my otterbox off my phone, not only did the tiny swipe regions in ios7 not work with it on, but I really don’t hold it to be a device i really care enough about to keep flawless anymore.

  6. Kate

    I really dislike the new ios. I hate the theme so much I’ve seriously considered going elsewhere for a phone. I was so excited when I first got my iPhone about two years ago, and I’ve loved it ever since… Well, until I updated it to ios 7, now my phone is hideous. I loved how their ui used to look. Why change the iconic Apple theme? It’s horrible, and not attractive or inovative at all.

  7. William

    For the first time since I bought my first iPhone (the first generation phone), I am looking at what Android and Windows Phone have to offer. I simply cannot image having to look at this hideously cartoonish interface every time I turn on my phone for the rest of eternity.

  8. Stan Lyman

    I os 7 has great features but the User interface appears to be designed by a print designer from the 70’s. It is going backward in UI design to the days of pong. Might as well be 4bit. This is a strange departure for apple. They used to be the standard in design. Their designers used to write all of the books on design! What happened! In my wildest dreams I would have never thought the trend setters would be following microsoft and google in crappy design. It has left me speechless. Apple used to have an immersive rich feel to it. The overlays, the gradients, a nice clean and consistent look. With I os 6 I felt like I was staying at a 5 star resort. Now I feel like I upgraded to circus, circus.

  9. RIP

    Pure fashion, no soul.

    Could this be a well conceived marketing ploy? This move by Apple is reminiscent of when Coca-cola decided after decades of success as number one, they would stop making Coca-cola, and instead start selling Pepsi cola under the name NEW Coke.

  10. anon

    I’m not going to protect the new UI, but I REALLY REALLY REALLY wish that people would give Tim Cook and Jon Ive a chance, because all they did were a couple of poor software choices alongside a couple of good ones. This happens ALL THE TIME and has happened under Steve Jobs’ rule too!

    Again, you are right, but I wish people wouldn’t pull the STEVE JOBS IS TURNING IN HIS GRAVE-card just yet, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned about creativity, it’s that pleasing people isn’t easy, and I can especially imagine that being true when you’re expected to fill the shoes of a globally renowned innovator.

    The iPhone is still a great piece of engineering. Let’s hope it stays that way.

  11. D. Gold

    I could not AGREE more! My first thought when I updated to iOS 7, was that it was designed by young kids. What happened to the seamless sophistication we all have become familiar with? The phone app takes minutes to load, just so I can make a damn call! Beyond ugly and ridiculous!


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